Monday, March 19, 2007


In article on the DVD release of the 1976 soap spoof, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, writes:

(Norman) Lear, with a team that included soap writer Ann Marcus and director Gail Parent, directed his humor at the most drawn-out and air-filled of TV formats, the soap. Mary Hartman's issues -- how consumer culture can hammer us into passivity, how a loveless marriage can drive even a good girl to adultery -- were too all-encompassing to be resolved at the end of every episode; they had to stretch on from day to day, without a climax, in the manner of "One Life to Live." When Louise Lasser quit "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" from exhaustion in 1977 after 18 months, an astounding 325 episodes had aired.

Wow. 325 episodes. That's, what? about 2 percent of the 15,000 benchmark GL celebrated this summer? And 18 months? That's a whopping 3 percent of the 50-plus years ATWT (and actress Helen Wagner) have been on the air. How DO those poor, exhausted primetime actors manage...

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