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Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Second Season

64 customer reviews

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(Jan 31, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Includes 26 episodes on 3 DVDs. 1979-80/color/10 hrs., 50 min/NR/fullscreen.

Nowadays Diff'rent Strokes is best known for producing three of the most troubled former child stars in the history of entertainment, but in its day this was a top-rated sitcom. Gary Coleman wasn't just a pair of cute chubby cheeks; he had the kind of wily comic timing that could have carried his career into adulthood--if his stardom hadn't been linked to his physique, making adult roles unacceptable to his audience. But The Complete Second Season captures Coleman at his diminutive prime as Arnold Jackson, one of two brothers adopted by a wealthy New York developer named Philip Drummond (Conrad Bain, Maude). Bain and Charlotte Rae (as housekeeper Mrs. Garrett, who left mid-season to anchor the spin-off The Facts of Life) delivered their lines and got out of Coleman's way; Dana Plato (as Drummond's daughter Kimberly) and Todd Bridges (as Arnold's brother Willis) acted their young hearts out, but Coleman was unquestionably the star.

A runaway success and pop culture phenomenon, the second season of Diff'rent Strokes pulled in celebrity sports stars like Muhammad Ali, Reggie Jackson, and Meadowlark Lemon, while great character actors like Dabney Coleman (Nine to Five) and James Cromwell (Babe, Six Feet Under) appeared in memorable roles. The crossover episodes with justly forgotten McLean Stevenson sitcom Hello, Larry are regrettable (though Coleman had great chemistry with Hello, Larry's husky-voiced Kim Richards, formerly the star of Escape from Witch Mountain), while the appearance of the Facts of Life cast (including a very young Molly Ringwald, prior to her teen queen reign as star of The Breakfast Club and Pretty In Pink) fits right in. Social topics like racism and poverty are treated with firm liberal denouncement, but the difficulties of adolescence sometimes get slightly more subtle treatment (comparatively, at least). The only complaint about The Complete Second Season is the complete lack of extras; but even without interviews or commentaries, these episodes--returned to their original broadcast length--will delight fans. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Dana Plato, Gary Coleman, Charlotte Rae, Conrad Bain, Todd Bridges
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • 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: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
  • Run Time: 652 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,760 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Second Season" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 28, 2005
Format: DVD
1. Arnold's Girlfriend (1) (September 21, 1979) Arnold has appendicitis and Drummond has to deal with the bigotry of Fred Tanner whose daughter is the only one that can talk Arnold into getting the operation.

2. Arnold's Girlfriend (2) (September 21, 1979) Arnold & Alice run away when they find out they can't share a hospital room.

3. Feudin' and Fussin' (1) (September 28, 1979) Larry Alder is in New York to try out for a new TV talk show but everything is doomed from the start.

4. Feudin' and Fussin' (2) (September 28, 1979) Part 2 of the above episode.

5. Mrs. Garrett's Romance (October 12, 1978) Mrs. Garrett's new beau proposes to her.

6. Birds and Bees (October 19, 1979) Willis' fishy version of the facts of life leaves Arnold with misconceptions. Arnold repeats his "knowledge" to a neighbor's daughter, but the girl's mother is not amused.

7. Arnold's Hero (October 24, 1979) Arnold's wildest dream is realized when he comes face-to-knee with "The Champ" -- special guest star Muhammad Ali.

8. The Adoption (1) (October 31, 1979) A "relative" visits on the eve of Arnold's & Willis' adoption.

9. The Adoption (2) (November 7, 1979) Mr. Drummond's attempts to adopt Arnold and Willis are aborted until the boys take matters into their own hands.

10. Father and Son Day (November 14, 1979) Willis' cut-throat competitiveness with another boy at his gym leads him to a decision that he will very much regret.

11. Thanksgiving Crossover (1) (November 28, 1979) The Alders and the Drummonds are together again in New York but Larry & Phil's tempers explode.

12. Thanksgiving Crossover (2) (November 28, 1979) Can the kids bring Larry and Phil together again?

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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Da Man on January 5, 2006
Format: DVD
as a child of the 1980's, few shows inspire fonder memories for me than Diff'rent Strokes. The second season is finally coming, which was long overdue for many of us who bought season 1 as soon as it came out.

The second season of Diff'rent Strokes improves on the first season. Arnold (Gary Coleman), Willis (Todd Bridges) and Kimberly (the late Dana Plato) begin to grow up and tackle more serious subjects, while at the same time, far from becoming the "very special episode" haven it became in its later seasons. As Arnold, Coleman provided countless laughs and smiles on many peoples faces. While you can list everything you like about the show, there is no denying that without Gary Coleman, Diff'rent Strokes is not Diff'rent Strokes.

I urge every fan of this show, as well as fans of other Sony properties from the era such as The Facts Of Life, One Day At A Time and Silver Spoons, to purchase this set. Sales for season one were apparently lackluster enough that Sony shelved plans for a lot of era shows on DVD, the more Strokes sells, the better shot other shows from the era also have coming out.

So come January 31st, put your old white socks on with the red stripes and Jordache jeans, and pop open a can of Tab and relive the golden age of Diff'rent Strokes with the release of season 2 on DVD.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Dorrie Wheeler on January 31, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The second season of the 70s/80's hit comedy "Different Strokes" is now available on DVD. The 1979/1980 season wasn't that different than the first season, but there are a few noticeable differences. Arnold was a little bigger than he was the previous season. Dana Plato (Kimberly) plays a bigger role during the season 2 episodes.

Season two begins with three painfully slow episodes. For some reason the shows writers decided not to focus on the ensemble cast. Episodes 1&2 of the second season feature guest star Dabney Coleman who stars as a businessman with a daughter named Alice. When Alice finds out he has to have an operation he wants to share a hospital room with Alice, however after the business relationship between Mr. Drummond and Alice's father goes sour he refuses to let the kids share a hospital room. The third season two episode once again brings the cast of the series "Hello Larry" to town.

There are some good and funny episodes during season 2. "Sanford and Son" funnyman Whitman Mayo appears in "The Adoption Part 1& 2" as a junk man whose scam threatens the finalization of the adoption of Arnold and Willis.

Race issues continued to be addressed during season 2. Mrs. Garrett would leave the show and be replaced by Adelaide. Overall, it's a pretty mediocre season. The show really got a bit better when Arnold began interacting with his friends Dudley and Willis started dating more.

The set contains three colorful discs and each disc is enclosed in it's own individual case. There are a total of 24 episodes. The packaging is nice. There are no bonus features.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 25, 2006
Format: DVD
I am 11 Years Old, and on Christmas Eve, I Got The Second Season of The NBC Hit: Diff'rent Strokes. In The 1979-1980 season, Charlotte Rae, left mid-season in Early 1980, to star in her 9-Year Run Spinoff, The Facts Of Life, as The Family Housekeeper, Mrs. Edna Garrett. Also, Philip Drummond (Conrad Bain) legally adopts Arnold (Gary Coleman) and Willis (Todd Bridges), after a Battle from Long-Lost cousin, Jethro Simpson (Whitman Mayo), and M*A*S*H's McLean Stevenson stars as Larry Alder, who has his own Radio Talk Show in Portland, Oregon, then comes To New York, with Ruthie (Kim Richards) and Morgan (Joanna Gleason), which Larry landed a Morning Talk Show in Manhattan, and New Castmember, Nedra Volz, arrives as her role, as The New Housekeeper, Adelaide Brubaker (who fills in for Mrs. Garrett) in Early 1980, until her Depature in 1982, when she gets replaced by Pearl Gallagher (Mary Catlett), and Medlowlark Lemon and Muhammed Ali guest stars on The Show, The Second Season is Fulfilling Hit for me, and i Hope That when The Show airs on Television Network, I'll Be Very Happy!
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Topic From this Discussion
Seasons 3 onward?
I don't know, I hope they will be.
Sep 9, 2007 by Lori Kaminsky |  See all 6 posts
Season 3 in 2010, hopefully!
Now with the passing of Gary Coleman and also with the passing of Dana Plato they should really release the whole set, because the fans want to see it. That would be the fair and decent thing to do.
Jun 8, 2010 by Lori Cook |  See all 4 posts
Why have the other seasons not come out? Be the first to reply
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