‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’: Is It the Greatest Sitcom of All Time?

themarytylermooreshow31506I would say yes, but that is because it reflects everything I like best in my sitcoms:

It has way more heart than Seinfeld.

It’s more realistic than I Love Lucy.

It’s more relatable than Arrested Development.

It’s more naturalistic than All in the Family, where the giant issues of the day descended upon the Bunker living room as if from above, to be debated (usually with yelling), and then dispensed with in 22 minutes. The Mary Tyler Moore Show‘s issues rarely felt forced: Of course Mary was on the pill. And Phyllis’ brother just happened to be gay.

Still, it’s more socially conscious than Friends or Cheers, more consistent than The Office or Roseanne, more groundbreaking than Dick Van Dyke, more engaging than Modern Family or Frasier.

It’s funnier and has much tighter plots than The Cosby Show. It inspired 30 Rock.

What do you guys think?

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2 comments

  1. I agree with a lot of what you say about this show. It is very timeless, and it was one of the first times (if not THE first) we saw a single woman on her own on TV. That in itself is a pretty huge deal. And the whole format of a sitcom taking place half at work and half at home was kind of invented by TMTMS (OK, maybe they had some help from TDVDS, but that just shows that Mary was paying attention back then! hehe). It definitely handled its issues in a much more realistic way than All in the Family, or a lot of other shows, with their “special episodes.”

    I would say it isn’t a coincidence that the record for most Emmy wins was set by TMTMS, and it wasn’t broken until “Frasier,” several decades later. That’s just my opinion, though! 😉

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