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The Mary Tyler Moore Show - The Complete Third Season


TITLE: THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW - THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON


Info:

Release: January 17, 2006 (Fox Home Entertainment)
Color/1972-73
MSRP: $29.98
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: 624 Minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: N/A
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Closed Captioned
Special Features: None.


Introduction:

Welcome back for a third season of love and laughter! The Mary Tyler Moore Show’s second season is now on DVD! Mary and the gang from WJM-TV return in another award-winning season. No longer the new girl in town, Mary has come to think of the newsroom staff as her family (that must be some family reunion, eh?). Along with the good times and close friendships come the often trying and ultimately hilarious situations every family faces. From Mary explaining the facts of life to Phyllis’ daughter, to going on a blind date (set up by Lou of all people!), to attending her disastrous high school reunion, it’s clear why this TV classic is one of the most beloved comedies of all time.

For those of you unfamiliar with the show - and with how often the show’s been reran over the years, that hopefully isn’t very many, the show stars Mary Tyler Moore (wow, The Mary Tyler Moore Show stars Mary Tyler Moore (who would have guessed??) as Mary Richards, an associate producer at WJM-TV in Minneapolis. A lot of the show centers on the absolute nuthouse that IS the WJM newsroom. Mary’s boss, Lou Grant (played by the one and only Edward Asner), is a rather grumpy guy but occasionally does soften a bit. Also at WJM is Ted Baxter (Ted Knight), the self-absorbed and…well…dumb senior news anchor at WJM. Also in the newsroom is Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod), a WJM news writer, as well as Sue Ann Nivens (Betty White), the…uh…nuts former host of The Happy Homemaker Show and current WJM staffer. Away from the newsroom you’ll find Mary’s best friend Rhoda (Valerie Harper), as well as Phyllis (Cloris Leachman). I really don’t know how to describe Rhoda - if you’ve never seen the show; Rhoda is a character that you’ve just got to see to believe. Phyllis is a mother living upstairs, who, aside from not liking Rhoda that well, also tends to pop in rather frequently.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Some episodes I think you’ll like ­ assuming you can get your copy to play (more on THAT later) include The Good-Time News, the first episode of the season, in which Mary is given the assignment of making the 6 o’clock news “more upbeat”, an assignment that Ted isn’t exactly thrilled about. In the 3rd episode, Who’s in Charge Here?, Lou is promoted to Program Director, and has to decide who to give his old job to…meanwhile, the news begins to fall apart without his guiding hands there to choke everybody back under control. In the sixth episode, Rhoda the Beautiful, Rhoda loses 20 pounds, and ultimately ends up in a beauty pageant…unfortunately, despite all this, she seems to still be constantly putting herself down…why? In the sixteenth episode, Rhoda Morganstern: Minneapolis to New York, Rhoda plans to move to New York. The conclusion of this is given away by the fact that Rhoda didn’t start until a YEAR later (*hint*Season 4*hint), but it’s still quite enjoyable to watch. The rest of the episodes are all quite good ­ this was another good season on the show’s part ­ these were just a couple of highlights.

As far as guest stars go: If you’re a fan of Coach, you pretty much know that a lot of the actors involved with that show were either recurring cast, or special guests, on THIS shows they’re almost to the point of regular cast, and as most of the recurring characters show up often, there’s no real reason to spotlight, say, Georgia Engel as Georgette. With that being said keep an eye out for both Jerry Van Dyke AND Craig T. Nelson in Season 3. Jerry Van Dyke plays Wes in “But Seriously, Folks”, while Craig shows up in Mary Richards and the Incredible Plant Lady. WKRP in Cincinnati fans: Gordon Jump appears in The Courtship of Mary’s Father’s Daughter as Mr. Conrad. Bert Convy, known to many as the host of TattleTales and Super Password, appears in Have I Found a Guy for You.


Packaging:

The packaging, staying consistent with the last release, is a group of slim cases (three). On the front cover of each slim case is the same art as the cover, a picture of Mary and, uh, her legs…FOX could have chosen ANY cast-related picture to use, and they picked THIS one. Wow. At least it should help with blind buys. The reverse cover features a VERY shocked Mary about to be kissed. The back cover of each of the three slim cases is merely a listing of the episodes on that disc. Episode info in the listings contains episode title, original airdate, writer and director credits, and show synopsis. I called the last season’s disc art simple: This one has IT beat. All three discs use the same M overlaying a solid color as before: For season three, however, only two colors are even used: Red, Dark Red. Discs 1 (Episodes 1-8) and 3 (Episodes 17-24 feature a red background with dark red M, while Disc 2 (Episodes 9-16) has a dark red background and red M.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are nice, simple, and amazingly well-done. The main menu for each disc features the show title at top followed a strip of imagines from episodes from the season. The discs use a different color for each main menu, prompting the question if this was intended for the set as well. The first disc uses an orange/brown style. The second disc uses a pink menu system, while the third disc uses purple. The images have a greenish-bluish tint usually only seen on faded copies of botched color copies from the time period, so this is in fact an interesting treat on FOX’s part ­ the blur around the edges of the image hold true to this too. Below this ELR-esque bar is the selectable episode titles as well as: A PLAY ALL FEATURE. I REPEAT. A PLAY ALL FEATURE. Also on the menu is some “drawn” pink vines with red flowers on the end. Episode selection menu features three LARGE tinted images from the show in a large bar across the center, with Play Episode, Scene Selection, and Language Selection as options. Just to FURTHER keep up appearances, the scene selection stills also have the tinted look.


Video and Audio Quality:

Video is amazingly impressive. It’s a great thing ­ and a rare thing ­ to see video quality this good on a DVD release of a show from 30 years ago. The video is simply flawless…not a flaw to be detected. Video is sharp but not too sharp…colors are…perfect. The video is amazing. The audio is good. Dolby 2.0. No apparent hiss or audio garbage. Dialogue comes across loud and clear, while the music is definitely well-represented on the audio track, if you catch my drift. Given that there IS Scene Selection; obviously, chapter stops are placed at the end of each scene.

Apparently there's an edit that I would have never noticed....in the episode "Mary Richards and the Incredible Plant Lady," Ted is humming a song and mumbling some words: On the DVD set it's just humming. The words and tune were overdubbed. In the original broadcast and syndication version, he was singing "Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)," from "Annie Get Your Gun."

Episode runtimes:
The Good-Time News: 25:34
What is Mary Richards Really Like: 25:30
Who’s In Charge Here?: 25:36
Enter Rhoda’s Parents: 25:35
It’s Whether You Win or Lose: 25:35
Rhoda the Beautiful: 25:36
Just Around the Corner: 25:36
But Seriously, Folks: 25:36
Farmer Ted and the News: 25:29
Have I Found a Guy for You: 25:34
You’ve Got a Friend: 25:35
It was Fascination, I Know: 25:34
Operation, Lou: 25:35
Rhoda Morganstern: Minneapolis to New York: 25:34
The Courtship of Mary’s Father’s Daughter: 25:35
Lou’s Place: 25:36
My Brother’s Keeper: 25:35
The Georgette Story: 25:36
Romeo and Mary: 25:30
What do you Say when the Boss Says I Love You?: 25:35
Murray Faces Life: 25:34
Remembrance of Things Past: 25:36
Put on a Happy Face: 25:27.
Mary Richards and the Incredible Plant Lady: 25:34


Special Features:

*crickets* -- What….happened…..here. Season 2 was so well done in this department. Way to drop that ball Fox.


Final Comments:

Things were going so well for this set until the last section above. Pretty much all my complaints (aside from one not being mentioned since I'm unsure how widespread it is) relate to the lack of special features...specifically...WHERE ARE THEY?? After having a previously features-rich show, this set's just simply...barren.

Unless you ran into the Digital Rights Management issue I ran into, you should enjoy the set. It's a great season of a great show. Honestly, I wouldn't start with this set, due to the lack of features. But for those of you who want to continue collecting the show, there's no reason not to.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 01/23/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000BOH8YQ/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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