3 April 2004 | laffinsal
Of the three series to spin-off of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, this one is the best and most memorable. Valerie Harper played the Rhoda character to perfection on TMTMS, and here, she expands on that well-loved character, with a degree of depth, rarely found on sitcoms today. Rhoda Morgenstern went through a variety of challenges on this series...she moved back to New York, met Joe Gerard, got married...separated...divorced, and then went back to being a swinging single. It's too bad this show was cancelled without a real final episode...I've always wondered how they would have ended this, had they the opportunity to do so gracefully.
Along with Harper, was Julie Kavner, brilliant, as Rhoda's little sister, Brenda. Nancy Walker was also priceless as Ida, the mom. The best episode of this series has got to be "Rhoda's Wedding", the one-hour saga of how Rhoda almost doesn't make it down the isle, because ditzy Phyllis forgets to pick her up. In fact, the whole wedding storyline; Rhoda meeting Joe, the proposal, the shower, wedding and honeymoon, are some of the best-written comedy episodes. It's too bad Joe was written off the show, but "The Separation", is one of the most poignant, thoughtful, and well-acted episodes I've seen in a sitcom. Proof once again, as to the degree of depth that the characters on this show had.
I don't think this show was quite the same once Rhoda's divorce was final. The later episodes just lacked the earlier vibrance and fun, and I didn't like the storyline about Rhoda's father, Martin, leaving Ida. Still, this is a fine series, great acting, writing, and production, and there's no doubt about it that scarves were never worn the same way again.