The Jeffersons: The Complete First Season
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
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.
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
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.
There are no added features.
I had forgotten just how fun The Jeffersons
were, mostly thanks to Sherman Hemsley as George
Jefferson, a character that became the butt of
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