Excellent television series-"Three's Company" is o...Rating: 1 likes, 0 dislikes
Three's Company, an Americanized version of the hit British series, Man About the House, hit the airwaves twelve years before I was ever born, in 1977. However, I grew up watching Nick at Nite/TVLand with my parents, and I have to say, classic TV catches my attention more than the crap that airs today. Three's Company, in my opinion, is an example of a perfect classic sitcom.
It is a misconception that all 3C is, is a blatant copy of M.A.T.H., while it is true, the main plotline and some of the episode plots are borrowed from M.A.T.H., the 3C writers re-arranged plots, lines and premises to match an American humor and then, eventually, gave up on the M.A.T.H. altogether, completely creating their own style.
Personally, the first three seasons are my absolute favorite, and many fans agree. With the hopeless sex-starved Mrs. Roper battling her bore of a husband Mr. Roper downstairs, while Jack struggles through dating and living with two sex symbols, the level-headed Janet and the naive and ditzy, but ever innocent, Chrissy, the ensemble performed at their best. Many memorable episodes are from the first three years, including "A Man About the House", "And Mother Makes Four", "No Children, No Pets", "It's Only Money", "Janet's Promotion", "Alone Together", "Roper's Car", "Chrissy's Night Out", "Three's Christmas", "The Baby Sitters", "Will the Real Jack Tripper...", "Days of Beer and Weeds", "Good Old Reliable Janet", "Helen's Rendevouz", "Chrissy and the Guru", "The Party's Over", "Eleanor's Return" and "The Bake-Off". Those episodes are some of my personal favorites, that I can watch again and again. Many episodes in those seasons, however, were great as well, even though I did not mention them, I enjoyed them all. After the first three seasons were finished, this great show spun-off the Roper's and started anew with the fourth season.
The fourth season brought us something new, including the sneaky car salesman friend of Jack, Larry Dallas, as a center character, the crazy Southern divorcee who pines for jack, Lana Shields, and the neurotic, down-on-his-luck new landlord, Ralph Furley. These new portrayals seem to fill the void of the much missed Roper's, and the trio also have quite a bit of a change. Janet is allowed to grow into a wilder variant of herself, more sassy and free-spirited. Chrissy is more cartoony, and definitely dumbed down to the comically clever bafoon she becomes. Jack, of course, is more ambitious about graduating cooking school and of course, scoring with the right ladies. Although a drastic change occured from season three to season four, the awesome chemistry and dynamic remains unchanged.
Season four is it's own special category as it's the only season with Lana Shields, who only lasts ten episodes, as a poor attempt to rekindle the comical sex-starved persona of Mrs. Roper. Fairly unlikable amongst most, I enjoyed the brief appearance of this character. Also unique to the rest of the show, it is the only full season with the original trio and Mr. Furley, with the next season bringing the sudden end to the Chrissy Snow character mid-season. Season four brought spectacular episodes, such as "Jack on the Lam", "The New Landlord", "Snow Job", "Jack the Ripper", "The Life Saver", "A Camping We Will Go", "Chrissy's Hospitality", "The Loan Shark", "The Love Barge", "Black Letter Day", "Larry Loves Janet", "Handcuffed", "Lee Ain't Heavy He's My Brother", "Root of All Evil", "The Goodbye Guy" and "Jack's Graduation". A fantastic season indeed, the characters chemistry grows closer as they fight, love and share, and with Mr. Furley even dopier than Mr. Roper, comical misunderstandings are at their prime.
The fifth season brought on the show's most dramatic, and in the opinion of some viewers, the show's most disappointing change. While difficult to adjust to at first, I found the fifth season to be one of the best, even with the absence of the great Chrissy Snow. Cindy Snow herself was only mediocre at best, but the episodes had to be twice as good to carry it, and boy were they! Likewise, with Cindy just being the "token third", Jack and Janet really carry the show from this point to the end of the season, as the clumsy cousin adds a new effect by entering Jack (and sometimes Janet) into hilarous physical comedy. Chrissy adds an occasionally funny, but all in all depressing, comical tidbit at the end of most of the episodes with a sixty-second phone-in sequence with Janet, used during Suzanne Somer's contract dispute with the producers. Most people say this is when the show jump-the-shark, I say this is when the show grew, and was able to fight off the shark and evolve with what it's given, only a great show such as this can survive such a dramatic cast change...while most shows sizzle and foil to the floor, 3C continues with top ten ratings and a huge fanbase.
Season five brought in many hilarous and underrated episodes, such as "Upstairs Downstairs Upstairs", "And Justice for Jack", "One Hundred Dollars for What?", "A Crowded Romance", "Room at the Bottom", "Make Room for Daddy", "Janet's Secret", "Father of the Bride", "In Like Larry", "Teacher's Pet", "And Baby Makes Four", "Night of the Roper's", "Double Trouble", "Dying to Meet You", "Case of the Missing Blonde", "Honest Jack Tripper". Season five ends with a promising note, "we survived without Suzanne". But the Cindy Snow character in my opinion ran her course, and had to be let go as the "token third". That's exactly what the next season did.
The producers conjured up a new blonde with hope of success, and alas, they found it! The witty, gullible nurse Terri Alden joins in the sixth season when Cindy goes away to UCLA (who is still a main character, as she visits the apartment time-to-time as the cleaning lady). With Chrissy gone, Mr. Furley takes over the dumb naive dynamic, of course, as does Cindy with her rare visits to the apartments. Terri brings a new dynamic, which is just as good as the old one. Jack and Janet have changed a bit, with Janet a little bit more over-the-top and Jack all the more cuckoo, the two still have the same basic attributes. With over-the-top episodes, however, came many different laughs. The first three seasons brings you innocently played off sex jokes, double entrendes galore and simple humor, while the last three seasons bring you over-the-top, one liner, outrageous situation humor. In my opinion, both balances of humor worked for the timeframe each season was taking place. After the sixth season, Cindy was written off and never visits the apartments again, with the seventh and eighth seasons introducing Jack's Bistro, Jack's own restaurant, after years of trying to get in the business. What a great change, which brought us many new and interesting episodes.
The last three years produced some of the best episodes ever: "Oh, Nurse (1) and (2)", "Terri Makes Her Move", "Professor Jack", "Two Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "Eyewitness Blues", :"Boy Meets Dummy", "Strangers in the Night", "The Holy Guest", "Maid to Order", "Urban Plowboy", "Doctor in the House", "Critic's Choice", "And Now Here's Jack", "Janet Wigs Out", "Up in the Air", "Mate for Each Other", "Jack Goes to the Dentist", "Diamond Jack", "Jack Gets His", "Opening Night", "The Brunch", "Going to Pot", "Star Struck", "Navy Blues", "The Money Machine", "Grandma Jack", "Jack's Tattoo" and "Cupid Works Overtime".
After 172 episodes, and eight great seasons, the show ended with Janet's wedding, Terri's new career, and Jack's decision to move in with his new girlfriend Vicki above the Bistro. An unsuccessful spin-off Three's A Crowd follows. A great show which is a sydnication legend and forever in the hearts of millions, broke barriers with double entrendes, skimpy clothing, outrageous premises and innocently delivered risque humor. Battling with the censors was a great fight to keep this great show on the air, gone but never forgotten, Three's Company.
Review posted on Friday, October 13th 2006 at 10:27 am