10 Episodes Of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' You Should Watch This Weekend

10 Episodes Of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' You Should Watch This Weekend

Don't believe those other lists, these are the ten best episodes
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By this point, in the days following her death, it would be redundant to describe and detail the cultural significance of Mary Tyler Moore and her self-titled sitcom which aired on CBS from 1970 to 1977. The show, the first to focus on a single, contented, woman with a career who was undefined by her relationships with men, was revolutionary and highly popular for its time and permanently altered the American cultural landscape.

More incredible than its status as a landmark is the fact that the show has stood up well over time. It won't induce the same kind of laughter that some topical shows of quality might, but even today the 47-year-old sitcom makes "Two Broke Girls" look like ... well, "Two Broke Girls." The warm, witty scripts, the subdued genius of the plots, and the fantastic ensemble cast including Betty White, Valerie Harper, Gavin MacLeod, Cloris Leachman, and Ed Asner all worked to make the show an instant classic. And while every episode is exemplary, these ten demonstrate "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" at its absolute best and represent (at the risk of editorializing) perfect TV.


10. Better Late ... That's a Pun ... Than Never (Season 4, Episode 20)

When Rhoda (Mary's neighbor/best friend who would soon after get her own spinoff and garner over 52 million viewers for her hourlong wedding episode - over half of America's viewing population) comes over to help Mary write obituaries for the news station, sleep deprivation leads them to start writing gag obits. When one is read on the air, it leads to Mary getting fired from the station (in true sitcom form she gets rehired before the end of the half hour). This episode focuses on the relationship between Lou Grant and Mary Richards as boss/employee and as good friends, and the acting by both Moore and Ed Asner is so phenomenal you can see the real-life love and admiration they had for each other.


9. Love Is All Around (Season 1, Episode 1)

The very first episode of the series only has a kind of brazen confidence to it because of hindsight. Nobody was sure if it would last, especially because it wasn't well-received by test audiences (they just didn't understand why she was single and not at least trying to find a husband). Despite its shaky beginnings, this episode establishes the characters in a smart, funny, endearing way. The blueprints for these characters would not fundamentally change over time, they would only grow, becoming more complex and refined. This episode also has one of the greatest and most notorious exchanges in the history of the masterfully written show when Lou Grant concedes to job applicant Mary Richards that she has "spunk." When she demurely nods in agreement, he barks back "I hate spunk!" Three little lines of dialogue, one enduring moment of TV history.


8. Lou Date Mary (Season 7, Episode 23)

Over the course of a decade, Mary Richards and her boss Lou Grant developed a tight-knit relationship that is now de rigueur for office-based sitcoms. Because this was the 1970s, and Mary Richards was an attractive, intelligent, successful woman in her mid-30s, she was still expected to settle down eventually. Being independent for the first few seasons was considered acceptable if not iffy by the home viewers but by season 7 it was almost shocking. So, in an effort to placate the viewers and drive home the point that Mary might not ever get married or have children and that's fine, they gave us this episode. In it, Lou and Mary finally go on a date. All it takes is one incredibly awkward kiss to show to themselves and to all of us why they never got together; because their friendship was good enough. Better, even.


7. Mary Midwife (Season 7, Episode 1)

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show," like any comedy show of merit, refused to sacrifice a character for the sake of one joke, and this practice made every moment of the show feel authentic and organic. In this episode, inept news anchor Ted Baxter's sweet, dim wife Georgette goes into labor - ruining yet another party at Mary's apartment (a running gag throughout the series) - giving the audience a look at how each character responds to childbirth and how beautifully these oddball coworkers have formed a family. The episode's highlight: a nervous Mary backing away and saying "a delivery room is no place for a woman!"


6. A New Sue Ann (Season 5, Episode 7)

Playing Sue Ann Nivens, the show's antagonist from seasons four to seven, was a radically different change of pace for Betty White. Though she seemed to be forever typecast as sugary sweet angelic figures, she proved her versatility as an actress by playing the vicious, unashamedly oversexed host of "The Happy Homemaker," who doled out handy hints on screen and insulted and belittled her friends and coworkers off screen. In this episode, a young competitor tries to steal Nivens' show out from under her. In retaliation, Nivens frames the girl by giving everyone in the station, herself included, food poisoning (from - what else? - cream puffs filled with unrefrigerated cream), getting the girl fired and wrongfully winning Nivens her show back. It is written and acted so amazingly, with wit and charm and the perfect amount of insanity, that it humanizes what is easily one of the most spiteful characters in TV history; only "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" could have pulled that off.

5. Once I Had a Secret Love (Season 6, Episode 18)

The show is notable for its blending humor and heart with an unheard of deftness, but this episode takes that heart to new extremes by putting strain on the friendship between Mary and her curmudgeonly boss Lou Grant. After Mary learns of and mistakenly blabs about Lou's one night stand with Sue Ann Nivens, Lou sits her down in his office to tell her: "You violated my confidence. It was important to me. I'm your boss, it doesn't interfere with that. We're just not friends anymore." This poignant moment is immediately followed by Mary's hilariously feeble attempts to hold back sobs, and while everything works out in the end (Mary's sweetness corrodes Lou's bitterness before the credits roll), their relationship being put in jeopardy in this episode makes the viewer realize how special and meaningful it is.


4. Will Mary Richards Go to Jail? (Season 5, Episode 1)

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" marked an abrupt shift in the American sitcom. While the 1960s were all about housewives, rural communities, witches, genies, outer space, and talking horses, the 1970s dealt with gritty reality. In this episode, Mary's refusal to name an informant lands her in jail, and while the sociopolitical implications of Watergate take the spotlight, it is Mary's outstanding journalistic integrity that anchors the episode and gives it its warmth and iconography. For all of her wide-eyed charm, Mary Richards, like Moore herself, was an iron-willed warrior, and this episode, better than any other, proves that.

3. Chuckles Bites the Dust (Season 6, Episode 7)

This list would have absolutely no credibility if I left out this episode because it is often considered one of, if not the best episode of the series, as well as one of the greatest sitcom episodes of all time (and at this point it's almost a cliché to name it but here we are so just shut up and keep reading). When WJM kiddie show host Chuckles the Clown is killed in a freak elephant accident, Mary's coworkers make a series of tasteless jokes which Mary admonishes them for. By the time of the funeral, Mary is in fits of uncontrollable laughter. When the preacher reminds the crowd that Chuckles would have wanted laughter, he encourages Mary to express her joy, at which point she breaks down in tears. The show's ability to make something as somber as death so funny earned the episode an Emmy, but it's Moore's performance that makes this episode unforgettable. Her emotions at the funeral transition so seamlessly that this episode transcends a mere sitcom and becomes - God I hope this doesn't sound hackneyed - art. This episode is a prime example of Moore's first rate comedic capabilities.

2. The Lars Affair (Season 4, Episode 1)


The season four opener found Mary Richard's landlady, the pretentious and petty Phyllis Lindstrom (played expertly by Cloris Leachman) confronted with a newer, nastier villain; Sue Ann "The Happy Homemaker" Nivens, played with malicious perfection by Betty White. Nivens, a self-centered, sociopathic, man hungry Martha Stewart-from-Hell, signals the start of the show's truly genius years (but was there ever even one bad episode in the series?) but it's Leachman's characterization of a woman dealing with an adulterous husband that rightfully earned her an Emmy. Not only had this topic rarely been broached on primetime television, but never before or since has it been done with such sincerity and such comic genius (see the way Leachman deliberately slams the oven door on White's soufflé).

1. The Last Show (Season 7, Episode 24)

The series finale of any show carries an almost unreasonable responsibility; it leaves the final impression on the viewing audience and can make or break the legacy of the show. "The Mary Tyler Moore Show's" final episode is, four decades after its airing, considered one of the greatest series finales of all time, and understandably so. After the entire staff of WJM (the show's fictional news network) is unceremoniously fired, they go through the episode trying to cope together as the odd family they had become over the course of seven seasons (three in Betty White's case). The episode culminates in an iconic group hug comprised of five coworkers/friends/family members too emotional to let go. It embodies all of the warmth and humor that the show perfectly blended and is flawless from start to finish, an emotional powerhouse as emotionally resonant as it was forty years ago.


In light of our modern social climate, Moore's status as a mainstream feminist icon makes her passing seem a kind of tragic coincidence. But no matter which side of the political spectrum you sit on, Moore's talent, her cultural impact, and the importance of her legacy are irrefutable.


1936 - 2017

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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The 2020 Election: The Democratic Party Part 1

We all have the duty of becoming politically conscious in order to wisely act on the crucial decision that lies ahead of us in the very near future. In this unbiased, multi-part series you'll be able to get a brief look into both the 2020 Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.

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The race for the 2020 presidential election is on the rise as 24 Democrats and 2 Republicans have been officially confirmed as potential candidates. Ranging from California to New York, we may recognize "big names" such as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, however, it's important to get to know all the candidates in order to have a clear idea as to who you want to be leading the country for the next four years.

*Due to the high number of Democratic candidates, they will all be highlighted over the course of three articles throughout the coming weeks.

1. Joe Biden

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Serving as the Vice President alongside Barack Obama and former senator of Delaware, Joe Biden has already ran for president twice, making the 2020 election his third and what he considers, final time. Biden hopes to strengthen the middle class by raising the minimum wage to a more livable standard. He also hopes to restrict the purchase of guns through background checks as well as being in support of a ban on assault weapons.

2. Bernie Sanders

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Having served on both the House of Representatives and The Senate, Bernie Sanders has caught the attention of many Americans due to his push for universal healthcare with the idea that "All Americans are entitled to go to the doctor when they're sick and not go bankrupt after staying in the hospital." As well as making public secondary-education schools tuition-free in a mission to help lower student debt. Sanders believes in the threat of climate change as his campaign includes the future of passing a Green New Deal to move from fossil fuels to sustainable energy as well as ban fracking and fossil fuel infrastructure. Bernie Sanders additionally believes in abolishing the death penalty, reforming the police system, and ending the discrimination of applicants based on criminal history

3. Beto O'Rourke

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Beto O'Rourke has represented Texas in the House of Representatives from 2013 - 2019. He has a noteworthy platform towards business which includes increasing federal funding towards the Manufacturing Extension Partnership that would aid in creating competitiveness with America's small- and medium-sized manufacturers against global markets. O'Rourke also believes in the idea of increasing voter numbers no matter what the political party may be as well as help ex-convicts regain their right to vote after serving their sentences. In doing so, he plans to create more outreach to the younger generations by ensuring pre-voter registration for all 16 and 17 year olds. Moreover, Beto pushes for a change in creating new term limits for the US House, Senate, and Supreme Court.

4. Kamala Harris

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Kamila is a lawyer and has served as the junior US senator and Attorney General of California. While she is new to the presidential election process, Harris aims to increase teacher pay with the "largest federal investment in teacher pay in U.S. history with a $13,500 raise." Moreover, using her specialization in legal matters regarding sexual assault, Kamila hopes to protect Planned Parenthood as well as women's reproductive rights. Harris states that as President, she will eliminate the wage gap between men and women as well as racial disparities involving maternal health care. Harris additionally hopes in protecting LGBTQ+ rights by not only passing an Equality Act to fight against discrimination in schools, work, and public, but appoint an Attorney General with the purpose of investigating and prosecuting hate crimes against LGBTQ+ individuals.


5. Elizabeth Warren

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Growing up in rural Oklahoma in a low-income home and eventually serving as a US senator for Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren is described as a progressive candidate who's campaign is working towards "universal childcare, student loan debt relief, and down payments on a Green New Deal and Medicare for All." Warren hopes to build the middle class up and defend unionized jobs by allowing 40% of board members to be elected through employees. Moreover, Warren is in favor of strengthening the military as well has bringing troops home from overseas, as well as banning private prisons and decriminalizing marijuana. She additionally has stated to end Washington corruption by banning lobbying along with preventing Senators and Congressman from trading stocks whilst in office.

6. Cory Booker

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Attending Stanford and later graduating from Yale Law School, Cory Booker became the first African-American U.S. Senator from New Jersey. Booker's main concern is to end gun violence, ban assault weapons, and bring his battle to the attention of the NRA to create "liberty for all." His 14-part plan includes creating a more extensive process to obtain a gun, one of which would including an FBI-issued background check as well as requiring "micro-stamping" on all guns to ensure the ability to trace back the source of ammunition used in crimes. Moreover, Americans seeking a gun license would have to apply for a 5-year license after which would require renewal. Booker has also proposed the idea of providing newborns with savings accounts that would accumulate until they reached 18. He states that this plan would help settle the gap between the classes by offering lower-income households a nest-egg averaging at about $46,000. He also aims to make contraceptives employer-covered and repeal the punishment for an abortion outside of incest, rape, or for the woman's health.

7. Kirsten Gillibrand

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From New York, Kristin Gillibrand became a US Senator in 2009, becoming the youngest person in the Senate at the time. Her 2020 platform includes creating universal healthcare for all that would cover both mental and reproductive health in addition to it's regular standards. Her stance on Medicare For All also stands for reducing the price of prescription drugs as well as aiding in the process of overcoming addiction. Gillibrand also aims to introduce postal banking which would allow those without checking accounts have the opportunity to take out small loans through their local post office. Moreover, she believes in not only the legalization of both medical and recreation marijuana, but in erasing all past convictions from it. Kristin Gillibrand stands with strengthening the middle class by raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, creating paid medical and parental leave for all Americans, and fighting for the right to form unions and protect worker's rights.

8. Amy Klobuchar

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Amy Klobuchar is a lawyer and politician who currently serves as a US Senator from Minnesota. Klobuchar's campaign fights for providing every household in America with high-speed internet by the year 2020 along with aiding farmers by increasing their access to loan programs as well as raising farm bankruptcy debt levels. Moreover, she hopes to better the education system by increasing teacher pay and putting more money towards public schools. As well as increasing the federal Pell Grant and tuition-free one to two year community and technical colleges. Amy Klobucher believes in re-instated the DREAM Act to grant citizenship for foreigners who immigrated to America as minors. She supports immigration reform as well as ending the cruel separation and treatment of families on the lines of the border and creating a refined pathway to gain citizenship.

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