After eight years, numerous online petitions and the intervention of Oprah, The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Seventh Season wraps up the series on DVD. The sitcom about the newsroom staff at WJM-TV in Minneapolis was still doing well in the ratings and scooping up dozens of Emmys. But Mary Tyler Moore and producer Grant Tinker (also her husband) made the shocking decision to end the show. This allowed them the chance to line things up for a memorable finale. The comic quality of the last 24 episodes made sure the series didn’t limp toward syndication.
“Mary Midwife” starts things off with excitement. During a dinner party at Mary’s apartment, Georgette (Georgia Engel) goes into labor. Ted Baxter (Ted Knight) is no help. It’s up to Lou Grant (Ed Asner) and Mary to get the baby out. “Mary the Writer” lets her take a course in creative writing. Lou gets a bit too critical on her. “Sue Ann’s Sister” gets Sue Ann (Betty White) upset when her sister (The Munsters‘ Pat Priest) hit down to producer her own TV show. The sibling rivalry gets nasty. “What’s Wrong with Swimming?” allows Mary to hire a female sportscaster. The trouble is the woman doesn’t want to cover popular sports. Does anyone really care about swimming outside of Olympic season? Mary learns the hard way. “Ted’s Change of Heart” proves scary when the anchor has a heart attack during the news.
“My Son, the Genius” makes Ted discover his son is smarter than him. Ted’s son is played by Robbie Rist. You might remember him as Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch. “Lou Proposes” gets weird when he falls in love with Mary’s aunt. “Mary’s Insomnia” deals with her drug issue when she hits the sleeping pills. This was a rather tame for things people got hooked on in the ‘70s. “Ted’s Temptation” has the anchor flirting with a young female journalist at a Hollywood media convention. Will he remember that he’s got two kids and a wife home? Or will he forgot such a detail? “Look at Us, We’re Walking” gives foreshadowing as Mary and Lou get upset when they don’t get a raise. They threaten to quit. “The Critic” lumps a loudmouth onto the news in order create controversy. The guy gets too nasty when he rags on the citizens on Minneapolis.
“The Ted and Georgette Show” has the couple lined up to get their own variety show. The only thing blocking their success is Georgette doesn’t want to be a star. She’s not like those Kardashians. “Sue Ann Gets the Ax” puts the Happy Homemaker on the street. In desperation, Sue Ann gets work in the newsroom. She’s not ready for journalism. “Hail the Conquering Gordy” brings back John Amos (Good Times) as the former WJM weatherman. He’s a hit in New York. Ted wants in on his action. “Mary and the Sexageniarian” puts her on a date with Murray’s father. “Mary’s Three Husbands” has the guys in the office dream of being married to her. Shame there wasn’t a lesbian marriage with Betty White. “Mary’s Big Party” has a major cameo. Not to spoil it, but this guest would later appear on Cheers. “Lou Dates Mary” nearly turns into a wedding episode.
“The Last Show” is one of the best wrap up episodes ever produced. Over the years, the last episode of a sitcom has been a rather deflating hype monster. Think of how long and overbearing the ends of Cheers, Seinfeld and M*A*S*H were. Thankfully The Mary Tyler Moore Show didn’t need a two hour special to wrap things up. The WJM crew get the news that some of them are being fired. Two familiar faces return to say goodbye to the audience. The gang get one big group hug. It ends with the lights going out in the office. They give a few laughs, a little farewell sentiment and it’s over in 25 minutes. This is how a sitcom should wrap up. They even do a curtain call after the credits. Although you need to make sure you get the right discs. Somehow a batch was pressed without it. You can call Fox to get a replacement if that happens. Patient and loyal fans will feel good with The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Seventh Season finally added to the collection.
“Mary Midwife,” “Mary the Writer,” “Sue Ann’s Sister,” “What’s Wrong with Swimming?,” “Ted’s Change of Heart,” “One Producer Too Many,” “My Son, the Genius,” “Mary Gets a Lawyer,” “Lou Proposes,” “Murray Can’t Lose,” “Mary’s Insomnia,” “Ted’s Temptation,” “Look at Us, We’re Walking,” “The Critic,” “Lou’s Army Reunion,” “The Ted and Georgette Show,” “Sue Ann Gets the Ax,” “Hail the Conquering Gordy,” “Mary and the Sexagenarian,” “Murray Ghosts for Ted,” “Mary’s Three Husbands,” “Mary’s Big Party,” “Lou Dates Mary” and “The Last Show.”
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers look great. You’ll get the details in the 1977 fashions. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. The levels are good for a show recorded in front of a live audience. The episodes are subtitled in English and Spanish.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Seventh Season does a fine job of wrapping up the series. The show’s legacy is that it went out on a high note instead of whimpered along until it faded out. Getting all the episodes released is a great relief for fans who did so much. Now it’s time to beg for the last two seasons of The Bob Newhart Show.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment presents The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Seventh Season. Starring: Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Asner, Ted Knight, Betty White and John Amos. Boxset Contents: 24 episodes on 3 DVDs. Released on DVD: October 5, 2010.
Tags: cheers, Ed Asner, Love Boat, Mary Tyler Moore, Seinfeld, Ted Knight