Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Favorite Fictional Character --- Thelma Harper

I'm strongly thinking about making the 1980s Sitcom theme last for two months simply because there are so many characters that I love that I won't have time to bring up.  I'm not going to do that though and since I only have two more of these to do for this month, I though I would bring up my favorite matriarch to grace a TV screen in that decade.  I would like to introduce you to Thelma Harper the star of "Mama's Family".

First of all I just have to say, look at that picture.  How can you not smile seeing Vicki Lawrence dressed up as Mama Harper?  Just look at the expression on her face, it's brilliant and her performance never failed to brighten up my day.

Thelma Harper was the head of a rather dysfunctional family that included her grown children, grown grandchildren, and various other relatives.  A lot of them would end up living with her at various times and Thelma's relationship with them though contentious and quarrelsome at times, was still loving.  Even when they would shout, yell and fight, you could tell they were only doing it because they loved each other but didn't know how to express it any other way. 

Thelma was a headstrong woman who not only wouldn't back down, I'm not really sure she could back down.  It's wasn't in her DNA to do that.  She was sure of what she knew and what she believed and nothing would deter her from that.  She has one of the smartest mouths and quickest tempers on TV and I never failed to laugh out loud when Mama would really get going.  She even lost out on some money left to her buy her sister because she couldn't control that temper for two weeks.

Mama Thelma Harper will go down as one of the feistiest, grouchiest, sharp tongued characters in the history of TV who also happened to be one of the funniest and loving.


Kaye said...

Her expression is priceless. What a character!

bermudaonion said...

Oh, how I loved Vicki Lawrence as Mama!!

Anonymous said...

Another great choice. I loved Mama's Family.

It actually makes me wonder how many great characters I'm missing out on now, since I don't think I watch any sitcoms any more.

Simcha said...

Now this one really takes me back...I can't say that Mama's Family was a show that I actually enjoyed since I've never been a fan of shows about dysfunctional families (except for the recent Raising Hope, which is just so darkly funny) but it always seemed to be on and so I ended up watching it a lot.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

LOL! You always have the great picks! :) I have to say she played this character perfect :) Amazing pick!

Ryan, I hope you are doing well. It seems like forever since we have had a chance to chat. I'm going to have to send you an email here one day very very soon to check in with you. :) Hope all is well and your all doing great.