The Mary Tyler Moore Show/The Dinner Party
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The Dinner Party is the tenth episode of the fourth season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and the eighty-second episode overall.
Congresswoman Margaret Geddes just appeared on a show that Mary produced. In general niceties over the telephone, Mary invites the Congresswoman to her place for dinner the next time she is ever in town. What Mary is unaware of when she extends the invitation is that the Congresswoman will be in town tomorrow. Mary is concerned not only about the short time frame to get a dinner party arranged, but also about the confirmation that she gets from Rhoda, and later from others, that her parties are generally disasters. With advice from Rhoda, Mary decides to hold a small, elegant dinner party for six, the number of people she can fit at her dining room table. On Murray's advice, Mary decides to ask Sue Ann for advice on the food. The first problem arises even before the party with the invitation list, some who invite themselves and some who are hurt not to be invited despite the aforementioned previous disasters at Mary's parties. When the party starts, there are potential problems on the horizon, such as food timing issues, portion control and sizes, and unexpected guests among those problems. Will this party destined to be yet another of Mary's disasters, or will she be able to overcome these early issues?