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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Rural > Syndicated > Mama's Family - Season 3 (1986 - 1987/StarVista/Time Life DVD Set)

Mama's Family - Season 3 (1986 - 1987/StarVista/Time Life DVD Set)

Picture: C Sound: C Extras: C+ Episodes: B+

Welcome to
Season 3 of Mama's Family, as Mama continues to house, feed and take care of the wayward Harper Family and more. Her 40 year old son Vint and his wife Naomi in her basement, Buzz and Sonja are gone, but Bubba has just been release out of juvenile hall and found out his parents have moved to Florida and has no place to go but Mama's, but that is only the beginning of their trouble when Mama's nosy neighbor Iola has a major crush on Vint. This is also the first syndicated season of the show after a year-long hiatus and this resulting hit revival/continuation.

Thelma Harper (aka Mama, as played by Vicki Lawrence) is the matriarch of the Harper family, she drinks like a fish, swears like a sailor, meaner than a drill sergeant and tougher than nails grandma with her own brand of tough love to her wacky and immature family. Vint is Mama's 40 year-old-son who is a locksmith and can't move out of his Mama's basement for financial reason, along with his wife Naomi who works as a checkout girl at a local food market with illusions of grandeur and vanity. Bubba is a recent return from juvie hall with a large criminal record, even larger appetite and mouth with a mentality of a 10 year old (he's Ed & Eunice's abandoned son!). While Iola is Mama's neighbor/best friend is an old-maid and wants to steal Vint away for herself (which Vint is clueless about). Often, Mama not only has to provide for her family but get them out of the shenanigans they cause.

This was an old comical series about a crazy grandmother and her family nobody would ever want, let alone stand, its not so surprising with that kind of family you would end up a little cuckoo. While time and age has effect some of the screen quality and sound, the show still was still watchable comedy with strong family values, friendship and love (though they would never admit it).

The 1.33 X 1 image is refined, but color is limited, while the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound is decent for a TV show this age. Extras include Family History, Mama's Family Tree, Mama Knows Best: A Mama's Family cast reunion and interview with Allan Kayer, all originally from the Complete Series box set.


Farewell, Frannie - Mama tries to get everyone together for Fran's wake, and Bubba returns home.

Where There's a Will - Fran left a large inheritance, but only if Mama doesn't loose her temper for 2 weeks.

Best Medicine - The Harper family visits Ellen in the hospital.

National Mama - Mama's dreams predicts the outcome of horse races.

Soup to Nuts - Mama, Iola, and Naomi competes on who makes the best chili.

Mama and Dr. Brothers - The Harpers get help from a TV psychologist.

Cat's Meow - Iola gets her dead cat stuffed and Mama loses it.

The Love Letter - A love letter confuses the entire Harper family with who wrote it and to whom.

An Ill Wind - It's Thanksgiving but there is storm watch outside.

Steal One, Pearl Two - Iola accuses Bubba of stealing her pearl necklace.

Where there's a Smile - Bubba jail mate breaks out of jail and into Mama's house.

Fly Naomi - Naomi applies to be an airline stewardess

Santa Mama - It's Christmas but can anyone convince Mama to get into the spirit of the holidays?

Desperately Seeking Anyone - Mama helps Iola get a date in the new paper ad.

Porn Again - Mama finds Bubba's porn magazines under his mattress.

Have it Mama's Way - Mama works with Bubba in a fast food place.

Birthright - Vint questions if he was really adopted when he is an oddball in the family.

Grandma USA - Mama enters a beauty pageant.

Buck Private Bubba - Bubba considers joining the army.

Mama's Cousin - Mama's life long rival comes for a visit.

Mama with the Golden Arm - Mama enters an arm wrestling contest.

It Takes Two to Watusi - Bubba dates a woman old as Mama.

Fangs a Lot, Mama - Vint joins the secret society of the Cobra.

The Best Policy - Everyone thinks Naomi is trying to kill Vint for his insurance policy.

After the Fall - Mama brings home Aunt Effie from the hospital.

For more on the show, see our coverage of the Complete Series DVD box set with a link to order this single set, the prior seasons and/or the deluxe box set and look for the link to our exclusive interview with Vicki Lawrence at the bottom of the text here...


- Ricky Chiang


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