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Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete First Season (1978)

Mary Jo Catlett , Danny Cooksey , Leslie H. Martinson , Ellen Falcon  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Mary Jo Catlett, Danny Cooksey, Mary Ann Mobley, Dixie Carter
  • Directors: Leslie H. Martinson, Ellen Falcon, Dolores Ferraro, Lee Lochhead, Selig Frank
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 14, 2004
  • Run Time: 588 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002JZT5U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,238 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete First Season" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 24 episodes on three discs
  • "A Look Back at Diff'rent Strokes featurette with all-new interviews from Todd Bridges, Conrad Bain, and Charlotte Rae
  • "Whatchoo Talkin' Bout?" featurette on Gary Coleman

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The complete first season of the TV series Diff'rent Strokes

More than just a ratings hit for NBC, the Norman Lear/Bud Yorkin-produced Diff'rent Strokes was a pop-culture phenomenon, thanks largely to the wise-beyond-his-years performance of star Gary Coleman. And while the show has languished of late in syndication in a heavily edited form, Columbia's first-season set amends that situation by packaging all 24 uncut episodes on a three-disc set with some interesting extras. Launched in November 1978 as a mid-season replacement for the failed Joe Namath series The Waverly Wonders, Diff'rent Strokes vaulted to no. 27 in the Nielsen ratings; audiences responded to the warmth and humorous culture clash between wealthy Philip Drummond (Lear vet Conrad Bain) and Arnold and Willis (Coleman and Todd Bridges), the sons of his late housekeeper whom he adopted. Though Bain, Bridges, Dana Plato (as Bain's daughter), and Charlotte Rae (as housekeeper Mrs. Garrett) all delivered solid performances, it was Coleman's charm, his timing, and most of all, his catch phrase "Whatchoo talkin' bout?" that drew in viewers.

The series was so successful that NBC used it to launch or boost two other shows: The Facts of Life, which sent Mrs. Garrett to run a girls' school (its pilot, "The Girls' School," is episode 24 on the third disc), and the McLean Stevenson program Hello, Larry, which followed Strokes on the network (the two-part cross-over episodes are featured on disc 3). Though perhaps best known to current audiences for the unfortunate luck suffered by several of its cast members after the show's cancellation in 1986, this first-season set offers a pleasant reminder of the show's charms. The set is rounded out by two featurettes featuring interviews with many of the show's stars and producers (though Coleman is notably absent), and commentaries by story editor Fred Rubin. --Paul Gaita

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 86 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
'Diff'rent Strokes' was my favorite show growing up because it was extremely funny and all of the characters were very likable and interesting. I haven't seen the series since it was on Nick at Nite & TV Land, a few years ago. It's unfortunate that it is no longer on TV. But I was very glad to pick up this DVD set of the first season. It includes twenty-four, full and uncut episodes (more than most sitcoms) from the 1978 - 1979 season.

Here's all the episodes included in this set with the original air dates:

Movin' In (November 3, 1978)
Millionaire Philip Drummond ('Maude' star Conrad Bain) welcomes 8-year-old Arnold Jackson (Gary Coleman) and his 13-year-old brother Willis (Todd Bridges) into his New York penthouse. Mr. Drummond tries to make his new sons feel at home with the help of his daughter, Kimberly (played by the late Dana Plato) and his housekeeper (future 'Facts Of Life' star Charlotte Rae) Mrs. Garrett. Arnold also utters his trademark catch-phrase, "whatchya talkin' about Willis" for the first time in this episode.

The Social Worker (November 10, 1978)
Arnold's big ears cause him to misinterpret Drummond's conversation with Mrs. Garrett. And, Arnold convinces Willis that Mr. Drummond doesn't want them around. It's all cleared up though when their new family comes to pick them up.

Mother's Last Visit (November 17, 1978)
The title of this episode should be 'Mother's Only Visit' because this is the only time Mr. Drummond's busybody mother makes an appearance. When Grandma Drummond finds out about her two adopted grandsons she faints in front of them prompting the boys to tell Drummond that she isn't happy to have them around.

Prep School (November 24, 1978)
When Mr.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the packaging! September 19, 2004
I love the packaging for this 3 DVD set. Each disc comes in it's own plastic case which snaps closed. Of course each case has a picture of Gary Coleman on the cover. The three disc set is a must have for an 80's or Different Strokes fan. These episodes are hilarious. The picture quality is decent. There are extras, commentary from the writer and new interviews from Charlotte Rae, Conrad Bain and Todd Bridges. I re-watched all of these episodes this past week and just realized that a lot of the little jokes Arnold would make were really for the adults to enjoy. I hope that future seasons will be released soon.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Far So Good September 27, 2004
I've only watched the first 7 episodes but I am already so glad I bought this. It's reasonbly priced and has great entertainment value. I was born in 77 so I was too young for tv during the first couple of seasons but watched the later years and loved it. This is a must have for any child of the 80's.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars whatchutalkinbout DVD? September 15, 2004
By Da Man
One of the older series I have been most anticipating on DVD is Diff'rent Strokes. Outside of a brief stint on Nick At Nite in early 2001, DS has been pretty hard to locate on television for the past 8 or 9 years.

This show is bashed a lot by people who weren't there, but for those of us who were kids when this show was big, there are a lot of memories here.

Of course, the star of the show is Gary Coleman. Say what you will about him and his post-DS "career", but Arnold Jackson Drummond was an icon. How anyone can deny his comedy talent is beyond me. He was hysterical and had the comedic timing that people three times his age wished they had. I think this show could've been named "Arnold" since that is what the show is.

The first season sees Charlotte Rae playing Mrs. Garrett, a role that went onto The Facts Of Life (I hope this comes out soon too on DVD), she was hilarious. Dana Plato (RIP) and Todd Bridges also were quickly getting settled into their roles. Both of them had awful post-DS lives, but let's just see them as they were on the show and not dwell on their future failures.

This is a DVD pretty much anyone between 24-35 should have... it is a part of our childhood and it is STILL just as funny now as it was a quarter of a century ago.

Columbia, bring on season 2!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Even Funnier October 27, 2005
By Melissa
I loved Diff'rent Strokes watching it in the 80's when I was a young kid.
I just recently got the dvd set and sat down and watched it with my own kids. While they enjoyed it, like I did when I was a kid. I actually get a lot of the humor more now being an adult so I think this show is Hilarious Great rather than just Great like I thought as a kid.
Gary Colemen is adorable in this show and has a lot of the humorous parts. My 9 year old daughter just adores him while watching.
TV sitcoms now days don't even compare to the sitcoms of yesterdays. They are whole some, funny and teach a good moral lesson.
This is a great dvd to own and pass down the memories to your children and grandchildren. You won't be disappointed!!!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different folks have different strokes April 17, 2006
By Kali
This series is really dated now, but I have to admit for its day it was ground breaking and very different.

Growing myself a child born to a racially mixed family whose teenage years were the end of the 1970s, early 1980s I have to admit "Different Strokes" made me feel good about myself, okay so Willis and Arnold were Black and living with a white man and his daughter but such diversity that was close to my own background was not something that was portrayed on TV all that often, so this was a breath of fresh air and my siblings and I were great fans from the word go.

We loved the antics of Arnold and his catchphrase, "Whatcha talking about Willis?" along with the sparing relationship between Willis, Arnold and their white step-sister Kimberley who was more prominent in the second series, in this series she was often away at boarding school.

Conrad Bain was the great as Arnold and Willis' long suffering step-father Phillip Drummond, and Dana Plato was wonderful as the brace-teethed Kimberly who was delighted to have two new brothers and cheerfully told them in the first episode, "touch my bedroom and you're dead!" Spoken like a true sibling.

The series was ground breaking not only for its mixed race cast but also for the subjects it attempted to tackle, such as racism, intolerance etc which it did with humour and a candidness that was amazing for its day, even now in the 21st century we are struggling to face our demons when it comes to subjects we are not comfortable with.

A great series, that brings back some real good memories, don't expect too much in the way of state of the art sets and such like, however the acting is pretty good, the humour still funny enough to give you a belly laugh every now and then but it is dated but then what series isn't?

Breakthrough nostalgia at its best.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Super funny!!
Published 1 month ago by Nursing student
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Camille
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
AWESOME! Outstanding Customer Servive!
Published 2 months ago by John F. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars dvd
I really enjoy this video. I have no problems with it and I would recommend it to my family and friends.
Published 5 months ago by matilda m. cooper
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I thought I was getting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not what I ordered!! I don't remember seeing that I was going to receive burn't copies of the season. I thought I was getting something with the box and the orginial discs. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jessica
5.0 out of 5 stars love it.
have the whole serie on dvd to this show, the family really enjoy it, brings back childhood memories, full of laughs. and fast delivery
Published 10 months ago by joanna martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic TV show
One of my favorite all time TV shows,Arnold was great for TV with his classic what u talking about willis line. A must see tv show
Published 12 months ago by Billy Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!!!
I really enjoy the Im waiting for season 5. It really brought back alot of memories. Thanks so much.
Published 13 months ago by Glenda Lindsey
5.0 out of 5 stars A million laughs and lessons
This comedy is very special. Not only is it funny but lessons are learned by the experiences shared on the DVD. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Quilter
5.0 out of 5 stars Season One: A breath of fresh air!
"Diff'rent Strokes" is a sitcom that broke new ground, as it was the first to feature a premise of two young boys from Harlem being adopted by a wealthy financier - actually, a... Read more
Published 16 months ago by David Hugaert
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