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The Facts of Life - The Complete First & Second Seasons (1979)

Charlotte Rae , Kim Fields , Jim Drake , John Bowab  |  PG |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)

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The Facts of Life - The Complete First & Second Seasons + The Facts of Life - The Complete Third Season + The Facts of Life: Season 4
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Product Details

  • Actors: Charlotte Rae, Kim Fields, Lisa Whelchel, Mindy Cohn, Molly Ringwald
  • Directors: Jim Drake, John Bowab, Nick Havinga
  • 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: 4
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 9, 2006
  • Run Time: 707 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EQ45BU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,907 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Facts of Life - The Complete First & Second Seasons" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Featurette: Remembering the Facts of Life
  • Featurette: After Facts

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Short Synopsis: In this much loved and long running series, four girls, each with their own divergent backgrounds and personalities, become inseparable friends when they are brought together at the prestigious Eastland School for Girls. Under the gentle guidance of housemother Mrs. Garrett, the girls face the trials and tribulations of adolescence as they hurry their way towards young adulthood. Long Synopsis: You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have THE FACTS OF LIFE! A spin-off of the tremendously popular "Diff'rent Strokes," THE FACTS OF LIFE is the hilarious series that follows Mrs. Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae) and her mission as housemother to instill values in the girls of Eastland School. The large cast for the first two seasons included John Lawlor, Jenny O’Hara, Lisa Whelchel, Felice Schachter, Julie Piekarski, Kim Fields, Molly Ringwald, Julie Anne Haddock, Mindy Cohn and Nancy McKeon. By the second season, the show focused on Mrs. Garrett

Before Degrassi Junior High and Seventh Heaven, there was The Facts of Life--a feel-good sitcom where a lesson was learned at the end of each episode. Set in an all-girl boarding school, the series spanned nine seasons, countless hairdos, and an array of cast members and guest stars--some of whom (George Clooney, Helen Hunt, Molly Ringwald) would become very, very famous in the future. But in the 29 episodes that cover the first two seasons, the series introduces TV viewers to characters that represent girls everyone knows--Blair, the rich, spoiled girl; Natalie, the chubby smart aleck; Jo, the rebellious tomboy; and Tootie, the rollerskating tattletale.

A spin-off of Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life was designed as a showcase for Charlotte Rae, who played jack-of-all-trades den mother Edna Garrett. But the show's central plots all revolved around the girls. Back in 1979, certain words weren't common on television. So when Blair tries to make a schoolmate feel bad, insinuating that the girl is a lesbian, she uses the word "strange" instead of the "L" word. The series is a coming-of-age story that plays to its target audience of teenage girls. While much of the humor isn't very sophisticated, the homespun messages the show spread are right on target, whether it's dealing with eating disorders, sexual promiscuity, or acknowledging that handicapped people are people, too. From 1979 to 1988, the girls would grow into young women who go to college, get jobs, and lose their virginity (not necessarily in that order). But in the early seasons, there's a sweet innocence that still rings true today. --Jae-Ha Kim

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
196 of 202 people found the following review helpful
"The Facts Of Life" was one of my favorite shows growing up because all of the characters were so likeable, and everyone could relate to them. There's rich and sometimes snobbish Blair (Lisa Whelchel) who had more blonde feathered hair than Big-bird. Jo (Nancy McKeon) joined the cast in the second season, and was a tough street-wise girl from NY that also had a very sensitive side. Then there's the funny girl-next-door Natalie (Mindy Cohn), didn't everyone know someone that looked just like Natalie? Tootie (Kim Fields) was the mouthy youngest cast member who always had a smart line (picture Dee from "What's Happening" but not at all mean-spirited). Rounding out the cast was Mrs. Garrett (Charlotte Rae) who was nursemaid, seamstress, cook, good friend, listener, and surrogate mother for these girls.

There are a total of 29 episodes from Season 1 and Season 2.

Here are all the episodes from Season 1 with descriptions and original air dates:

Rough Housing (First aired: 8/24/1979)
The series opens with a crossover from the Drummonds of Diff'rent Strokes visiting Eastland to see Mrs. Garrett (their ex-housekeeper). They arrive during the Harvest Queen competition. Blair thinks she's certain to win. So when Cindy considers running, Blair makes some hateful comments about Cindy's sexuality.

Like Mother, Like Daughter (First aired: 8/31/1979)
It's Parent's Night at Eastland and Blair's sophisticated mother arrives bringing with her, her flirtatious tendencies which prompt rumors when she becomes "friendly" with a married man. Blair is furious and decides she doesn't want to be like her rich and beautiful mother. It's Mrs. Garrett to the rescue to help smooth things over.

The Return of Mr. Garrett (First aired: 9/7/1979)
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-enroll at Eastland March 4, 2006
Some sitcom spin-offs are good in their own right ("Mork and Mindy", "Laverne and Shirley") while others are deserving of a swift cancellation ("Joannie Loves Chachi").

"The Facts of Life successfully spun off from "Diff'rent Strokes" and then unarguably went on to establish it's own far more successful and separate idenity. It did this by combining the 1970's 'women's buddy show' with a 1980's emphasis on wealth and luxury.

Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae), the Drumond's housekeeper, becomes housemother at Kimberly's boarding school in Peekskill New York. The Drummonds make 'special guest appearances' at Eastland into the second season. However, considering it is Kimberly's school, her single guest appearance in "Rough Housing" is puzzling. Surely, we would have seen her more?

29 episodes make up the combined season. Whomever was in charge of DVD production for this release remembered that the series did not become the cultural phenomena it is remembered as today until the second season. However important to establishing the series (and featuring a VERY young Molly Ringwald) the first season comparatively lacked the oomph which ultimately made the series click. I'm also pleased that the price is bellow $30 dollars, studios actually want people buying this product as soon as it hits the shelves.

During the second season, the 'core' group of girls is paired down to four and their distinctive personalities are emphasized. Livening things up, 'rough' 'Jo' (Joanne)Polniaczek is added to the cast. Former season one regulars Molly Ringwald (Molly)Julie Anne Haddock (Cindy), Julie Piekarski (Sue Ann), and Felice Schachter (Nancy) come back for guest appearances.

Season 2 explains how this seemingly disparate group of girls ends up living together.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a TV show on DVD series worth buying! March 18, 2006
This show was a staple in my life and I am glad to hear it's in production for May '06 release. There is so much TV on DVD that it was about time this show was featured.

Started as a spin-off to Diffrent Strokes, Mrs. Garrett goes to Eastland (where Kimberly is a student) to become the house mother. The early season featured a larger cast (Jo was the rebel biker who arrived in season 2 to complet the 5-some of Mrs. G, Blair, Tootie, and Natalie) and has always tackled issues from drug abuse to parental death.

It's light humor and typical plot of the 70's and 80's theme kept it popular for many years. This show is utterly amazing, family oriented, and long overdue on DVD. You will no doubt fall in love with its simplicity and fun times of 4 girls forced to live together as roomies (more so in season 2 forward).

Enjoy this DVD set and may it keep coming with all 9 seasons!!!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You take the Good, Your take the Bad June 2, 2006
In 1979, the NBC hit show Different Strokes spun off the TV show The Facts of Life for Charlotte Rae's character Mrs Garrett.

During the first season, she had seven young women at the Eastland School, who she was housemother to. By season two, The show was streamlined to four students (and the core of the show for the rest of the show's life).This career move was the best for the show.

I enjoyed watching this show> it had messages shows like about self images, rumors and gossip, Teen weddings, Suicide and others subjext you think a comedy show wouldn't do. They did it and it workes well

The first season had too many girls to enjoy and get to know. The show was great in its first season, however I usually got confuse between Julie Piekarski amd Julie Anne Haddock characters.Also it seemed Felice Schacter and Lisa Whenchel character were so similar, you can put the lines in either mouth and it woulkd work. And then there was young Molly Ringwall a few years before her 16 Candles days.

It was the second year when the core group of GIRLS...Blair (Lisa Whelchel), Tootie (Kim Fields), Natalie (Mindy Cohn) and Jo (Nancy McKeon).... murphed into making this show into something special.

My take on this 29 episode DVD set is just like the Theme song, You take the good , You take the bad...Its the Facts of Life. It is fun and barely date itself and that what make it worthwhile--I wonder why TV land doesn't run this show on their schedule. And kids can watch this and enjoy this with their parents

So when is season two coming?

Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD
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