5 entertaining gifts for Mom
These new and rereleased collections are just as good as always, but they look and sound better.
1 "I LOVE LUCY: Ultimate Season 1" (Paramount) - TV's first female comic superstar (and savvy executive producer) was "pluck" personified and ridiculously funny. Brand new Blu-ray Disc edition packs 35 uncut episodes, including "The Quiz Show," "The Diet" and "The Fur Coat." Also boasts a bunch of shows from the precursor "My Favorite Husband" radio series.
2 "The Honeymooners: Classic 39 Episodes" (Paramount) - Not always pretty but very real, Alice and Trixie keep Ralph and Ed grounded with zingers galore. New Blu-ray edition boasts digitally restored picture/sound plus lots of extras.
3 "Whoopi Goldberg presents Moms Mabley: The Original Queen of Comedy" (HBO Documentary Films) - You'll have to give your mom a rain check for this DVD. It's not out until May 20, but worth the wait. In an era of polite, repressed womankind, Moms' thing was bold, emancipated truth telling. Witnesses include Bill Cosby, Kathy Griffin, Eddie Murphy and many more.
4 "Childhood Home," Ben and Ellen Harper (Prestige Folklore) - No longer railing about political issues and his failed marriage to Laura Dern, this folksy collaboration by Ben Harper with his musical mom Ellen is the musical equivalent of comfort food. A mostly sweet 'n' honest celebration of family and roots.
5 "The Music of 'Nashville': Original Soundtrack Season 2, Volume 2" (Big Machine) - Mothers with teen and 20-something daughters were in abundance at the Tower Monday night for the concertizing talents from this "new country" musical drama. A great show and great set of music here, highlighted by Clare Bowen's bad mom lament "Black Roses." Still, she forgives you.