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Room 222: Season 1 (2009)

Lloyd Haynes , Denise Nicholas  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lloyd Haynes, Denise Nicholas, Karen Valentine, Michael Constantine
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • DVD Release Date: March 24, 2009
  • Run Time: 660 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LRL4Y2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,193 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Room 222: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

From its auspicious pilot episode, Room 222 was in a class by itself, earning an Emmy Award its first season for Outstanding New Series. James L. Brooks, who would graduate to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Taxi, and The Simpsons, created this groundbreaking dramedy set in integrated Walt Whitman High School in Los Angeles. Anchoring the Grade-A ensemble is the late Lloyd Haines as idealistic history teacher Peter Dixon, who doesn't go by the book. "The world is being revised," he tells his students. "You'd better be doing some thinking." Denise Nicholas costars as compassionate guidance counselor (and Dixon's girlfriend) Liz McIntyre. Michael Constantine earned an Emmy Award as job-weary, but principled principal Mr. Kaufman. Karen Valentine also earned an Emmy as over-eager student teacher Alice Johnson. Rarely seen in syndication, Room 222 is a rediscovered treasure that holds up 40 years later. Episodes deal with such timeless issues as self-esteem (a disruptive student uses humor to mask his loneliness), course relevance (students rebel against their elderly "Preparation for Marriage" teacher), school bureaucracy (a prize student reveals he actually lives out of district), and popularity (a new student lies to gain acceptance). Room 222 gets high marks for keeping it real. It tackled some hot button issues of the day, such as race, in an understated and meaningful way (even the laugh track is restrained). When Alice asks Peter if he prefers to be referred to as colored, Negro, or black, he responds, "I've always preferred 'Pete.'" Among the standouts in the classroom are Howard Rice as the precocious Richie, David Jolliffe as Bernie with the red afro, Heshimu as militant Jason, and Judy Strangis as shy Helen Loomis. The show also features early appearances by a roster of Most Likely to Succeed candidates, including Teri Garr, Rob Reiner, and Bob Balaban, along with such TV Land faves as William Schallert (The Patty Duke Show), Ann Morgan Guilbert (Millie on The Dick Van Dyke Show), and Bernie Koppell (Get Smart). Little, if any, restoration works appears to have been done, but in this case, the washed-out colors and less than crystal audio complement Room 222's 60s vibe. This set gets extra credit for a nice bonus feature, a series retrospective featuring new interviews with Brooks, his writing partner, Allan Burns, Constantine, and Nicholas. Their affectionate and candid remembrances put this show in the context of the era and restore its legacy as one of TV's smartest, and, for the time, hippest, half hours. --Donald Liebenson

Product Description

When Room 222 premiered in 1969, it quickly made Friday nights worth staying home for. A compelling series about life at a multiracial Los Angeles high school, it left an indelible mark on popular culture by using the half hour form to explore socially relevant issues (more than a year before All In The Family) and by starting the still-popular trend of high school television series. Created by the now legendary James L. Brooks (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, The Simpsons), the program was praised for dealing realistically with such subjects as prejudice and drugs.

Pete Dixon (Lloyd Haynes) is a dedicated and popular history teacher who fights the good fight on the side of his students. Joining him in his idealistic approach to education are guidance counselor Liz McIntyre (Denise Nicholas) and student teacher Alice Johnson (Karen Valentine). Experienced and slightly world-weary principal Seymour Kaufman (Michael Constantine) provides a balance to the youthful idealism of the 60s cultural revolution but at the end of the day everyone is on the side of the students. Season One guest stars include Teri Garr, William Schallert, Bob Balaban, Kenneth Mars, Bud Cort, Donald Moffat, Larry Linville, Beah Richards, Paul Winfield, Nancy Wilson, Bernie Kopell, Rob Reiner and more.

Bonus Features:

* Forty Years On: All new interviews with creator James L. Brooks and cast members Denise Nicholas, Karen Valentine and Michael Constantine

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's More than Time to Go Back to School!! December 13, 2008
Verified Purchase
File this under the category, "good things come to those who wait," and brother, has it been a long, long wait for this Classic TV gem to be rediscovered and released on DVD. Now, thanks to Shout! Factory, the complete first season of the iconic comedy-drama, Room 222, is being released for the first-time ever in a four-disc DVD boxed set.

The series, which premiered on ABC in 1969, explored life at integrated Walt Whitman High School in Los Angeles, as seen through the eyes of Pete Dixon, a black American history instructor whose classes are held in Room 222. It's amazing to look back and realize that integration was considered fairly "new" in 1969!

(The basic plot was similar to the popular 1967 film, To Sir, With Love, which starred the brilliant Sidney Poitier. In the movie, Poitier portrayed an idealistic teacher-trainee dealing with rambunctious white high school students from the slums of London's East End.)

Room 222 was a half-hour comedy-drama that aired on ABC from 1969-1974. While seldom seen in syndication today, the show broke new ground that would later be developed by the major sitcom factories of the 1970's.

Mixing dramatic elements with traditional TV comedy, Room 222 also predated the "dramedy" form by almost two decades! (Note: Director James L. Brooks worked on the series and went on to fame for his efforts in everything from the Mary Tyler Moore Show to the Simpons, as well as countless movies.)

The plots of Room 222 centered around dedicated and student-friendly teacher Dixon (played by Lloyd Haynes) whose mild-mannered style was admired and respected by students. He used American history class as a spring-board to teach real-life lessons in understanding and tolerance.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Please support this release March 28, 2009
Verified Purchase
With so many TV series being abandoned by the larger studios, I caution reviews with the words they use to discourage shoppers from purchasing this wonderful series. I believe you can provide accurate information concerning the quality of this release without bashing it and scaring shoppers away. Room 222 in a charming, well written show that needs to see all of its seasons released. If sales are not good we may certainly not see any further seasons released. I am very happy to have this in my DVD collection. Of course I wish the video/audio were perfect, but it's completely watchable for a show from 1969. Please support this release and enjoy a great show from the past.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THANKS for releasing Room 222, weak quality and all! March 26, 2009
Despite the poor-to-fair, and inconsistently so, picture quality, I am so GLAD that this 1st season of Room 222 was released! Let's hope all the seasons are issued.

Also, it is apparent that the studio did the best job they could--for example, the episodes are about 26 minutes long, not shortened syndication versions.

We wanted very badly for this set to be released; let's not complain. It's not like Shout Factory regularly makes junk, it's normally pristine stuff; they obviously did the best they could with this, and it IS appreciated.

Let's see season #2 of Room 222 very soon!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful show - Poor quality video transfer March 25, 2009
By Monica
Verified Purchase
All of the reviews thus far attesting to the poor quality of the video transfer are absolutely true! One reviewer stated your mouth will drop open when you see it...Not far from the truth. However, I give props to Shout Factory for even digging deep in the vault to bring this fine show to DVD. There is even a statement on the back of the DVD packaging that states "DVDs created from best surviving video masters." I ordered this DVD set as soon as Amazon put it up for an incredible pre-order price of $10.99! So, I'm not complaining....just putting this out there for those of you who want to know. Shout Factory has done a fine job with the many other DVD sets they have produced, and we look forward to more!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great piece of TV and pop culture history May 21, 2009
This DVD represents a breakthrough, in that it was one of the first shows on TV to have an integrated cast and and a black star. Although all four of the characters had a more or less equal role, it was Lloyd Haynes and Denise Nicholas who had the first two opening credits. It was also one of the first, if not THE first, show to address complex social issues. It was really one of a kind and gives a snapshot of what school life was like in the late 60s and early 70s. It's also great to see Karen Valentine (it was before my time, but she must have been the object of many guy's desire, especially those who like the girl-next-door type). And of course Michael Constantine is fantastic as Principal Kauffman. For anyone who loved him in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, here's a chance to see him in the role he was famous for before that. And it's great to watch the students to see actors who went on to become bigger stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
People have complained about the bad prints used to produce this DVD box set of the complete first season of "Room 222." I was watching the DVD set and the prints used are not bad as some people are making it sound they are.

The prints are about 40 years old. (Has it been that long?)

This show seems to have been almost forgotten. I'm glad to see that there are others besides me that fondly remember this show.

I'm glad that there are prints of the show that are still in existence. The show ended on ABC in 1974. It has been years since the show has even been run in syndication on TV. Because of this fact, the possibilities of this show coming out in a DVD season box set appeared not too good.

However, finally a company has put this show out on DVD. I was afraid that it was going to end up being one of those TV shows that was a product of the 1960's that reflected teh times and the social and political issues of the times taht would end up being forgotten, considered dated and no longer relevant to today's DVD buyers market.

I'm glad that some company decided to put the DVD set out. Yes, I definitely would have liked to see better prints used, if in fact better prints do still actually exist somewhere.

Like I said, the prints used to produce the DVD season box set of "Room 222" are not as bad as some people are making it out to be. For the average person who buys and watches DVD's, I'm sure that they will have no problems with the prints.

I'm telling you this,because I don't want people who like "Room 222" and were waiting for itto come out to get turned off by the negative comments with regards to the quality of the prints used in the production of this DVD set. It would be ashame if some people read the negative comments about the prints used and decided to pass up their chance to get the DVD set.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
OK.
Published 9 days ago by ReneinMiami
5.0 out of 5 stars Good show and appropriate for the time.
My mother didn't want us to watch this show. And could never understand why. Now I know that this show was one of the first, if not the first, to encourage young people to think... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. O
5.0 out of 5 stars Love
I was so excited to hear the theme song from this show. It was one of my favorites from the 1970s. Again I'm disappointed that Shout is not going to put out the rest of the show on... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Thomas P. Clyde
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the first dramatic comedies/dramedies has a great touch is...
the ideas behind the writing for this show are timeless and still modern really. it may seem dated as it is from 1969 but i think a modern viewer who can not be fooled by that... Read more
Published 14 months ago by choirboyme
4.0 out of 5 stars WHY's it called Rm 222? Doesn't matter - it's great.
AS a kid, I gave Rm 222 a miss, thinking it was about a hospital

Then I read Wiki

Like it a lot
Episodes are taut - as many from that era are
Always... Read more
Published 17 months ago by A. Tay
3.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite old tv series
This was a great tv series that hardly ever gets shown anymore. I remember watching this as a child, and again when it was rerun in the early eighties. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Poindexter
3.0 out of 5 stars It's like I videotaped a 20 year old rerun 23 years ago!
That's about what the quality of the print is, but the show shines through anyway. I wasn't much of a fan back then since I was a child and way to young to appreciate this show,... Read more
Published on May 11, 2012 by lighten_up_already2
5.0 out of 5 stars Great keepsake
I read the reviews of the poor video picture.. Actually it's not bad.. after watching 2 or more episodes on disk 1, I jumped to the last disk to see the interviews with the cast... Read more
Published on April 24, 2012 by C. Barker
5.0 out of 5 stars What A Wonderful Show!!!
The first time I saw this series was on the second season when it use to air on Friday nights right after "The Partridge Family" on ABC. Read more
Published on March 8, 2012 by Luis Melendez
5.0 out of 5 stars Room 222 First Season(1969-1970)
Room 222(1969-1974) was a gem from TV's past created by James L. Brooks. The show is an homage to the Sidney Poitier film To Sir With Love(1967), but it has its own style. Read more
Published on December 5, 2011 by Jorge A. Zarco
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Season two coming 1/19/2010 but only through Shout's website
Room 222: Season 2 Read More
Jan 6, 2014 by The Outlaw Bunnyhugger |  See all 2 posts
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