Disc News: Details Out for Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman: The Complete Series

We reported earlier this week that Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman: The Complete Series is coming on Dec. 3. This was a bit of a shocker since it had been over six years since the first 25 episodes were put out on DVD. Now fans can see the other 300 episodes in this massive collection. This is going to really alter the viewing habits of a lot of people in December. Here’s the press release from Shout! Factory that lists the amazing bonus features that include new interviews with stars Louise Lasser and Mary Kay Place:

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman: The Complete Series

TO BE RELEASED IN A DELUXE 38-DVD BOX SET

BY Shout! Factory on DECEMBER 3, 2013

The groundbreaking satirical soap opera produced by the legendary Norman Lear with a first-of-its-kind syndication deal, and starring Louise Lasser, Greg Mullavey, Mary Kay Place, Graham Jarvis, Dabney Coleman and Martin Mull, will finally be available in its entirety!

Los Angeles, CA – At long last, all 325 episodes of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman will be available on DVD when Shout! Factory releases the 38-DVD box set Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman: The Complete Series on December 3, 2013! Bonus features include new essays by the show’s developer, legendary TV producer Norman Lear (All In The Family; Sanford and Son; The Jeffersons; Good Times; Maude), and Pulitzer Prize–winning TV critic Tom Shales, two documentary featurettes, and 10 original episodes of its delirious spinoff Fernwood 2 Night. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman: The Complete Series has a $249.95 SRP.

Louise Lasser delivers a masterful performance in the title role of Norman Lear’s sublimely twisted soap opera, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman–at once a parody of the format and a twisted satire of America’s media/consumer culture.

In the fictional town of Fernwood, Ohio, suburban housewife Mary Hartman seeks the kind of domestic perfection promised by Reader’s Digest and TV commercials. Instead she finds herself suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune—mass murders, low-flying airplanes and waxy yellow buildup on her kitchen floor.

Louise Lasser (Take the Money and Run, Bananas) leads off the strong cast of Greg Mullavey (Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, iCarly) playing Mary’s husband, Mary Kay Place (Big Love, The Big Chill), who won a 1977 Emmy® for her role on the show as an aspiring country singer Loretta Haggers, Graham Jarvis (Misery, Guiding Light) as Loretta’s devoted husband, Debralee Scott (Police Academy, American Graffiti) as Mary’s younger sister, Victor Kilian (The Ox-Bow Incident, Only Angels Have Wings) as crusty Grandpa Larkin, Dody Goodman (One Life To Live, Grease) and Philip Bruns (General Hospital, Flashdance) as perhaps the strangest parents in television history, Dabney Coleman (Boardwalk Empire, Tootsie) as Fernwood’s slightly devious mayor, Martin Mull (Arrested Development, Roseanne) as identical twins Garth and Barth Gimble, and Claudia Lamb (Forever Fernwood) as Mary’s 12 year old daughter.

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was unique in its creation, substance and style. In an essay written for the box set, Lear recalls developing the show’s premise. “I wanted it to play on two levels – funny to those who got the jokes but sufficiently compelling as drama to entertain those who didn’t. The recipe: Mix pop culture and satire, stir slowly and serve straight.” Facing networks that were unwilling to take a risk, Lear and his team created the show on their own with a first-of-its-kind syndication deal. They shot a pilot and sold the show to stations directly to build their first-run syndication, bringing critical acclaim and ratings success. The developer behind iconic TV shows as Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Good Times, and Maude, Lear writes “The show was as personally fulfilling as anything I’ve ever done in the half-hour form on TV.”

Tom Shales writes, “Brilliance can dim over time, but in some rare cases, it actually gets brighter. That’s the story with Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, the Norman Lear soap-opera satire that ran for only about a year and a half in the mid-70s, was produced on a relatively miniscule budget, and yet now occupies an enormous place in TV history – and in the hearts of many who remember the show not just fondly but with a passion rare for the medium.” He continues, “It would prove to be one of those happy and infrequent times in television when the stars and the planets were all aligned in mirthful perfection, when the concept and the execution were equally sublime, and a time when Norman Lear was still establishing bold new standards in television by summarily smashing outdated old ones. Yes, all that, and uniquely entertaining as well – a one-of-a-kind experience that might make you laugh till you cry – or the other way around.”

Not since the show’s original network run has anyone been able to experience this iconic cult classic in its entirety. The Complete Series provides the complete Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman experience.

Emmy® is the trademark property of ATAS/NATAS.

Bonus Features:

Inside the Funhouse Mirror featurette
Norman Lear, Louise Lasser and Mary Kay Place talk about the making of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

On the Verge of… featurette

Norman Lear and Louise Lasser remember the famous “Nervous Breakdown” episode where Lasser gives an incomparable performance as Mary who finds coping with life as “America’s Typical Consumer Housewife” beyond her grasp.

10 original Fernwood 2 Night Episodes!

Based in Fernwood, Ohio, the fictional town made popular by Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Fernwood 2 Night is the original TV talk show spoof starring Martin Mull, Fred Willard, and Frank De Vol.

Total Program Running Time: Approx. 135 hours

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