blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Bob (1992) s01e06 – P.C. or Not P.C.

The cold open is Bob Newhart whining about wanting a son to watch sports with. He whines to the cat, who’s the only one who has any interest in joining him. It’s kind of foreshadowing for the eventual plot, but it’s also not funny.

The main plot is Newhart’s daughter, Cynthia Stevenson, starting her first regular day at the comic studio as a colorist. She comes into the kitchen to ask Newhart what he thinks of her outfit, but he doesn’t look because it’s silly she wants to look nice. Then there’s a joke about comic book colorist not being a real job.

Things are off to a great start.

Fast forward a bit and Stevenson notices the female character she’s coloring is always either taking a bath or a shower, which kicks off John Cygan berating Stevenson and the other women in the office for having an opinion about it—what’s a little weird is they’ve established Newhart draws the comic and Cygan writes it so… unclear why Newhart’s got nothing to say. Even when Cygan’s yelling at Stevenson, something the episode just skips over.

Cygan’s not in favor of Stevenson as a colorist firstly because she’s Newhart’s daughter and he hates nepotism (there’s no mention he got his girlfriend the same job last episode) and secondly because she’s a Bible thumping, book burning Feminist communist. It’s weird Cygan’s not in favor of nepotism because it’s the only way to explain why he got the part on the show, especially for this episode’s take on the character. The show creators contributed the script, which seems like a bad sign six episodes in no one can get a handle on the show. Maybe because they keep screwing it up.

Stevenson stages a walkout and there are changes after Newhart decides he can’t pointlessly objectify women in drawings his daughter is going to have to color.

As a “Bob Newhart wakes up,” the episode’s way too thin and way too noncommittal. Especially after it rewinds all the progress for a dumb joke from Cygan.

I was expecting something worse from a 1992 TV episode entitled P.C. or Not P.C.—and at least the female background characters get lines and SAG pay—but it’s pretty bad.

Especially when Andrew Bilgore’s terrible jokes (he’s socially awkward office guy) land better than anything else in the episode.

There are also some continuity issues as it’s unclear why the comic is all about scantily clad women showering together when it’s been about a male superhero until this point but clearly no one involved cares.

Ruth Kobart’s got a subplot involving being a baseball fanatic, which directly contradicts the cold open but again… clearly no one involved cares.

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