Love Is All Around for MTM

Sky’s Jones! will screen a Mary Tyler Moore Show marathon this weekend and tonight at 8.30 premiere a tribute to the primetime trailblazer who died today aged 80.

Mary Tyler Moore: A Celebration is an hour-long valentine to the TV star and producer, featuring contributions from Betty White, Cloris Leachman, Dick Van Dyke and many more, clips from iconic moments throughout her career and interview footage with MTM.

When PBS aired it in 2015 to mark the 45th anniversary of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Variety described it as “a warm, nostalgic trip down memory lane tempered by minimal perspective and sins of omission.

“Fun to watch if only for the abundant clips, it’s a once-over-lightly approach to TV history, paying tribute to its subjects in a manner that doesn’t allow much room for anything that might detour from lionising them …

“Yes, it’s great fun to see the Chuckles the Clown episode again, and hear that the first pass actually ran several minutes short until the raucous audience laughter filled in the time.

“What’s less admirable is how this documentary keeps glossing over significant biographical details, fleetingly mentioning Moore’s marriage to legendary TV exec Grant Tinker and the tragic death of her son in a 1980 gun accident.”

Concurred the Los Angeles Times: “Fans of The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, her seminal sitcoms, will find much to like — because what’s not to like? (It’s nice to glimpse her less well-remembered work as well.)

“At the same time, and even including commentary from many old castmates — this is a thinner, flimsier piece than her work and her place in history demand, content to skim the surface with only an occasional glance into deeper water.”

PBS would have aired the special in HD whereas here fans will have to endure it in sub-standard SD.

A better bet for MTM devotees (and HD buffs) might be streaming the CBS News special, Mary Tyler Moore: Love Is All Around, which will premiere 9pm Thursday eastern seaboard time in the US, or a commemorative 20/20 special on ABC this weekend (which hopefully will surface here when the newsmag resumes on TVNZ 1 next month).

But kudos to Sky for quickly reacting to news of Moore’s death and scheduling A Celebration so quickly and following it up with a pop-up channel devoted to The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

At time of posting, Sky couldn’t confirm whether all seven seasons would air from 3.30pm Friday on Channel 208 or just selected episodes.

If the latter, it’s bound to include Chuckles Bites the Dust, which Variety today ranked as #1 in a list of MTM’s seven most influential episodes (at a time as sad as this, who wouldn’t treasure, “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants”?).

Acknowledges Sky TV’s director of entertainment, Travis Dunbar: “We’re honoured to pay tribute to a woman whose work has had an immense influence, from traversing the first Golden Age of television on The Dick Van Dyke Show, to becoming a trailblazing star in a male-dominated medium in The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

“Jones! is proud to celebrate the life, legacy and career of this TV legend.”

Moore’s first legendary sitcom, The Dick Van Dyke Show, can be viewed on Netflix (and ordered as a complete series on Blu-ray from Amazon), and if you don’t subscribe to Sky, all seven seasons of MTM can bought in DVD sets with decent transfers.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply