What I find the most interesting about The Mary Tyler Moore Show - Season 2 is how this sitcom is one of the first that I have seen that has the humor and beats of many of today’s sitcoms. As I haven’t screened every TV show in existence prior to The Mary Tyler Moore Show I am sure that I am off on this idea, but the idea I am trying to bring it up is that it’s the first show I have seen that reminds me of shows like Everybody Loves Raymond or Cheers. And of course leave it to me to name two shows that are no longer on the air. Either way, I really liked this show. I don’t recall ever screening an episode of it until I was asked to review it, but I loved the subject matter that was discussed. From Mary’s sexual IQ test, to Ted using Mary as his girlfriend to impress his brother, to Mary trying not to break a chain letter, etc. I just found that I really became engaged by how this show was done.
Lets face it, Mary Tyler Moore was just gorgeous, and the fact that she was able to pull off the role she was playing with such an easy aplomb really speaks to her abilities as an actress. We believe she is strong but we also believe she is vulnerable. When she gets into a complex situation, we know she is always going to get out of it but we don’t know how. Surrounded by such a great supporting cast as Ed Asner and Valerie Harper, everyone on this show complimented by everyone else. I know that this was The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but it really seemed to function as an ensemble in the best sense of the word.
Audio Commentary on Selected Episodes
These can be heard for the episodes “The Birds...and...um...Bees”, “The Six-And-A-Half-Year Itch” and “The Slaughter Affair”. The first two episodes listed here have commentary tracks by Edward Asner, Treva Silverman and Jay Sandrich. For the third episode the viewer/listener is treated to the musings of Gavin MacLeod and Peter Baldwin. It seems like it would be impossible to get these people together and not have a good time. This sitcom seems like it was filled with so much talent, with everyone trying to better everyone’s acting game (not at the expense of the other actors), that in the process a synergy was created that made The Mary Tyler Moore Show something special.
”8 Characters in Search of a Sitcom”, 1973 Documentary “Moore on Sunday” and Emmy Award Show Clips
These are 3 very well done pieces with the ”8 Characters in Search of a Sitcom” and the 1973 Documentary “Moore on Sunday” being the most in-depth. We get to see the characters from the show being dissected, and while we don’t really hear anything that new from the cast of characters involved with this show, I think that just hearing from this creative crew is more then enough to provide at least a few strong soundbites. The “Moore on Sunday” piece shows us the new beginning that was shot for the 4th season of the show. One of the things that surprised me the most was how nobody was getting paid for it. They did it simply to change things up with the show and keep everything as fresh as it could be. I love Award Show “thank yous” and the Emmy clips shown here seem really genuine and touching.
All Star Trivia Challenge, Mad Magazine Parody, Theme Song Karaoke Track, Photo Gallery and Newsbeat Segment
This last bit of extras should make the die hard fans of the show very happy. For my tastes the “All Star Trivia Challenge” goes a little overboard, but it was nice seeing such things as the “Mad Magazine Parody” and the “Photo Gallery.” The only thing I thought was bad was the “Newsbeat Segment.” This little piece about a roving reporter who is in love with all things Mary Tyler Moore is just bad. The skits aren’t funny, the infatuation isn’t funny and I was just happy when the piece ended. However, despite my adverse reaction, I am sure that some people will really enjoy this.
Full Frame - Aspect Ratio - 1.33:1. This show was lensed in the way that I really appreciate. I loved the wide coverage shots and how oftentimes these shots were not broken up. This show really does feel like a stage play. It feels as if the actors and actresses aren’t even acting. The timing is impeccable. There are subtleties to every performance that can really be examined because this show used a lot of master shots. Sure there are the obligatory close-ups, which do nothing but show the nuances of the character that is being focused on, but with a wider scope we really get to see how all the actors are reacting to that particular character. I honestly feel that this goes a long way toward making us more engaged with whatever might be happening on screen. It allows us to see the bigger picture and as a result makes us view the characters differently then if this was just a one shot show that was close-up heavy.
Dolby Digital - English Mono & Spanish Mono. These episodes are also subtitled in English and Spanish. With a show that is so heavily performance laden, the dialogue has to be really well written and also very easy to hear. As these shows are about 35 years old, it may be expected that some restoration for them would have been in order as far the audio was concerned. I didn’t have any trouble making out what was said on any of the 24 episodes that make up this 3 disk set. The dialogue is so quick, the banter so witty that truthfully sound is the element that is the most vulnerable. There are light office sounds here and there, city sounds but none of them ever get in the way of the main character’s dialogue. I even watched this show with a few of the subtitles on, and I was amazed at how easily the titles kept up. They were also very easy to read but I am sure that the solid audio in the background probably had something to do with that.
Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Anser and Valerie Harper are the three figures on this white, yellow, green and rogue cover. The back features Mary with Asner and some more members of the cast. There is a small picture from the opening credit segment of the show where Mary throws her hat in the air. Next to this is a solid description of what this show is about. In fact, before I screened the DVDs, I read this and I felt like I was pretty “up” on what was happening in this sitcom. There is also an extensive listing of the “extras”, a cast list and some technical specs. Inside the vinyl cover, each disk is housed in it’s own plastic case with a front cover similar to the front cover of this DVD set. On the backs of each case are a listing of the episode on that particular disk, and a description of what that episode is about. Once again, a solid piece of economical packaging from our friends at Fox.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show - Season 2 is a very good show. I had a great time watching it and reviewing it. Will I continue to follow the seasons if they are not given to me to review? Probably not. Will I keep the show on if it’s playing on TV? Sure, it’s very enjoyable. I really think there was something about the 1970s that allowed for great things to happen in both TV and cinema. I don’t know why this is but TV doesn’t seem like this today. You have a few shows that are good but for the most part today’s fare doesn’t interest me that much. It seems too stylized. The Mary Tyler Moore Show - Season 2 might be staged but it feels natural. This is something that many of today's TV shows could learn a lot from.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show was released .