Friday, October 26, 2012

Case Study No. 0615: Unnamed Female Librarian (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman)

Mary and the Librarian
Another classic Mary Hartman phone call.
Tags: mary hartman librarian phone sex books
Added: 5 years ago
From: trolltime
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"Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman: Volume 1" DVD Review

Pigtailed, gingham-dressed Mary Hartman (Louise Lasser), a typical American housewife living in Fernwood, OH, has more than her fair share of problems. Her kitchen floor has a waxy yellow buildup. She's out of toilet cleaner and she likes to sanitize the john every Friday so that it's nice and fresh for the weekend. She can't decide which kind of coffee tastes better - the crystals or the instant. Her dishwashing liquid might not be keeping her hands looking youthful. Oh, and her husband Tom (Greg Mullavey) is no longer attracted to her, her Grandpa Larkin (Victor Kilian) is the Fernwood Flasher, and daughter Heather (Claudia Lamb) witnessed a mass murder (five people, two goats, and eight chickens). Yes, if John Waters made a soap opera, it might look a lot like Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman: Volume 1.

Executive producer Norman Lear was responsible for some of the most innovative TV shows of the 1970s, including All in the Family, Maude, and Good Times. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman may have been his most unconventional. Rather than selling the series to a network, he syndicated the show to local stations. Like a true soap opera, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman featured a new episode every day. A total of 325 episodes were produced throughout the series' 1975-78 run. The first twenty-five episodes are included in Volume 1.

The series touches on subjects that generally weren't broached on TV at that time: masturbation, sexual dysfunction, menstruation, etc. In one funny scene, Mary receives a phone call while her friends and family are in the room:

Mary Hartman: Hello?
Librarian: Miss Hartman? This is the library.
Mary Hartman: You are?
Librarian: Well, I'm Mrs. DeLoreon at the library. We have those books you ordered.
Friend: Mary, who is it?
Mary Hartman: Oh, I don't know. Someone ... Uh, yes?
Librarian: Those titles would be, Sex and the Female Response, You and Your Climax, 343 Ways to Improve Your Marriage, and ... It's Your Body - Do it!: A Guide to Erotic Pleasures. Miss Hartman, these are the books you ordered?
[Even though no one else in the room can hear what is being said on the phone, Mary is so embarrassed the she begins to speak nonsense]
Mary Hartman: Oh ... uh ... yes, and um, I'll tell her.
Librarian: You are Miss Mary Hartman at 343 Bratner Street?
Mary Hartman: Uh ... yes, that's right. And that happens to be her favorite color.
Librarian: Miss Hartman, are you alright?
Mary Hartman: Well, I'll tell you. You know, I took a very long shower last night and I woke up with a real bad headache this morning, so I took a couple of aspirin ...

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