Updated May 17, 2013 at 12.46 p.m. GMT with videos from Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
In the 36 years since The Mary Tyler Moore Show ended, weâve had snippets of information here and there: TV specials celebrating various anniversaries, articles when the release of the disappointing Mary & Rhoda TV movie appeared, and retrospectives when Mary Tyler Moore herself was presented with a SAG award. But no one, till now, has put together a tome on how the show was created and its eight-year history.
Jennifer Keishin Armstrongâs Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted and All the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic is the best researched book on the topic. Newly released by Simon & Schuster, Armstrong has talked to the surviving members of the cast and crew, including writer Treva Silverman, and producers and creators Allan Burns and James L. Brooks, as well as Moore, Valerie Harper, Gavin MacLeod and others. She has exhaustively researched period articles and even feminist conferences. But donât expect a laborious effort to get through the 300 pp.: anyone with even a passing interest in television sitcoms, television history in general, recent American history or the mediaâs role in the development of feminism will find Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted an absorbing and entertaining read, tracing the origins of the show in the 1960s to the years after its final episode, told chronologically.
Itâs hard to believe now just how revolutionary The Mary Tyler Moore Show was in 1970. Itâs even harder to believe that it had a difficult gestation and plenty of doubt among network executives. CBS had expected it to flop after its 13-episode commitment, not take home multiple Emmys. Ed Asner could have walked away permanently after a bad audition. But it became a ratingsâ winner, catching the smart, urban crowd, and the fictional Mary Richards became the first mainstream character to tell America that it was OK to be single, over 30, and independent.
Jay Sandrichâs style of directing is mentionedâhe believed that actors should play to each other, rather than on stage in the theatre, performing to the audience. That, the live audience, and the use of film helped lend The Mary Tyler Moore Show a different style. The use of Evan-Picone as a sole supplier of Moore’s wardrobe also helped with realism: Mary Richards might repeat an outfit during a season, which a real working woman would. Brooks and Burns, in their own commitment to reality, sought out female writers, who were extremely hard to come by in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to give the show an authentic voice. The networks themselves had remarkably few women, with the few female executives who had broken the glass ceiling needing to leave their high heels outside the washroom so that their male colleagues knew they were inside.
Norman Learâs remake of Till Death Do Us Part, called All in the Family, which proved more ground-breaking in pushing the envelope, is also mentioned more than just in passing. All of it is placed into the context of the social changes in the United States at the turn of the 1970s, making Armstrongâs book a particularly useful text, covering many bases.
We read about male friends writing to CBS angrily when it was implied that she had stayed over at a boyfriendâs, or even about how ground-breaking one scene was when Maryâs visiting mother, talking to her father, says, âDonât forget to take your pill,â to which both father and daughter replied, âI wonât.â
The teamâs personal demonsâTed Knight had anxieties stemming from his slow rise to stardom, for instance, and the pressure put on Grant Tinker and Mary Tyler Mooreâs marriageâare dealt with, and Armstrong successfully transplants the reader to the 1960s and 1970s as though the events were unfolding before us. The fact Mary Richards fought for equal pay but still accepted a lower rate did not endear the show fully to feminists, but The Mary Tyler Moore Show largely stayed true to not dealing with the issues of the dayârather, it would address them through character-driven plots, with one or two exceptions. On that note, it was quite unlike All in the Family, which would deal with racism or sexism head-on. Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted is better than any DVD commentary or documentary so far produced on the show. With over 300 pp., it is the definitive reference on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and to a lesser extent, its spin-offs. In terms of interest among American readers, we think itâs going to make it after all.
Armstrong has emailed Lucire with some of the events she has planned to promote her new book.
âIf you’re in New York, I especially encourage you to join us for MTM-related bar trivia to celebrate release week. There will be prizesâT-shirts, books, mugs, and free Entertainment Weekly subscriptions!â she says.
âSo far I’ve got stuff planned for New York, DC, Chicago, Milwaukee, and LA, but I’ve still got more in the works, so if you’re somewhere else, please check my website for updates.â
Right now, those events are (please check her website for corrections and updates):
â¢ Thursday, May 9, 7 p.m.: Mary Tyler Moore Show trivia night for Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted release. At Pacific Standard, Brooklyn.
â¢ Monday, May 13, 12 p.m.: Mary Tyler Moore Show discussion and reading from Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted. At 92nd Street Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson Street.
â¢ Friday, May 17, 7 p.m.: Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted reading and discussion at the Village Zendo, 588 Broadway (near Houston), Suite 1108.
â¢ Monday, May 20, 12 p.m.: Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted reading and signing at the National Archives, Washington D.C.
â¢ Tuesday, June 4. 7 p.m.: The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the Modern Woman discussion at Boswell Book Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
â¢ Wednesday, June 5, 8 p.m.: Sexy Feminism and Chicago Doll party, Old Town Social, 455 W. North Ave., Chicagoâjoin us for a fundraising raffle, cocktails, and fun.
â¢ Thursday, June 6, 7 p.m.: Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted Chicago launch party, Hemingway House and Museum, Oak Park.
â¢ Friday, June 7: Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted reading and talk at Book Cellar, Lincoln Square, Chicago.
â¢ Sunday, July 7, 7 p.m.: How to Write a Non-fiction Book Proposal workshop with LA Writersâ Group.
â¢ Tuesday, July 9, 7 p.m.: Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted panel discussion: What Has Changed for Female TV Writers Since the â70s? With Mary Tyler Moore Show writer Treva Silverman. At Book Soup, Los Angeles.
â¢ Thursday, July 11, 7 p.m.: A dialogue and how-to discussion about pop-culture writing with Gavin Edwards, co-author of VJ: the Unplugged Adventures of MTVâs First Wave. At Pop-Hop Bookshop, Los Angeles.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is pushing its film connections this week, too, honouring Barbra Streisand at the 40th anniversary Chaplin Award Gala at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has a multi-year partnership with the Society and recently launched its Filmmaker in Residence initiative. The partnership also covers the Society’s most prestigious annual event, the New York Film Festival, which will be held from September 27 to October 13 this year.
Present at the event were Liza Minnelli, Tony Bennett, Michael Douglas, Pierce Brosnan, Ben Stiller and Blythe Danner. Minnelli, last year’s winner, Catherine Deneuve, and actor Jeremy Irons, donned their Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso watches at the event.
Streisand received the award from former US President Bill Clinton at Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
The legendary singer, actress, producer and director has won the Grammy 15 times, and had been nominated 57 times.
The event was held one week after Charlie Chaplin’s birthday on April 16. Chaplin was the first honoree in 1972: he had spent four days in New York fÃªted by the Film Society of Lincoln Center at a gala event prior to heading to Los Angeles to accept his honorary Oscar. Chaplin had been in a 20-year exile in Switzerland after he was denied entry in the United States in the 1950s.
Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko attended the Los Angeles premiÃ¨re of their latest film, To the Wonder, directed by Terrence Malick, at the Pacific Design Center.
Kurylenko was not the only Bond alum in the film: Spanish actor Javier Bardem also stars.
McAdams, Affleck and Kurylenko had nothing but praise for Malick. McAdams speaks of Malick’s ability to appreciate beauty; Affleck says he learned from Malick as a director; while Kurylenko talks of his story-telling.
McAdams wore a black lace Maria Lucia Hohan dress, while Kurylenko wore a Christian Dior dress and Manolo Blahnik sandals.
The movie is about a married couple, played by Affleck and Kurylenko, finding problems with their relationship. Affleck then encounters an old flame, played by McAdams. Bardem plays a local disillusioned priest. Early reviews indicate it will appeal to many of Malick’s fans.
The film has already been shown at Venezia and Toronto.
Those of you using Chrome, and I understand some of you using Firefox, were unable to access this website because of Google misidentifying it as distributing malware.
As those who know this publication realize, Lucire would never do that and that readers should ignore such warnings.
What I can tell you is that on Saturday morning, New Zealand time, we were hacked. Hackers put code in to our ad server and, curiously, the code has Google’s name all over it. I haven’t had confirmation of this, but it could be Google Adsense code. I’ve posted the code at this page and you can view it in a screen shot here. That code linked to another site that they hacked, which did distribute malware unknowingly.
We found this, and deleted all the injected code as soon as possibleâin our case, this took place within hours. We did this manually, literally going through every ad entry on our server. After a few more hours, our web experts had deleted every change the hackers made to our advertising server back-end, and locked it down. And, rightly, Google cleared our ad server of any problems.
Strangely, however, Google refused to clear any site that used our ad server, even though none of them were distributing any malware, or linked to any site distributing malware. Google labelled all of them ‘attack sites’. This is, of course, highly damaging to our reputation. For days, Google continued to misidentify clean code linking to a clean ad server as malicious. The great irony is that a lot of this clean code links to Google’s own Doubleclick banners.
It’s sad to say, but this is typical of our experience of Google. Once I helped a friend get his blog back but instead of the 48 hours Google promised, it took six months of a lot of arguing and the intervention of Blogger’s product manager. We’ve uncovered privacy blunders with its advertising network on behalf of netizens. If you were an Iphone user who opted out of Safari’s tracking, Google found a way around it, so we know it has some really strange ideas of what constitutes malware (if they engage in it, it’s OK). Their detection systems should be better, and people expect them to be excellent because it’s a multi-million-dollar firm. Unfortunately, this experience reminds us that they aren’t perfect, and somewhat hypocriticalâand that honest folks can get hurt sometimes.
We even went to Google Plus to tell readers, but we discovered today that that status vanished from people’s feeds and from our Google Plus page (though we can still see it). It appears that you aren’t allowed to criticize Google on Google Plus.
I wouldn’t be publishing a statement about this if I didn’t have my facts straight. Today, out of frustration, I went to a forum dealing with badware, called Badware Busters. An expert in the area, Dr Anirban Banerjee, told me that Google can make these mistakes. Even though you have done everything and cleaned up your sites, Google can keep identifying a clean site as malicious. He suggests we remove all our ad server code from our websites for a few days, get the all-clear, and then put things back to normal. We followed that advice today, and I hope that the block will be lifted shortly. [PS.: After a manual review, StopBadware.org cleared Lucire after this post was originally published.]
Or, as I said on my blog today: ‘there may be a drunk driver swerving left and right at the wheel of the Google truck, so itâs your job to make sure that you build a nice road in front for them, rather than insist that they clean up their act and stay on the road.’
We apologize to readers for any inconvenience, especially if you were put off by the false warnings. Rest assured that apart from a brief moment on Saturday morning, this site is secure and your surfing would not have resulted in any harm to your computers. We surf it, too, and we see the same version of the site as you do, so we want things to work properly. We might not be as big as Google, but we do have good systems, and our readers’ best interests at heart.âJack Yan, Publisher
You can follow a bit more about this saga as it unfolded on Jack Yan’s blog.
Sebastian Professional has teamed up with fashion designer Mara Hoffman, which sees a Mara Hoffman for Sebastian custom scarf given away with its latest limited-edition designer gift set.
The gift pack comprises the Sebastian Professional Volupt shampoo and conditioner, along with Hoffman’s scarf, which features bold colours and graphic prints, inspired by her own spring 2013 collection, which had a SÃ£o Paulo theme. The scarf has a retail value of US$120.
Sebastian Professional lead hairstylist Thomas Dunkin says the scarf suits current trends: ‘This print is bold, beautiful and inspiring. Combine this with braids for a cool urban look or leave hair down and very natural, and tie the scarf in a bow at the crown for a more â50s vibe.’
The choice of Hoffman, with her Brazilian-themed spring collection, ties in with Sebastian’s Urban Explorer promotion, which educates consumers on different hair trends around the globe. The gift set shows step-by-step styling tricks from Dunkin as part of the promotion.
Dunkin himself had led Hoffman’s hair styling at her spring 2013 show at New York Fashion Week.
The pack will be available from Sebastian salons across the US for US$25 from MayâJune 2013.
Details of Sebastian salons can be found at www.sebastianprofessional.com.