My biggest problem with this show is that it doesn't have a laugh track, so I don't know when I am supposed to laugh. I never know what is funny and what isn't. Without Hollywood's guidance to humour, I am lost in the wilderness without a compass. Seriously, although it feels odd at first to watch a sitcom without a laugh track, you will learn to live without it , and you might even welcome it, as I do.
Prior to watching it last year, I had no recollection of ever seeing it; however, the closing credits along with the theme song seemed vaguely familiar. My conclusion is that I might have seen the closing credits of the show in the early 70s as I was waiting for the next show to start, but that's enough nostalgia for now.
I came upon this show last summer while visiting the lovely town of Pincher Creek, AB. I was at a shop that that was a mix between a dollar store and Zellers when I saw this set. Interesting as it looked and inexpensive as it was, I passed and went with the proven "Ironside." However, when I returned from my vacation, I checked it online, saw a lot of favourable reviews, so I purchased it for a very good price from a marketplace seller.
As for the show itself, it is highly enjoyable. I won't say that it is side-splittingly funny because it isn't. The humour is usually gentle and subdued so as to produce a smile or a chuckle rather than a guffaw. Make no mistake, there are plenty of very funny moments in this series, so it is rightly billed as a comedy.
Some have complained that the show is well past its best before date, and to some extent it is dated. However, that is not a problem for me because good entertainment is timeless. Who cares if the hot issues at that time are pedestrian today. It is the quality of entertainment that must be measured, and in this regard, this show delivers.
The real pleasure of this show for me is to watch the very odd things that happen to Cosby's character Chet. What you would think of as ordinary events turn into the most unusal and funny situations. One episode that immediately comes to mind is when Chet needs to inflate some basketballs but he doesn't have a needle. His attempts at obtaining one through the "proper channel" leads to a host of unexpected results. Long before Seinfeld and friends spent an entire episode waiting for a table in a restaurant, Bill Cosby spent an entire episode in his school in pursuit of an elusive needle to inflate his basketballs. Has to be seen to be believed.
The video and the audio are excellent, so no worries in this regard about this "old show."
I recommend this show to anyone who enjoys the humour of Bill Cosby or who likes light comedy. Although the show's humour is unlikely to bowl you over, at the end of most episodes, you will remark, "I really enjoyed that." It is a series you will want to watch repeatedly and to share with others.