Mary Hartman Mary Hartman: The Complete Series
All 325 Episodes + Bonus Features on 38 Discs
Louise Lasser delivers a masterful performance in the title role of Norman Lear’s sublimely twisted soap opera, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman – at once a parody of the format and a twisted satire of America’s media/consumer culture.
In the fictional town of Fernwood, Ohio, suburban housewife Mary Hartman seeks the kind of domestic perfection promised by Reader’s Digest and TV commercials. Instead she finds herself suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune – mass murders, low-flying airplanes and waxy yellow buildup on her kitchen floor. Mary’s world is populated by a cast of misfits and oddballs: an impotent husband (Greg Mullavey), a sullen 12-year-old daughter (Claudia Lamb), bizarre parents (Dody Goodman and Philip Bruns), a man-eating younger sister (Debralee Scott), a country-singing best friend and her devoted husband (Mary Kay Place and Graham Jarvis), Fernwood’s devious mayor (Dabney Coleman) and identical twins Barth and Garth Gimble (Martin Mull).
Far too controversial for any network at the time, the incomparable Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman is finally given its due with this celebratory and definitive DVD collection.
Why We Love It
“Probably because the targets of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman's satire (insatiable consumerism, celebrity-obsession, television) are more relevant now than ever, the series despite its low budget, now-dated production methods and spoofing of an all but dead TV genre make it seem as fresh and funny as ever. And now it's all here, in one densely compact package. A DVD Talk Collector Series title.” – DVD Talk
“Produced by All in the Family’s Norman Lear and directed by Joan Darling and Jim Drake, this star vehicle for comic actress Louise Lasser was one of the boldest series of the seventies: a laugh-track-free send-up of soap operas that was also a surprisingly probing and intense critique of capitalism. Yes, really!” – Vulture
“Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman: The Complete Series…is 38 discs of classic quirky Norman Lear-inspired television. There are plenty of bonus features in this set, but the biggest bonus is that it will make your family seem practically normal.” – Parade
“For a program that was made when Jimmy Carter was in the White House, it has aged remarkably well, a testament to just how FAR OUT the show was during its era. Comedy tends to age poorly: early Saturday Night Live seems merely quaint outside of Bill Murray and Michael O’Donoghue’s contributions, but its contemporary, kindred-spirit-in-outrageousness, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman is as fresh as when it first aired. It’s strangely timeless and still brilliantly funny.” – DangerousMinds.net
“If you overlooked Mary Hartman in the '70s, don’t miss this second chance to see one of the greatest TV series ever broadcast. And if you did watch it then, do what I’m doing and watch it again.” – Jeff Burger, The Morton Report
Bonus Features for DVD
- Inside The Funhouse Mirror – Featuring Interviews With Norman Lear, Louise Lasser, and Mary Kay Place (29:40)
- On The Verge Of… – Norman Lear and Louise Lasser Discuss The Episode, “Nervous Breakdown” (18:16)
- Ten Episodes Of Fernwood 2 Nite, The Original Talk Show Spoof Starring Martin Mull, Fred Willard, And Frank De Vol (22:26 each)