HTF REVIEW: "The Jeffersons" The Complete First Season (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 30, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [​IMG]

    The Jeffersons: The Complete First Season




    Studio: Columbia
    Year: 1975
    Rated: NR
    Film Length: 338 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Full Frame



    Well we're movin' on up!
    The Jeffersons enjoyed 10 years on CBS
    television from the years 1975 to 1985. Conceived
    by independent producers, Norman Lear and Bud
    Yorkin, this was the perfect spinoff to their
    successful All In The Family series, where
    the Jeffersons had only been neighbors to Archie
    Bunker.
    It is quite easy to relate The Jeffersons
    to All In The Family as George Jefferson
    (Sherman Hemsley) was the black Archie Bunker.
    After George had started a small dry cleaning
    business whose success resulted in expansion to
    a small chain, it was time for him to move on up.
    With his level-headed wife Louise (Isabel Sanford),
    and their college-student son Lionel (Mike Evans)
    at his side, the family moved into a luxury high-rise
    apartment on Manhattan's East Side.
    Surrounded by luxuries they never had before,
    Louise tried to keep her new wealth in check, while
    George flaunted it. The Jeffersons found themselves
    surrounded by unique characters including neighbor
    Harry Bentley, an eccentric Englishman who was overly
    weird and lived alone; the Willises, a mixed-race
    couple that George continuously ridiculed; and the
    subservient Ralph the Doorman, who knew no shame
    when it came to earning a tip; and Florence, the
    maid, who contributed much of the hilarious put-downs
    of her boss, George.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    The Jeffersons: The First Season arrives in
    a cardboard case whose inside slides out into
    a 3-pane gatefold. The 2 DVDs are held in plastic
    housing that features photos of George Jefferson
    (Sherman Hemsley) and Louise Jefferson (Isabel
    Sanford). A total of 13 episodes are spread across
    the two discs.
    [​IMG]
    A small pull-out pamphlet sits in a corner pocket.
    This pamphlet opens up to a 3-page Episode Guide
    that gives a brief description of the episode and
    the complete cast of stars, writers and directors.
    Unfortunately, there is no information on original
    airdate. On the face of the pocket is the complete
    lyrics to the show's rousing theme song.
    I had the opportunity to watch three episodes for
    evaluating the quality of this DVD release.
    [​IMG]
    A Friend In Need
    The very first episode of the series introduces
    us to George and Louise Jefferson who have recently
    moved into their high-rise apartment. When George
    meets Louise's new maid friend, George insists that
    he hire her. Louise is totally against the idea
    but ends up hiring sassy maid Florence instead.
    [​IMG]
    Mother Jefferson's Boyfriend
    One of my favorite characters, Mother Jefferson
    (actress, Zara Cully who died in 1978) is featured
    in this story about elderly love. It seems that
    Mother has found a boyfriend and is planning to
    wed him. George learns of Mother Jefferson's
    intentions of marriage and is totally against the
    idea, thinking her fiancee is after his money.
    [​IMG]
    Former Neighbors
    George hopes to impress a big rich client by inviting
    him over for dinner. But Louise has already invited
    some old low-class friends over for dinner. George
    is afraid they will embarrass him in front of his
    pompous client. Can the two classes mingle with
    each other?
    How is the transfer?
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    The Jeffersons have actually never looked
    better thanks to a very nice transfer that brings
    out much of the show's vivid colors. The source
    material is in immaculate condition and there is
    only a hint of video noise that is brought out by
    the clarity of the DVD format itself. Picture is
    a bit unfocused with a small lack of detail.
    The mono soundtrack sounds reasonably good, a
    little flat, but certainly better than Sanford
    and Son
    . The song's title song lacks any
    dynamic range but we must remember that this is
    a show meant for 70s television. Dialogue sounds
    distinct and clear and there is no audible hiss in
    the background that I detected without turning the
    sound up rather high.
    The only problem with this set is that the menu
    does not break each episode down into chapters.
    And making this worse, You cannot switch from
    chapter to chapter within a TV episode. Doing
    this only throws you back to the Main Menu. I
    found this to be a discouraging flaw.
    Special Features
    There are no added features.
    Final Thoughts
    I had forgotten just how fun The Jeffersons
    were, mostly thanks to Sherman Hemsley as George
    Jefferson, a character that became the butt of
    everyone's jokes.
    Columbia has provided a very nice transfer of this
    series to DVD, and at an on-line price of just above
    $20, this would be a great addition for your television
    library.
     
  2. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    Thanks Ron,
    I really wanted this.
    but was frightened off by some lackluster reviews.

    But I think that it is safe to buy, plus will look the best it will ever get.
     
  3. BrianP

    BrianP Supporting Actor

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    I will definitely purchase this set and Sandford and Son when they are released. DVDEmpire has both sets available to preorder for only $19.47 each.
     
  4. MichaelG

    MichaelG Second Unit

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    Man that is cheap! Too bad all TV shows don't sell for $20/season.
     
  5. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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  6. James L White

    James L White Supporting Actor

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    great review Ron
    A must have along with Sanford & Son [​IMG]
     
  7. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Your review only makes me more impatient waiting for my preorders of this and Sanford & Son.
     
  8. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    What are the odds that a B&M will be selling these cheaper than the online retailers?
     
  9. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Figure $19.99 most places; maybe a buck or two less at the Costco-type stores IF they stock it.

    I bet you a load of dry cleaning that this one doesn't end up on sale at the B&M's (nor Sanford & Son). I don't know *for sure*, but I'm fairly confident.
     
  10. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I don't know. Most places around here have All in the Family. I sure hope the local B&Ms carry it, as I'd rather just walk in and get it.
     
  11. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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  12. Scott_J

    Scott_J Cinematographer

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    Both this and Sanford will be $19.99 at Best Buy on the 6th.
     
  13. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Thanks, David. I was planning to be at BB with bells on on Tuesday, and you had me a little worried. I'm glad I was mistaken!
     
  14. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Here's something weird. On my Sony DVP-S560D, I get Spanish subtitles at the end of episode three, when George holds up the His and Hers towels. This is with all subtitles off. When I turned the Spanish subtitles on, it became obvious that these particular subtitles do not correspond to spoken dialog, but are a translation of the words printed on the towels. Anyone else getting this?

    Note that this DVD player has had this problem before on at least one occasion: I get French subtitles describing a sign seen at a certain point on the Big Trouble in Little China disc.
     
  15. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Didn't happen to me with the subtitles, not on 2 different players!
     

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