I never saw the previous also MTM-produced, apparently very successful "The Bob Newhart Show" which I don't think ever played in the UK, but remember this particular series very well indeed.
I liked it very much then and still do today, now I've got the chance to re-watch them again. Of course rather like the flagship "Mary Tyler-Moore Show", it's built around a known star, the rather hangdog comedian Bob Newhart, who with his improbably young and pretty wife leaves the rat race behind to set up home in a run-down Vermont guest-house.
Being very much set-bound, it relies on the familiarity and like-ability of its quirky cast and the gentle humour in the writing. Of course almost every bit of dialogue is set up for Newhart to deadpan the punch-line but on the parameters there are some engagingly odd-ball supporting characters like the dimwitted repairman George, the ditzy chambermaid Lesley and especially the 80's answer to the Crazy Gang crossed with the Marx Brothers, the hilarious "Anything for a buck" brothers Larry, Daryl and Daryl. Less appealing however is their irritating, fabricating, restaurant-owning neighbour Kirk.
With a luxuriant, scene-setting theme by the celebrated Henry Mancini, the humour here is hardly revolutionary or cutting-edge, but for warm, cosy, feel-good comedy, this is a very enjoyable and comfortable place to check into.
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