It's hard to not lump the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Bob Newhart Show together. For years, they ran together in prime time, they both ended while still good (and before the ratings really dropped) and even in syndication (like when I was first exposed to these shows), they tended to run one right after the other. The Mary Tyler Moore Show won all the awards and has always been regarded as one of the best TV comedies ever. As much as I enjoy it, however, I have always enjoyed the Bob Newhart Show even more.
The centerpiece of the show is, of course, Bob Newhart, playing psychologist Bob Hartley. Newhart is a gifted comedian and is a master of timing and delivery. Even though he is often the straight man compared to others, he still gets in his share of jokes. Suzanne Pleshette plays his wife Emily, a school teacher who is just as smart as Bob; in fact, in an earlier season, he had to deal with her higher IQ. Bill Daily is the daffy neighbor Howard Borden (he's probably perpetually dazed from jet lag from his job as a navigator). Finally, there are Bob's workplace friends: the dentist Jerry Robinson (Peter Bonerz) and receptionist Carol Kester (Marcia Wallace, probably better known nowadays as the voice of Mrs. Krabappel in the Simpsons).
The strength of the show is that it is so character-driven. No one fits completely into a stereotypical mold. Jerry's façade as a free-wheeling bachelor actually conceals a rather lonely life. Howard, for all his oddness, still is concerned about his son who he rarely sees. In the fourth season, however, it is Carol who undergoes the most change, as she tries to pursue other career options and becomes married after a whirlwind romance.
The 24 episodes of this season are bookended by appearances by Bob's old college buddy, the Peeper (Tom Poston). In the show, Emily is not fond of the Peeper's prankish humor, but in real life, Pleshette and Poston would eventually marry (as discussed in the commentary for the first episode). In between are a number of other great episodes, probably highlighted by Over the River and Through the Woods, where Bob gets really drunk when left alone for Thanksgiving. In Who is Mr. X?, Bob winds up being ambushed during a TV interview; according to the commentary, this episode wound up being shown at various businesses as a cautionary tale.
These episodes ran in the 1975-6 season. It is interesting to see how programming worked thirty years ago. New episodes ran every week from September through February with only a single break for Christmas. It's quite a contrast to the current strategy of stretching a season over eight months and rarely showing more than four new episodes in a row. Of course, even better is owning the whole season on DVD; you don't even have to wait a week between shows. While the fashions may be a bit out-of-date, the show itself isn't and it remains better than most sitcoms are nowadays. If you have never seen the Bob Newhart Show, you are in for a treat.