Dick Loudon and his wife Joanna decide to leave life in New York City and buy a little inn in Vermont. Dick is a how-to book writer, who eventually becomes a local TV celebrity as host of "... See full summary »
George Stoody is a mild-mannered bookstore owner who encounters a hoodlum/magician named Leo Wagonman, the estranged father of his new daughter-in-law Casey. Leo, on the run from a mob ... See full summary »
Bob is a successful Chicago psychologist who shares secretary Carol with Dentist Jerry. Part of the show revolves around his (usually comic) dealings with his patients. The rest involves his school teacher wife Emily and others in their apartment building. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A masterpiece of understated adult humor, epitomized by its low-key star, Bob Newhart, who could get big laughs reading from the phone book with his trademark stammers and pauses.
Supporting cast was remarkable, each playing to his or her strengths, gliding smoothly along the tracks laid down by the expert writing staff. Standouts? Everybody was a standout. Peter Bonerz as Jerry, the libidinous orphaned dentist. Bill Daily as the addled Howard Borden, airline navigator, bumbling divorced dad, and meal moocher. Marcia Wallace as Carol, confident, razor-tongued receptionist extraordinaire. Jack Riley as Mr. Carlin, the funniest self-centered jerk of the modern sitcom era. And Suzanne Pleshette as Emily, Bob's gorgeous, sensible wife.
The trick to the show's humor was that it seemed to rise naturally from these characters who, though colorful, also resembled real people. Nobody had to push too hard for a laugh.
Almost three decades later I still haven't seen another TV comedy series that possessed this one's unique tone of humor, an almost indescribable mix of the usual satire and sarcasm and poking fun at our modern life and lifestyles, balanced perfectly against warm-hearted affirmation of the bonds of friendship and affection that make life bearable. And funny.
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