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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Rural > Syndicated > Mama's Family: The Mamas Family Favorites Collection (1983 - 1990/Star Vista/Time Life DVD Set)

Mama's Family: The Mama's Family Favorites Collection (1983 - 1990/Star Vista/Time Life DVD Set)

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: D Episodes: B

Mama's Family, a spinoff sitcom from The Carol Burnett Show, is one of my favorite sitcoms of all time for reasons I'm still not sure of, but have noted before. It's so genuine to me and showcases simple comedy amongst a dysfunctional redneck family. The show stars Vicki Lawrence, Ken Berry, Dorothy Lyman, Allan Kayser, and Beverly Archer. Be sure to check other reviews of individual seasons elsewhere on this site as well.

For those not familiar (and shame on you if you're not!) Thelma "Mama" Harper (Lawrence) is the quick-tempered, blue-haired Queen of the Harper family who lives under a big roof with her son Vint (Berry) and his saucy wife, Naomi (Lyman), who were forced to move into Mama's basement after losing money in a business deal gone awry. Though she has a bad temper, Mama has a soft side and always puts her family first even when often times insane acts of comedy ensue.

After Vint's kids from a previous marriage leave the house, Mama's delinquent grandson Bubba (Kayser) is ordered to live with his grandmother after being released from juvenile hall and placed on probation - also residing under Mama's roof. Let's not forget Lola Boylen (Archer), Thelma's friend and neighbor, who is a frequent visitor to the Harper household and usually helps stir the pot and amp up the comedy. All of these bizarre characters form the perfect sitcom comedy that is still funny after all these years, though at times slightly dated.

This set features highlights from each season, handpicked by Vicki Lawrence herself, and include:

Season One: Vint and the Kids Move In, The Wedding - Parts 1 and 2, Cellmates, Family Feud, Positive Thinking, and Mama's Boyfriend

Season Two: Country Club, Rashomama, Gert Rides Again, Mama Learns to Drive, Mama Buys a Car, and Dear Aunt Fran

Season Three: Soup to Nuts, Cat's Meow, Steal One, Pearl Two, Where There's Smoke, Birthright, and It Takes Two to Watusi

Season Four: Zirconia's Are a Girl's Best Friend, Educating Mama, The Sins of the Mother, Mama on Jeopardy!, Mama Goes Hawaiian Parts One and Two

Season Five: The Really Loud Family, Naomi's New Position, Found Money, Mama's Layaway Plan, Mama in One, and Dependence Day

Season Six: Mama Fights Back, Bubba's House Band, The Big Nap, Pinup Mama, Look Who's Breathing, and the series finale, Bye-Bye Baby

The show has never looked better than it does here (coming from the original video masters) as it does on DVD with a standard definition image that captures the original 4:3/1.33 X 1 aspect ratio of the original television broadcast. The sound is fine with a simple, lossy Dolby 2.0 Stereo benefitting from improving TV audio standards of the time, with a surround mix in Pro Logic mode (or its variants). No additional extras.

This is a nice box set and definitely worth it if you're just looking for the highlights of the series and don't want to dive in completely. There is another set that features every episode and is a complete edition, also available from Time Life. I certainly do love this show and it's nice to see it get a new release in this form!

To look into the box set for the entire series, try this link...


We have also covered single seasons from both sets elsewhere on this site.

- James Lockhart



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