Help me celebrate my birthday with “First and Last”

I’ve been chewing on an idea I’ve called First and Last for a many years now; my 54th birthday, on Sunday, amidst a pandemic, seems as good a time as any to try it out.

The original idea was to rent a theatre once a month and to screen the pilot and series finale episodes of a television show, separated by a thematic intermission (“Newhart Martinis”), and followed by some sort of group discussion.

Given that we’re all storm-stayed until whenever, with Oliver’s help I’ve reimagined First and Last for the digital realm.

Want to join in?

The first show I’ve selected is The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which ran from 1970 to 1977—between the ages of 4 and 11 for me. In its original run, and then, later, in reruns, the show was frequently watched in our household.

Watch both (it will only take you 48 minutes), then discuss in the comments here. Did you watch the show when it ran? Did it play a role in your life? Does it stand up? What happened over those seven seasons? Is this a good idea?


Ann Thurlow's picture
Ann Thurlow on April 5, 2020 - 10:31 Permalink

This is a great idea. How about MASH as one of the shows?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on April 5, 2020 - 13:18 Permalink

Yes. 1,000 times yes.

Pedro Custodio's picture
Pedro Custodio on April 5, 2020 - 10:46 Permalink

Happy Birthday my dear Peter!
A birthday in countless ways unique and different from ever before.

On this special date, sending you some good vibes from the other side of this quarantined world.

Sandy's picture
Sandy on April 5, 2020 - 11:59 Permalink

Happy Birthday, Peter! I hope that you and Oliver are able to enjoy the sunshine today. Dale and I had a lovely time this morning watching the 2 Mary Tyler Moore episodes (and a few videos about her life afterwards). Great idea. It brought back lots of memories. I watched Mary Tyler Moore growing up and also lots of reruns over the years. I look forward to more First and Last suggestions.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on April 5, 2020 - 13:17 Permalink

Look for the large “M” on the wall of Mary’s apartment in the series finale. In wood shop class I made an homage to that “M” for my brother Mike for his birthday one year. He still has it.

Michelle's picture
Michelle on April 5, 2020 - 14:59 Permalink

Happy Birthday! 🎈🎈🎈

Derek & Claude's picture
Derek & Claude on April 5, 2020 - 16:17 Permalink

Happy Birthday! Those were fun to watch again. Claude has seen them all (and has the dvds!) I've mostly seen the famous episodes. They've aged really well, not overly topical, and a lot of the issues they do touch on have stayed relevant. The cast is great, amazing comic timing, and they are obviously having a lot of fun.

Kevin's picture
Kevin on April 5, 2020 - 18:08 Permalink

Happy Birthday, Peter and thanks for the idea and the excellent pick. I was not sure if I would remember the first episode but was sure I had watched the last. Funny that I remembered more from episode 1, maybe because I watched it in reruns. I had a few laugh-out-loud moments and liked the nostalgia of seeing characters that went on to both spin-offs ("Rhoda", "Phyllis" and "Lou Grant". Betty White's character is more like her in Hot in Cleveland that in Golden Girls. Gavin MacLeod was sort of in the same mold and temperament as in Love Boat. Even Ted Knight had his own show. The cast was very successful after The MTM Show. I think I will watch one of the most memorable episodes, "Chuckles Bites the Dust." Other suggestions: All in the Family and The Beverly Hillbillies. Our best to you and Oliver.

Roland Tanglao's picture
Roland Tanglao on April 5, 2020 - 21:42 Permalink

i loved the mary tyler show, rhoda not so much, i'm not sure why in retrospect! i still find it funny! But looking back it seems very non diverse and not reflective of my reality growing up but what do i know :-) i do know i over analyze all that stuff!