Three's Company: Season Three

Three's Company never aimed to be groundbreaking, but if you take a look back, there were many aspects that changed the shape of television. Firstly, Jack Tripper (John Ritter) was the first gay main character, albeit, he was a straight man portraying a gay man so he could live with two girls he wanted to bed, but still, he was gay in the eyes of his landlord. Secondly, he lived with Janet Wood (Joyce DeWitt) and Chrissy Snow (Suzanne Somers), which in the eyes of God is living in sin and another faux pas for most network television shows in the '70s. Thirdly, the show relied on deviant behaviour from Jack and Larry Dallas (Richard Kline), the pervs out to get laid as much as possible (ever notice there was a new girl every episode?). And finally, it completely transcended situational comedy by ensuring there was always some outrageous misunderstanding and conclusions to jump to. Season Three found the program settling in after its initial success and also contained some of the show's best moments: the challenge to see if Jack can give up women longer than Chrissy can give up food; Chrissy becomes a Hari Krishna; Chrissy eats Jack's pie before the competition and replaces it with a store-bought pie; Jack dates a girl living with two men; and of course, when the Ropers sell the building (which led to the awful short-lived spin-off The Ropers, co-starring Jeffrey Tambor). The extras are exceptional, especially for a third season. A "never before seen" pilot episode features Susan Lanier as Chrissy and the theme sung without words, with doo-doos in their place. As interesting as it is to see something this rare, there is a reason why it was never aired — Lanier isn't half the actress Somers was in the role of the blonde nitwit. DeWitt presents "Remembering John Ritter," a touching tribute filled with interviews with the cast members sharing their memories and regards for the actor. A humorous blooper reel and "best of" montages for each character also prove to be worthy extras. Plus: commentary for "The Bake-Off," interviews with Kline and director Dave Powers, promos. (Anchor Bay, www.anchorbayentertainment.com)