Saturday, May 11, 2013

Love Is All Around

1989, edition from later that year, from Delta
Robert S. Alley & Irby B. Brown
Love Is All Around: The Making of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Original price $9.95, purchase price $1.00
Worn paperback

Alley and Brown interviewed many people involved in the MTM Show, with the notable exceptions of Ted Knight (already dead) and Mary herself, although they did talk to her admiring ex, Grant Tinker.  The book would've been stronger if the co-authors didn't repeat themselves, but other than that it's a good look at a classic early '70s sitcom very unlike All in the Family, but nearly as influential and probably more fondly remembered.  Growing up, I watched the show often in syndication (I was nine when the last new episode aired), but I haven't felt like getting it on DVD.  I did watch the 1991 reunion show on VHS a couple years ago though, so the material covered in the book didn't feel too unfamiliar.

One interesting aspect of this book is the unabashed liberalism.  By '89, "the L-word" had become almost obscene (arguably that happened by '84), but both the writers of the book and the writers of the series seem to have been proud of the show's social values.  It was never as political as AitF of course, but feminism was taken for granted, and the way Gordy was treated was less stereotypical than most other sitcoms (including John Amos's next sitcom, Good Times).

If you're curious about the cast currently, especially the women, check out this link:

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