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The Bob Newhart Show - The Complete Second Season



DVD Release Date: October 4, 2005 (20th Century Fox)
MSRP: $29.98
Number of Discs: 3 (double-sided)
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: 645 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Subtitles in English and Spanish; Closed Captioned. Special Features: Commentary with Bob Newhart, Jack Riley, Marcia Wallace and David Davis on select episodes and "The Bob Newhart Show in Action Season 2" featurette. (Total runtime: 13 minutes)


Hi Bob! Again! Dr. Bob Hartley is back in session. Full of laughs and good therapy, join Dr. Hartley for a second season of dry comedy, as he's pushed into bringing his group therapy sessions to the television screen, finds out that his wife's IQ is much higher than his own and somehow talks a reverend out of the ministry! Dr. Bob is joined by his wife, Emily (Suzanne Pleshette), his wise-cracking secretary, Carol (Marcia Wallace), and an outstanding ensemble cast of others. Considered one of the greatest television shows of all time, "THE BOB NEWHART SHOW" THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON features all 24 episodes on three discs, audio commentaries and an all-new "making-of" featurette. All for $29.98! You can't beat that price!

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Just like Season 1, Season 2 boasts many memorable episodes. Watch as Bob ... brings his therapy group to the television screen ("Last TV Show"), finds himself alone with a very amorous woman away from home ("Motel"), has back problems during a vacation to Mexico ("Backlash"), somehow talks a reverend out of the ministry ("Somebody Down Here Likes Me"), discovers Emily has a higher IQ than he does ("Mister Emily Hartley"), watches crazy Mr. Carlin falls for Carol and plans their entire life out after one date ("T.S. Elliot"), he gets trapped in his office on Christmas by a blizzard ("I'm Dreaming of A Slight Christmas"), counsels Emily through a mid-life crisis and goes out and buys a hip new wardrobe ("The Modernization of Emily"), and Howard falls for Bob's sister, Ellen, and Bob would be thrilled, but she's scheduled to marry someone else ("A Love Story"). All of those and more are here on this season 2 set.

Memorable cameos throughout the season included Michael Conrad, best known as Sgt. Phil Esterhaus on "Hill Street Blues" ("Backlash" and "A Matter of Principal"), John McMartin, well known for playing many priests and reverends in such series as "The Golden Girls," and "Empty Nest," ("Somebody Down Here Likes Me"), Teri Garr ("Emily In For Carol" and "Confessions of a Therapist"), Mariette Hartley ("Have You Met Miss Dietz?"), Jeff Corey ("Old Man Rivers"), Claudette Nevins ("Mister Emily Hartley"), Bill Quinn ("Mister Emily Hartley"), Katherine Helmond, better known for "Soap," and "Who's The Boss?" ("I'm Okay, You're Okay, So What's Wrong?"), Ron Glass, better known for "Barney Miller" ("Fit, Fat and Forty-One"), John Randolph ("My Wife Belongs to Daddy"), Ann Rutherford ("My Wife Belongs to Daddy"), Shirley O'Hara ("T.S. Elliot"), Raul Julia ("Oh, Brother"), Sharon Gless, better known for "Cagney & Lacey" ("The Modernization of Emily,"), and Henry Winkler, better known for "Happy Days" ("Clink Shrink").


The cover art is red in color and features square boxes, with the city's skyline in some of the boxes, and a color cut out picture of the cast (Bob, Emily, Carol, Howard and Jerry). Inside are two mini-cases (slip cases) that feature the exact same design as the cover (both slip cases are exactly the same, in both color and design). The back of the cases lists the episodes, what disc they are on, a brief description as well as an original airdate. All three discs have no design because they are double-sided. Disc 1/Side A contains Episodes 1-4 (24-27). Disc 1/Side B contains Episodes 5-8 (28-31). Disc 2/Side A contains Episodes 9-12 (32-35). Disc 2/Side B contains Episodes 13-16 (36-39). Disc 3/Side A contains Episodes 17-20 (40-43) and Disc 3/Side B contains Episodes 21-24 (44-47) as well as the special features.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The main menu screen is a very interesting one. Each disc (and disc side) has a different design featuring a drawing of two (or more) of the regular cast members (caricatures, I think) on a different background drawn to look like a set. Disc 1/Side A features drawings of Carol, Emily and Bob. Disc 1/Side B features Howard and Jerry. Disc 2/Side A features Howard, Carol & Bob, Disc 2/Side B features Emily and Jerry. Disc 3/Side A features Jerry, Bob & Emily, Disc 3/Side B features Howard & Carol.

The menu screen lists the episodes you can select to watch (as well as the popular "Play All" feature). When choosing an episode, it takes you to another menu, and from there you can choose "Play Episode," "Scene Selection," "Language Selection" and "Home."

Video and Audio Quality:

The video quality is outstanding. You'd never know it was over 30 years old! It's crisp and colorful. Once again, like Season 1, 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 and each episode runs around 24 to 25 minutes in length.

Special Features:

The best part about this set is that there are special features! Season 1's set didn't have any available. I guess back then doing the review that there was a reason behind it. If the first set sold well, they'd probably add extras to the second release. I have no information, but since this release comes just six months later, I'll assume it's selling well enough to include extras. On this set, we have commentaries on several episodes from stars Bob Newhart and Marcia Wallace, as well as creator David Davis and Jack Riley. Also included is a documentary featurette "The Bob Newhart Show in Action Season 2".

* Commentary by Bob Newhart, Marcia Wallace, David Davis and Jack Riley
Bob Newart and Jack Riley on "Last TV Show," Bob Newhart, Marcia Wallace and David Davis on "Mister Emily Hartley," Bob Newhart on "Blues For Mr. Borden," Bob Newhart, Marcia Wallace and David Davis on "T.S. Elliot" and Bob Newhart, Marcia Wallace and David Davis on "The Modernization of Emily."

* The Bob Newhart Show in Action Season 2
This brand new "making-of" featurette runs approx. 13 minutes and features brand new interviews with series star Bob Newhart as well as show creator David Davis. The two talk mostly about the creation of the series. Various clips are shown throughout the interviews. It's a good featurette.

Final Comments:

In conclusion, what a wonderful release by 20th Century Fox! The brand new menu screens are impressive. The audio commentary on select episodes is something I was looking forward to seeing, and it was there. With most, if not all, of the cast still alive, it was great to hear some of their thoughts. Here's hoping we see some more actors pop up on the next season release. The "making of" was short, but a nice addition. Hopefully we see more of those with more interviews with the cast. Overall, there isn't much I would change, except that I would love bloopers or a gag reel. There must be tons of bloopers for this show, so having them included would make future sets even better. This was a great release to review and I can't wait for Season 3. Every fan of "The Bob Newhart Show" will enjoy this set, and at just around $30 bucks, it's a great deal!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

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

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 on 09/24/05

NOTE: We are hoping to land an interview with the legend himself—yes, Mr. Bob Newhart. Keep checking back to see when/if it is posted.

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