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The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Third Season -- A Personal Review

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by David Von Pein, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    I recently watched the Season-Four TMTMS episode "The Dinner Party" on the VHS tape shown below, and was reminded of something that I hope like heck does not occur when that great ep. shows up on a S.4 DVD release. It's an "edit" of sorts, only in reverse. Something's been added to the soundtrack on that 1997 "New Video" VHS version.

    What they've done (for some silly reason I cannot figure out at all) is to add in fake typewriter and telephone sounds during all of the WJM office scenes. And what it accomplishes is to destroy the "small, homey newsroom" atmosphere which has always permeated the WJM-TV newsroom and offices. And the phones are practically ringing non-stop too. It's just silly beyond belief IMO (esp. when viewers realize the type of small news station that WJM has always been up till then).

    The last of the 2 eps. on that VHS tape ("Mary's Aunt"; Season 6) also has the silly fake newsroom noises of clanking typewriters, the constant whir of teletype machines, and incessant telephone-ringing.

    Plus: Other ambient, totally-needless faux sound effects have been added to both of those shows on that videotape too -- such as added "clicks" to indicate a door has completely latched and closed, and a really-weird one which is the added-in accentuated sound effect of the automatic door-closer on the WJM double-doors, a "suction"-like noise to indicate the air being pushed through the door's door-closing device. And it's very loud too. Annoying as well, esp. since I know its not really supposed to be on the soundtrack.*

    * = Or at least I don't THINK those silly sound effects are part of the "original" MTM soundtrack. Can anyone possibly confirm if they are or not? (I suppose it's possible that James Brooks, Allan Burns, et al, for some silly reason wanted to ruin the small-time newsroom flavor by throwing in all kinds of unnecessary phone rings and clattering noises....but I fail to see the logic of doing so.)

    Anyhow, I only hope that those added sound effects are absent from the prints utilized by Fox for its S.4 (and beyond) DVD releases.


    http://www2.foxhome.com/mtm/home.html


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    Well, the Season 3 episode "Lou's Place" features a hilarious forced sing-a-long of Irving Berlin's "Alexander's Ragtime Band," which is intact on the dvd. There would clearly be no way of editing it out of the episode without ireparably damaging the continuity.
     
  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    How about Shaft by Isaac Hayes?

    Or maybe this little ditty...

    Who can turn the world on with her smile?
    Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
    Well it's you girl, and you should know it
    With each glance and every little movement you show it

    Love is all around, no need to waste it
    You can have the town, why don't you take it?
    You're gonna make it after all
    You're gonna make it after all

    How will you make it on your own?
    This world is awfully big, girl this time you're all alone
    But it's time you started living
    It's time you let someone else do some giving

    Love is all around, no need to waste it
    You can have the town, why don't you take it?
    You're gonna make it after all
    You're gonna make it after all

    I find it interesting that various internet sites seem split fifty/fifty as to whether Sonny Curtis wrote the theme or Paul Williams wrote the theme.
     
  4. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    Whenever I see both versions of the opening theme together, it's in that order. Any reason the first season lyrics are put second, or is it just a massive coincidence?
     
  5. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    I'm certainly botherd by alternations, too. But ones that are this slight are not about to stop me from getting these sets. Let's also keep in mind that these sets are supposedly not selling that well. We are perhaps lucky to get getting 2nd and 3rd seasons at all. The studio knows by now these sets aren't going through the roof so I certainly understand from a business perspective that they might not be willing to pay expensive music rights, assuming they were even given the chance to do so. It is perhaps these concessions that have helped get the latest sets released.

    For those of you who are declining to get any or all of these sets I will remind you that you are making it even less likely that future sets will be released. And if they are it is even more likely that concessions will have to be made in regard to music rights in order to make up for the lower sales. Everyone should make their own choice but I hope all the naysayers enjoy their badly edited syndicated episodes. In the meantime, I and my DVD player will be laughing our woofers off.
     
  6. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    Same here. Since I wasn't alive when the show originally aired, I'd have no way to notice any difference, aside from the fact that the episodes are longer on DVD. Ah, well.
     
  7. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    I hate to be ultra-picky, but Mary Richards has told me (for clarity sake) that I should correct Mike's inaccurate last stanza here (from the S.1 opening).....

    It should read:

    You might just make it after all...
    You might just make it after all.

    Instead of: "You're gonna make it after all". That was added for S.2.

    She might make it after all in Season One. But she's gonna make it by S.2. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Now....Mike, have you got it straight now? Or am I gonna have to send Lou's pal "Iggy Wochuck" over to your place to beat the right ditty into your head? [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Phyll

    Phyll Stunt Coordinator

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    I would just like to say that I watched the third season dvd and I loved it. I thought the episodes looked beautiful and much improved over the last two seasons. I thought the last two seasons looked too harsh and the syndication prints never looked good. I think Fox did a great job on the transfer of season three. I loved the cover and all the episodes. Season three,IMO, was when the show begins to really hit its stride and it never lets up!! I think season three sold well on Amazon-it got as high as number 8 and as of now it is around 21-so it must be selling. I am glad it is selling so that we may get the rest of the series. As far as changing the song in the Plant Lady ep I didn't even notice or care. I was laughing so hard all the way through the episodes I had to pry the smile off my face!! Please buy the dvd set, it is so worth it, even with the changes in music. It is a very slight change and the episodes are all there to enjoy. I do understand how you feel but even if I would have known about it beforehand I would have purchased the set. I still give this dvd set high marks for the transfer job and the fact that I get to see what is left out when stations cut out scenes for commercials. Please just kick back and enjoy the dvds-you won't be sorry. My sides still ache from laughing so hard!!!
     
  9. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    "I don't know why I bother putting this candy in my mouth ... I should just apply it directly
    to my hips."
    -- Rhoda Morgenstern [ca. 1971]; Season 1; TMTMS

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    If you're talking about me, you've completely missed the point. Do you think that my refusal to buy a dvd with one cut, means that I'm watching even more badly cut episodes on tv? I have my uncut memories of MTM, and over 1400 dvds to watch - I'm not wasting my time on cut up episodes, not on dvd, and certainly not on television.
     
  11. dave wright

    dave wright Agent

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    Joe....Very intresting Irving Berlin tidbits,thanks for sharing.
     
  12. Phyll

    Phyll Stunt Coordinator

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    I really admire you George for really sticking to your guns. I know that you are right-if more people that are in power thought like you we wouldn't have cut or censored episodes. Sometimes I wonder if the powers that be even bother to pick up a phone and ask about the music or if they just go ahead and cut it out. Or if the studios even try to make a fair deal. I am just saying I really enjoyed the box set anyway. But that does bum me out when they do replace music like with the last Cheers boxset-the song they replaced it with wasn't funny and didn't have the same meaning. I think they should not be allowed to alter the shows from their original broadcast. I couldn't believe how much was left out of Alfred Hithcock Presents-now that was terrible!!! Universal didn't even try to hide the edits!!! My father used to be in the music publishing biz and I can tell you that if you show these companies some green-they will allow the use of the song-that is how these publishing companies make money for pete's sake!!! I think the studios are being too cheap or they just don't understand how to make deals. George you are right though-by buying edited dvds that will tell the companies that it is okay to keep doing this. There has to be a change in how this is done. George-do you know anybody we can call or email to get things changed? I do think a change needs to come about and will come about when the studios start tinkering with the newer shows then the masses will start screaming!! Until then I guess we just have to suffer. Thank you George for making me see the light. You are very well informed and the major studios should put you in charge of restoring the older shows!! That would rule!!!!
     
  13. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Since I'm not entirely certain how to take some of that, I'll simpy respond with the following:

    As consumers, there's not much we can do except vote with our pocketbooks. When it comes to something we love, but that's been screwed up, it's hard to get that across. You can try to supplement with emails or snail mail (which I do), but they probably won't get to the right person. One angry customer can make a difference, but you have to get to the guy in charge, a very hard thing to do.

    It's really incumbent upon the studios to do the proper marketing research, which they rarely do. I have never been asked, nor has anyone I know, my opinion about edited episodes or OAR issues.

    I really have no hope that my buying or not buying is going to make a damn bit of difference. And if MTM was one of the few dvds I liked, then I'd probably cave. But it's pretty easy for me to not buy edited MTM, when there are so many more films and tv shows I can spend my money on that aren't edited.
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    If you weren't ultra-picky, you wouldn't be David VP. And then what good would you be to anyone?! [​IMG]

    I thought you would jump all over the Sonny Curtis/Paul Williams line.
     
  15. Derek K.

    Derek K. Stunt Coordinator

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    George : You must feel very lucky that you can purchase & watch 'Fat Actress' since all the music is intact.

    Unfortunately, MTM is forever off-limits because 2 seconds of a 36,780 seconds Box Set is altered.

    It's only my opinion, but that's insanity dude.
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    The last thing george kaplan needs is me to defend him...but I don't see how one man's principles or beliefs on this issue should be bothering anyone else.

    george has been as consistent as possible in his firm belief that he only wants to purchase product that has not been altered from its original form. Good for him.

    I think most of us draw our own lines in the sand about what is acceptable in our lives whether its about our hobbies or anything else. I will admit that out of the 600+ titles in my collection, there are one or two that are not in their OAR. As embarassed as I am to admit that in this community, I went against that "core value" of the HTF to sate my desire to see a film that I, otherwise, would not have had the opportunity to. I hope to replace those films immediately upon release their OAR.

    I applaud george for sticking by his guns. He's happy (read: comfortable) with his decision. He's earned the right to complain about edited releases. And he certainly hasn't done anything to draw criticism from the members of this community which states as part of its mission statement:

     
  17. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    It's appreciated in any case. [​IMG]
     
  18. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    I may not agree with George about the MTM sets, but I do admire his convictions. I'll also admit that there are a few sets I have that are changed from their original format (Roseanne S1 - only after they announced they'd use the original network episodes for S2 on; the most recent (aired) seasons of the L&O series, because the aspect ratio still works in 4:3), but those are shows I'd want anyway. George's desire for complete versions of various works is admirable; even though it does deprive him of some MTM, it's his decision.
     
  19. John Lloyd

    John Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought season 1 and 2, but somehow never got around to watching them. This thread motivated me to start watching season 1 and to order season 3.
     
  20. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    TTTT, I don't think I'd ever heard that bit re. Williams before. I'd always thought it was Curtis' song, plain and simple. But....perhaps not?
     

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