Find laugh therapy with Newhart's group

Bob Newhart starred as psychologist Bob Hartley in his first major sitcom, 1972 to 1978 on CBS. All 142 episodes are now available on disc.
Bob Newhart starred as psychologist Bob Hartley in his first major sitcom, 1972 to 1978 on CBS. All 142 episodes are now available on disc.
Posted: June 07, 2014

Bob Newhart will be remembered centuries hence as one of the greatest straight men in American comedy.

The soft-spoken stand-up comic and actor who has the deadliest deadpan in the biz and the driest of humors was singularly brilliant in his first major sitcom, The Bob Newhart Show, which ran for five seasons on CBS from 1972 to 1978.

In a great character choice, Newhart plays a therapist, Dr. Bob Hartley. Consistently calm in the midst of chaos, Bob listens in each episode to the strange and hilarious problems of a slew of series regulars who bare their souls to him. Florida Friebus has gone down in TV history for playing one of Bob's patients, Lillian Bakerman, an elderly woman who spends her therapy sessions knitting.

The sitcom also follows Bob's personal life at home with his comely wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette).

You can binge-watch the series with the 19-disc The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Series, which includes all 142 episodes. Extras include episode commentaries, a reunion TV special from 1991, and a 40-page booklet. ( www.shoutfactory.com; $129.99; not rated)

Other titles of note

RoboCop. Action-film remakes have never been my thing. But Brazilian auteur José Padilha ( Elite Squad) has made me a believer. Joel Kinnaman is half-man, half-robot, and all cop in this exciting iteration of Paul Verhoeven's 1987 classic. ( www.robocop.com/; $29.98 DVD; $39.99 Blu-ray; rated PG-13)

Graceland: Season 1. Brush up on the first season of USA Network's gritty crime saga, which returns Wednesday. Aaron Tveit stars as a new FBI recruit sent to live in a luxury beach house near L.A. that serves as the hideout for a group of undercover federal agents. His task: find out whether one of the FBI's most decorated agents (Daniel Sunjata) is corrupt. ( www.foxconnect.com; $39.98; not rated)

Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Fourth Season. Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander star as crime fighters of an entirely cuter, goofier sort in this Boston-set crime dramedy due on Tuesday. ( www.wbshop.com; $39.98; not rated)

Covert Affairs: Season 4. The incomparable Piper Perabo is back as CIA officer Annie Walker in this delicious espionage drama. This season finds her in love with a fellow officer (Christopher Gorham) and on the hunt for a former CIA bigwig turned international menace. ( www.nbcuni.com; $39.98; not rated)

Dan Curtis' Dracula (Blu-ray).Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis received critical acclaim for this 1974 TV pic, a faithful adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel starring the wonderfully menacing Jack Palance. It's been lovingly restored in high def for release on Blu-ray. ( www.mpimedia.com; $19.98; not rated)

Le Capital. Greek-French filmmaker Costa-Gavras redefined the political thriller with a series of stunning works, including Z (1969), Hanna K. (1983), and Missing (1982). He continues his focus on geopolitics in his latest film, about a newly appointed CEO of a large European bank who makes a dangerous backroom deal with the head of an American hedge fund. It's due Tuesday from Cohen Media Group. ( http://cohenmedia.net/; $24.98 DVD; $34.98 Blu-ray; rated R)

Amen. Cohen Media Group on Tuesday also will release Costa-Gavras' disturbing 2003 film about the role of the Vatican during WWII. It's about a Nazi whistle-blower who approaches the church with information about the Final Solution, only to be rebuffed by church leaders. ( http://cohenmedia.net/; $24.98 DVD; $34.98 Blu-ray; not rated)


Most titles also available for digital download from major retailers.

tirdad@phillynews.com

215-854-2736

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|