The Very Best of Rhoda

After four years as Mary Richards’ lovelorn best friend on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Valerie Harper’s Rhoda Morgenstern got her own show — in which she promptly found a nice husband (David Groh) and settled down. Later, the producers must have realized she was funnier when she was single, because by season 3, the marriage was kaput. Five-season sampler The Very Best of Rhoda deftly charts Rhoda’s changing romantic fortunes. Even better, it captures the show’s real strength as a comedy of family relations — especially those of Rhoda and Julie Kavner as her schlumpfy sister and Nancy Walker as their Jewish mother from hell. Stealing every episode she’s in, Walker makes ball-of-fire Harper seem like your basic sitcom straight woman. Good thing the star had great reaction takes. B

The Very Best of Rhoda
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