The seventh and final season of "Mary Tyler Moore" appears on DVD tomorrow, eight years (!) after the release of Season 1. In celebration, and before I go into hiding, here are ten favorite food-related moments from the series
10 -- Mary hates pepperoni (Season 3, Episode 22)
Mary gets surprisingly very angry, bordering on violent, when an old flame forgets she hates pepperoni on her pizza
9 -- Murray drops Sue Ann in a wedding cake (Season 6, Episode 15 -- "What Do You Want to Do When You Produce)
Humiliated in his role as Sue Ann's flunky producer, Murray drops her into a giant low-cal wedding cake. Seated on the cake, Sue Ann licks frosting from her fingers and gallantly determines, " it could use some vanilla."
8 -- Mary turns critic (Season 7, Episode 14 -- "The Critic")
In the company of WJM's vicious new critic (Victor Newman!), Mary is mortified by her date's harsh complaints until the other diners applaud the his exiting tirade. Emboldened, Mary says, "and next time, make sure the shrimp is fresh."
7 -- Mary gets very good service (Season 5, Episode 2 -- "Not Just Another Pretty Face")
Out to dinner with her extremely handsome date, Mary receives excellent service at a restaurant where it's always been awful before, a joke that "30 Rock" recycled in an episode with Jon Hamm.
6 -- Guests must wear hats (Season 5, Episode 9 -- "Not a Christmas Story")
Stranded in the newsroom by a freak snowstorm, the bickering crew reluctantly attends a very early Christmas dinner on Sue Ann's set. They are compelled to wear hats representing different countries.
5 -- Sue Ann poisons the gang (Season 5, Episode 7 -- "A New Sue Ann")
Everyone gets food poisoning when Sue Ann sabotages her new assistant by leaving cream filling unrefrigerated. Sue Ann explains, "she made the mistake of asking me to do it."
4 -- The thing Rhoda says about the chocolate (Season 1, Episode 11 -- "1040 or Fight")
"I don't know why I'm eating this chocolate. I should just apply it directly to my hips."
Although she wasn't the episode's credited writer, Treva Silverman is acknowledged as having come up with this still frequently quoted line.
3 -- Sue Ann closes an over door (Season 4, Episode 1 -- "The Lars Affair")
In what was intended as a onetime appearance, Betty White is cast as WJM's "Happy Homemaker." a husband-snatching phony. Tearfully retrieving a ruined soufflé from a hot oven, White closes the oven door with a wicked shot from her knee. You can hear James Brooks losing his mind.
2 -- Phyllis bakes a pie (Season 4, Episode 1 -- "The Lars Affair")
From the same episode, Phyllis desperately takes up baking to win back her husband. The various reactions of Mary, Rhoda, and Phyllis as they taste the pitiful results are brilliantly acted and directed. A little gesture Cloris Leachman makes, averting her gaze as she pushes away the plate, is beyond brilliant.
1 -- The Veal Prince Orloff (Season 4, Episode 10 - "The Dinner Party")
In the most memorable of Mary's disastrous dinner parties, Sue Ann makes a Veal Prince Orloff with six portions, no more no less. Mr. Grant helps himself to fully half of them. This is the episode where unexpected guest Henry Winkler sits at the "little table."
There is this exchange:
Sue Ann: Mary dear, do you have any idea what happens if you let veal Prince Orloff sit in an oven too long?
Mary: No, what?
Sue Ann: He dies