Bob’s third season consists of the following:
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING Bob struggles to come to terms with the idea of his little sister, Ellen, moving in with Howard.
BATTLE OF THE GROUPS Bob takes two of his therapy groups on a retreat into the woods, and all they do is complain about the accommodations. Daniel J. Travanti guest stars.
THE GREAT TIMPAU MEDICAL ARTS EXPERIMENT Jerry suggests the doctors treat each other for free. Result: chaos.
THE SEPARATION STORY Bob’s up to his neck in patients and Emily’s trying to finish her master’s thesis, so they decide to live apart for awhile.
SORRY, WRONG MOTHER In an effort to please his son Howie, Howard tries to revamp Ellen into the perfect mom. John Ritter guest stars.
THE GRAY FLANNEL SHRINK Bob gives up private practice to join the corporate world as a staff psychologist.
DR RYAN’S EXPRESS Jerry hires a temp receptionist who can’t even remember Bob’s name.
BRUTALLY YOURS, BOB HARTLEY Bob discovers that honesty isn’t always the best policy.
SHIP OF SHRINKS Bob’s first book bombs, making him reticent to go to a psychology convention to Hawaii…even before finding out that Howard is the navigator on the Hawaii-bound flight.
LIFE IS A HAMBURGER Carol announces her engagement to Don Fezler, a man with bad feet and worse poetry.
AN AMERICAN FAMILY It’s the Thanksgiving from Hell, because Bob’s mother and Emily’s father can’t stand each other. Barnard Hughes guest stars.
WE LOVE YOU…GOODBYE Bob is kicked out of the all-female consciousness-raising group he started when Emily joins.
JERRY ROBINSON CRUSOE Jerry decides to leave his dental practice in order to follow his dream girl to Tahiti.
SERVE FOR DAYLIGHT Bob and Emily team up to win a doctor’s tennis tournament.
HOME IS WHERE THE HURT IS Carol can’t stand the thought of going home for Christmas, so instead goes to Bob and Emily’s.
TOBIN’S BACK IN TOWN Ellen’s handsome ex-boyfriend comes to Chicago to win her back from Howard. Fred Willard guest stars.
THINK SMARTLY…VOTE HARTLEY Bob somehow winds up running for chairman of the school board.
THE WAY WE WEREN’T Emily is suspicious when Bob clams up about an old flame…then Howard spills the beans.
A POUND OF FLESH Jerry grates on Bob’s last nerve when he demands Bob loan him the money to buy a motorcycle.
MY BUSINESS IS SHRINKING Bob’s patient list is dwindling, so he decides to see a psychiatrist to try to figure out the problem.
THE NEW LOOK Emily decides to make over their apartment; Bob hates it.
BOB HITS THE CEILING Bob breaks his own rule about treating people he knows when he tries to help Emily’s friend.
EMILY HITS THE CEILING Emily wants Bob to become a counselor at a children’s summer camp.
THE CEILING HITS BOB Bob’s office ceiling collapses and he is forced to live a nomadic existence, shrinking heads wherever he can find the space.
Was this review helpful to you?
The third season (1974-1975) of “The Bob Newhart Show” for me is not quite as good as the second season. To be sure, there are many very funny episodes, but there is one area where it seems to come up short and that is the lack of appearances by the main group of patients. In fact, Mrs. Bakerman (Florida Friebus) doesn’t appear at all during the season, and for the only appearance of Mr. Gianelli he is played by Daniel J. Travanti (later of Hill Street Blues) instead of by Noam Pitlik who played him in the previous seasons. In addition, John Fiedler makes only one appearance as Mr. Peterson during the season.
That is not to say that there are no Group appearances, because they do experiment with some new groups such as an all woman’s group, and an elderly group (including Mr. Carlin), and they even have Bob as a patient in a group (again including Mr. Carlin). They also develop some new or previously rarely seen patients such as Mr. Herd (Oliver Clark), Mr. Plager (Howard Hesseman), Mrs. Loomis (Merie Earle), and the very funny Mr. Vickers (Lucian Scott). Ellen Hartley (Pat Finley) also becomes a fairly regular member of the cast.
In season two there were many guest stars which went on to make names for themselves, and there are a few this year as well but not as many and for the most part they are not as well known as those in season two. John Ritter is great as Dave, a server at an ice cream shop. Edward Winter plays an ambitious executive at an insurance company. Fred Willard plays Ellen’s ex-fiancé John Tobin. Also, Bob’s real-life father-in-law Bill Quinn makes a couple of appearances as Eddie the Mailman.
There are many very funny episodes this season as well. In “The Battle of the Groups” Bob is talked into taking two of his groups on a marathon session. “The Great Timpau Medical Co-op Experiment” is another wonderful episode in which Bob’s fellow doctors form a co-op where they treat each other for free. The doctors also play a big role in “Serve for Daylight” where they compete in a mixed-doubles tennis tournament. Bob gives up his private practice to become a staff psychologist at Loggers Casualty Insurance Company in “The Gray Flannel Shrink”. Emily helps to organize a children’s summer camp in “Emily Hits the Ceiling”. There are many more as well.
All 24 episodes are included on three 2-sided DVDs as was the case with the first two seasons. Like the second season, there are five episodes with commentary, and there is a featurette for the season on the third disk. Once again the commentaries are not very engaging, and this is probably true because Bob’s talking style is very drawn out and he is known for great reactions which cannot be captured on an audio commentary effectively. Bob is on all the commentaries and there are two with Peter Bonerz who plays Dr. Jerry Robinson; one with Fred Willard; one with director Jim Burrows; and Bob does one by himself. The one with Jim Burrows is my favorite, as he talks about his early directing experiences and where he messed up when filming the episode.
I realize I am going against conventional wisdom in that “all old shows” get 5 stars for nostaglia factor “regardless” however I have problems with Season Three and I call them as I sees them.
I really do not care for Bobs sister “Ellen” and she houses a fairly significant role in this Season. Her role just alters the chemistry between Bob & Emily, in fact the show seems altered when she is on the set and her persona bothers me. A bigger problem I have with this Season is the fact that too many of the stories either do not involve Bob or Emily or many do not further their characters. The past Seasons had Bob trying to come to grips with buying a house and the two thinking about kids, this season had none of that and too many scripts revolve around not so funny moments with irrelavent story lines. In short, the writing was less personalized and seemed more “70′s assembly line” (Bob runs for office? Gah. Talk about out-of-idea-cliches!). The humor here in Season Three of Bob Newhart is also canned jokes that really only made me laugh a time or two. This is not to say I do not endorse buying the show, it is still a nice value, however in the world of Bob Newhart, IMO, this is the weak link so far.
The extras are welcomed and while sparse still OUTDUE all others for older shows like ALL in the Family which have none. And like All in the Family Season Four, I distinguish between good seasons and bad and do not just give them all five stars. There are bright moments though, when Bill Daily is trying to impress his son and make him like Ellen was quite good, but then again, it seemed more like a spin off since Bob and Emily were once again in the background.