Bob (1992) s01e03 – My Daughter, My Fodder

Well, Andrew Bilgore’s character’s name is spoken for what I think is the first time, but otherwise… there’s nothing mundane or good distinctive about this episode. Everything else is a flop, starting with the cold open where Bob Newhart does a tired spoiled milk bit and seems tired at the end of it. This episode’s the first without the show creators writing and Jerry Perzigian and Don Seigel are profoundly incapable of writing material for Newhart.

They do flex on John Cygan’s character, making him a backstabber in addition to being insufferably whiney. Though his wardrobe doesn’t stand out this episode so maybe it’ll get less terrible going forward.

The episode revolves arounds around Newhart and Cygan still unable to crack their first Mad Dog comic book story. At least until they get to the idea of borrowing from real life; neither of them have anything going on, but Newhart’s daughter (Cynthia Stevenson) had confided in him earlier about some relationship troubles—her still unseen boyfriend was having one of their sandwiches at the deli with a different girl—and the two men are able to make it into a comic plot.

When Newhart tries to get wife Carlene Watkins onboard with taking the material from Stevenson’s emotional turmoil, he doesn’t get the support he apparently expected. Then Stevenson gets home and things get even worse. But they are able to get to a very sexist conclusion, though I suppose Stevenson does get the two best moments in the episode. But they’re literally just two good line deliveries when almost no one else has anything more than—at best—middling ones because the lines are so tepid.

Ruth Kobart’s still funny, Timothy Fall’s still annoying (though he gets half a good line, then they ruin it by bringing him in for nonsense filler), but “Bob” really isn’t far enough along to have such a piddling episode.

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