THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
In its seventh and final season, Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) has become an institution at WJM in Minneapolis. She still spars with the other folks in the newsroom, whether it be Ted Baxter the dim-witted anchor, Murray the talented writer, Sue Anne the spunky special interest personality or Lou Grant her boss. But all of this happens with love and laughter as she continues to throw dinner parties and face the challenges of changing management.
WHAT I LIKED
I was only six years old when “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” went off the air, but I was very much aware of it in reruns. As a kid, watching syndicated afternoon programming, I saw plenty of episodes of the classic series, but I didn’t quite understand the nuances. I was just a tween when I saw most of these episodes, so the life and times of a single woman in her 30s were pretty much lost on me.
Now as an adult, it was a real treat to revisit “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Coming in on the seventh season wasn’t hard at all, especially since I remembered the character dynamics from the shows I watched 25 years ago. But coming at it with a grown-up mind and a small dose of experience with local news and the associated personalities, I found this show to be warm, inviting and often hilarious.
Not very often do we see a show come along like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” in which every person in the main cast moved on to bigger and better things with their own shows (including “Lou Grant,” “Too Close for Comfort” and “The Love Boat”). This show manages to be sweet and fulfilling while dipping its toe into the more risqué subject matter of the time that was dealt with in many shows like “Three’s Company.”
Probably one of the biggest compliments I can pay this show is that if I were surfing on Nick at Nite and swerved into an all-night marathon, I’d probably stay on that channel until the bitter end.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The only problems that “The Mary Tyler Moore” show faced were signs of its time. It was a bit of a cheesy show, which was par for the course in the 70s. Plus, there really wasn’t a continuing arc, a convention that really only came into being for sit coms in recent years.
Also, the season finale was a bit abrupt with everything happening in that short 25-minute time frame of the episode. For as big of a show as this was, they could have eased us into it a little better. But that criticism is falling on deaf ears, more than 30 years in the past.
No special features are on these discs, which is not surprising for a 1970s sit com in its seventh season.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of quality 70s television.