This set has been a long time coming (more than 2 years since season 4 came out?), but well-worth the wait. If you know Mary Tyler Moore, you're getting exactly what you want. Some minor changes to costumes and sets, but the same basic cast (less Rhoda, by then in her own hit series Rhoda: Season One [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]).
The only important comments to add are that the new DVD set is in a single box, without the slip-case, and the big warning is that despite Amazon's statement, this disc is programmed so that it will NOT play in a multi-region player UNLESS that player has been set specifically to Region 1. Set to Region "0" you only see a non-compatability warning. Most multi-region players can be set to Region "1", but we had to find a player which could handle it. If the studios won't put out region 2 discs, people here in Blighty (especially my wife, an American living in the UK) will buy region 1 titles and expect to be able to view them.
We are enjoying the episodes (having solved the technical issues), and look forward to season 6 - hopefully they will get it released a with a shorter delay than that we've had between season 4 and 5...
It's always with a little sadness that I approach season 5 of this great show. One of the things I love about the early seasons of the show is the great friendship between Mary and Rhoda. And with Rhoda gone, I feel the show is missing a little something. Fortunately, the other cast members step it up and that feeling doesn't last for more than an episode or two.
The joy of a good ensemble comedy is the fact that you do have good strong characters to build upon. Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) is still living in her one room apartment next to neighbor Phyllis (Cloris Leachman, who only has four episodes this season). Her work life seems to overtake more of her personal life. For example, boss Lou Grant (Ed Asner) moves into Rhoda's old apartment at one point. Ted's (Ted Knight) girlfriend Georgette (Georgia Engel) stops by to visit on a more regular basis. Heck, even happy homemaker Sue Ann (Betty White) shows up quite a bit more. And good ole Murray (Gavin MacLeod) is by Mary's side every day at work.
As with the previous seasons, this show features some classic episodes. My favorite is "Not a Christmas Story," which finds the gang snowed in and mad at each other. Absolutely hilarious stuff. Lou turns into a softy after he throws Ted through a door. Murray struggles with his feelings about only having daughters. Mary gets a promotion to producer and tries to go it alone with the news. Sue Ann almost gets replaced by a much younger fan. Phyllis tries to find a job after a bad economy destroys the family budget. And in another favorite, Ted finally asks Georgette to marry him, in the middle of the 6 o'clock news.
Even when this show gets serious, like the season opener with finds Mary facing jail time for not revealing a source, it never forgets it is a comedy. There are plenty of laughs.
Of course, the writing and the acting are all top notch here. You couldn't ask for a better cast, and they truly bring these characters to life.
As other have noted, the big drawback to the set is the packaging itself. The shows are on 3 discs. They could look a little better, but I don't think they are any worse than the other seasons have been. We get no extras, but we didn't for the last two seasons. What is unforgivable is no episode guide. How can I find my favorite episode without it? True, I can look it up on line, but that's annoying. Additionally, they cut out the disclaimer voice over from "The System," one of my favorite bits from that episode.
So the set itself loses a star. But the episodes are still timeless and funny. Since this is probably the best we will ever get, if you are a fan, get this set. You will certainly enjoy the core content.
After announcing at first,that "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was going to be released as a complete Box set,the powers that be listened to fans would already bought the first four seasons and have released season 5 on its own. This DVD box lists Valerie Harper as a cast member,Valerie Harper had by this time spun off to the highly successful spinoff "Rhoda"(such a shame the recent DVD set of that show has so many edited episodes on it)and so we see more of Mary at the WJM-TV office than before,with the gruff but kind hearted Lou Grant(Ed Asner)the lovable Murray Slaughter(Gavin MacLeod and the vain,none too bright anchor man,the scene stealing Ted Baxter(Ted Knight) Ted's girlfriend Georgette(Georgia Engel)has her role increased,her Marilyn Monroe style voice is killingly funny,particulalrly when Mary is helping a prostitute turn straight and Georgette is innocently using the word,"Trick". After making a few guest spots in season 4,Betty White's "smiling cobra",Sue Ann Nivens,"The Happy Homemaker" joins the cast,she is so funny,always making references to food,always self obssessed,she sees the successful Mary Richards as a rival,always ready to shot Mary down,while being sickingly sweet at the same time,she has her finest hour in "The New Sue Ann",when Sue Ann is sidelined on her own show by an eager newcomer,Sue Ann getting her revenge in the end! Mary's neighbour the only and only Phyllis Lindstrom(the fantastic Cloris Leachman)makes her final three guest appearances on the show,in "Not Just Another Pretty Face",Mary is dating a handsome ski instructor and Phyllis' reaction on seeing him is classic,and when telling Mary about nearly having a cheap affair while considering her husband's marriage propsal,she says "At the time it seemed important". Phyllis last appearance(apart from the final episode when she returns with Valerie Harper)is "Phyllis Whips Inflation" which is really a try out for the spinoff "Phyllis",which although it ran for only two seasons,was very funny,due to Miss Leachman's comic genius. As aways with this great show,serious matters are there,along with the comedy,Murray considers having an afair in "I Love A Piano",Sue-Ann's lonliness is seen in "What Are Friends For" and Lou finally meets someone in "Lou and That Woman" but because she has been married a few times,Lou considers breaking up with her because of tastless comments made by Murray and Ted. I invested in a multi regional DVD player,to enjoy this great show,why classics like this and "Rhoda" are not out on region2 format,escapes me,so enjoy this classic sitcom,Mary and the gang certainly put a smile on your face!