Mother Dexter was Lars' stepfather's mother. She was a riot.
Mary Tyler Moore: I Think She Made It After All
Posted Jan 17, 2014 @ 1:13 PM
I remember in one of the early DVD commentaries ( maybe the episode where Lou babysits Bess), someone stated that nobody knew where Lisa Gerritsen was or what she was doing. That really made me sad.
Posted Jan 17, 2014 @ 5:29 PM
Did Phyllis have the sort of the loose hair-do with ringlets?
Here she is in all her Phyllis glory. I remember my cousin who was a hair stylist doing my mother's hair like that for a hair show back in the 70's. It took quite a while to do that hairstyle!
Posted Jan 17, 2014 @ 6:13 PM
I was a teenager during the run of Phyllis, and I remember just loving the show. My brother, who's two years older than me, REALLY dug Lisa Gerritsen, I remember her role in a short lived NBC show, "My World and Welcome To It", in the early 70's. I remember wanting Bess's outfits.
Cloris Leachman was on the Lassie series in the 50's, she was Jeff's mom, prior to the show changing from Jeff to Timmy.
Count me in with those who think Valerie Harper was beautiful and I REALLY wanted her clothes. Her headscarves and hats were really cool-in fact, my Mom's BFF, who was being treated for bone and breast cancer in the 70's, always wore a scarf or hat to chemo, and always said "let me put on my Rhoda hat" when my Mom would pick her up to drive her to her treatments.
Posted Jan 17, 2014 @ 8:05 PM
I always liked the face Phyllis made at "It sure isn't you" in the theme song.
Posted Jan 17, 2014 @ 8:51 PM
Yep-that is the other thing I remember about "Phyllis" the opening credits/song.
Posted Jan 17, 2014 @ 11:09 PM
I always thought Phyllis was used very effectively on MTM. A touch here and there, but never too much that she completely overwhelmed everything.
But I still think she was an odd character to try to build a whole show around. She really was best in small measured doses in my view.
Posted Jan 18, 2014 @ 1:09 AM
Actually, Cloris Leachman was Timmy's mom. The role was recast with June Lockhart later. Jan Clayton played Jeff's mother.
I think Phyllis was independent in the sense that she had a husband who made a lot of money so she was able to spend much of her time pursuing her interests. Once her husband died, suddenly her resources dried up.
Posted Jan 18, 2014 @ 1:31 AM
With respect, I don't think Lars made a lot of money. Or if he did, Phyllis went through it quite quickly :)
After all, the Lindstroms didn't own their own home but rented an apartment in the same building as Mary and Rhoda. As well, to save on rent, Lars and Phyllis were the buildings' managers. Inept managers, to be sure, but managers nonetheless. In addition there were at least a couple of episodes where Phyllis and Lars were experiencing some financial hardships.
Given those circumstances, they didn't strike me as a family that was in any way well off.
Edited by dustylil, Jan 18, 2014 @ 1:38 AM.
Posted Jan 18, 2014 @ 2:00 AM
There was an episode on this week when Sue Ann's sister came to town. One of the scenes took place in Sue Ann's bedroom which looked like Gone with the Wind meets Little Whorehouse. Insanely tacky and over the top.
Posted Jan 18, 2014 @ 9:39 AM
One of the scenes took place in Sue Ann's bedroom...
I have seen that episode so many times that I have lost count, but when Ted looks up at the ceiling, puts on his hat and straightens his tie and you realize there is a mirror on the ceiling...I die laughing every time.
Posted Jan 18, 2014 @ 1:40 PM
Given those circumstances, they didn't strike me as a family that was in any way well off.
I think their financial situation was similar to Robert's on Everybody Loves Raymond. When it served the plot they were hard up enough for Phyllis to try and find a job. Most of the time though they were portrayed as being pretty comfortable, Not everyone wants to own their own home for any number of reasons. I don't think financial issues were the reason they didn't in Phyllis and Lars case. He was a dermatologist, they had to have a nice income, I imagine though that they also had a nice outgo and it does sound as if, over the years, they did reference Lars not being good with money. Perhaps unwise investments accounted for the lack of money when he died. I can't remember now if they ever give a reason why he died broke but I guess he also died without leaving Phyllis any, or not very much, insurance.
Posted Jan 19, 2014 @ 9:31 AM
Lars was described so many different ways, there was no way they could have ever shown him. Ted described him as tall, blonde and attractive in the episode where Lars hooks up with Sue Ann. In an earlier show, Rhoda talked about him being bald, unattractive and boring. Phyllis mimicked his Swedish accent and talked about his relatives visiting from Sweden, then later we find out that his father was Swedish, but not his mother, and he grew up in the US. Phyllis thought of herself as a feminist, but she didn't work and didn't think she should have to, because she was married to a doctor. Lars forced her to get a job a couple of times but the root of whatever money problems they had was her overspending, not his lack of earnings.
When the show started, Rhoda and Phyllis represented the extremes that Mary could go toward - the single, career-oriented woman or the married, stay-at-home woman. The option of being married and having a family while also having a career wasn't the most common choice in 1970. Lots of things changed as the 70's progressed and by the time the show ended in 1977, it was a different world in a lot of ways.
Posted Jan 19, 2014 @ 11:26 AM
Posted Jan 19, 2014 @ 11:29 AM
Posted Jan 19, 2014 @ 11:35 AM
In the pilot episode, during her interview with Lou, Mary tells him that she is 30. Any time her age was given or hinted at, it was pretty clear that Mary Richards was born in 1940, although Mary Tyler Moore was a few years older than that.
Posted Jan 19, 2014 @ 11:41 AM
Yeah, I remember an episode where she mentions graduating from high school in 1958. That always struck me because that's the year my sister was born.
Posted Jan 19, 2014 @ 11:54 AM
Posted Jan 19, 2014 @ 1:02 PM
I never thought of it at the time or now but I need to ask her if she knew anyone at that age (assuming 34) that was single.
That was part of the premise for the show - that Mary Richards was 30 years old and never married. Today 30 isn't that old, and women have postponed marriage and family while first establishing a career for a couple of decades, but back in the 1970s society still expected every woman's "goal" to be marriage and children shortly after high school or college. Single working women were often critiqued as being "one of those women's libbers." So that's why Lou Grant was surprised in the pilot episode during Mary's job interview that she'd never been married.
Posted Jan 19, 2014 @ 7:39 PM
Mary was supposed to be 30 when the program began. In one of the last seasons she was griping to Georgette (maybe this was durinng Georgette's pregnancy) about not having children. Georgette reassured Mary, saying she had lots of time since she was only 34. Mary corrected her, saying that she was 38. "In that case," said Georgette, "you'd better get the lead out."
Thank you all so much. Yes in the 1970s a woman who was 30yrs old, unmarried with no children would've been an oddity, especially (and this is so sexist) if she was attractive like MTM. A "homely woman" might not be able to catch a husband and thus may need to work.
Posted Jan 21, 2014 @ 11:17 PM
Lars forced her to get a job a couple of times but the root of whatever money problems they had was her overspending, not his lack of earnings.
It was a little of both, I think. In the "Phyllis Whips Inflation" episode, there was a reference to his dermatology practice suffering due to the 70's recession. Phyllis said something to the effect that people will always find money for brain surgery, but when it comes to their skin, "they just scratch until times get better."
Posted Mar 11, 2014 @ 2:21 PM
Interesting article from the Onion AV Club about "He and She" a shortlived 1967 sitcom starring real life married couple Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss, that ran for only one season on CBS. It was considered ahead of it's time and the forerunner of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. One of the writers was Allen Burns who went on to co-create TMTMS and the primary director was Jay Sandrich, who directed most of the MTM's episodes. The character of an egotistical, pompous actor played by Jack Cassidy was the template for Ted Baxter. It won a few Emmys but came after Green Acres and possibly didn't connect with that audience or fit in with the network's lineup of down home shows before the "rural purge" of 1969.
Why, then, with all of these great elements and major Emmy nominations (two for writing, then acting nominations for Benjamin, Prentiss, and Cassidy) was He & She abandoned? The answer, again, is timing. If it had debuted in 1971, He & She would have slotted so comfortably in between All In The Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show that it could have run for 200 episodes. Yet without it, it’s entirely possible the sitcom revolution of the ’70s would have looked distinctly different, driven much more by Norman Lear’s politically motivated storytelling, without the gentle pathos and envelope-pushing of MTM Productions. It’s all but impossible to see He & She nowadays (though a number of episodes are on YouTube), but in another way, it’s a show that succeeded by failing. Its children are all around.
Edited by Mahdsurscm, Mar 11, 2014 @ 2:29 PM.
Posted Mar 11, 2014 @ 4:53 PM
I was 6-7 years old and I loved that show! I remember Jack Cassidy made me laugh. As did the title. Because, you know, it rhymed.
As I say..I was 6 years old. But I do remember Paula's cool outfits.