Welcome to a new Sitcom Tuesday and more of our second annual RERUN series, designed to give yours truly a chance to get further ahead in coverage of our last few ’90s comedies. Regular programming will resume soon, but in the meantime, I’m excited to resurrect and re-examine some of my favorite Sitcom posts from this blog’s nearly six year run!
As with last year’s series (begun here), my intention is to provide a link to each original piece and then offer a tiny bit of updated commentary, either on episode picks I’d call differently now (like in my famous “Regrets” post) or on something broader, like evolving thoughts on the year/series as a whole. I’ve picked a few goodies, so I hope you’re as excited as I am about revisiting our favorites… But please be gentle! Many of the posts you’ll see were written a while ago. The standards here have changed as I’ve changed. (There are plenty of typos, juvenile “hot takes,” and places where more information would now be appreciated.)
This week, I’m rerunning… The Ten Best THE BOB NEWHART SHOW Episodes of Season Three. Check it out here: https://jacksonupperco.com/2015/02/17/the-ten-best-the-bob-newhart-show-episodes-of-season-three/
The third season of The Bob Newhart Show is a very solid year of a typically underrated series — the second (and second strongest) ambassador for the great MTM style of character-driven comedy. But the third season also has the unfortunate distinction of being sandwiched between two years that are fresher, more gem-laden, and generally in possession of a higher qualitative baseline. I felt this way about Season Three when we first discussed it back in 2015 and my thoughts really haven’t changed since then… But I’ve never been 100% content with my list and it’s because I think there’s a glaring omission: an episode called “The Way We Weren’t,” which is cited as an Honorable Mention, but probably deserves to make my formal ten. You see, not only is it a welcomingly adult excursion about exes — and Bob’s romantic life before Emily — but it’s also the first entry directed by the legendary James Burrows, who scored the gig after proving himself on an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. With this notable trivia, along with a premise and script that maximize the show’s palpable humanity, I think it’s a much better choice for recognition than say, “A Pound Of Flesh,” an entry I included in spite of its terrible A-story, simply because I love the hilarious Merie Earle, who’s a treat… regardless of the episode in which she appears. (But don’t worry — her other two appearances also made my lists — deservedly — and aren’t going anywhere…) So, please check out the post above again, and feel free to share your thoughts on the series and its trajectory in the comments below!
Come back next week for another Sitcom Tuesday! And stay tuned tomorrow for a new Wildcard Wednesday!