TV on DVD: Complete 'Mary Hartman'
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MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN: COMPLETE SERIES
Series: One of TV's most unusual shows ever, finally complete on DVD! In 1976, sitcom groundbreaker Norman Lear ("All in the Family") blended two other genres -- cultural satire and daytime soap opera (at its '70s zenith). This deadpan spoof, aired five nights a week, took serious aim at the consumerism promoted by the era's proliferating commercials, as well as the mushrooming of TV news/experts/celebrity. Louise Lasser starred as the benumbed Midwest housewife, obsessed with her floor's "waxy yellow buildup" while a family down the street is slaughtered, her grandfather is revealed as "the Fernwood Flasher," and there's impotence, infidelity, hostage taking, child evangelizing, Christmas tree impalement and so much more. Among the sprawling cast: Martin Mull, Dabney Coleman, Doris Roberts.
Extras: Sturdy hard box holds not just 325 vintage episodes, but the retrospective view of new featurette chats with Lear, Lasser and co-star Mary Kay Place. Plus 40-page essay/guide booklet. And 10 bonus episodes of talk-spoof spinoff "Fernwood 2 Night" with Mull and Fred Willard.
List price: $250 for 38 discs, out Tuesday from Shout.
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