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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Three's Company - Season Two

Three’s Company – Season Two


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



Having been such an initially huge first sensation, Three’s Company kicked into their first full-length season for Season Two and its stayed as funny as it had began.  As a matter of fact, the show got better because the writers and producers showed they had more than a formula to rely on.  The stereotype of the show was a shell of what the actual show had to offer.  What followed was a remarkable and remarkably funny season.  The episodes are as follows, with key actors noted where they appeared:


1)     Ground Rules

2)     Jack Looks For A Job (John Fiedler, Sally Kirkland, and Bill Fiore as the photographer)

3)     Janet’s Promotion

4)     Strange Bedfellows

5)     Chrissy’s Date (Dick Sargent, Joyce Bulifant)

6)     Alone Together

7)     Roper’s Car

8)     Cyrano De Tripper

9)     Chrissy’s Night Out (James Cromwell)

10)  Stanley Casanova

11)  Janet’s High School Sweetheart

12)  Jack’s Uncle

13)  Helen’s Job

14)  Three’s Christmas

15)  The Gift

16)  The Rivals

17)  The Baby Sitter

18)  Home Movies

19)  Jack In The Flower Shop (Natalie Schafer)

20)  Jack’s Navy Pal (David Dukes in one of the rare weak shows)

21)  Will The Real Jack Tripper…

22)  Days Of Beer & Weeds (Commentary track)

23)  Chrissy Come Home (Peter Mark Richman as Chrissy’s father)

24)  Bird Song

25)  Coffee, Tea Or Jack? (Loni Anderson)



The show could have stuck to a sexual innuendo-only formula that would have buried it (i.e., all the majority of bad TV shows that think they are so clever today), but instead, the teleplay writers expanded the characters, situations and did better development of them than most sitcoms do today.  At the time, critics bashed the show severely, but considering how the sitcom died in the 1980s with rare exceptions in quality, this was more of a peak of the forum than most had ever imagined.  There was still room for great comedy, thanks to more socially conscious (and not in spite of) shows like All In The Family.  Also smart was continuing to keep The Ropers and their storyline going as strongly and concurrent with the leads, which maximized the possibilities for laughs.  Previously, characters in their position would have been incidental, trivial and brought little to the show by their marginalization.  Doing this took the show to a higher level.


The full frame image is again from the NTSC analog videotape the show was shot on and the DVD’s MPEG-2 decoding shows its limits as much as all the other shows from this period of time would.  With that said, it does not look bad, though it reminds us how young color videotape still was at the time.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also good enough, with all the jokes clear enough.  This set has extras, unlike the previous single-disc first second season DVD release.  The highlight is the first pilot (there were three) of the show, which featured different female roommates (as played by Suzanne Zenor and the witty Valerie Curtin) and some slightly different names.  This earlier draft of the show was a bit closer to the original British Man About The House sitcom and was written by Larry Gelbart.  Some things were changed for the better later, but it also had a franker attitude about sex in a way that would have been even more shocking than the show we finally got.  It looks and sounds as good as the later shows, but has a slightly darker lighting scheme and is really worth seeing.


Other extras include a ten-minutes-long biography tribute to Ritter with stills and footage narrated by Joyce De Witt, a really good commentary about the entire series on the Days Of Beer & Weeds episode by Come & Knock On Our Door author Chris Mann, the non-episode-but-episode-length Eight Years Of Laughter showing some of Ritter’s better slapstick bits, a hilarious 12-minutes-long blooper segment, 6-minute highlights of each of the three roommates for this season, a trivia game, a stills gallery, “talent bios” of the three leads, and a memorabilia gallery with some of the great collectibles on the show (including that 9” Mego Toys Suzanne Sommers boxed figure from an otherwise aborted action figure line for the show) and some of the popular trading cards and sticker cards issued for the show.


Last review, the sociological implications and real power and daring of the show were covered.  By this season, the initial shock of the situation had settled in and the producers parlayed that into what remains one of the funniest shows ever to hit TV.  It even lasted at this level for a while, but changes were on the way and that storm would challenge the series and its future.  The behind-the-scenes would become as fascinating as what was taking place on camera.  We’ll look at that when we return with the third season.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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