More Rhoda Than Mary

In the seventies a Saturday did not go by without my watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Most of the time I was babysitting for my sisters. Margaret and Janet always wanted to watch Emergency, so I had to watch MTM alone. Thankfully we had two color TV’s with one tuned to each show in different rooms.

Mary Tyler Moore was everything girls my age wanted to be. A single working women with her own apartment, perfect figure and a beautiful wardrobe. Unfortunately I related much more to Rhoda, the funnier, quirkier friend who always was a few pounds heavier than the perfect Mary. In reality I look back at the photos of Mary and Rhoda together and Rhoda had a perfect body. It was kind of like Lucy and Ethel. They portrayed Ethel as fat, when she was anything but.

Rhoda was creative and artistic as a window dresser and had a strained relationship with her “Ma.” Mary avoided any mother drama by appearing not to have a mother. Mary had dates with gorgeous men, none who could ever be good enough for her. Rhoda had dates with losers, but in the end Rhoda found love and married Joe and got her own show.

Valerie Harper was a great Rhoda. I loved everything about her. Sadly now she is gone as are half the cast. Mary, Georgia Engle, Ted Knight, now Valerie Harper. Thankfully Betty White, Cloris Leachman, Ed Asher and Gavin Mac Leod are still around.

Thanks Rhoda for showing me that the less perfect one can succeed and be happy. I always thought it was so sad for Mary that Rhoda moved back to NYC and got married, leaving Mary alone in Minneapolis. In the end Rhoda seemed to have it all.

Rest In Peace Valerie Harper. You were a winner.

(No copywriter infringement intended)

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