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Mama's Family: The Complete First Season

Vicki Lawrence , Beverly Archer , Harvey Korman , Roger Beatty    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 33.74
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Mama's Family: The Complete First Season + Mama's Family  - The Complete Second Season + Mama's Family: The Complete Third Season
Price For All Three: CDN$ 62.82

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  • Mama's Family - The Complete Second Season CDN$ 24.97

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  • Mama's Family: The Complete Third Season CDN$ 16.97

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Product Details

Product Description


Do you remember Mama? How could you forget her? As indelibly portrayed by Vicki Lawrence, formidable Mama put the "diss" in dysfunctional. Like Tyler Perry's Madea a decade later (but without the penchant for firearms or corporeal punishment), Mama dispenses no-nonsense motherly advice, discipline, and verbal kicks in the backside. She makes Dr. Phil look like Stuart Smalley. Thelma Harper does not suffer fools. She makes them--well, everybody--suffer. These include her sister, Fran (Rue McLanahan, The Golden Girls), a journalist who lives with her; her feckless son, Vint (Ken Berry, F-Troop), who moves in with his two teenagers after he is evicted from his house; and "bleached-blonde bimbo" Naomi (Dorothy Lyman, the original Opal on All My Children), who marries Vint by episode 4. Mama's extended family includes her two daughters, highfalutin Ellen (Betty White) and high-strung Eunice (Carol Burnett), who, to say the least, has issues. No one will mistake Mama's family for the Cleavers or the Bradys. They communicate mostly by screaming, and with put-downs often more cruel than comical. As a bystander tells Mama and Eunice in one episode, "Hold it, you're giving me a headache." One of the most memorable episodes is the one in which the Harpers must stick together when they appear on Family Feud (featuring a game Richard Dawson). Lawrence and Burnett, who appears in four episodes, share a palpable chemistry, honed all those years on The Carol Burnett Show, where Mama originated. As with those classic sketches, the best of these episodes, such as "Cellmates," in which Mama and Eunice are jailed after a disastrous birthday celebration, can make you laugh one minute and move you the next. Mama's Family is a great place to visit. Thank god we don't have to live there. --Donald Liebenson

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mama knows Best Jan. 28 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This first season is hilarious. We've been waiting for a few years now to have the rest of the series episodes released on dvd. When is it going to happen? We need to see the rest Mama's Family escapades. Favorite episodes from season one are when Mama and Eunice get sent to jail and share their cell with a prostitute and when the family competes on the Family Feud game show.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mamas family Nov. 22 2011
very happy with dvd i got it on time in the ezact condition as described if i fine any other products from this seller im sure i will purchase them
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5.0 out of 5 stars received in good condition. Feb. 24 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have not been able to watch this season yet but am very pleased to add it to my collection.
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Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Just received my DVD and indeed these ARE the original broadcast shows.
I think some people have confused this DVD with the other Season 1 release from years ago which were the syndicated versions only.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  251 reviews
111 of 118 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Boy howdy, I bet the neighbors are just loving this!"--Mama Nov. 11 2006
By mwreview - Published on Amazon.com
Mama's Family definitely gets five stars. One of my favorite shows of all-time, especially during its first two seasons with the occasional appearances of Eunice. What a stellar cast: Vicki Lawrence, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Dorothy Lyman, Ken Berry (How was it ever canceled in the first place?) I really liked the kids Buzz and Sonja, too.

The reason I am knocking a star off the score is that these episodes are edited. They are like the syndication edits that are still aired all the time. What's up with that??!! I've been waiting to see these episodes uncut for years. I know how much they've cut because I have an audio recording of "The Wedding Part 1" from when it aired back around 1985 (a rerun even, not the first airing which was 2/5/83):

1. They cut out the part about the hoochie coochie dancer in the kitchen scene with Mama, Buzz, and Vint.

2. When Sonja asked if she was a slave, Fran's comeback line "If you were, you would've been sold years ago" is gone.

3. Mama explaining to Sonja that "strong drink can make even the daintiest of ladies seem unattractive and crude" (and then hic-ups from the beer) got the ax.

4. The scene with Mama and Fran in the kitchen is shortened.

5. They cut out Mama talking about seeing her husband Carl naked out of the shower. She shoved him in the linen closet and never looked again.

6. A lot of dialogue about the controversy over Eunice's "O Promise Me" solo is missing.

7. And the worst omission of all: Eunice screaming "Well All Right!!!" after Mama exclaimed, "This is my house and I say there ain't gonna be no da*n singing!" isn't there! I've been looking forward to seeing that scene again which always seems to be cut in syndication.

These are just what is cut out of one episode! And the tags during the closing credits are missing, too. I definitely would have paid more money to get these episodes uncut, wouldn't you? Anyway, here are the episodes from Season 1:

"Vint and the Kids Move In": Vint and the kids are kicked out of their house and they have to move in with Mama.

"For Better or For Worse": "Her! Him! Here!" Mama hyperventilates when she finds out Naomi and Vint spent the night together down in the basement. Vint and Naomi then decide to get married and run a trailer park in Arizona.

"The Wedding Part 1": While getting ready for the wedding to be held a Mama's showplace, Eunice takes delight in telling sister Ellen the truth about her husband and his secretary.

"The Wedding Part 2": Eunice slightly changes her rendition of "O Promise Me" after she finds out Mama gave Vint her father's sapphire ring. Later, Vint and Naomi discover there trailer park plans were a rip-off and they have to move in with Mama again.

"Family Feud": The Harpers "wind up" on Family Feud. Richard Dawson is a guest.

"Cellmates": Eunice and Mama find themselves in jail with a prostitute who gets them to consider their mother/daughter relationship. This is the episode where Eunice finds out Mama sent her dream man Duke Reeves away when she was in high school.

"Mama Gets A Job": Mama gets a job at a travel agency and her family keeps bugging her a work. I like the part where she's learning how to answer the phones: "It's a great day here at the Raytown Travel Agency! May I heeelp you?!"

"Double Standard": Sonja gets all women's rights when she finds out her younger brother has a longer curfew.

"Mama's Boyfriend": Mama shocks her family when she plans on spending a weekend in a cabin by the lake with an old flame.

"Fran's Dress": Mama accidentally ruins Fran's priced dress she plans on wearing to an awards banquette.

"Alien Marriage": In another get-rich-quick scheme, Vint plans on marrying a Portuguese woman to get her a green card. In this episode, Naomi and Vint are not married yet. Naomi is still Mama's complaining neighbor. Anyway, Mama really goes off in this one! Great shouting scene including a nice argument between Mama and her flighty, old maid sister Fran.

"Positive Thinking": One of the funniest episodes. Eunice starts listening to positive thinking tapes and gets a role in a play. Great Eunice line: "I just decked the entire cast over there at the Pepperpot Playhouse!"

"Mama's Silver": Vint pawns Mama's precious sterling.
67 of 71 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good show, but the DVDs are a TRAVESTY Sept. 25 2006
By Norman Landsburg - Published on Amazon.com
I was extremely excited when this underrated gem of 1980s TV was announced for DVD, but then I saw the review on Sitcoms Online. The DVDs are not complete, not by a long shot.

The NBC era episodes originally ran about 24 to 25 minutes and featured introductions by Harvey Korman as a character called "Alastair Quince," spoofing Masterpiece Theater's Alastair Cooke. These are gone, along with three minutes of footage from each episode. They now run 21 minutes, as they do in syndication. The later episodes (seasons 3-6, which were first-run syndication) ran at this length originally, but the first 2 seasons did not. Enough footage is gone to equal about one and one half of an episode.

After the debacles with ALF, The Cosby Show, and Roseanne on DVD one would think that Warner would have tried to avoid this. Nope. They just slapped on edited episodes and hope fans wouldn't notice. That they didn't include the original 1982 special "Eunice" which spawned this show, nor any of the Carol Burnett Show sketches which inspired it, is bad enough. But this disc fails to meet the minimum standard of presentation.

Do not buy this DVD. You need to write to Warner Bros. and tell them you will not buy this show in an edited version. Tell them you want season 1 reissued in its original, uncut, network version and then you will buy it, and that all future releases must be released in their original form. Buying this product sends a message that cutting corners is acceptable.
80 of 91 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warner Blew This Big Time! Sept. 25 2006
By Ashley - Published on Amazon.com
Like the other couple of reviewers, I was also excited to hear Mama's Family was coming to DVD, but just minutes ago I found out in a Sitcoms Online review that the episodes are edited syndication cuts. I am so disappointed and feel so cheated. If I would have found out sooner I would have canceled my pre-order but it's now too late. Warner Bros. has some major explaining to do.

The show is a definite five stars, but I wish I could give this DVD no stars. A big fat raspberry to you, Warner!
76 of 86 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of money! Great show, awul DVD treatment! Sept. 26 2006
By A - Published on Amazon.com
I bought the Mama's Family DVD today and was shocked and appalled to see that they are the edited syndication versions. This makes no sense at all. WB sucks!
53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warner Bros. doesn't care about the fans Sept. 27 2006
By Literate Kentuckian - Published on Amazon.com
As a loyal fan of "Mama's Family" for years and years, I thought no one was more thrilled than me that this series was finally seeing the light of day on DVD.

But Warner Bros. did a sloppy job by giving this show the barest of releases, so why should they get my money?

They won't.

And as you can see, I am not alone---the fans are speaking out.

It's awful enough that they couldn't even bother to put the complete episodes on the discs. But no Special Features? Give me a break, how pathetic.

Where is the original opening theme song, not seen since the original broadcast?

Where are the introductory segments of Harvey Korman as Alastair Quince, also not seen since said broadcasts?

Where is the "Eunice" TV movie?

Where are any "Family" sketches from "The Carol Burnett Show"?

Where is the clip of Vicki Lawrence winning her Emmy award for "The Carol Burnett Show" in 1976, which she won partially for her portrayal of Mama?

Where is the gag reel of bloopers?

Where are any cast or crew interviews/documentaries?

Where are any commentaries?

ANY of those would have been very welcome Special Features for the fans. And while I'm at it, where is season 2? Since only seasons 1 and 2 were on NBC, why not release both seasons packaged together---since they have Fran, Eunice, Ellen, Buzz, and Sonja---complete and with extra goodies, and then you could tout the season 3 release as the "new phase" of the show with Bubba and Iola, since seasons 3 through 6 were a bit different in syndication. Season 1 has only 13 episodes, Season 2 has 22, and the others have over 20. So it would have made much more sense to squeeze 1 and 2 together---the NBC years---and then release the remaining four seasons separately.

I have news for you, Warner. You can't simply put out a mundane release and have the fans not notice. We're making our voices heard that we want full, unedited releases packed with special features---what this show deserves---and what there it could be.

I strongly encourage everyone disappointed in this to write and call Warner Bros. (more effective than e-mail) and voice your frustration, disappointment, and refusal to buy:

DVD Department

Warner Home Video

4000 Warner Blvd.

Burbank, CA 91522-1543

Telephone: 818-954-6000

Fax: 818-954-6480

Thank you.
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