“It’s called a prayer plant. But don’t worry, it’s non-denominational.”

Season 3Happy summer, Retrowatchers! At long last! I had my doubts as to it ever being warm again, but am writing this while wearing a sundress sporting a tan. Let’s all breathe a collective sigh of relief: Ahhh!

We’ve made it to the end of season three. And what a season it has been: Lou Grant bought a bar, had a bullet removed from an unmentionable area, and went on an awkward Man Date with Mary’s father. We finally met Mary’s parents and Rhoda’s dad. Rhoda won a beauty contest, pondered a move to New York, and (spoiler alert) opened her own store. Ted hired an agent and briefly dabbeled in commercials, became temporary BFF’s with Lou, and got a girlfriend. Phyllis, of all people, came out of the season the most progressive, encouraging Mary to go out for a promotion and hardly batted an eye when she found out her brother is gay. Murray…well…nothing much happens to our Murray. (Nothing ever happens to Murray.) As for Mary – she had quite a year as well. She finally got a raise, reconnected with her father, and nearly got engaged before realizing she’s not looking for Prince Charming. (Retrowatching HQ remains firmly #TeamDanWhitfield.) We met some new people – some good (Georgette, Walter Richards, Ben Sutherland, Philly); some not so good (the majority of Mary’s dates, most especially he-who-shall-not-be-mentioned-again, Warren Sturges.) The writers started to change structure a bit in season three, experimenting with subplots and comic runners. These mostly went to Ted; a few went to Rhoda. And speaking of writers, the question still remains: Who is this season’s MVP?

The answer will be revealed at the end of this post. First, let’s finish out season three. This time, we will discuss episodes 21-24, including:
Episode 21: Murray Faces Life
Episode 22: Remembrance of Things Past
Episode 23: Put On a Happy Face
Episode 24: Mary Richards and the Incredible Plant Lady

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“I tried to enjoy the concert even though she was snapping her fingers to Mozart.”

Mary the RiveterHello, Retrowatchers! Are you enjoying the spring yet or living in fear of winter making one (more) last appearance? I’m a little bit in between. I want to believe, but can’t quite give myself over entirely.

Before we jump into this week’s episodes, I’d like to recommend a show I recently started watching, though it has been on my radar for a year: Orphan Black. Retrowatchers, this show is ANYTHING but retro; it is modern in every sense of the world. And boy is it fun. I don’t want to say too much as it has a rich mythology – episodes must be watched in order – but I cannot recommend it enough. Every episodes ends with a new twist. You will be surprised and delighted by its star, Tatiana Maslany. And last, the show manages to wonderfully walk the tightrope that many sci-fi shows stumble upon – incorporating its fantasy and mythology elements while still making the show accessible to non-science fiction geeks such as myself. (See also, Vampire Slayer, Buffy.)

But enough chat about current TV shows. Let’s jump into the latter part of Mary Tyler Moore’s third season. This week, we discuss episodes 17-20, including:
Episode 17: My Brother’s Keeper
Episode 18: The Georgette Story
Episode 19: Romeo and Mary
Episode 20: What Do You Do When the Boss Says I Love You?

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“I personally as of this moment am boycotting sauerkraut.”

Lou's place singalongHappy spring, Retrowatchers! Has this been the worst, most dragged out winter or what? It’s still not quite over – there are reports of more snow in the DC area next week. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I don’t think I have ever craved warm weather so strongly before, and I’m a beach bum who loves summer!

It’s still winter in Minneapolis as well, as this batch of episodes finishes out the year and brings us into 1973. What will the new year have in store for Mary and the gang? Let’s find out.

This week, we discuss episodes 13-16 of season three, including:
Episode 13: Operation: Lou
Episode 14: Rhoda Morgenstern: From Minneapolis to New York
Episode 15: The Courtship of Mary’s Father’s Daughter
Episode 16: Lou’s Place

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“I used to go fishing with a surgeon. Boy could that man clean a fish.”

You've got a friendWell hello there, Retrowatchers! I hope some of you are still with me. Please forgive my unexpected extended absence. As I mentioned in the previous post, 2014 got off to an unexpectedly busy start! To give you an indication as to how busy: I actually watched the episodes we are about to discuss in January. Eesh! Fortunately I take very detailed notes and was able to refresh my memory.

Before delving in, may I say that after the endless winter we’ve been having, I now completely agree with Lou’s assessment of snow from “It’s Whether You Win or Lose?” This pretty much sums up my current feelings for this winter:

“ I hate snow. I don’t like its color. I don’t like its shape. I don’t like its temperature. I don’t like how it feels or what it does. I don’t like it in snowballs. Or on hills. I don’t like anything about it. It’s a soft, wet, white, mushy melting freezing mess! I hate snow as much as I hate anything in the entire world!”

Word, Lou! I always knew you were very wise.

Okay, enough chitchat, let’s get to it. This week we discuss episodes 9-12 of season three, including:
Episode 9: Farmer Ted and the News
Episode 10: Have I Found the Guy For You
Episode 11: You’ve Got a Friend
Episode 12: It Was Fascination, I Know

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“I’d like to help you Mary, but I just don’t know how to make it appear that anybody likes and enjoys Ted Baxter.”

mary-tyler-moore-show-season-3-opening-credits-mary-waving-review-episode-guideHappy Holidays, Retrowatchers! If you celebrate Christmas, I hope it was smashing. If not, I hope you had a good Wednesday. We are in the final full week of the year, which is usually a time of reflection. 2013 has been pretty good. I’m grateful that I started this blog, and one of my resolutions for 2014 is to get back to regular postings. The last few months of the year are always crazy, and January serves as the reset button to a normal schedule.

Two things before we start:

1.) Santa surprised me with this book. I had no idea it existed, but am excited to delve in. I will share any insightful facts, fun stories, or juicy secrets with you. Also, I must point out the name: Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted. Please note who DIDN’T make the title. (coughcoughMurraycoughcough)

2.) While out Christmas shopping a few weeks ago, I found an Andy Warhole-type painting of Mary, Rhoda, and Phyllis at a funky shop called Miss Pixies.  Retrowatchers, it took everything in me not to buy it.  (Well, that and the somewhat steep price tag.) I wish the painting was showcased on the store website so I could link to it. I’ve never seen anything so random, so awesome, and so connected to something that is currently a big part of my life. So, dear reader: If you are ever at Miss Pixies and the painting is still there, let me know.

And now, season three! This week, we discuss the first four episodes of the third season of Mary Tyler Moore, including:
Episode 1: The Good-Time News
Episode 2: What is Mary Richard Really Like?
Episode 3: Who’s In Charge Here?
Episode 4: Enter Rhoda’s Parents

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“I’ll send my bill to your accountant. Is he still going to Wilson High?”

Murray and MarieHello Retrowatchers! I hope some of you are still with me. I won’t bore you with the details for my absence, because that’s a pet peeve of mine on blogs, but let’s just say real life got in the way of my evening TV-studying time. Despite the lapse, I remain committed to this project.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s dive back into MTM season 2, shall we? This week, we discuss episodes 17-20, including:
Episode 17: The Slaughter Affair
Episode 18: Baby Sit-Com
Episode 19: More Than Neighbors
Episode 20: The Care and Feeding of Parents

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“That is so unfair. You know I can’t fly.”

A few weeks ago, LeVar Burton appeared on Community. Earlier on in the episode, it is established that Troy, ex-football player and current sophomore at Greendale Community College, loves LeVar. “I’d like to be bequeathed a drum kit or a signed photo of actor LeVar Burton,” he says. He tells the camera his third wish would be for a million more wishes, “But I’d just use them all on a million signed photos of actor LeVar Burton.”

After Pierce survives a drug overdose, he decides to give each member of the study group a gift (his way of fucking with them). He gives Annie a tiara, Britta a check to give to the charity of her choosing, and tells Jeff he’s found his long-lost father. But the best gift (for the viewer, anyway) is the one he gives to Troy: He gets LeVar Burton to show up at the hospital and talk to Troy. But the result isn’t exactly what LeVar was expecting:

Community has done a lot of great things thus far into its run. Paintball. Apollo 13. Zombies. Spot on Don Draper impressions. But this is by far my favorite. I was laughing for days after seeing this. And yes, it’s funny (Donald Glover is hilarious as a shell-shocked Troy), but I think the reason this resonated with me so much is because I totally get where Troy is coming from. There are several childhood/adolescent influences/idols I would never, EVER want to meet, no matter how much I still love them:
– Bono (obviously)
– Lauren Graham (no way do I want to wreck my love for Lorelai Gilmore)
– James Marsters (Fun fact: I actually DID meet him, sort of, at a convention back in college, and while I didn’t end up crying in the bathroom humming the theme from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I DID pretty much freak out. Ask my friend. He was there. He will tell you.)
– Dean Cain and/or Teri Hatcher

The last one requires an explanation, and is the topic of the rest of this post.

Young people reading this blog are probably asking themselves, “Who the hell is Dean Cain? And why is she afraid to meet Susan from Desperate Housewives?” Oh, youth. Y’all have no idea. Continue reading