Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Who Can Turn the World on With Her Smile?

What a treat yesterday's Oprah was, when she reunited the cast of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" -- surprising everyone with carefully crafted replicas of the WJM newsroom and Mary's original (studio) apartment. I'd forgotten that Oprah -- who was coming of age just as "Mary Tyler Moore" hit the airwaves -- was such a huge fan, even dressing and styling her her to look like Mary Richards back in the 1970s! (She credits the MTM logo at the end of every episode as her inspiration for starting Harpo Productions.) The reunion -- which included all of the show's principals minus Ted Knight, who died in 1986 -- made me smile from ear to ear. Sure, Oprah was so excited she wouldn't let anyone finish a thought (I'd have been the same way), but the didn't stop Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman from getting in a few good licks along the way.

Although I was too young to watch the first few seasons when they originally aired, by the time the mid-'70s rolled around -- and my parents would be heading out to their bowling league in Madison Heights, Mich. -- I was as hooked on CBS' Saturday night line-up --"All in the Family," "M*A*S*H," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "The Bob Newhart Show"and "The Carol Burnett Show" -- as any adult in America. Oprah's Web site makes a point of saying that the reunion is something that "will surely never happen again," and given the advanced ages of most of the actors, it's probably true. Although everyone looks remarkably good (with the sad exception of Mary herself, who has looked unnatural for ages thanks to that bad face lift she got years ago), I was reminded just how old they're getting when Valerie started reminiscing about how she got the producers to bring Rhoda and Phyllis back for the series finale (you may recall that both had left for their own spinoffs) and Cloris, now 82, insisted that she had not been on the finale. (She totally reminded me of my similarly aged great-aunt Betty, who gets so adamant about things that I know she is wrong about.) Valerie even tried to remind her of the scene, in which both women return to Minneapolis to cheer Mary up after she's lost her job at the station, but Cloris stands firm that she was not on that show. As it would happen, YouTube has that very scene. Have a look and you'll be reminded why this show was just so special. (Oprah)


Timmy said...

That will rank up there as on of my all time favorite Oprah shows. It was great. I actually got teary-eyed and a lump in my throat when they gave her the O that had been signed by all of them.

Anonymous said...

..."CBS' Saturday night line-up --"All in the Family," "M*A*S*H," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "The Bob Newhart Show"and "The Carol Burnett Show"...

Damn... what a line-up! If we only had shows like those today!

libhom said...

This MTM cast reunion sure does bring up childhood memories.

Brionity said...

Sorry, I think this was just gross.

Oprah continues to insert herself in every American moment a la Forest Gump.

Her fake tears after receiving the O came right after she said

"Oh, another O. . ."

Her consistent belief in putting herself above the stars that made the original just rubbed me raw.

Just like last week when she put HER name in GIANT letter over the tiny tina and cher names.

She could hope to have a career as stellar as those two and when she butted on stage to "sing" with them, it became all too laughable.

Pope-rah needs to eat some humble pie.