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The Jeffersons - The Complete First Season

85 customer reviews

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(Aug 06, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

13 episodes on 2 DVDs. Color/6 hrs/NR/fullscreen.

Long before Bill Cosby started wearing his friendly sweaters, urban middle-class African Americans burst onto television in the form of Louise (better known as "Weezy") and George Jefferson, portrayed by Isabel Sanford and Sherman Hemsley. Spun off from All in the Family, The Jeffersons ran from 1975 to 1985, and it's easy to see what made the show so popular--Sanford and Hemsley were a knockout comic duo, surrounded by a skilled supporting cast that included the interracial couple 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).

Set in a high-rise apartment building in the heart of New York City, the show spun around George, a classic character portrait of vanity, arrogance, and petty prejudice. Balanced by the more level-headed but just as strong-willed Weezy, George's self-serving abrasiveness struck comic gold, particularly in the second season, when the show's style had been set but was still fresh. Episodes tackled subjects trivial (George and Tom wear the same tacky dinner jacket to a party) and trenchant (a country club invites George to join, but only so that a newspaper reporter will think the club is open to minorities). The black and white mix of the cast allowed for a sharply satirical take on race relations, which managed to have a genuine sense of hope while never glossing over the complexity of racial tension--and was consistently funny. In fact, it's striking how well the show's humor holds up; The Jeffersons turned a series of half-hour farces into a sly examination of marriage, race, class, and the battle of the sexes; it's sad that so few contemporary sitcoms have this kind of intelligence, courage, and sheer talent. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Isabel Sanford, Franklin Cover, Paul Benedict, Mike Evans, Roxie Roker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • 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: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 6, 2002
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068V9X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,885 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Jeffersons - The Complete First Season" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Deanna on July 30, 2002
Format: DVD
Created as a spin-off of Norman Lear's groundbreaking sitcom All In The Family, the Jefferson's ran on CBS from 1975 to 1983, with a run of 253 episodes. The show details the comic exploits of a short-tempered dry cleaning magnate George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley), his sassy wife Louise "Weezy" (Isabel Sanford), their wisecracking maid Florence (Marla Gibbs), their neighbors Tom and Helen Willis (Franklin Cover and Roxie Roker) and other supporting cast members.
This 2-disc set contains all thirteen episodes from the first season of this historic television comedy, which smashed stereotypes and ignored social conventions as it made audiences laugh.
In this collection, you'll be getting the following episodes:
1. "A Friend in Need"- The Jefferson's have moved to Manhattan's Upper East Side and George insists that Louise should hire a maid to take care of their new apartment.
2. "George's Family Tree"- A piece of primitive art given to the Jefferson's by Tom and Helen Willis, sparks an inter-family battle about the importance of ancestors. George, totally unimpressed by anyone's ancestry, goes through a quick reversal in attitude when he gets some exciting information about his own background.
3. "Louise Feels Useless"- Living a luxury life starts to drive Louise up the walls, but her solution to the problem creates an even greater problem.
4. "Lionel the Playboy"- Louise is extremely upset over Lionel's new playboy attitude, but George loves the idea of his son rubbing elbows with the rich until he learns he's thinking about leaving college.
5. "Mr. Piano Man"- George wants nothing to do with a tenant protest meeting, but when he learns his banker, and fellow-tenant, H.L.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By B-MAN on July 26, 2002
Format: DVD
With the release of the All in the Family: Complete Season 1 DVD set, the next logical step would be that series' most successful spinoff, The Jeffersons. For those that don't know, the Jeffersons first started out as the next door neighbors of the Bunkers on All in the Family. Actually, the original Lionel, son of George and Louise (Wheezy), played by Mike Evans (later the role would go to Damon Evans) appeared in the first episode, "Meet the Bunkers", as a friend of Mike Stivic, and became a recurring character. Louise appeared for the first time in the final show of the first season, "The first and last supper" but without George (Sherman Hemsley), instead bringing his brother Henry (Mel Stewart) who would turn out to be a hilarious regular on the show. George would not be introduced until season 4, in an episode called "Henry's Farewell", which I believe is Henry's last episode. Anyway, the Jeffersons became so popular on the show that they left during the fifth season of All in the Family and started their own show in 1975. Again, if you don't already know, the Jeffersons "moved up" to an upscale apartment complex in Manhattan where they hired a maid with an attitude, Florence (Marla Gibbs), and became friends (well at least Louise did) with their neighbors in the building, Tom & Helen Willis (Franklin Cover & Roxie Roker) and Mr. Bentley (Paul Benedict). Other regulars on the show were Jenny Willis (Berlinda Tolbert), Mother Jefferson (Zara Cully), Ralph the Doorman (Ned Wertimer),and Charlie the Bartender (Danny Wells). The Jeffersons, like All in the Family, is not only essential TV comedy, but its also a landmark, considering the controversial topics and attitudes dealt with on the show.Read more ›
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Scott MacPherson on September 18, 2002
Format: DVD
The most successful spinoff in televison history is finally here on DVD ... The Jeffersons. As most of you know, this show is a spinoff of another revolutionary television series, All in the Family which ran 11 seasons from 1975 - 1985.
This show, another from the Norman Lear vehicle, had some firsts on television ... a rich affluent black family, a racially mixed couple to name a few. Isabel Sanford (a star on Broadway, now 85 years old) heads this lovely cast. Sherman Hemsley stars as the jive talking George Jeffersons, Mike Evans is the ever funny Lionel (who was only around for the first four seasons), Franklin Cover is Tom Willis (Helen's white husband) and of course, Roxie Roker (Lenny Kravitz' mom who is Helen Willis, Tom's wife, the most outrageous in this show) and last but not least, Zera Cully who is Momma Jefferson (George's mommy, only around for the first four seasons who died in 1978) who hates Louise with a passion.
This DVD is the complete First Season with thirteen episodes in all but take note - the "pilot" episode does not appear as it was a episode of "All in the Family" entitled, "the Jeffersons are moving on up", as a sixth season series opener. This was the "pilot" episode which Roxie Roker had a big afro, a treat for those who liked her and her son Lenny.
Otherwise, these thirteen episodes contained here are quite entertaining in its own right. Episodes like ....
"A Friend in Need", where George & Louise adapt to their posh digs by hiring a part time maid, which introduced us to Marla Gibbs, the no-nonsense Jeffersons' maid, Florence.
"Louise Feels Useless", as she has trouble adjusting to the good life but she takes a job at the rival cleaning store.
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Topic From this Discussion
The Jeffersons (season 10)
right now I believe they quit after season 6 so I doubt you will get to see it on DVD for a while.
Sep 27, 2007 by Sandra A. Gingras |  See all 3 posts
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The Jeffersons - The Complete First Season
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