Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Season 1 of The Bob Newhart Show will be released by Fox (which owns all the MTM shows) on April 12. This is, in general, one of those "classic" sitcoms that I admire more than enjoy; many of the episodes are in the same vein as the early Mary Tyler Moore Show episodes -- well-structured, thoughtful, intelligent, but depressingly sane and uneventful. Especially considering the weird areas that Bob Newhart's best comedy routines went into, I can't help feeling that the creators, Lorenzo Music and Dave Davis, weren't interested enough in letting that kind of nutty and even dark humor onto their show. (The Newhart routine where he tries to talk a guy out of jumping off a ledge is closer to what I would have liked Dr. Bob Hartley to be doing.) The best early episodes were the ones written by the team of Jay Tarses and Tom Patchett, who took over the show in mid-run and revamped it a bit, making it more biting and funny, if not as dark as Tarses's own shows.