Mary Tyler Moore: The Complete Fourth Season

Season four (1973 to ’74) was the pivotal year of this legendary sitcom and perhaps its greatest. The old guard of Rhoda and Phyllis were leaving to spin-off their own shows, while new players, Georgette and Sue Ann, were taking their places. This is the only season where the old and new characters overlap and to many MTM fans the episodes feature the most character depth and laughs. For those who don’t know, MTM (along with All In The Family) was the most innovative and celebrated sitcom of the ’70s, one whose influence is still felt today. Set in a B-grade TV news station, it starred Moore as a single workingwoman surrounded by her dysfunctional working family. MTM did not rely on story-driven plots or put-downs but explored complex characters with unusual sensitivity. It won Emmys galore and the creators went on to make the Taxi series and films such as Broadcast News. The episodes remain hilarious. "The Lars Affair” looks at cheating among couples and may be Cloris Leachman’s (Phyllis) finest TV performance. In "Hi There, Sports Fans,” Lou (Ed Asner) gives Mary the responsibility of hiring and firing a sports caster (in the age of women’s lib). "I Was Single for WJM” parodies the singles bar scene on the mid-’70s. "Love Blooms at Hemples” shines the spotlight on Rhoda (Valerie Harper), who is looking for husband material. "The Lou And Edie Story” mixes tenderness and laughs as it explores separation. Classic episode "Ted Baxter Meets Walter Cronkite” is included here. All 24 episodes are presented on three discs but there’s not a single bonus feature: no retrospectives, cast or writer commentaries, no outtakes, nothing. Why? Seasons one and two had extras. (Fox)