I had heard that there was a show called That’s My Mama, but I think that was in the movie Hollywood Shuffle and I can’t even say that for certain. As I watched the episodes of That’s My Mama - The Complete First Season, I was trying to figure out 2 things. First of all, why isn’t this show playing in reruns in the world of syndication? The stories and subject matter of each episode are just as good as the other shows that do. And, secondly, I was trying to figure out why this show only lasted two seasons.
It might have something to do with this show not being able to grow. Basically, the main character Clifton has inherited a barbershop and is living the good life. The women love him, he has many friends and he lives with his mom who despite also loving him, wants him to settle down and get married. A lot of the episodes seemed to deal with the same few themes mixed and matched over the course of first season. I guess I am surprised because I felt the writing and plot lines could have given this show a longer run, but apparently I was wrong.
No extras came with this DVD.
1.33:1 Full Screen. The colors of this show seem almost nonexistent. Not that this is a bad thing, but I really get the feeling that That’s My Mama - The Complete First Season, was not given the best DVD treatment possible from Sony. As this isn’t one of their better known titles, it seemed like they just packaged it up as much as they felt was necessary. This isn’t to say that these shows look awful, I was still able to watch them, I guess I have just come to expect more when I screen TV shows on DVD.
Dolby Digital. English (Stereo). Nothing too spectacular in the audio department, although I thought most of the shows from the 1970s were done in mono? Who knows, maybe this was a concession that Sony made since they didn’t seem to bolster the image quality of these discs? Whatever the case, it isn’t like there is a bunch of things happening in the soundtrack that need special attention. This show is just a straight narrative with a decent amount of laughs.
With a slim, vinyl box cover holding both slim, plastic DVD cases, this 3 disc set is very economically put together. On the cover is a nice picture of the cast in front of the barbershop, and on the back are some more pictures from various episodes (and one that looks like it was posed). There is a description of the show, which helped me because I had never seen any of it, and a technical specs listing. They’ve split up the people on the main cover over both plastic DVD cases and the backs of these covers feature episode listings and descriptions. Truthfully, this is my favorite kind of packaging.
The hidden gem in this whole collection is that of Ted Lange who played Isaac the bartender on “The Love Boat.” I say hidden gem because it’s interesting seeing him in this early role, before he played the “nice guy” on that other show. I really enjoyed That’s My Mama - The Complete First Season, and I also enjoyed Season Two even though it doesn’t have nearly as many episodes.
I know that people may not agree with me, but I really glean a lot from the black sitcoms of the 1970s, 1980s and even the 1990s. It exposes me to a world that is different yet very similar to my own, and as a young boy seeing shows like this (“Good Times”, “What’s Happening!!”, and “Diff’Rent Strokes”) really had an effect on me both as a person and creatively. I really feel I owe a lot to those afternoons I spent after school watching these shows and playing video games.
That's My Mama was released .