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The Mary Tyler Moore Show

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I've just recently gotten METV, and as with many old shows, I don't like them as much as I did when they were new, but tonight's MTM was one I don't recall, where Ted flubs a speech to Phyllis' club, and loses his self-confidence.
This was 1970.
Reading the earlier comments, I don't remember when Mary had a different apartment.
I do remember that when they wanted to reshoot the exterior, the owner had protest signs all over, so they didn't show new shots of it.

 

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The new apartment has been explained several ways. When the producers went to Minneapolis to film new exterior shots, the actual homeowners had large signs saying "Impeach Nixon" all over the outside of the house. But also, Rhoda and Phyllis had moved away, so Mary was lacking in girlfriends to interact with at home. There supposedly were plans to add more neighbors, including Penny Marshall who did show up twice and Mary Kay Place. Those plans obviously got scrapped. Plus, she had gotten promoted at work and was probably getting tired of sleeping on that pull-out couch. I liked that, when she moved to the new apartment, she took her old furniture with her. So many shows change sets without doing that. At least Mary got to keep some of her stuff!

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The move happened near the start of the sixth of seven) seasons, and was dealt with in the story as vera charles describes. As she finished moving in, Mary looked around and said to herself "I don't like it." (She got over it a bit in the episode tag.) The reaction was probably echoed by most fans of the show at the time; the old place had that unique funky charm. But looking back, that feels realistic too -- if you're professionally successful, eventually you do need to move out of the oddball student-style place and live somewhere more suitable to your position. Most of us have probably done it.

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the old place had that unique funky charm. But looking back, that feels realistic too -- if you're professionally successful, eventually you do need to move out of the oddball student-style place and live somewhere more suitable to your position. Most of us have probably done it.

I get nostalgic now for the old place because I was living in a funky student place in the last years of this series -- and you're right, we all move on, but looking at Mary's funky yet charming place makes me wistful.  Wouldn't go back there, but oh, what a time we had! 

 

I did not realize the show is now on Antenna channel in the mornings -- caught the end of the episode with Twinks the other day.  Loved Pat Finley in her MTM series roles! 

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Mary's first home was so much bigger even without a bedroom. Although, Mary was happy she didn't have to sleep on the sofa bed anymore. Unfortunately, the high rise apartment had no charm. Even, Bob & Emily Hartley's apartment in Chicago was better than Mary's small apartment.

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The best I could find was this shot of Ted and Georgette being married by John Ritter from Season 6 Episode 9. IIRC, the bedroom was behind the kitchen, to the right of the tall plant stand behind Murray and Sue Ann.

 

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The second apartment was so 70's - carpet, ugly orange tile in the kitchen, just bland and featureless. Part of the charm of the first apartment was the quirky Victorian look.

 

Mary's pants look so bizarre in that photo. It's like she doesn't have any feet!

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Palazzo pants!

I just watched the episode where Mr. Grant gets fired and Mary has to go to that cowboy guy.......Mr. Grant was fired because he was 45 years old.  45?  He looks like 58.

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There was a football picture hanging in Lou's office and someone asked if it was from college. Lou responded that it was actually high school. When the other person expressed disbelief, he shrugged and said that his teachers called him sir.

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQevl-MVuz9t0UyrwzXlPkG26YoXATzvFyQFaNAq9zc4Ok77l0J:static.parade.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ed-asner.jpg

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The first three (of five) seasons of Lou Grant have been available on Hulu for some time. I was a big fan when it was on, and I am still -- it's one of the great drama series, I think, and doesn't deserve to be almost forgotten these days, as it seems to be. Sure, we're used to more layers of subplots and longterm story arcs in our drama these days (and yes, one or two specific stories now seem dated -- it happens to everyone), but it's partly because of the good pioneering work it did. I wish someone (which means Shout!, I guess) would bring the whole thing out on DVD.

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When Lou Grant was airing, I living it in a way, working at failing newspaper, the Washington Star.
When the Star did in fact close, we heard,in the the chaos of that last week, that a couple of writers from Lou Grant were in the newsroom to make notes for Lou's final show.
As it happened, I think the show just wasn't renewed, so no finale.

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Lou Grant was a great show. I loved Billie. She was so cute. As for, MTM the first apartment was great & the second didn't have any charm. Also, an early shot of John Ritter. I think this was after The Waltons but before Three's Company, right?

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I need someone with good eyes! In Mary's first apartment, in the kitchen, on the wall, is a wooden glass/cup holder thing above the sink that looks like it has a piece of brown scotch tape on it.?????? Am I seeing that right? Looks very odd, so maybe it is not tape? Anybody help me? It takes me out of the scene while I watch. Thanks!

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It appears to me to be a metal or wooden kitchen utensil holder for whisks, spatulas and suchlike. Given the limited counter space and relatively few drawers in that tiny kitchen, it looks like a practical use of space.

Edited by dustylil

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@Luciaphile-no, it is not on this picture(where did you get it?). It would be looking in from the stained glass window, maybe a little bit to the left of the sink. In the show, she never uses it, but you can see it when she's standing there at the stove.

 

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I found it here. But there are other pictures online. I just googled: Mary Richards kitchen :D

 

I am endlessly fascinated by her apartment. I have looked at the floor plans. I have read at least one essay where someone goes through each season and how the objects change. I have looked at the real life model for the apartment (not nearly as cool).

Edited by Luciaphile
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OK, Luciaphile, I looked at your site and know you are the one that can crack the case. After it says' I was always fascinated by this tiny kitchen' there is Rhoda in a green velvet top not quite in the kitchen and Mary in the kitchen. The thing that is bugging me is directly over Mary's right shoulder, brown with *something* lighter brown stretched(?) across it horizontally. I swear I'm not normally this obsessed with scenery, but what the heck!!!???

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Geez, one had to be pretty tall to make effective use of that kitchen. It wouldn't have just been a problem  for that diminutive author friend of Mary.

Not wanting to move away from the kitchen décor issues, but it was nice to see Armand Linton and his wife Mrs. Armand Linton in those photos :)

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Is it like a newspaper clipping that's pasted onto the cubby, maybe? I don't honestly know. I just rewatched the episode where Mary sends out a chain letter and Mr. Armand Linton who is separated from his wife, Nancy, (he says this repeatedly) comes by to reacquaint himself with Mary.

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 Well that didn't last long.  As of tomorrow, MTM is off the MeTV schedule.  They're showing an hour of The Andy Griffith Show at 8 ET instead (although in many markets that can't show TAGS MeTV is showing Donna Reed and That Girl instead).

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Now I'd think MTM would draw a lot more viewers than Donna Reed or That Girl.
And hasn't Andy Griffith almost always been on TV somewhere?
I sure hope they don't take The Bob Newhart Show off.

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Jeez! Didn't Me-TV just start running MTM again? I could have sworn they aired it all the time and then paired it with Rhoda. Then they dumped Rhoda and the dumped Mary and the brought her back. I wish they would make up their mind. That said, let's just air the Rhoda years on MTM. Those were the best. The first 4 years. Perfection!!

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I don't know, because MeTV is new in my area.  I wouldn't mind watching Rhoda.
In watching MTM, I find that I have no tolerance for Phyllis, and I've ended up erasing shows that feature her.
Nothing against Cloris Leachman, the the character of Phyllis is too much.
Have they ever showed the Patty Duke Show? 
Sometimes I'd like just a sampling, not all the time.
Loved Dobie Gillis when I was a kid, but not now.
But Bob Newhart as Dr.Hartley is still as funny as ever.  Also the Odd Couple.

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One thing I've noticed in Netflixing the show is that for all the talk of 70's feminism, the show can be fairly limp when Mary gets confronted with abject sexism.  For example, in one episode Lou gets a promotion, and appoints Murray to be his replacement.  I think he has entirely legitimate reasons for not choosing Mary, but Lou tells her it was because she was a woman.  Mary gets upset, and proceeds to do nothing.  Everything resets at the end of the episode when Lou gives up his promotion, but it surprised me to see such a blunt example of sexism without very little follow through.  I feel like Rhoda probably would have punched Lou in the face.    

Edited by txhorns79
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I think that in this case the writers were aware that this was a definite example of sexism, and they wanted to show how wrong it was, but they didn't do a good job of writing it. They always stuck by the idea that Mary might show her displeasure at something but didn't pick fights -- she was nonconfrontational. So their only way out was the reset, which is just as unsatisfying as you say. I'm trying to recall my mindset when it was first aired (if I even saw it in first run). I try not to wave everything away with "oh, different times," but it's probably true both that this was a pretty new idea to use as a plot premise for a light comedy in 1972, and that TV series, sitcoms especially, were much less "serialized" then than we now take for granted. The idea of someone having a change of heart or situation in the course of an episode was a bit unusual. (It did happen more and more over the course of the decade, as we can see even during the life of this show.) I wonder if anyone talks about this in the most recent book about the series, which focuses on the women writers and the stories they wanted to tell. (I have the book, but it's a couple of years since I read it.)

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There was at least one episode where Mary was confrontational about a matter of sexism. In early Season 3, Mary learned she was being paid less than her predecessor in the position. It was made clear to her by Lou,   that the only reason for this discrepancy  was that the previous incumbent was male with a family to support. Lou certainly believed that that was a good enough reason and thought the discussion over. Mary did not and responded as follows -

Because financial need has nothing to do with it. Because in order to be consistent with what you’re saying you would have to pay the man with three children more than the man with two children, and the married man more than the bachelor, and Mr. Grant, you don’t do that. So what possible reason can you give me for not paying me at least as much as a man who had this job before me?

 

On a personal note, this episode had particular resonance for me at the time because I was being paid ten dollars a week less than my male co-worker doing the same work.

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Mary did not and responded as follows -

 

I think this actually goes back to what I said, because just a few episodes later, Lou is again telling Mary that he did not promote her because she was a woman, so whatever lesson was learned, was clearly forgotten. 

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There's an episode in season 6 where Ted is telling everyone (including Ollie the Elevator Man) that he and Mary are having a torrid affair.  Today this would be considered sexual harrasment, but nobody takes any kind of action.  Mary throws a fit; Ted backs down and tells everyone it's not true; that's the end of it.  It's a bit unsettling.  I don't know Mary could have maintained any kind of working relationship with Ted after he did that.

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I don't know Mary could have maintained any kind of working relationship with Ted after he did that.

 

In fairness to Ted, the whole newsroom often seems openly hostile towards him (even Mary seems to join in with this), so perhaps that was just his revenge.  I mean, I'll admit I was taken aback at how smarmy Murray is with him on a regular basis, and Ted just kind of takes it.    

 

Sometimes I feel like Mary is a glorified secretary for Lou.  There are also points where I want someone to tell her that she is allowed to call Mr. Grant by his first name.  I think everyone else on the staff does. 

Edited by txhorns79

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There are also points where I want someone to tell her that she is allowed to call Mr. Grant by his first name.  I think everyone else on the staff does. 

I felt that even when the show was first airing; I think many viewers did (I remember more than one article bringing it up). And they built a few conversations, even a subplot or two, around the point. People (maybe Rhoda?) asked why she didn't call him Lou when everyone else did, and she would stammer that she knew she could and maybe should, but she was comfortable with "Mr. Grant." She did address him as Lou a few times, though I can't recall if it ever happened just casually without a point being made of it. Certainly she did in the one late episode when they tried to go out on a date together (and ended up collapsing in laughter). Certainly just a few years later (maybe even at the time), there would have been voices saying that she must call him Lou or she's letting down the sisterhood. It's certainly one of the points that tends to get brought up in extended discussions of the series.

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Certainly just a few years later (maybe even at the time), there would have been voices saying that she must call him Lou or she's letting down the sisterhood. It's certainly one of the points that tends to get brought up in extended discussions of the series.

 

Heh.  I realize Lou is her boss, but unless everyone calls him Mr. Grant, it's odd to have the one female subordinate doing it, while his male subordinates don't.  I mean, Mary is 30 when the show starts.  If she was 22, fresh out of school, working her first job, I could see the formality and refusal to address him any other way, but otherwise it just seems a little silly.   

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Even Rhoda called him Lou. In one memorable scene, Mary addressed him with her stammering Mr. Grant, then Rhoda arrived with a Hiya, Lou! The only times I remember her calling him Lou were the episode with their date, where she signaled the end of both of their discomfort by addressing him as Mr. Grant, and once when she was mad at him for doing something rotten and she called him Louis, which was apparently what his mother called him when she was mad at him.

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If I remember correctly,  Phyllis too - when she was hired as Mary's assistant  (not co-worker!)- called Mr. Grant "Lou".

 

Yet I must say even though Mary sometimes appeared almost grovelling toward her boss, there were other times that she  expected special treatment when none was warranted. Two episodes in particular come to mind.

 

The first was when she and Rhoda were goofing around with the newsroom's obituary files and made up gag death notices. She was suspended for her actions and was quite indignant by the punishment. As I recall, the customary management response to such behaviour would have been termination. She was lucky to have kept her job.

 

The second incident was a news story revealing that a local Congressman had his post-secondary education paid for by the Mob. The story was true, the Mob money was repaid and there were no allegations of wrong-doing on the politician's part. The item was not being presented in a lurid or sensationalistic manner. Yet Mary seemed to feel that the story should not be aired for the simple reason that she knew the man and his family and they were  nice people.

Edited by dustylil
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The second incident was a news story revealing that a local Congressman had his post-secondary education paid for by the Mob. The story was true, the Mob money was repaid and there were no allegations of wrong-doing on the politician's part. The item was not being presented in a lurid or sensationalistic manner. Yet Mary seemed to feel that the story should not be aired for the simple reason that she knew the man and his family and they were  nice people.

 

Why was this an example of Mary expecting special treatment for herself?  I don't recall the specifics of this episode, but it sounds like she had a moral dilemma over whether the story's newsworthiness outweighed the harm it could cause the subject.  I probably would have told her to bow out of the story if she had a personal connection to the person being covered, but otherwise, I'm not seeing where she sought special treatment for herself.     

Edited by txhorns79
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I remember this and she wanted Lou to drop the story simply because she was certain that it couldn't be true.  The Congressman came over and talked to Mary and Lou and explained it was true and he was asked to do a favor and he said no, and that was the end of it.  What was funny is that Mary told a story of how the guy and his then girlfriend had run out of gas late at night and he'd stayed in the car with her all night so she wouldn't be alone.   Mary saw this as a story about how nice he was, Lou explained that it would be more fun to stay in the car with the warm girl than hike miles in the winter to get more gas.  

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Although Lou was wrong in how the Congressman - played by Colonel Flagg! - would try to present himself at the meeting in Mary's apartment :)

If Mary had offered her disapproval  to running the story as something that had happened a long time ago in the life of an otherwise blameless politician, then she may have had a point. Although in those early post-Watergate years, it was not a point likely to have  much traction. But her objection was based on the fact that she was friends with the Congressman and his family and somehow this should be factored in the decision to air the item.

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There are also points where I want someone to tell her that she is allowed to call Mr. Grant by his first name. I think everyone else on the staff does.

There was one episode when it came out that she only called him Lou when she was mad at him. it became her tell.

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