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Pat Harrington Jr.
Spinoff from the popular "Mary Tyler Moore" series has Mary Richards' landlady, Phyllis Lindstrom, moving back to her hometown of San Francisco with her teenage daughter Bess following the sudden death of Phyllis' (heard of, but never seen) husband, Lars, to make a new life for herself and her daughter by moving in with Lars' scatterbrained mother, Audrey; and Audrey's second husband, Judge Dexter; and getting a new job as an assistant to Julie Erskine, the CEO of a photography studio. Written by
I always loved Chloris Leachman's portrayal of the overbearing know all Phyllis Linstrom on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show",who loved throwing up to Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern,that she was married and they were single,although she always took such an interest in their lives,she clearly didn't have the great marriage she made out she had. After five seasons on TMTMS,Phyllis was spun off to her own show "Phyllis" with daughter,Bess,moving to San Francisco,to stay with her in-laws,the very funny and scatty Jonathan and Audrey(Henry Jones and Jane Rose) when the always unseen Lars(Phyllis' husband) dies and leaves Phyllis penniless. After a cracking pilot,where Phyllis mets Julie(Barbara Colby),owner of a photo studio(and ex girlfriend of Lars)and Leo,Julie's photographer(Richard Schaal)Phyllis starts working there as a general helper. Tragedy struck in real life,when after three episodes Miss Colby was shot dead and the part of Julie was given to Lis Torres,who made the part work under a very tragic recasting. Phyllis did seem to change in her own show,she became much more glamorous and lost her wiglet and the character seemed to be a lot less intelligent and less outrageous than on MTMS. Miss Leachman herself is a comedy genius and was giving 100 percent value in comedy and the casting of the elderly Judith Lowry as Mother Dexter,mother of Jonathan-outspoken and very much like the character of Sophia in "The Golden Girls" would later be,except Miss Lowry was really as elderly as she was meant to be-was a great idea. The wedding of Mother Dexter in the 2nd season was one of the highlights of the show but sadly Miss Lowry died a few months after filming it. In the 2nd season though Phyllis was put into an office,which seemed a bad idea,there was an overdose of characters and although the character of Phyllis seemed more like her old MTMS character in the 2nd season,the ratings went down and the last episode,ended with Bess pregnant and Phyllis getting her back with her new husband Mark. Very funny,I really do hope this show comes out on DVD at some point.
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