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DVD Review: The Mary Tyler Moore Show – The Complete Fifth Season

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Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day and make it all seem worthwhile?
Well, it's you girl and you should know it… —
"Love Is All Around," Sonny Curtis

They don't have theme songs like that any more and they don't make TV shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show any more, either. The show, which aired from 1970 to 1977, hit the limit without being raunchy. It made you think without being preachy. And season five was one of the best, even seen from the vantage point of 35 years later.

When Mary is arrested for not revealing a source in episode one, we know the two ladies jailed with her are prostitutes and yet the word is never uttered. And, when one of them – Sherry, played brilliantly by the late Barbara Colby – comes back in another episode, Lou pulls Mary aside in a fatherly fashion and firmly warns her against hanging out with Sherry. Imagine that on a show today.

Watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show is more than a trip down memory lane. It is a joy to watch such a marvelously written and performed show. Who can resist laughing at Ted when he proposes to Georgette on air and then wants Murray to write a retraction the next day? Watching Lou wait on Ted hand and foot after he hurts Ted is side-splitting. Who doesn't feel the heartbreak Murray feels when he admits he'd like to have a son? My personal favorite from season five has to be when Mary tells her new boyfriend – played by Laurence Luckinbill – that she doesn't really like his son.

The cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show is made up of some of the best comedic actors America has ever seen. And, they have the Emmy Awards to prove it. Edward Asner (Lou Grant), Betty White (Sue Ann Nivens), and Cloris Leachman (Phyllis Lindstrom) all won Emmys for their work on season five. They were joined by cast regulars Mary Tyler Moore (Mary Richards), Gavin MacLeod (Murray Slaughter), Ted Knight (Ted Baxter), and Georgia Engel (Georgette Franklin). A little piece of trivia regarding the show's co-stars for season five: both Fred Grandy and Bernie Kopell make small guest appearances. They would go on to co-star with Gavin MacLeod on The Love Boat.

 

Season five of The Mary Tyler Moore Show comes in a three-disc set. The DVD set is light on fancy packaging, as well as the behind the scenes extras that we are used to seeing with DVD releases of TV shows and movies. I would have liked to have seen some making-of extras. However the set is worth the price of admission, despite the lack of extras. I highly recommend purchasing The Mary Tyler Moore Show DVD set.

Buy it and spend a weekend visiting Mary, Mr. Grant, and the rest. By the end of the weekend, you'll be singing, “Love is all around / No need to waste it / You can have the town / Why don't you take it? / You're gonna make it after all.”

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About Julie Marie Totsch