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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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? 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.