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That's My Mama - The Complete Second Season



DVD Release Date: August 23, 2005 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $29.95
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 13
Running Time: Approx. 312 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, closed-captioned
Special Features: None


To quote Junior: I got it, I got it, and I gosta to report That's My Mama is now available on DVD. Step into Oscar's Barbershop for another hilarious season of "That's My Mama," one of the funniest TV shows of the '70s. There have been some changes: Earl's quit the Post Office to take up cutting hair, Junior's in college (yes, college), and oddball neighbor Laura (Helen Martin of TV's "2227") is along for the ride. But Mama's still Mama, and she's still in charge. Whether it's settling fights or keeping an eye on the money, Mama's the one to count on in this family. Starring Clifton Davis (TV's "Amen") and Ted Lange (TV's "Love Boat"), this season includes episodes from the creative minds of TV's "M*A*S*H" and "Barney Miller."

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

That's My Mama premiered on ABC on September 4, 1974. 26 episodes were produced during the show's first season (1974-1975). The show would return in the fall of 1975, in a new timeslot, with several cast changes and a new opening theme song and set of credits. The final airing was on December 24, 1975. That's My Mama had been canceled after 13 second season episodes.

Memorable episodes included "The Birthday Party" in which Leonard's crass gift at Mama's birthday party - a prepaid cemetery plot - sets off a personal war between Clifton and his brother-in-law. A globetrotting female friend comes back to town, just in time to win Clifton's Heart in "A Date With Judy." On their way to an out-of-town wedding, Clifton, Mama and the gang get sidetracked by a snowstorm and bad directions in "Get Your Kicks On Routes 22 and 76."

Several notable guest stars stopped by Oscar's barbershop. Mel Stewart appeared as the client in "Business is Business." Helen Martin played Laura in "That's Earl, Brother," "Mama's Big Move," "Get Your Kicks On Routes 22 and 76," and "Clifton's Casual Fling." Tamu Blackwell guest starred as Judy in "A Date With Judy."


The packaging looks very similar to the first season set. The DVD cover art features a photo of Clifton Davis and Theresa Merritt at the top, with a photo of Junior and Earl on the bottom. The familiar brick background and the barber's pole that you see in the opening credits are also on display. The back of the box features a large photo of Clifton Davis and Theresa Merritt, with a smaller photo of Theodore Wilson, Theresa Merritt, and another actor on the bottom. There are 2 slimcases that slide out from the right of the box. The front of the cases feature two different photos of Clifton Davis and Theresa Merritt. On the back of the slimcases, the episode titles with short summaries are listed. I think it would have been nice if they listed the original airdates and any guest stars as well. There is a photo from a scene from one episode inside each slimcase. The 13 episodes are on 2 discs. They didn't spread them that evenly as they did on the season 1 set though. Disc 1 has episodes 1-9 and Disc 2 has episodes 10-13. It seems like they could have put 7 on one disc and 6 on the other to minimize any compression issues. Disc 1 has a photo of Clifton Davis and Theresa Merritt with the That's My Mama logo and barber pole. Disc 2 has the logo and barber pole also and a picture of a joyous Clifton Davis and Theodore Wilson.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are very basic. The main menus have various photos from the show, and there is some barber paraphernalia like scissors and a comb in the foreground. Disc 1 has That's My Mama in red and Disc has it in blue. There are options to Play All Episodes and Episode Selection. Disc 3 has a Previews section, with the previews for various Sony TV DVD releases. The Episode Selection sub-menu has a photo from each episode. There are no scene selection menus, but there are chapter stops within the episodes.

Video and Audio Quality:

Unfortunately, there are a number of edited episodes as in the first season release. The only episodes that appear to be unedited are The Birthday Party (25:10), Mama's Solution (25:15), and Clifton's Casual Fling (25:14). All other episodes run around 22 and half minutes in length so those are clearly missing 2-3 minutes of footage. We contacted Solomon Davis, a big fan of the show, and he timed an episode for us (“Trial and Error” from season 1) from his library that contains syndicated prints of the show and his timing came roughly to 22:27, which was almost exactly the same run-time for the DVD version of this episode. Don't let this stop you from buying this set. This show is quite rare and has seldom shown up in syndication over the years. It has been probably been aired on less than 10 stations since the mid-1980's.

The overall quality of the video is pretty decent and watchable. That's My Mama was shot on tape so there are some video transfer glitches here and there in these episodes. There is no dust or debris that you would find with a show that was shot on film. The episodes are presented in their original broadcast order. Although the back of the box says this set is in stereo, the audio is actually in mono. The audio is at a good level, but there is sometimes a "tin can effect" in some scenes. These episodes include the original second season opening theme and credits. I'm not sure why they changed it. I much preferred the first season theme song.

Special Features:

There are no special features on this set. What were you expecting? An one hour retrospective on the show? I'm not sure if any bloopers or promos exist, but those would have been fun to see. There are trailers on the 2nd disc for for Classic Urban Series (1:27), Bewitched TV series (1:00), The Partridge Family (1:00), Are We There Yet? (0:30), and Hitch (2:25).

Final Comments:

Wooooooooooweeeeeeeee!!!! That's My Mama, one of the lost sitcoms from the 1970's, has been released on DVD. This set does have it's flaws with a number of edited episodes and some video transfer glitches, but this series has been rarely shown over the years. I'm not sure why Sony just didn't release That's My Mama - The Complete Series. Why do the sets sell for the same price when the first season had 26 episodes and the second season only 13? That's My Mama superfan Solomon Davis has had the release date for this set circled on his calendar and been counting down the days for awhile. I think he will be pleased to have the complete series on DVD.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4/5
Overall: 3/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 08/22/2005.

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