The vastly overrated Mary Tyler Moore Show


I was surprised listening to the Mark Levin show to hear Mark get emotional about the death of Mary Tyler Moore and the show of the same name.

America’s darling Mary Tyler Moore has passed away at age 80. Her shows, regardless of politics, was very American and reflective of our cultures. Network TV isn’t like this anymore

Were we thinking about the same show?

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Mary's character wasn't so bad, but her friends Rhoda and Phyllis were shrill, unpleasant feminists. And then there were the awful, leftist-driven plots

In the third season, issues such as equal pay for women, pre-marital sex, and homosexuality are woven into the show's comedic plots. In the fifth season, Mary refuses to reveal a news source and is jailed for contempt of court. While in jail, she befriends a prostitute who seeks Mary's help in a subsequent episode. Mary dates several men on and off over the years, two seriously, but remains single throughout the series.

The show itself was supposed to be a comedy, but wasn't remotely funny. I'll bet that most people who think the show was great haven't seen reruns for decades, even though they are widely available online and from other sources.

So why was the show so popular?

One simple word: nostalgia. For people of a certain age, they grew up with the show playing in the background. It reminded them of their childhood. When I heard Mary Tyler Moore died, I myself went online to watch the opening credits not once but twice--not because I liked the show, but it reminded me of a time when I was a small child and watched the show with my parents.

That's why I think so many people who are old enough to have seen it in first run are nostalgic--because it was a part of their childhood, however peripheral. But I think if most of us watched an episode today, we'd turn it off within a minute. It's not just the bad politics--it's just so banal, so trite, down to the bad jokes and irritating laugh track (ah haha, ha, ha, ha!).

I grew up next to an elevated train in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. It was extremely screechingly loud. It was an ugly, hulking monstrosity covered with graffitti, it looked like a permanent monument to the movie "The Warriors". And yet I still have (somewhat) fond memories of it, because it was a part of my childhood. The Mary Tyler Moore Show was the loud, noisy train in many people's childhoods. But let's not rewrite history and say that this very pedestrian 70's comedy was special. It wasn't.



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