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Room 222: Season 1

DVD | Box Set

4.2 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
New from Used from
(Mar 24, 2009)
$23.60 $18.41

Editorial Reviews

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

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

Special features


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.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • DVD Release Date: March 24, 2009
  • Run Time: 660 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B001LRL4Y2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,396 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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