Thursday, September 26, 2013


Disclosure:  I was sent screener copies from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.




"Move over, Simpsons and Bundys!  Sorry, Bluths and Sopranos!  The honor of "Most Dysfunctional TV Family" goes to the Harper clan from MAMA'S FAMILY, the fan-favorite comedy spun off from the wildly-popular "Carol Burnett Show" ongoing sketch "The Family."  Headed by the ornery and formidable matriarch Thelma Mae Crowley Harper, Vicki Lawrence's indelible and abrasive alter ego, the Harper family puts run-of-the-mill relations to shame.  This September, StarVista Entertainment/ Time Life, in conjunction with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, invites viewers to bring home this hilarious -- and sometimes heartwarming - family comedy of the highest degree with MAMA'S FAMILY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON & MAMA'S FAMILY: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON. 

These first two complete season DVD releases - never before available to the home entertainment marketplace -- feature the rare, original broadcast masters (the "Joe Hamilton" cuts) of the episodes which fans have clamored about for years; they also feature Harvey Korman's hilarious introductions as Alistair Quince (spoofing Alistair Cooke).  Each DVD set also contains robust bonus features, including the critically acclaimed and never-available on DVD teleplay "Eunice" and more.

MAMA'S FAMILY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (1983) - When Vinton Harper (Ken Berry, F-Troop), Mama's only son, drops by to announce that he and his children have been evicted from their home, it sets into motion family dysfunction of the highest order.  Against the wishes of Mama's roommate - her sister, Fran (Rue McClanahan, The Golden Girls) - Vint moves in, starts a romance with an old high school crush (Dorothy Lyman, All My Children), gets married in episode four, brings the entire clan to a very memorable appearance on 'Family Feud' and welcomes several visits from Mama's high-strung daughter, Eunice (Carol Burnett) and her husband, Ed (in Harvey Korman's final series appearance).  THE COMPLETE SEASON ONE contains 13 episodes across 3 discs, as well as bonus programming sure to please every classic TV aficionado!

MAMA'S FAMILY: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON (1983-1984) - This new collection features 22 episodes in their entirety across 4 DVDs.  SEASON TWO finds the Harper family in rare form, as Mama's highfalutin' daughter Ellen receives Raytown's "Woman of the Year" Award, Mama gets hospitalized after being hit on the noggin with a stewpot (in Carol Burnett's final series appearance), Mama's once-vivacious cousin Gert (Imogene Coca) gets her life enriched, Mama attempts learning to drive (much to the family's chagrin) and decides to run for Mayor of Raytown.  Among bonus extras, this set features the TV movie "Eunice" (1982), a CBS-TV original which was the precursor to the series and takes the Harper family on an unforgettable 23-year journey.


Additionally, also released on September 10 was two "Best of" releases, each priced at $12.95.  MAMA'S FAMILY: SEASON ONE FAVORITES and SEASON TWO FAVORITES both feature the very best episodes from their respective seasons, highlighting the most memorable moments from the Harper family escapades.  MAMA'S FAMILY: THE COMPLETE SERIES, never before released in its entirety, is currently available for order at for $199.95. Also, available online in a limited edition run of 500 is the SIGNATURE COLLECTION, which features a set hand-signed by Vicki Lawrence.  Shipped with a Certificate of Authenticity, this unique piece of pop culture memorabilia retails for $299.95."

  • THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON - Featurette: Mama's Family Tree: The Branches (All About Eunice and Ellen); Family History: A Classic "Family" Sketch from 'The Carol Burnett Show', featuring Betty White (Show #1012, December 11, 1976) 
  • THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON - Movie: "Eunice" (Original Air Date: March 15, 1982); Featurette: Mama's Family Tree: The Roots (All About Mama and Fran); Interviews: Vicki Lawrence interviews Mama, Vicki Lawrence interviews Carol Burnett, Betty White.
My Thoughts:
This past weekend, I had a blast taking a walk down memory lane with my parents, as they watched episodes from Mama's Family, that are now available to own on DVD by way of  MAMA'S FAMILY: THE COMPLETE SERIES, or THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON and THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON DVDs.  Growing up, my family would sit around the television, as we tuned in each week to watch this hilarious comedy television series.  When I thought of comedians, besides Lucille Ball and Betty White, Carol Burnett would always come to mind.  

Can you believe this spin off of The Carol Burnett Show lasted 11 seasons on the CBS network?  This was unheard at that time, especially when it starred women as the lead actresses.  But, if you tuned in to watch this series each week, you would see why it was so popular.  Good luck at holding back tears caused by extreme laughter.  Carol Burnett would have you in stitches by the end of each episode.  And, as I sat to watch a dozen of memorable Mama's Family episodes, we couldn't help but laugh out loud, before sharing some of our favorite episodes with one another, as we walked down memory lane thanks to this hit television series, enjoyed by families back in the day.  I always wondered when and if the complete series of this show would come to DVD.  Now, I don't have to wonder anymore. Instead, I just have to find the time watch all 7 DVD's which make up the THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON and THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON Sets, which recently released.

With the holidays right around the corner, why not pick up MAMA'S FAMILY: THE COMPLETE SERIES, or THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON and THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON DVD's, to surprise that Mama's Family fan in your life?  This is one gift that will surely bring a smile to their face, and provide hours and hours of enjoyment and laughter. :-) Why, because "Mama said so!" 


From the first time the wildly-popular sketch "The Family" aired on "The Carol Burnett Show" in 1974, Vicki Lawrence has been followed by a buxom, blue-haired, purse-lipped, 65-year-old widow.  This is, of course, Thelma Mae Crowley Harper, Lawrence's indelible, abrasive and smart alecky alter ego who would eventually be spun-off into her own delightfully offbeat sitcom "Mama's Family," which debuted on NBC on January 22, 1983 and ran for six seasons.  Set in the fictional city of Raytown, MAMA'S FAMILY revolves around the eye-opening escapades of the Harper clan, headed by formidable matriarch, Mama Harper, a fiery-tempered no-nonsense woman who does not suffer fools gladly.  In fact, she makes everybody suffer a little with her patented snappy retorts that truly put the "diss" in dysfunction.  Across 130 episodes viewers were treated to family comedy of the highest degree. 

Disclosure:  I was sent screener copies from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.

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