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The Bob Newhart Show - The Complete First Season



DVD Release Date: April 12, 2005 (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $29.98
Number of Discs: 3 (double-sided)
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: 630 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: Subtitles: English and Spanish; Closed Captioned
Special Features: N/A

My Thoughts:

Hi Bob! Bob Newhart stars as Dr. Robert Hartley in this hilarious 70s sitcom about a successful Chicago psychologist specializing in group therapy sessions. Although eccentric patients fill his office, Bob's home life is just as erratic, surrounded by his wife, Emily, and his neighbor, Howard, and his good pal Dr. Jerry. This three disc (double-sided) DVD set includes all 25 episodes from the First Season. Suzanne Pleshette co-stars as his wife Emily, while Bill Daly ("I DREAM OF JEANNIE") plays his neurotic neighbor Howard. Rounding out the fantastic ensemble cast are Marcia Wallace as Bob's secretary Carol and Peter Bonerz as Dr. Jerry. The doctor is in!

The Season One episodes are all very funny and memorable. Relive many great memories, such as when Bob discovers Emily has a fear of flying ("Fly The Unfriendly Skies"), when Bob speaks to Emily's class ("Tracy Grammar School...") or when Emily forces Bob into telling his mother he loves her ("Mom, I L-l-l-ove You"), or when Bob spends too much time watching football ("Don't Go To Bed Mad") or when Bob and Emily end up taking a vacation to a strangely deserted ski lodge or when Jerry moves in with the Hartleys ("Who's Been Sleeping On My Couch?").

Memorable cameos throughout the season included Penny Marshall ("LAVERNE & SHIRLEY") as a stewardess, Bernie Kopell ("THE LOVE BOAT") as a doctor, Pat Morita ("HAPPY DAYS") as a bartender, Emmaline Henry (Amanda of "I DREAM OF JEANNIE") as a patient who falls in love with Bob (and it reunites Emmaline with Bill Daly), and Edward Winter ("M*A*S*H") as a Professor Trainer.

The cover art is WHITE in color and features square boxes on a yellow/orange background covered with pictures of Bob Newhart's many faces. It's a simple design, but still colorful design. Inside are two mini-cases (slip cases) that feature the same design as the cover, but with an added picture of Carol and Emily (both slip cases are exactly the same). The back of the cases lists the episodes, what disc they are on, a brief description as well as an original airdate. Discs 1 and 2 have no design because they are double-sided. Disc 1/Side A contains Episodes 1-4. Disc 1/Side B contains Episodes 5-8. Disc 2/Side A contains Episodes 9-12. Disc 2/Side B contains Episodes 13-16. Disc 3/Side A contains Episodes 17-20 and Disc 3/Side B contains Episodes 21-24.

The main menu screen is the same color frame as the cover but has a drawing of Bob's office (the side with the couch). There is no music playing. It lists the episodes. When you select an episode it takes you to another menu screen that has a drawing of a picture frame with a still shot from that episode you selected. That menu screen allows you to choose "Play Episode", "Scene Selection," or "Language Selection." Each of the episodes is unedited and run for 25 to 26 minutes in length.

For a show that's 33 years old from the premiere date, the video is, very good. The audio, unlike other older show releases, was an improvement and was crisp and clear and not nearly as low as some releases. But there were no major issues to be concerned with on this set. And on this set, closed captioning as well as Subtitles in English, and Spanish are available. The good thing is that there are chapter skips during each episode, in addition to the scene selection screen.

The special features on this set are few and far between. In fact, there aren't any! A disappointment for any fan, but there is likely a reason behind it. I'm expecting (and speculating) that if this set sells well, there will be many more releases that will contain special bonus features. There was word that the unaired pilot would be on this, but on the set I received, I donít see it ANYWHERE. No mentions on the box either!

In conclusion, I believe any fan of THE BOB NEWHART SHOW will enjoy this set very much. For the extremely low price of thirty dollars, this is a wonderful set to own. Even though I'm disappointed no bonus features were included, this set is great to finally own and I'm sure all Bob Newhart fans will feel the same way. So go out and purchase this set so we can show 20th Century Fox that we want the rest of the series to follow on DVD! On future sets, I'd love to see some gag reels, or even some commentary ≠ and the unaired pilot! With most (if not all) of the cast still living, it would be wonderful to hear their take on the show after over 30 years from the premiere.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: N/A
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 on 03/27/05

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