The Mary Tyler Moore Show
"Who can the world on with her smile?"
The recent passing of Ms. Moore hit me hard. I'm not sure I watched this show from the very beginning, when I was 6, but I feel like I was there with my parents pretty early on, and I vividly remember watching Rhoda from the first episode. By 1974, I was 10 and I knew I was much more of a Rhoda, than a Mary, being a New York Jew with a pretty wacky Jewish family. If I'd known about shipping then I would have said I totally shipped Rhoda and Joe and was really pissed when the show broke them up.
I LOVED LOVED LOVED Carlton, your door man. (I used to do a great Carlton your doorman imitation.)
As far as MTM was concerned. I don't have the same memory of watching actual episodes, but I do remember the Chuckles the Clown funeral. I also recall hating Sue Ann and having a feeling that I didn't have words for then that the Ted/Georgette relationship was actually abusive. I really hated Ted. I realize he was a parody of an overbearing jerk, but maybe Ted Knight (who I hear was actually a lovely person) played it just a little too well.
I did like the topical jokes to the extent I understood them.
I MAY have shipped Mary/Lou, although I remember the one episode where they tried to kiss and ended up embarrassed.
I don't think I could re-watch without a massive case of the cringe factor, but I'm pretty sure my Sunday nights were all about the MTM family shows for a long time. It's also one of the first TV Theme songs I could do by heart. (For a long time I could recite the Rhoda opening, but I don't have it memorized anymore, aside from the first and last lines.)
It's amazing how many sit-coms I used to watch and now it's a form I can barely tolerate. Not sure if that's me or the way the genre has developed, especially work-place sit-coms. I know was still up for one in the early 80's when Cheers went on, but lost my interest after that.
I also watched the Phyllis spin-off, but barely any memories, so not going to add it to my count because that would be cheating.
For the record, my father LOVED "Lou Grant," but I don't have strong memories of that one...it may have been too "grown-up" for me at the time.