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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Discussion thread


alphanguy74

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The freshness of the show wore off after a while, then the whole Louise being arrested thing happened and she was off he show shortly after. I watched until Louise left, never watched Fernwood. I never thought the show too sexualised, although I may be looking back on it with a modern sensibility, I never remember being shocked or disgusted by anything. I was 19 when the show aired, so it may have something to do with it. I did get a little bored by the show as many things stayed the same, I would say the first six to eight months were the best, the rest was good but not as good. I don't remember anything specifically but just remember not watching it every night as I did when it first started.

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The freshness of the show wore off after a while, then the whole Louise being arrested thing happened and she was off he show shortly after.

It was not so much that the freshness wore off, but that Norman Lear made a gravely strategic error in forcing out headwriter Ann Marcus. Although Gail Parent developed the concept, it was Ann Marcus who layered the characterizations and created something so much deeper than just a zany parody of soaps. After Marcus left, the series really lost its focus as subsequent writers Tom Eyen and Dennis Klein wrote MH2 as a one-note joke. They did not understand the series, or if they did, they chose to ignore what made it successful.

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Did you ever watch Fernwood 2-Nite? Were they the people who did the later run of MHMH?

No, I did not. I saw it, of course, but was not a viewer. To my knowledge, Alan Thicke was the head writer of Fernwood 2-Nite. He had nothing to do with the writing of MH2. I do not know what happened to Dennis Klein. Tom Eyen was the initial replacement for Ann Marcus. Eyen was the writer for whom Lear had a hard on. Later on, he achieved a great deal of success with Dreamgirls, but I feel his approach to Mary Hartman was wrong. He was more the Ron Carlivati of his day. Just my opinion. Sorry.

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Fernwood 2-Nite was actually a summer replacement series. MH2 was produced in thirteen week cycles. After the first two cycles of 130 episodes in 1976, there was a break. The 130 episodes were re-edited, and during the summer of 1976, reruns of Mary Hartman were shown until the next cycle began in October. Mary Hartman ended in July 1977, and Fernwood 2-Nite was produced as a filler until Forever Fernwood would be ready for syndication in October 1977. After Forever Fernwood was cancelled at the end of its first two cycles, in March 1978, Fernwood 2-Nite was brought back again to fill the remainder of the slot until July, though it had been renamed America 2-Nite and no longer originated from Fernwood (apparently due to the end of the Mary Hartman franchise).

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