The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Second Season

In spite of a strong cast and a bona fide comic genius like Bob Newhart, this show proves to be little more than the Mary Tyler Moore Show with a dude. Essentially a would-be spin-off conceived by MTM producers David Davis and Lorenzo Music, Newhart's first sitcom finds him playing psychologist Dr. Robert Hartley, the straight-laced calm amidst a storm of wacky friends, co-workers and patients that always keep him guessing. As his wife, Emily, Suzanne Pleshette mostly soothes Newhart through his marginally funny trials and tribulations, such as his patients freezing up on a psychology TV show, or his back going out before their big vacation. Sitcom stalwarts like Bill Daily and Jack Riley offer up some comic relief and their characters are the shrewdest inventions the writers produce. It's actually a similar plight to Moore's show, where the right cast and characters are in place but they don't really have anything all that interesting to say or do. The Bob Newhart Show's second season is remarkable for its lack of edginess and Bob Newhart's emergence as a legitimate comic television star despite it. Plus: commentary, more. (Fox)