Everything I Learned from Mary Tyler Moore

The New Yorker 

I first caught a peek of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in 1994, twenty-four years after it first aired and seventeen since it was cancelled. Nick at Nite, that mainstay of nineteen-nineties family-friendly throwback programming, was re-introducing the youth to Mary Tyler Moore through a week-long "Marython." My parents, sick of policing me as I watched snippets of "90210" riddled with casual sex and hints of violence, decided that any show produced during their youth was a safe bet and left me alone to sink into Mary Richards's life in Minneapolis. My father would occasionally stroll by the TV: "God, I had such a crush on her on'Dick Van Dyke.' " On "The Dick Van Dyke Show," Tyler Moore had played Laura Petrie, a comely and bemused housewife who had left her career as a dancer behind for suburban life. She was witty yet tolerant, solid but accommodating.

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