Mama's Family: The Complete First Season
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Mama's Family: The Complete First Season (DVD)
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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Top Customer Reviews
I think some people have confused this DVD with the other Season 1 release from years ago which were the syndicated versions only.