Mary Tyler Moore plays Mary Richards, a young, single woman starting a new life in Minneapolis after breaking up with her boyfriend, getting a job in a television news-room run by Lou Grant, played by Ed Asner. She's supported by her old friend, Phyllis (Cloris Leachman), and her new neighbor, Rhoda (Valerie Harper)
I'm going over that because are some people who are even less familiar with the show than I am- I've seen a few episode of the show, but I'm absolutely bowled over that all those characters mentioned above their own spin-offs, Phyllis and Rhoda were sit-coms, while Lou Grant was a drama set at a newspaper.
Another remarkable thing about the episodes I watched? They still hold up. They're well written enough that newsroom references (Phnom Penh, Nixon) flow seemlessly and the only really dated reference is to the movie Myra Breckenridge, which could be replaced with any movie title inappropriate for a child and still work.
Of course, the fashions are pure seventies- Mary wears an A-line quilted patchwork maxi-skirt. And her tam o'shanter hat in the opening credits.
I *was* familiar enough with the show to have a moment of confusion because of the opening lyrics. For the first season they end with "You might just make it after all", and I was more familiar with the later version "You're going to make it after all." Just a couple of words difference, but there's a tone shift from the uncertainty of moving to a new city and starting a new job to a more optimistic and dynamic definiteness.
I think, unlike the Norman Lear shows, I'll be returning to the world of Mary Richards and friends.