In review, we’ll look at “Episode 1” of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman which is a cult classic soap opera from the 70s filmed in Los Angeles. It’s centers on a housewife named Mary Hartman, on the verge of a breakdown, who lives in Ferndale, Ohio. The show revolves around her family and their daily lives. As well, it revolves around issues of the day, Mary’s community, and a working class existence.
To begin, the start of the show begins hella strange. You hear this weird woman yelling in the background “Mary Hartman Mary Hartman,” which would later become the signature tag line of the show. Also, there is a big wooden living room window with all kinds of old lady knick knacks around the frame as you see the neighbor’s house. This is the start of a weird intro to the tv series.
As the television series continues, we see Mary Hartman in her kitchen. She’s waxing her kitchen floor as she watches a soap opera on tv. As well, she’s holding a can of floor wax, as her sister drops by.
All of a sudden, Mary turns and begins to talk. Mary asks her sister, Cathy, saying: “How do you like the floor? See that glow? What do you mean? There can’t be a waxy buildup.”
Apparently, a chitchat with Cathy, Mary learns a family was murdered on the block. Cathy says, “There was a mass murder on the next block.” At this point, I thought it strange that mass murders don’t get much notice these days since too many happen.
Afterward, Mary’s friend, Loretta, drops in to chat. She tells Mary that the Lombardis, Mary’s new neighbors, were murdered. However, she hasn’t met them yet.
At this point, I thought that it was a weird comment for Loretta to made, because most people never meet their neighbors. People just don’t want to meet people, especially since the Covid 19 virus. It seemed like a weird conversation to me.
As the episode goes on, a reporter arrives at Mary’s house. He explains he’s there about the Lombardi murders and hopes to get some information. He feels lucky since he was just in the neighborhood on the Ferndale Flasher story when this mass murder came up. Anyways, he goes on and talks about the Fernwood Flasher.
Later, Mary offers the report something to drink, However, she smiles and says the last beer is for her working husband as she smiles at the reporter. Mary seems smart for a house wife, as she gives a sly smile.
Another thing, I thought this scene was strange too. Like how many times does anyone notice a flasher? Especially when there is so much obscene material on the internet. People just don’t talk about stuff like that anymore.
Meanwhile, as Mary chats at home, Tom, Mary’s husband, and Charley, Loretta’s husband, are on lunch break at work. They are talking about Loretta becoming a big country star in the near future. Plus, they are talking about Tom’s love problems.
Later, when Tom gets home, we learn that Tom has purchased a gun. He’s also bought a handgun magazine. Plus, he has bullets. And he’s pointing the gun around. He leaves the gun on the dresser, as Mary tells him to stop pointing the gun at her.
While in bed, Tom and Mary discuss the day. However, Mary just wants to make love and tells Tom: “I read an article in Reader’s Digest and it said things are very different now.” That being said, Tom isn’t interested in making love and turns over.
The next morning, Mary receives a call from the police. Sgt Foley, the local Sgt down at the precinct, says, “Indecent exposure. I am afraid Mrs. Hartman, your grandpa is the Fernwood Flasher.” You can tell this was the 70s since cops no longer care or call people.
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman is as great late night soap opera. It’s different from today’s tv comedies, which seem to be too formulaic and lack real people. Charley even has bad teeth. Too bad, these kinds of comedies only exist on YouTube.