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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Comic Strip > Superhero > Con Artist > Car Salesman > Airport > Airplane > Britcom > Bob: The Complete Series (1992 – 1993/CBS DVD Set)/Call Me Fitz: The Complete Second Season (2010 - 2011/E1 DVD Set)/Come Fly With Me: Season One (2011/BBC DVD Set)

Bob: The Complete Series (1992 – 1993/CBS DVD Set)/Call Me Fitz: The Complete Second Season (2010 - 2011/E1 DVD Set)/Come Fly With Me: Season One (2011/BBC DVD Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+/B-/C+     Extras: C/C+/C     Episodes: C+/C+/C



Next up are three comedy series with some amusing moments, but all with mixed results.


First we have Bob Newhart’s attempt to have another hit series after the huge 1980s success of Newhart.  Bob: The Complete Series (1992 – 1993) only lasted two seasons and though it has some amusing moments, he was no longer at MTM Productions, nor did he have much of the talent that made his shows there a success.  That makes this show look and feel different.  Of course, his hit Bob Newhart Show was also different in tone, like his stand-up work.  You can reach more text on those (and eventually more) at this link:





This time, Bob plays a father and one-time comic book artist who created a character that only did so well before it was quickly retired, but a corporation has bought and decided to revive it, but not in the spirit that he created it.  So part of the show is his battle with the corporation, part of it is him dealing with his past and then there is his great wife and daughter.  Unfortunately, this followed too closely on both his previous hit show and the Ted Knight hit Too Close For Comfort, a much funnier show (at least in its first seasons) where he plays a successful comic strip artist.


I also though the jokes were more hit and miss versus Newhart’s best work.  Eventually they agreed and changed his character’s activities to finding something new to do now that he was handsomely paid for his creation.  They also brought in Betty White and added a few new characters, but it was too late and the show folded despite the serious efforts of Paramount and CBS to make it a hit.  With Fox selling so many copies of the 1970s Newhart series and White having a resurgence of popularity, plus the comic book genre is as hot as ever, you can see why this set was issued.  It is not a great series, but you could do worse.


Extras include three pieces to promote the show from Entertainment Tonight on DVDs 1 and 4, plus DVD 4 adds the Marvel Comic published of his character to promote the show.



I was interested in seeing Call Me Fitz: The Complete Second Season because the debut season had some laughs and was some of the best work star Jason Priestly ever did, but this follow up unfortunately allows the storylines to drop off into silliness.  Fitz has become superstitious, the grossness and foul language factor has increased and the feel of what worked before has sadly eroded.  Here is what I said about the First Season on DVD:





It is not that the performances are lesser, but it is just the makers settled for not building much on what worked at first.  You should start form the beginning if you are interested, but the show is a moderate hit and Joanna Cassidy is not noted on the package despite being as good as anyone here.  Extras include Bloopers, the vignettes (Profanity As Art, Fitz Family, Meet Dot Foxley) and Behind-The Scenes Interviews.



Finally we have Come Fly With Me: Season One, a new BBC BritCom taking place at an airport (and sometimes on airplanes) with a series of characters who are all silly, eccentric, sometimes crude and never totally believable.  Maybe this could have worked if it had more context and ironic distance, but the silliness and goofiness is more cartoonish than satirical and it is harder these days to do a straight-out comedy about airports.  Airplane! beat them to it decades ago and it is just not a locale ripe for comedy these days for too many reasons to list here.


Still, someone might find some of this funny, but I did not, so don’t expect much.  Extras include a set of vignettes on the show as documentary and stills.


The 1.33 X 1 image on Bob was shot on 35mm film, but finished and edited on professional analog videotape.  This can cause softness and aliasing errors, but color and definition offset this issue more so than many such TV shows on DVD we have encountered finished in this fashion to date.  Bet this would look nice on Blu-ray in high definition.  The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the other two newer sets have softness issues and even some motion blur, so they do not look that much better at all despite being 20 years newer on average.


Lossy Dolby Digital is the soundtrack for all three releases, with Fitz in a 5.1 mix that has a limited soundfield like the last set, while the other two are 2.0 Stereo and sound just as good.  This is especially surprising on Bob since it is two decades older.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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