Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Complete Series Sneak Preview

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Richard Gallagher, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    The complete series set of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman from Shout! Factory will be released tomorrow and I received a review copy this morning. Obviously I will not be able to give it a proper review right away, but due to the controversy over the botched Volume 1 set which was released in 2007 I want to let fans of the show know that it appears that this set has rectified those problems. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman The Complete Series (244x330).jpg For the benefit of those who are unaware of the problems with the original release, it was apparent that there were problems with Episodes 22, 24 and 25. Episode 22 was missing the final scene where Charlie and Loretta Haggers are on their way to Nashville. Their car breaks down due to a radiator leak and they meet up with two hillbillies. The entire scene was missing. Instead, it was replaced with a kitchen scene from episode 23, and that scene remained in episode 23. Episode 24 was missing a scene where Charlie and Loretta are talking in the car after they get back on the road. Sony never provided an explanation for the edited episodes, but earlier this year HTF member Mark Tay figured it out: I finally figured out the strange edits on three episodes of the DVD set from Sony. To understand what happened we have to start back at the very, very beginning… Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman premiered on January 5th 1976 (at least on stations which were early adopters of this syndicated soap opera spoof). It ran weekdays (i.e. five episodes per week) with continuous new episodes through Friday, July 2nd 1976. At which point, having been on the air for 26 weeks and tallying up 130 unique episodes, it reached the end of “season one.” It was now time for cast and crew to take a well deserved break. Producer Norman Lear announced that videotaping of season two would begin in early August 1976, with the season two premiere occurring on Monday October 4th 1976. Unfortunately for rabid fans of the show, this left a gap of 13 weeks from the end of season one until the premiere of season two. Obviously re-runs from season one would be broadcast during the gap, however with a slight twist. An editor took the best (or most important) sequences from the original 130 episodes and created a new digest version of season one, condensed down to only 65 episodes. This digest version of season one allowed new fans of the show, to catch up on all that had transpired previously, and created a very nice build up as well as smooth transition right into season two. In 2007 Sony released the first volume of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman on DVD. Their intent was to include the first 25 episodes of season one, complete and unedited. However, three episodes on the DVD set were mistakenly substituted with digest versions from 1976. This unfortunate mix up occurs on what should have been episodes 22, 24 and 25. Owners of the DVD set can rest assured that the remaining episodes are all complete as originally aired. One can easily distinguish original early episodes by their end credits which crawl up the screen. The end credits on the digest versions fade in and out. The first thing I did upon opening the complete series set was to look at episodes 22, 23, 24 and 25. The missing scenes have been restored and the duplicated kitchen scene appears only in episode 23. Each episode which I previewed has the crawl end credits, which signifies that these are the original, unedited episodes. The picture quality is very good. The 325 episodes are spread across 36 discs. Extras: There are two bonus discs which contain the extras. First is "Inside the Funhouse Mirror," in which creator Normal Lear and stars Louise Lasser and Mary Kay Place discuss the making of the show. "On the Verge Of..." has Lear and Lasser recalling the "nervous breakdown" episode. We also get ten complete episodes of Fernwood 2 Night, the spinoff spoof of TV talk shows starring Martin Mull and Fred Willard. Also included is a 40-page illustrated booklet which contains a complete episode guide. From what I have seen so far, I am confident that fans of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman will be pleased with this set.
     
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  2. Richard Gallagher

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    I have the episode numbers of the ten Fernwood 2 Night episodes:

    16
    32
    33
    34
    38
    43
    53
    59
    60
    64

    With any luck we will get the entire series one day.
     
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  3. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    Thanks! Can't wait to get this!
     
  4. Richard Gallagher

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  5. Mr. Handley

    Mr. Handley Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the great review, Richard! In the other thread about this release, Chas Speed reported that one of the epiodes from Season 2 (#174) clocks in at around 17 minutes. This appears to be the only cut episode and I'm just wondering if you or anyone else has any idea about why this one episode is short?!?

    I'm hoping to pick up this set as I've never seen the whole series. I'd also buy the spin-offs too if they ever decide to release them.
     
  6. Richard Gallagher

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    I'll take a look at that one. I couldn't spot check all 325 episodes, so it certainly is possible that we may hear about an anomaly or two. I have since learned that there may also be an edit in episode 204. It has been suggested that there may have been some music clearance issues, but that is unconfirmed.
     
  7. chas speed

    chas speed Second Unit

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    I have gone through 300 episodes and have only noticed 2 cuts (mentioned in my Amazon review) and I am extremely pleased. There was a TON of music clearances that Shout Factory had to make and they seemed to have nailed 99.9% of them. Every time Dody Goodman is on camera she is singing a few lines from a classic song to herself. Loretta and her alter ego Lulu also cover a lot of songs. Then there is music being played on records and on the jukebox. Mary Hartman fans can breath a sigh of relief. This is a great set.
     
  8. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    That's great to hear. When I heard there might have been music clearance issues I was worried, especially for all the songs Mary Kay Place sang on the series. I haven't seen the series since it aired originally, but I still remember her singing "Lulu's Back in Town" at the diner.
     
  9. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    Glad that the episodes are nearly intact. It does make me question Shout's claim that the music clearances on Maude were the prohibiting factor to picking up that series.
     
  10. Kasey

    Kasey Second Unit

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    Well if this thing sells well, maybe they will go back and revisit the idea of getting Maude.
     
  11. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Now, if we could only get a The Complete Fernwood/America 2Nite...
     
  12. Dave Lawrence

    Dave Lawrence Second Unit

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    I'd like that, too. But I hope we could get The Complete Forever Fernwood first.
     
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  13. Uatu

    Uatu New User

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    Hello, this is my first post here at this forum. Just got the complete set in the mail. I was reading about the cuts in episodes 174 and 204. I happen to have a good part of MHMH season one and two taken from the original broadcast and second run syndication.

    In episode 174, there is a scene featuring Charlie and Sue that is removed completely from the new set. They do an artificial stop with the previous scene with Jody and Loretta which they pause and do the iris effect which isn't in the original broadcast. The original broadcast version cuts back to Charlie and Sue deciding to go to a bar so Charlie can drown his sorrows. A couple of women flirt with them. The jukebox is playing two Johnny Cash songs ("I Walk the Line" and "Jackson") in the background which is probably why this segment was removed since they couldn't add replacement music over the dialogue. I don't have episode #204 so I don't know why that was cut.

    There are many times throughout the series where the characters sing to themselves at the beginning of a scene. One scene I remember is Mary singing "You're So Vain" while clipping coupons. I think it happened some time around episodes 60-70. I'm going to start watching the complete set from the beginning tonight, so if I see any obvious cuts, I'll let you guys know.
     
  14. Mr. Handley

    Mr. Handley Supporting Actor

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    Uatu, thanks for checking that episode! The use of the Johnny Cash songs would explain that cut. Too bad they couldn't clear every single song, but I understand. Now, if my wallet ever gets fat enough, I'll take the plunge and get this set.

    Put me down for more Maude too. I have the first season and would love to see the rest.
     
  15. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    America wasn't on very long so I can't see why they couldn't do both as one release
     
  16. Richard Gallagher

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    Thanks for the clarifications on the two edited episodes. I have updated the review thread to note that both episodes contained music which could not be cleared.
     
  17. chas speed

    chas speed Second Unit

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    Great bit of detective work Jared. It would be great if you could put the cut scene on Youtube.
     
  18. Uatu

    Uatu New User

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    That's what I plan on doing once I get a new DVD burner. I also want to put up some other MHMH related stuff like a bumper for the Mary Hartman hotline. Back in the day if you missed an episode, you could call the hotline and get caught up. I think most local affiliates at the time had one. There was also a neat audio promo that ran during the end credits of MHMH. It featured Graham Jarvis (in character as Charlie Haggers) urging viewers to stay tuned for Dark Shadows and that he and Loretta never miss an episode. They are from discs I have of the original airings on KBHK in San Francisco.
     
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  19. chas speed

    chas speed Second Unit

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    Wow, that sounds like amazing footage and it's good to know that Charlie and Loretta were Dark Shadows fans. Tip us off when the footage is up.
     

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