Judge Bryan Pope has a special blow dryer especially for his chest hair.
Our reviews of Three's Company: Season One (published December 17th, 2003), Three's Company: Season Two (published May 24th, 2004), Three's Company: Season Three (published December 8th, 2004), Three's Company: Season Four (published June 29th, 2005), Three's Company: Season Five (published January 11th, 2006), and Three's Company: Season Six (published October 4th, 2006) are also available.
Disastrous dates, outrageous misunderstandings, sexy surprises, fall-down fun and much, much more!
"Television's guiltiest pleasure!" gushes the New York Post on the packaging for the latest Three's Company set. Not sure I felt guilty watching it. Indifferent, perhaps.
Facts of the Case
Three's Company: Season Seven contains 22 episodes spread over four discs. Season six stars John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, Priscilla Barnes, Don Knotts and Richard Kline.
In its penultimate season, after six years of serving up lightweight sex farce and aren't-we-naughty double entendres, it's kinda nice to see Three's Company finally grow up. I mean, isn't it about time? Jack, Janet and Terri—the cheeriest trio to ever swing by this most unswinging Santa Monica apartment building—are approaching their mid-30s. Their hijinks—and, in Jack's case, raging libido—are starting to make them look downright pathetic.
Not that everyone should feel compelled to up and marry and go their separate ways. Not just yet anyway (that won't happen until the end of season eight). But c'mon. Is it asking too much for those kids to take on a little adult responsibility? Season six was a step in the right direction, introducing a qualified, capable professional—a nurse, no less—into the mix.
This year, though, the show really takes the plunge. After a few episodes of the same old same old (Jack thinks he stole Janet's virtue, Jack has a run-in with a jealous dentist), Jack opens up his very own French bistro. With its scant décor (a valance here, a tablecloth there), Jack's Bistro is hardly the most lively backdrop for a comedy show, but at least it gives us the occasional reprieve from their still-stuck-in-the-'70s apartment. It also opens up new story possibilities. My favorites were watching the gang help Jack renovate the place. Don Knott's battle with wallpaper proves the old guy still had it. Later in the season, as the restaurant's nightly crooner, Larry leaves customers wanting more. I mean he makes customers want to leave.
Not that the writers have forgotten why audiences were tuning in week after week in the first place. There's still plenty of misunderstandings to be had, especially in "Bob & Carol & Larry & Terri," which has the distinction of giving the roomies an expansive, heretofore unseen network of compadres.
Still, the show and its cast are looking a little more, well, exhausted these days. They've trudged many comedy miles together, and the wear and tear is starting to show. Ritter once again gets to show off his flair for physical comedy in episodes like "Jack Goes the Distance," which finds the professional chef in the boxing ring, but the poor guy looks like a performing monkey who would much rather be taking a nap.
Occasionally, the cast pulls solid laughs out of even the most mundane scripts. Janet actually made me ache with laughter toward the end of "Janet's Little Helper," which finds Jack and Terri accusing Janet of robbing the cradle. Incidentally, it features a very young Brian Robbins, cutting his sitcom teeth before joining "Head of the Class," stumbling into C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D., and finally settling in as a feature film director. Speaking of guest stars, look for Jeffrey Tambor as the most insane dentist this side of Steve Martin's Orin Scrivello. Between this and several earlier appearances on the show, including a regular role on the short-lived The Ropers, Tambor deserves some kind of special commendation.
Alas, Terri is given little to do this season, other than almost marry a two-timing soap opera hunk and provide the season's one obligatory bittersweet ending. Three's Company treated the lovely Barnes much more kindly her first time at bat. Here, sadly, she's an afterthought.
Actually, after sitting through this more mature but, on the whole, unremarkable season, it's hard not to feel the same way about Three's Company.
Three's Company: Season Seven presents all episodes in their original full-frame format with Dolby Digital Mono audio. Subtitles not included. The most noteworthy extras are the pair of audio commentaries by Kline (Larry Dallas). Kline is in fine, funny form as he reminisces on "Opening Night" and "The Impossible Dream," and no subject is off limits, not even proper chest hair grooming before each take. The set also includes liner notes, "Best of…" clips spotlighting Jack, Janet, Terri and Larry. Before you squawk about Mr. Furley being passed over, fear not. The set pays special tribute to the great Knotts with the half-hour clips collection "Don Knotts: A Tribute." Pity Anchor Bay didn't call on members of the cast and crew to share their memories of the television legend. Finally, demonstrating that good comedy need not be lost in translation, "Parlez-Vous Three's Company?" gives us the pilot episode dubbed in French.
If you've read this far and purchased the previous six seasons—and you know who you are—you'll enjoy this set.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
• Liner notes
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