After spending several years in her young adult life in Minneapolis but with her brash Bronx Jewish upbringing in tow and with its associated sarcasm, artistically inclined Rhoda ...
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After spending several years in her young adult life in Minneapolis but with her brash Bronx Jewish upbringing in tow and with its associated sarcasm, artistically inclined Rhoda Morgenstern returns to her hometown of New York City to begin life anew. She continues her navigation of searching for true love, initially with Joe Girard, the owner of his own wrecking company, he being the original reason she decided to move back to New York to begin with. Her relationships with Joe and with other men are an evolution to often being the pursued from what was a self-perception of being the overweight ugly duckling always doing the pursuing and mostly of undesirable men who she felt were the only people she could pursue. She also tries to find her place in the working world, doing something using her artistic abilities honed in art school such as the window dressing work she did in Minneapolis. Through it all, she reestablishes a day-to-day relationship with her family: her overbearing and ... Written by
"Rhoda" was, if I remember rightly, the only U.S. MTM sit-com to get a set screen-time on British television. The original "Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its other spin-off "Phyllis" were treated as schedule-fillers at best and even the dramatised "Lou Grant" ended up on the graveyard shift. But "Rhoda" I'm sure was shown on BBC2 at 9 o'clock on Tuesday's for I believe all its series showings and I loved it as a youngster at the time. Back then, I knew very little of Valerie Harper's character's origins on the Tyler Moore show, but that didn't matter, the laughs were there from the start as well as the strong supporting characters of Rhoda's waspish mother played by Nancy Walker, fresh from "McMillan and Wife" and Julie Kavner (later the voice of Marge Simpson) as her man (and food) hungry kid sister Brenda, while the insertion of their boozy off-stage doorman Carlton also made for some off-beat humour.
The humour was of the sharp and sassy New York Jewish type and largely set-bound in Rhoda's massive apartment. Valerie Harper was a delight in the title part, by turns confident and insecure, independent but mother-dependant. Romance entered her life in the form of hunky construction company boss Joe, played by Davud Groh, but the marriage wasn't to last.
I remember later episodes playing up Brenda's eccentric choice of boyfriends, some of which worked (klutz-type Nick Lobo) and some of which didn't (smarmy type Gary Levy). I also seem to recall the series ending with Rhoda working for old sourpuss Kenneth MacMillan's clothing company and some enjoyable sparring between the two of them, but my main memories will always be the bright, sunny early series and that distinctive "La La La" theme music.
Would love to see it again.
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