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7/10
Petrolheads will love it
7 December 2019
Enjoyable fun focused on Australian petrolheads racing their hotted up cars.

There are some great cars seen, several well shot race sequences, many spectacular driving stunts, and some beautifully shot scenery. The widescreen presentation is well exploited.

Also of interest is the 1980s New Wave fashion and hairstyles. That part was really cool.

The script is OK but pretty thin and a bit clunky. Terry Serio in the lead is OK. Vangelis Mourikis (Tony) gives a good performance... and has some cool costumes. Deborah Conway looks great and has screen presence but her acting isn't the best. Maybe they should have had her sing a couple of songs instead of talking?

Plenty of very recognisable Australian actors appear in support roles so it is fun spotting them.
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7/10
A flop
6 December 2019
Lou yearns for the excitement of old when he was an investigative journalist so Mary encourages him to seek out a story. Lou investigates a local politician, but is disappointed to find no dirt on him at all. Mary convinces him to put together a documentary of the squeaky clean politician anyway.

Well done newsroom episode with a nice appearance from Sheree North as Lou's girlfriend Charlene. It is a fairly standard episode and Mary has the funniest bits - especially the fantastic final act.

James Jeter whose brutish visage added to the sense of menace in cult film Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) appears briefly as a skeptical bar patron.
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10/10
Fantastic Phyllis Lindstrom
4 December 2019
Fantastic Phyllis episode.

Phyllis is flabbergasted when Lars asks her to cut her spending. When it is revealed they are nearly broke Phyllis tries to look for a job but she has no useful qualification, no experience, no practical skills.

Every scene sparkles in this episode.

It features Doris Roberts, Phyllis in some fantastic costumes, and another peek inside the Lindstrom apartment.

This was Phyllis's final MTM episode before moving to her spinoff series, the premise of which pivoted on the low finances / lack of job skills angle.
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The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The System (1975)
Season 5, Episode 17
7/10
Fun
3 December 2019
Lou comes in on a successful betting system developed by novice gambler Ted.

Fun episode with a couple of great scenes. I loved Mary's pom-pom girl story. (Early in the series Mary said she was a pom-pom girl. Then she wasn't a pom-pom girl, she was a cheerleader. I guess there is a difference between the two.)

As Murray says, his wife won't let him gamble.

Sportscaster Andy (John Gabriel) has a brief bit. Georgette has a small but funny part.
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7/10
Well done
2 December 2019
Well done episode.

Mary finally convinces Lou to let her actually produce the news as befitting her new Producer title. As problems and disagreements emerge among the crew and they all want to defer to Lou, Mary learns to assert her authority.

Nicely done story. Ted tries to influence Mary as expected but isn't too obnoxious. For me the funniest bits were the snide jibes from Sue Ann, put-out when another woman Producer at the station suddenly receives favourable publicity.
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5/10
An episode to forget
1 December 2019
When Mary is promoted to Producer Ted tricks her into meeting him at a restaurant for a date then pushes his way into her apartment for a goodnight kiss. Soon his lurid tales of their hot affair have station gossip going into overdrive. Mary is devastated that everyone believes it and nothing she can say will change their minds, and that people are treating her differently.

The subject matter is very distasteful killing whatever funny lines there might have been. There's the sexual harassment angle, plus I hate the idea of telling the truth but not being believed.
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The Mary Tyler Moore Show: A Girl Like Mary (1974)
Season 5, Episode 14
9/10
The black one
29 November 2019
Very funny episode.

When Lou advertises for a woman to present a regular news piece on the show there's interest from unexpected people.

All the regulars get really funny bits. Mary is more comic than usual. Georgette zanier. Sue Ann's heartfelt meeting with Mary and manic audition takes her to new heights.

Nice guest turn from the talented Rosalind Cash.
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The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Neighbors (1974)
Season 5, Episode 13
6/10
Drop-in neighbour
27 November 2019
Lou moves in to Rhoda's old apartment and becomes an annoying neighbour, which creates tensions at work.

This one reuses familiar elements. Ted once toyed with moving in to Mary's building to her horror - Lou helped avert that disaster. Then Lou started showing up at Mary's each night, causing tensions. In another episode Phyllis arranged to sell Lou's house but he felt terrible about selling it and pulled out of the deal.

Overall this episode is quite mean spirited but not very funny. The running time is padded out with complaints and blathering from Ted.

This time Mary is dating some new guy not the WJM sportscaster. Whether that created tensions at the station is never explored.
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The Mary Tyler Moore Show: A Son for Murray (1974)
Season 5, Episode 12
10/10
Do you know how many times I had to get up at 3 am and tell Edie to go change the baby?
26 November 2019
Brilliant story, believable reactions, strong jokes, many laughs.

Murray decides that while he loves his three daughters, he wants a son. His wife doesn't want another child. Then there's over population to consider.

All well written and acted. Murray isn't being too reasonable and gets whiny, but that's true to his character. Wonderful final scene.

Mary is back dating her employee, nice but dull sportscaster Andy (John Gabriel), though she was recently also dating John Saxon's character too.
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7/10
OK episode
25 November 2019
Ted's never-seen mother gets engaged then decides to live with her boyfriend rather than get married, prompting emotional reactions from Ted. Then Ted gets to meet his mother's boyfriend.

Ted is funny though much the same material was covered in episode Father's Day.

The episode was directed by Mary Tyler Moore and the script has her off screen much of the time, vacationing in Mexico. This leaves a big gap.

Nolan Leary is great as Ted's future father-in-law.
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7/10
Lusty Sue Ann
24 November 2019
Funny episode focused on Sue Ann.

To evade the lusty Sue Ann, Lou sends Mary to a conference in Chicago in his place. Mary is horrified to discover she and Sue Ann have adjoining rooms there. Sue Ann insists on partying with whichever men she can round up and that Mary come along, however the only men Sue Ann can find are only interested in Mary.

This one effectively exploits Sue Ann's habit of switching from sweet to earthy in a second, and her vanity, pride, and lust characteristics.
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Miss Jones and Son (1977– )
6/10
Paula Wilcox
23 November 2019
The wonderful Paula Wilcox was a popular star of Man About the House and this served as a follow-up of sorts for her. Though Robin (Richard O'Sullivan) was the main character of that series and always first billed, every episode featured Paula in a key role. And very often she was the lead character of an episode. This time Paula as the title character is unequivocally the lead.

Paula is delightful again but the support cast is less than riveting. (There is also a big cast changeover between the first and second series.) The scripts aren't very funny and lack strong jokes. The characters are archetypes and the stories are pretty thin, nearly always relying on misunderstandings and mistaken identity while characters pull confused faces or try to cover something up. Often Paula's character Liz Jones is covering up the fact she has a baby or is unmarried.

Unlike her MATH character, Paula's character here is fairly onenote and superficial: generally nice, often silly, always chatty.

The first series ends with the promise of a new romance for Liz but the opening scene of series two explains he went back to his wife. It is a pity as this was the only storyline I found interesting.

If not for Paula's participation I expect there would have been very little interest in this series (then or now). It is of interest only to see Paula's next big role after MATH.
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10/10
A memorable classic
22 November 2019
Excellently written and acted and very funny episode. All the regulars are well used with the story exposing the essence of each character.

Ted and Murray and Mary and Lou are all at loggerheads when Ted's refusal to read Murray's new opening escalates. Sue Ann has prepared elaborate Christmas dishes for a pre-taped show and invites the news team to her 'Christmas' dinner in November but none want to go. As newsroom tensions boil over a blizzard confines them to the building and Sue Ann coerces them (plus Georgette) to the dinner where they begrudgingly wear funny hats and sing carols.

The comedy comes naturally from each character and the situation and works really well.
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The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Menage-a-Phyllis (1974)
Season 5, Episode 8
9/10
I wuv you
20 November 2019
Phyllis is back. Self centred - and funny - as ever.

Phyllis has been 'platonic dating' the attractive Mike (John Saxon) since Lars has no interest in the arts. When Mike takes an interest in Mary she feels awkward about dating Phyllis's friend, and Phyllis gets jealous.

Many funny moments in this well done episode. International star of cult cinema John Saxon is great in it, plus he is a favourite actor of mine.

Lou and Murray urge Mary to discuss her problem with them when she can't get Rhoda on the phone. When Murray cracks a joke an exasperated Mary says that is why women don't discuss personal issues with men. Yet Murray's joke is exactly the sort of thing Rhoda would have said.

Features a scene in the Lindstrom apartment though not for the first time. Seasons 2's The Care and Feeding of Parents also features scenes at the Lindstrom's.
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The Mary Tyler Moore Show: A New Sue Ann (1974)
Season 5, Episode 7
8/10
All About Eve
19 November 2019
Fun All About Eve type story.

Gloria Munson (Linda Kelsey) imposes herself on Mary claiming to be the sister of Mary's classmate from high school (who Mary can't even remember) and soon asks about jobs in TV. Mary helpfully invites Gloria for a studio tour. Gloria quickly ingratiates herself with Ted and Sue Ann, is promptly a stand-in on Sue Ann's show, then with help of her biggest 'fan', station manager Ed Schroeder (Ron Rifkin), sees her role on the show rapidly expand, while Sue Ann fumes.

The episode neatly sets-up the MTM regulars attending Rhoda's wedding in the spin-off Rhoda. Ted Knight was conspicuously absent from that episode. Not sure why.
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6/10
The one you hate
16 November 2019
One of my least favourite episodes.

Ted makes a big on-air blunder. Lou angrily throws him out of the studio, causing an injury. Mary admonishes Lou, but he only takes notice when he learns that Ted really is hurt. But then Ted takes advantage of the situation.

This one emphasises the worst personality traits of the regular characters but fails to balance them with complementary ones. Lou is violent and angry, Ted is exploitative, Mary gets nervous and stutters - then reverses her stance. The results fall flat and aren't funny.

The only MTM episode directed by Jackie Cooper.
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The Mary Tyler Moore Show: I Love a Piano (1974)
Season 5, Episode 6
8/10
A tempting offer
15 November 2019
Murray is the least outwardly funny regular and usually provides solid support in a storyline focused on someone else. In this episode he is the lead and it is a good one.

Ted and Georgette try to match recently divorced friend Judith (Barbara Barrie) with Lou at one of Mary's parties. When they learn Lou is taken they leave Judith with Murray while they find someone else for her. But there's a strong attraction between Judith and Murray, and Murray is sorely tempted. He seeks advice from the others, which elicits much of the comedy.

Overall the main storyline is well acted. Gavin MacLeod is also quite a decent singer.
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The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Outsider (1974)
Season 5, Episode 5
8/10
What if I told you...
13 November 2019
When the news ratings drop lower than usual, Lou brings in expert Bob Larsen (Richard Masur) to improve the show. He is a bit brusque and the regulars a bit resistant, but the tensions erode when the ratings go up a point.

Nicely done relatable story with many strong lines and laugh out loud moments. Mary has a great bit at the end.

Bob wasn't the only outsider here. It is the only MTM episode directed by Peter Bonerz, and the only one written by Jack Winter.
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8/10
Nice one
12 November 2019
Lou's new romance is with a warm and attractive lounge singer (Sheree North). It is going well until Ted and Murray's jokes about her previous husbands and string of boyfriends prompt Lou to cool on the idea.

The story flows along nicely, North is funny, and there are some great Mary - Lou scenes. Their interaction in Lou's office is extra funny.

In the subplot Mary is redecorating the office and a 'concerned' Sue Ann swans in to veto each of her choices.
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8/10
A really good looking guy
8 November 2019
Mary dates a breathtakingly handsome guy who draws plenty of awed attention (and reactions) from the regular characters. However Mary soons realises they have nothing in common and the relationship is a little dull - except for the physical attraction.

I don't usually love the 'dating' episodes, but this one leaves out the mawkishness and is filled with great comedy and good lines.

Mary's beau Paul is played by the striking Robert Wolders who ended is acting career in 1975 and had long running relationships with Merle Oberon, then Audrey Hepburn, then Shirlee Fonda.

Phyllis, Bess, Sue Ann and Georgette all appear. Phyllis and Bess are seen only in Mary's apartment and don't share scenes with the other regulars.
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7/10
Sky high
8 November 2019
Very enjoyable film for those that love action and martial arts. Others might find the extended fight and chase sequences too long.

Jimmy Wang Yu is a decent fighter but lacks the charisma, acting ability and screen presence of Bruce Lee (who, let's face it, very few could match).

George Lazenby as a debonair but menacing villain and Hugh Keays-Byrne and Roger Ward provide excellent support. All are great to watch.

Grant Page's extended fight sequence was a highlight for me as was a car chase later in the film.

Fantastic Australian locations (fewer glimpses of Hong Kong).
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10/10
Impersonating a barbie doll
6 November 2019
Mary receives information - and proof - of political graft and puts the story to air. The justice department then demand that Mary and Ted reveal their sources, or risk jail.

Ted and Sue Ann have many funny moments - swinging from overblown concern to tactless self-indulgence. Some great Lou - Mary moments too.

One of my top ten favourite episodes. It is a good episode overall but the superb performance of the late Barbara Colby as jailbird Sherry seals it. Sherry also has many great lines.
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9/10
The car show ended this week...
5 November 2019
Extra funny and memorable episode.

The newsroom regulars are all well-used when they work on a story about singles bars.

The final act set-piece is one the the show's funniest ever scenes.

Among the guest actors are three returnees: Richard Schaal and Arlene Golonka as bar patrons and Randy Kirby as a crew member. The funniest is Penny Marshall (who would return in later episodes) as a languid bar patron.
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9/10
I loved myself. The End.
4 November 2019
Ted learns Mary is doing a writing course and decides he should be writing his own copy so joins the class. However he can't come up with any story ideas.

Funny episode with some fantastic set-pieces: Lou angrily confronting Ted in his dressing room, Ted's introduction to the class, Ted's garbled story about the school dance.

There are allusions to earlier events: Mary doing a writing class and aspirations of becoming a writer, Lou's novel. Mary would try to write articles in a later episode too.
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The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Lou's Second Date (1974)
Season 4, Episode 22
8/10
Gossip
3 November 2019
Funny episode.

The main storyline of Lou "dating" Rhoda is well done. There are many funny moments as WJM staff - especially Sue Ann - get uptight about the relationship. Even Mary goes a bit kooky about it all.

In the subplot Ted gradually darkens his hair and is convinced no one has noticed.

This was Valerie Harper's last episode as a regular. The quick relocation to New York and farewell to Mary was shown in the first episode of her spinoff series Rhoda, not shown in TMTMS.
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