follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
The Jeffersons: The Complete Second Season (1975)

Mother Jefferson: I don't have to stay here and be insulted!
Louise Jefferson: That's right Mother Jefferson, you can go anywhere and be insulted.

- Zara Cully, Isabel Sanford

Review By: Kevin Clemons  
Published: December 04, 2003

Stars: Sherman Hemsley, Isabel Sanford
Other Stars: Marla Gibbs, Zara Culley, Roxie Roker, Franklin Cover
Director: various

Manufacturer: DVDL
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for nothing offensive
Run Time: 10h:52m:47s
Release Date: May 13, 2003
UPC: 043396010147
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B A-B+B- D-

DVD Review

What makes The Jeffersons on par with that classic television show is not simply the involvement of Norman Lear (who developed All In The Family and spun off The Jeffersons), but the way in which the writers handled the issues of their times. Dealing with race, religion, prejudice, homosexuality, and many other issues that were once thought taboo for prime time, each episode faced these issues head-on with humor and tact. Now, we are lucky enough to have The Jeffersons: The Complete Second Season available on DVD as a reminder of just how terrific the show really was.

George Jefferson (Hemsley) is the owner of a small dry-cleaning chain and when business went well, he moved his family to "a deluxe apartment in the sky" in Manhattan—he and his wife Louise (Sanford) and their son Lionel, an engineering major at a local college. In true Archie Bunker fashion, George is a fast-talking know-it-all with a a good heart, while Louise is the woman who keeps him in check. Add in a cast of characters that includes: Helen and Tom Willis (Roxie Roker and Franklin Cover), British expatriate Harry Bentley (Paul Benedict), as well as George's cantankerous mother Olivia (Zara Cully), and their snappy, cynical maid Florence (Marla Gibbs), and you have a cast of characters that have earned their place television history.

In the second season, the show was well into hitting its creative stride with a collection of episodes that alternate between hilarious and, well, absolutely hysterical. The beauty of the show is in both the writing and the performances. In a time like today when anything than can be said on television has been said, it takes revisiting The Jeffersons to remember how groundbreaking the show was. The writers offered taboo-breaching landmarks and discussions that remain relative even today.

The Jeffersons was the first program to actually feature an African-American cast, and tore down the walls surrounding topics such as interracial couples as well as other elements which had never been attempted before. Norman Lear created a a popular series that transcended race and was a constant monster in the ratings for the better part of a decade. By keeping the show fresh and original while also offering the standard elements of sitcom television, Lear gave everyone something to enjoy.

High points of the second season include the more prominent appearance of Florence, the Jeffersons' ever-present and opinionated maid. The dynamic between Florence and George added to the comedic element, while also being one of the first shows in my memory to elevate the role of a housekeeper to the same level as the central family. The sophomore season was its first full run, as the twenty four episodes aired from September 1976 until March 1977, impressive when one considers the length of the television seasons today that last until May, often with fewer episodes.

The second season does suffer from some standard sitcom plot lines, including George and Tom wearing the same dinner jacket; George getting locked in a bathroom at Tom and Helen's; Lionel discovers alcohol; Lionel dents the company van; and the breakup of Lionel and his girlfriend. But the show still manages to elicit laughs from even the most overused material.

This set of episodes makes for terrific viewing for fans and first-timers alike. Sure, it's dated to an extent, but some of the ideas brought forth are as fresh today as they were thirty years ago.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Presented in the same full-frame aspect ratio as the original airings, the transfer for each episode looks better than I had expected. Colors are handled nicely with vibrancy and crisp edges, with no visible grain. Sharpness and detail are nearly perfect, though the image does tend to appear a tad soft now and then. Overall, the transfer allows these episodes to appear better than they did upon their first airing which is more than I could ask for.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Surround track is rather dull with the center channel getting the lion's share of activity. Clarity of the dialogue is serviceable, but at times it sounds muffled.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 5 cues
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, French with remote access
Packaging: Cardboard Tri-Fold
Picture Disc
3 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: No extra features have been made available for this three-disc set.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

This is a set that some may wish to rent given the high price tag, but die-hard fans, you can't go wrong. I would have liked to have seen more extra features included, but having these episodes available is good enough.


Back to top

Microsoft Store

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store