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Being Mary Tyler Moore

HBO’s documentaries are consistently strong and the new one, Being Mary Tyler Moore, is excellent.

I was going to write, “I always liked her”—but who didn’t?

The Dick Van Dyke Show was before my time, but of course I remember The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

When I was a kid, it was one of those syndicated 1970s sitcoms that was always on somewhere, like All in the Family. I’d check it out, and a lot of it would go over my head, but it was funny and the characters were vivid and likable and the emotional moments, even to my nine-year-old brain (or however old I was) seemed earned, although that’s not how I would have explained it at the time.

Moore is also terrific as the brittle mother in Ordinary People. Freaky good.

The doc does a great job of putting her career and accomplishments in historical perspective—what a big deal it was to have Mary Richards be a single career woman.

But it also looks at her personal life and the “inner Mary” and balances the two very well. She had more than a fair amount of tragedy throughout her life, as well as triumphs.

See the doc, it’s really good.

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