Found 53 Resources containing: Sitcoms
On September 19, 1970, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” premiered: a mainstream sitcom about women in the workplace that millions of Americans could relate too. Today, its star, a feminist icon in her own right, Mary Tyler Moore, died. She was 80 years old.
Though “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” ran for seven season and became one of the most decorated shows of all time, it almost didn’t make it past its first season. The reason was because of its time slot, explains Jennifer Keishin Armstrong in her definitive book on the series, Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And all the Brilliant Minds Who Made the Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic.
The show, Armstrong writes, was initially slated to run on Tuesday nights on CBS. The competitive lineup would have spelled doom for the fledgling sitcom. But then, CBS’ head of programming Fred Silverman got his hand on the pilot. What happened next changed the show's fate. Silverman was so impressed that after he finished screening the episode, he immediately called up his boss. “You know where we’ve got it on the schedule? It’s going to get killed there, and this is the kind of show we’ve got to support,” he said, as Armstrong reports.
“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” got moved to Saturdays at 9:30, and the rest was history.
It's not hard to see why the pilot episode had Silverman hooked. Just take the scene where Moore's character, Mary Richards, gets hired as an associate producer for a Minneapolis television station—it's one of the most famous job interviews in television history.
During it, news producer Lou Grant (a loveable Ed Asner), gives Richards a hard look. “You know what? You’ve got spunk,” he says, grudgingly.
Moore, wearing a long brown wig to differentiate herself from the character she played on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” nods, graciously. “Well, yes.”
Grant’s face then does a 180. “I hate spunk,” he says, his eyes bugging out.
The scene is played for laughs, but it also served as an important mission statement for what “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” would be. In its 24-minute pilot, the show set itself up to tell the story of a 30-something single woman in the workplace with unapologetic “spunk.”
The last episode of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” aired seven years later on March 19, 1977. Fittingly called “The Last Show” it serves as a poignant way to say goodbye to Moore today. After her character turns off the lights in the newsroom for the last time at the end of the episode, the entire cast comes on for the show’s first and only curtain call.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” an announcer tells the Hollywood studio audience to thunderous, poignant applause. “For the last time, Mary Tyler Moore.”
The pink lower bodice and skirt of the dress are self-lined, with an additional paler pink petticoat attached under the lining of the skirt. The upper bodice is lined with a brown net, giving a darker hue to this section of the gown under the chiffon overlay. The sleeves are not lined.
The dress (a) is a knee-length A-line style with full length sleeves and a forward point collar. It has a concealed zipper closure at the center front, with the light brown zipper reaching from the waist to the collar. Above the top of the zipper closure, the front of the dress folds open at the center neck. There are two (2) rectangular patch pockets, one at each front hip. The set-in sleeves are straight cut with elastic at the wrist and no cuff. There is piping, in the same gingham check, along the neckline and in vertical strips on the proper left and proper right sides on both the front and back of the dress. A single gore of gingham check is sewn to the outside portion of the dress beside the piping at the proper left and proper right sides on the front and back, beginning approximately sixteen (16) inches above the hemline. Hem weights are sewn inside the dress hem, except at the front and back center panels. The dress is not lined. A rectangular white paper label is attached to the seam allowance at the interior proper left front side of the bodice that reads in handwritten black ink: "252".
The string belt (b) is a length of the gingham check cotton sewn on the bias. One end is turned and finished, while the other is unfinished but previously may have come unstitched.
Orange elastic is stitched to the interior of the center front below the bustline to create a gathered empire waist. The elastic is covered by orange chiffon where it is attached. The length of orange elastic reaches beyond the stitched front portion, being long enough to reach around to the wearer's back waist for additional bust support. No back closure method is apparent on the elastic except for dark brown threads, indicating the elastic was sewn closed after the dress was put on by the wearer. The dress is not lined. An off-white fabric label with black embroidered text is sewn to the interior proper left side of the neck that reads: "THE WARDROBE WING / HOLLYWOOD CALIFORNIA". Three (3) off-white fabric labels are sewn into the side seam just above the hem detail including a retailer's label for "I MAGNIN", care instructions, and sizing.
How did Salem, Massachusetts become a Halloween destination? For centuries, the New England town avoided any association with its infamous Puritan ancestors, who executed 19 people under suspicion of practicing witchcraft. The surprising answer, author Stacy Schiff writes for The New York Times, has a lot to do with the sitcom "Bewitched."
These days, Salem is rife with kitschy witches and Halloween attractions. But before the late 20th century, town citizens rarely acknowledged the Puritan trials. When playwright Arthur Miller visited Salem to research "The Crucible" in 1952, locals refused to help him. "You couldn't get anyone to say anything about it," he complained, according to "Salem: Place, Myth, and Memory."
Until "Bewitched," that is. In 1970, the popular sitcom filmed episodes on location in Salem, including one where Samantha Stephens, the titular sorceress, travels back in time and is put on trial. Schiff writes:
Accused of witchcraft in old Salem, she winds up manacled, on trial for her life. She admits to the charge. But she announces to the courtroom that she will also prove that no 17th-century suspect was a witch [...] "How can you imprison someone who can vanish before your very eyes?" she demands. Firmly she sets our Puritan forebears straight: "The people that you persecuted were guiltless. They were mortals, just like yourselves. You are the guilty," she informs the old Salemites, before she vanishes, at long last clearing the air.
After "Bewitched," Salem began to embrace a tourist-friendly version of its grim past. The town began hosting an annual Haunted Happenings festival in 1982, which quickly exploded into a month-long Halloween celebration. In 2005, a statue of Elizabeth Montgomery, the actress who played Samantha, was erected in Salem's town square. Today, even the city's police cars are decorated with witch insignia.
Still, "Bewitched" isn't the whole story. For centuries, Salem's port made it one of the wealthiest towns in New England. The town had fallen on hard times when the sitcom arrived, Schiff explains. The witch trials became a way to boost the local economy. "There is, perhaps, something a little ghoulish in all this," Matt Crowley, who grew up in Salem, writes for the A.V. Club. "After all, we can follow a straight line from a bunch of murders in the 1690s to a Ferris wheel today."
Maybe that's why residents opposed Montgomery's statue when it was first proposed. While supported believed it would be good for tourism—akin to Philadelphia's statue of Rocky Balboa— others thought it was an affront to the innocent people who were murdered. ''It's insensitive to what happened in 1692," Salem resident Jean Harrison told the Boston Globe's Kathy McCabe in 2005. ''She was a fictional witch, but the people who died were not witches."
Nevertheless, as Schiff writes in the November issue of Smithsonian, the legacy of the Salem witch trials linger in modern American culture:
When computers go down, it seems far more likely that they were hacked by a group of conspirators than that they simultaneously malfunctioned. A jet vanishes: It is more plausible that it was secreted away by a Middle Eastern country than that it might be sitting, in fragments, on the ocean floor. We like to lose ourselves in a cause, to ground our private hurts in public outrages. We do not like for others to refute our beliefs any more than we like for them to deny our hallucinations.
On a (mostly) quiet street in San Francisco, the house that served as the Tanner family residence in Full House (a sitcom that ran from 1987 to 1995 and at its peak was watched by 16 million American households) still stands—though, according to Yelp, it's been repainted. Plenty of fans still stop by, and this past weekend, reports Vulture, so did actor John Stamos (who played Uncle Jesse on the show).
But, as Stamos joked on Instagram, apparently fans visiting the house didn’t recognize one of the show's stars:
There's a less flattering explanation for their lack of interest, though: Stamos may be victim to our constantly changing cultural frame of reference. And if all this talk of a early 1990s sitcom is leaving you confused, so are you.
In his newest craft-of-writing essay for the New Yorker, John McPhee explores one key choice writers can make: When is it edifying to introduce an reference that might not be relevant to all readers, and when is it just annoying?
With cultural references in particular, the ease of recognition can fade with time. McPhee writes:
[C]ollective vocabulary and common points of reference are not only dwindling now but have been for centuries. The dwindling may have become speedier, but it is an old and continuous condition. I am forever testing my students to see what works and does not work in pieces of varying vintage.
McPhee cites a New York Times column written by Frank Bruni (also a Princeton University lecturer). "If you’re closing in on 50 but want to feel much, much older, teach a college course," Bruni writes. He elaborates:
I once brought up Vanessa Redgrave. Blank stares. Greta Garbo. Ditto. We were a few minutes into a discussion of an essay that repeatedly invoked Proust’s madeleine when I realized that almost none of the students understood what the madeleine signified or, for that matter, who this Proust fellow was.
In McPhee’s own tests, 18 out of 18 students in a high school English class know who Woody Allen is. Only 17 recognize the name Paul Newman. He keeps testing:
Elizabeth Taylor, “My Fair Lady”—eleven. Cassius Clay—eight. Waterloo Bridge, Maggie Smith—six. Norman Rockwell, Truman Capote, Joan Baez—five. Rupert Murdoch—three. Hampstead, Mickey Rooney—two. Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh—one. “In England, would you know what a bobby is?”—one.
As for John Stamos, gently mocking the fans who don’t recognize him: We'll chalk up their lack of excitment to his dark glasses and hat. But someday Uncle Jesse and Full House surely will pass from our collective frame of reference. Even a potential reboot can only stave off the inevitable.
The cast of the television sitcom "All in the Family" came to the National Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, to donate Archie and Edith Bunker's chairs to the "A Nation of Nations" exhibit in September of 1978. (L-R): Jean Stapleton, Secretary (1964-1984) S. Dillon Ripley, Norman Lear, Sally Struthers and Rob Reiner as they peer into the case where the chairs are displayed.
Despite its reputation for progressive politics, Hollywood has been surprisingly skittish when it comes to publicly acknowledging sexual difference. Thus it was a landmark event when in April 1997, comedian Ellen DeGeneres told Time magazine, "Yep I'm Gay." DeGeneres went on to say that she was ambivalent about coming out, feeling that there should be a zone of privacy allowable to public figures and celebrities. But she also felt that not openly acknowledging her lesbianism meant that she lacked control over her own life and career. Coming out, she said afterward, "has been the most freeing experience because people can't hurt me anymore." Social issues aside, DeGeneres is one of America's most successful show business figures: star of her own sitcom and talk shows and host of the Oscars and other awards shows, she continues to perform as she began-as a stand-up comedian.
With Starbucks coffee bars sprouting up on every corner, and a yen for espresso sweeping the land, author Minna Morse went in search of America's hot new hangout: the neighborhood coffeehouse.
As the craze for coffee has gathered steam retail sales of specialty coffee beans and beverages will have doubled by the end of the decade- so has the yearning for a welcoming place to drink it. From Caffè Trieste in San Francisco, to the Politics and Prose bookstore and coffeehouse in Washington, D.C., patrons are singing the praises of places where they can find cappuccino and camaraderie.
The coffeehouse clientele harks back to a noble tradition. The world's first coffeehouse is said to have opened in Damascus in 1530. Coffee began appearing in Europe in the early 17th century, with each country evolving a distinctive coffeehouse culture, from England to Austria.
Today, in a world where everyday life seems increasingly anonymous and fragmented, students and freelance workers, retirees and mothers with babies, singles and couples, are finding a new community center: their local coffeehouse. Even in sitcom land, we're heading there--as the characters in the megahit Friends can attest, converging weekly at Central Perk.
This 1994 caricature by John Kascht was the first color drawing to appear in the Arts and Leisure section of the New York Times.