First, I never realized the enormous influence MH2 had on the Simpsons... I realized the trademark Normal Lear mix of social/pop culture satire and great writing, but there are even charactors from MH2 that seem to have made their way to that show as well....!
Anyway, I know I'm not the only person who's been waiting for Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman to either make its way back to TV reruns or DVD... and the only who was ANGRY how long overdue it was, but now, finally its HERE... though I remembered it as one of the greatest TV shows of all time, to be honest, I didn't remember just HOW great it was, otherwise the wait would have been harder...
Starting with the first episodes (complete with the overhead mic slipping into the frame) the show is on a heavy roll... There's no laugh track, and no time killing... Jam packed with great script delivered by a crack ensemble. In fact, the writing is SO brilliant you get broadsided by the humor sometimes and find yourself gigling without even realizing why... then if you go back a half a minute and watch it again you're like... "oh my god ! ! !" (am I the only person who reacts like this?) The strange, soap opera spoof, non-sequitor double entendre lines, TV commercial derived dialogue and strange scenerios all delivered in the dry quirky uniquely MH2 style makes this a must have/must see/must repeatedly see view... and Mary Hartman's unforgetable young, unhappy, valium dazed housewife is so great... (and actually reminds me of my mother's friends and neighbors... back then going to shrinks and getting your tranqs to deal with the stresses of middle class American life was really in!)
Anyway, as you watch you marvel at the ensemble, but can see them doing their best to hold back from cracking up over their own lines and delivery... the show also strikes an edgy nerve... almost like Vonnegut on Valium. - - Though Louise Lasser may best be remember as one of Woody Allen's ex's, you can actually feel the Allenesque "zeitgeist" quirk via her brilliant acting. (Of course, the acting allegedly backfired when people actually believed that her nervous breakdown on the show was real!)
Watch Mary Hartman... the ultimate spoof of the American soap opera... and dysfunctional family life ! Over 9 hours packed onto 3 DVDs in a nifty slimline box set. Meanwhile... when's FERNWOOD TONIGHT gonna hit DVD ???