DVD Review: Newhart (The Complete Third Season)

Kirk Devane (Steven Kampmann) the owner of Minuteman Café was the co-star of Newhart. The lying neighbor of Dick Loudon was the troublemaker that stirred plenty of plots in his grade D diner. The first season he lusted for Leslie Vanderkellen, the original rich girl working at the Stratford Inn. But when Leslie was replaced by the spoiled Stephanie Vanderkellen (Julia Duffy), Kirk seemed adrift at the start of the second season. There was no love at the core of his elaborate lies. He was just annoying. Then he found love in a clown and the series featured his wedding-centric episodes. How would married life change Kirk? Would Kirk’s wife make him an honest man in Newhart: The Complete Third Season.

“Tell A Life, Get A Check” opens with the astonishing news that Kirk and his wife have abruptly left town. He leaves a note asking for one small favor from Dick. Can Dick find a new owner for the Minuteman Café. This turns out to be a major ordeal since the kitchen is a bigger mess than the dining room. Can Dick lie like Kirk in order to unload the joint on Ray Walston? He’s also having issues at his growing career as TV host of Vermont Today. His producer Michael (Bosom Buddies‘ Peter Scolari) wants to amp up the camp to promote the show. Dick fights the suggestions. Ultimately the new owners of the Minutemen are familiar faces: Larry, Darryl and Darryl. This season finds Dick bouncing between his TV career, his books and the historic Inn. His wife Joanna (Mary Frann) plays a bigger role as Dick bounces between his gigs. “Twenty Year Itch” has Joanna surprised when an old flame shows up for their long promised date. Dick doesn’t like it, but can he stop it? “A Hunting We Will Go” is a failed attempt at filming Dick and caretaker George (Tom Poston) on a duck hunting trip.

“Miss Stephanie” brings out the unexpected and rather unwanted romance that Larry springs on Stephanie. Is she really going to dump Michael for a man with to extra quiet brothers? Can she get used to roadkill for dinner? “But Seriously, Beavers” allows Dick to come up with jokes for a roast of George. But his jokes cut a little to sharp for the kind hearted George. “Happy Trails to You” puts Dick in court on a charge of literary theft. Did he really steal the text for one of his you can do it books? How could he have copied book without being able to paste it from Wikipedia? “The Fan” brings the joy of TV stardom to Dick. A college girl wants to run his fan club. Can Joanna handle not being her man’s number one fan?

“Dick Gets Larry’s Goat” shows a different side of Dick. Turns out Larry, Darryl and Darryl’s goat wanders into the Inn at all times. The guests aren’t thrilled dining with livestock. Things get worse when the goat eats Dick’s next book. Dick and the trio go to all out war. Even George gets into the battle of one upsmanship. This is a great episode. “Look Homeward, Stephanie” introduces Michael to her incredibly rich parents. Can he hang with the high rollers? “What Makes Dick Run” wraps up the season with Dick realizing he needs to make his TV show more exciting.

Newhart: The Complete Third Season is a comfortable changing of Dick’s neighbors. Michael is more comical character than Kirk. Mainly because Kirk was just super annoying with his lying ways. At least with Michael, he’s mainly furthering his television career so he can take control of CBS. Allowing Larry, Darryl and Darryl work out of the Minuteman Café spices up episodes with fear of their bad cooking and being so close causing trouble for Dick and the Inn. These changes allowed the series to remain popular for five more seasons.

The Episode
“Tell A Lie, Get A Check,” “Twenty Year Itch,” “A Hunting We Will Go,” “Miss Stephanie,” “But Seriously, Beavers,” “Tickets, Please,” “Poor Reception,” “The Fan,” “Happy Trails To You,” “Georgie’s Girl,” “Pillow Fight,” “Local Hero,” “Dick Gets Larry’s Goat,” “Once I Had A Secret Love,” “Lady In Wading,” “Look Homeward, Stephanie,” “My Fair Larry,” “You’re Nobody Till Somebody Hires You,” “Out with the New, Inn with the Old,” “R.I.P. Off,” “The Prodigal Darryl” and “”What Makes Dick Run”

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers bring out the Vermont charm given to the sets. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. The levels are fine. You won’t miss a word from Darryl and Darryl. The episodes are Closed Captioned.

No bonus features.

Newhart: The Complete Third Season marks the departure of Kirk which isn’t that painful. The viewers get more Michael, Larry, Darryl and Darryl which quickly becomes a comedy upgrade. Bob Newhart is perfect at juggling his life as a writer, hotel owner and talk show host. Newhart: The Complete Fourth Season arrives August 14. Fans will want to grab The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Series on May 27.

Shout! Factory presents Newhart: The Complete Third Season. Starring: Bob Newhart, Mary Fran, Peter Scolari, Julia Duffy and Tom Poston. Boxset Contents: 22 episodes on 3 DVDs. Released: April 22, 2014.

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