Why everyone should watch Trophy Wife

BRADLEY WHITFORDHappy holidays! it’s a busy time here at Retrowatching HQ. Season three of Mary Tyler Moore probably won’t begin until next week. In the meantime, please enjoy this scene from my  favorite new comedy Trophy Wife. (Favorite most weeks, anyway, depending on how funny Brooklyn 99 is. Thanksgiving week went to Brooklyn 99. Christmas goes to Trophy Wife.) I can’t stop watching it. Everything and everyone is perfect. I legitimately laughed out loud – emphasis on LOUD – and hard, the first time I watched. And again on subsequent watches. And just a few minutes ago when I embedded the clip.

Some context: New wife Kate invites her husband’s two ex-wives over for Christmas eve and things get out of control when her mulled wine somehow gets spiked with absinthe.

BTW, if you’re not watching Trophy Wife, you are missing out. See above for further evidence. And then go watch any scene featuring brothers Warren and Bert. Seriously though, please watch this show. I love it and would like to continue watching. ABC, Tuesday nights 9:30 (8:30 central).

Ball is in your court, Brooklyn 99.

“You look like a cheerleader for the school of nursing.”

Season two highlights

Some season two highlights

Happy Thanksgiving, Retrowatchers! I hope you all had a lovely holiday. This year, I am thankful for my renewed interest in writing and blogging, Netflix’s massive DVD library (and  Hulu, when the DVDs arrived damaged), all of you who read Retrowatching, and of course, for Mary, Ted, Rhoda, Lou, and Phyllis*, James Burrows, Allan Burns, Treva Silverman, Martin Cohen, Steven Pritzker, and everyone else associated with the great Mary Tyler Moore.

*Ok, fine, in the spirit of the holidays, I can be thankful for Murray, too.

We’ve arrived at the end of season two. It’s been a long journey, and not necessarily as easy as season one, but I’d say overall it was a good season. We learned a little more about the kind of man Lou is in “The Six-and-a-Half-Year Itch.” Bess Lindstrom became a real character, had some wonderful scenes with Mary, held her own with Lou, and reminded us that Phyllis always means well. Rhoda continued to be her awesome self (with one exception, to be discussed shortly). Ted remained Ted, as he should, but we learned a bit about his upbringing and his insecurities in “Cover Boy”, “And Now, Sitting in for Ted Baxter”, and “Ted Over Heels.” And Mary continued to be a pushover just on the brink of annoyance, and a Golden Person.

818989380cloris-leachmanPerhaps most surprising of all (at least to me), is that Phyllis got several chances to shine, particularly in the last third of the season. You may recall  Phyllis was a character I took issue with almost immediately. One of the strengths of season two is the reassessment of her character. She’s still the Phyllis we first met – selfish, generally irresponsible, out of touch, and overcompensating – but she’s also more. Despite her unconventional ways, she is a good mother with her daughter’s best interest at heart. She’s also a good friend – not only to Mary, but I would argue also to Rhoda. (See: Their shared excitement for Mary’s big date in “The Five-Minute Dress” and her genuine looking out for Rhoda’s career in “The Square-Shaped Room”). Phyllis was used frequently in season two, and consequently, she HAD to become more than just the nosy and slightly annoying downstairs neighbor. I’m not going so far as to say that she is among my favorites, but she’s come a long way. I can see the beginnings of the character development that eventually lead to a spinoff.

So how does season two go out? Let’s find out. This week, we discuss episodes 21-24, including:
Episode 21: Where There’s Smoke, There’s Rhoda
Episode 22: You Certainly Are a Big Boy
Episode 23: Some of My Best Friends are Rhoda
Episode 24: His Two Right Arms Continue reading

“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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“Mary you may not have noticed, but I don’t live in a window.”

Writers room for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Credit: The Hollywood Reporter http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/buffy-x-files-shield-murphy-520949#4-cbs-murphy-brown

Writers room for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Credit: The Hollywood Reporter http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/buffy-x-files-shield-murphy-520949#4-cbs-murphy-brown

Happy almost Halloween, Retrowatchers! It is getting to be that time of year – the leaves are changing, the afternoon sun is beautifully blinding, and a chill is in the air. It must be fall. I’m not really a Halloween person, but if I were, I think I’d dress up as Rhoda Morgenstern. I used to wear a do-rag in college, so all I’d need is some horrible 70s clothing and a baggy sweater to hide my figure. Throw in a New York accent and go around calling people “kid” and I’d have a Rhoda costume.

Either that or I’d try to find a replica of Mary’s awful bridesmaid dress.

Incidentally, if anyone reading this actually has a Mary Tyler Moore-themed costume, please send me pictures.

This week, we delve into the middle of MTM, season 2 and discuss episodes 13-16:
Episode 13: The Square Shaped Room
Episode 14: Ted Over Heels
Episode 15: The Five-Minute Dress
Episode 16: Feeb

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“It’s like Hansel and Gretel told in butter form.”

at the moviesMid-week greetings, Retrowatchers. I apologize for the delay. Believe it or not, once I finally got the correct disc from Netflix, it arrived cracked and wouldn’t play! Thank goodness for Hulu, otherwise I would be even more behind schedule than I am already. The replacement disc (containing the next batch of episodes) arrived today. It appears to be fine so hopefully that is the end of weird technical difficulties.

Another side note before we begin: If it isn’t already obvious, I’ve been tinkering with how exactly to write this blog. When I watch Mary Tyler Moore, I take copious notes in an attempt to not miss funny or profound dialogue, notable guest stars, or interesting tidbits. As a result, it sometimes feels like I am just regurgitating the show back to you instead of doing any actual analyzing/critiquing. I’m not 100% sure how to steer Retrowatching in the direction I had anticipated when starting this project, but I think I will assume from now on that people have seen the episodes, and try to do less recapping and more critiquing. Thanks for your patience while I experiment.

With that in mind, let’s get started, finally! MTM, season 2, episodes 9-12. This includes:
Episode 9: And Now, Sitting in For Ted Baxter
Episode 10: Don’t Break the Chain
Episode 11: The Six-and-a-Half Year Itch
Episode 12: Is a Friend in Need Continue reading

Programming note: Redux

You may recognize this from The Colbert Report. Taken from nofactzone.net

You may recognize this from The Colbert Report. Taken from nofactzone.net

Hello from furlough-land, Retrowatchers.

You may think that not having been to work since mid-afternoon Tuesday would mean that I am way ahead on my Mary Tyler Moore watching. But due to Netflix still having not delivered season 2, disc 3, you would be wrong. Seems my shipping center didn’t have it so now it’s coming from some mysterious “next available” shipping center. As of this afternoon, I still don’t have it.

Seasons 1-3 are available on Hulu, and I’ll probably resort to watching the next batch there – even though it totally disrupts my system. (And anyone who knows me knows how I cling to my routine/systems). At any rate there will most likely not be a blog this weekend. Look for it early next week.

“Watch me mess up the news. I’m really terrible.”

Lou reads the newsHappy Sunday, Retrowatchers. How have you enjoyed TV premiere week? And most importantly: How are you handling the looming final episode of Breaking Bad? Me – I am  ready to be done with Walter White, and I don’t know I can handle seeing much else happen to poor Jesse. As for premiere week – I’m already on board with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; am not sure about The Crazy Ones yet, but will give it another shot for Buffy and Bob Benson; was absolutely delighted with the premiere of Glee but am dreading the Finn tribute; loved Parenthood and am happy to see Ray Romano return; and yesterday decided to check in on How I Met Your Mother after taking last year off. I’m begrudgingly  back on board – at least temporarily.  The last scene with Ted and The Mother got me. Damn you, HIMYM – I once loved you, then defended you, then got so mad at you I had to leave, and now you suck me back in to your final season.

I know what you’re thinking – with all of that, there’s no way you had time to watch Mary Tyler Moore this week. Well, fear not, Retrowatchers, I managed to squeeze it in. I know, I know. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to…well, I guess really no one HAS to do it. But I did. So here we go – MTM, season 2, episodes 5-8.

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