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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Discussion thread


alphanguy74

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Here in the Cleveland area, the Hoolihan & Big Chuck (later Big Chuck & Lil' John) would do sketches that parodied various TV shows. Since Cleveland and its suburbs have such a large population of folks of Polish heritage, their parody of MH, MH was entitled "Mary Hartski, Mary Hartski".

Since the program is too complicated for me to explain to people who have never lived in the Cleveland area, here is Wikipedia's accurate article about it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Chuck_and_Lil'_John

Also, here are a couple of the "Mary Hartski" sketches:



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I actually have the first episode of Forever Fernwood on tape. TV Land aired it as part of a celebration for Norman Lear's 80th birthday twelve years ago. I haven't had a VCR in years, and I have no idea how I would even upload it to YouTube, but I would totally put it up there. I figured someone else who'd taped it then would have put it up by now, but nope.

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Whatever happened to the actor who played Tom Hartman? I forget his name, but he had been married IRL to Meredith MacRae of My Three Sons and Petticoat Junction fame. They had a daughter together.

I also don't know the woman who played "Mary Hartski" but she sure had the look and mannerisms of Mary Hartman down pat, even making the same faces that Louise Lasser did. Great stuff.

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Whatever happened to the actor who played Tom Hartman? I forget his name, but he had been married IRL to Meredith MacRae of My Three Sons and Petticoat Junction fame. They had a daughter together.

I also don't know the woman who played "Mary Hartski" but she sure had the look and mannerisms of Mary Hartman down pat, even making the same faces that Louise Lasser did. Great stuff.

Greg Mullavey? I was coincidentally thinking about him the other day as I ran across MHMH on youtube. He is an actor I don't think I have seen since the 70s and so I just expected him to be young. He's older now, 75, and looks it. He is someone I just associate with the 1970s, be it Mary Hartman, Mike's smarter friend on All In The Family, or whatever random guest appearances he did.

Appaerently he had a recurring role in B&B as Father McEvoy in 2000

Edited by quartermainefan
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I finally caved and bought the complete series DVD set a few weeks ago. I considered just picking up with the first episode I'd never seen (so, basically, skipping the first 30 episodes), but I ended up watching from the beginning again, and boy, am I glad I did. I've been marathonning it like crazy the last week or so, and it's become my new obsession all over again, like 13 years after I watched it for the first time.

I'm currently on episode #38, so there's still plenty, plenty left for me to devour, but my God, the first two months of shows were just fantastic. As I've said here before, this show found THE magical combination of absurd comedy and human drama. I honestly forgot who much of it was played as legitimate soap opera and turned out legitimately great dramatic performances. The Mary/Tom story could have easily been bogged down in superficial, repetitive dialogue, but they really did a lot with each scene between the two. Louise Lasser is definitely an MVP as Mary slowly deals with the fact that the man she's built her dreams around has become a complete !@#$%^&*]. Then you have one of the thottiest thots who have EVER thotted, Ms. Mae Olinski. I think they could have done more to show her loneliness and desperation, because they've hinted at it, and it makes sense, but maybe that's coming up.

Another great dramatic performer is Graham Jarvis, whose character could have just been a complete punchline if GJ wasn't so natural in the part. He and MKP have the best chemistry, but he also works well in scenes where he tries to knock some sense into Tom.

The comedy, of course, is so ridiculous and absurd, and it's absolutely perfect. One of the funniest running sight gags is George's "Hooray! Daddy's home!" hemorrhoid pillow. And it just doesn't get any better than Dody Goodman as the delightfully oblivious Martha.

I'm SO glad I decided to purchase the whole series. It cost me $150, but for 325 episodes, it's way more than worth it.

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I'm still making my way through the complete series, currently in the earliest of the 100s. We've just gotten introduced to Merle and Jimmy Joe Jeeter, Sgt. Foley has had a heart attack and he and Mary slept together in his hospital bed, Tom has moved out, Loretta is becoming super religious and Charlie is getting frustrated, Cathy wants to be a nun, and the new neighbors, Ed and Howard, are on the verge of coming out to their friends and neighbors.

 

Aside from a very slow rough patch in the 40s and early 50s (they held on to the Tom/Mae angle for way too long), the show has continued to be great. We just got through the fun storyline with Muriel, Charlie's first wife, running a scheme to get money from the Haggerses, and now some new life has been breathed into the Mary/Foley stuff. I wish someone on the show would call Foley out for the sociopath he is. It's crazy to see all these women fawning over him while he just plays them all, openly. Ed and Howard are an interesting surprise. I knew they were coming, but I didn't expect the show to spend so much time on them and developing the nuances of their relationship. The show should be praised for writing them as real characters.

The closer I get to Mary's breakdown, the more excited I get. I've never actually seen the scene, so I have a lot of high hopes for it.

One thing I'm disappointed about re: the complete series set is that most of the episodes seem to be edited a little. You don't lose too much of it, and the scenes are so long that they wouldn't dare edit out more than a line or two, but it's noticeable.

 

Also, they went with 10 episodes of Fernwood 2-Night as the bonus but absolutely nothing from Forever Fernwood.

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