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Customer Review

on July 20, 2011
First of all, let's just ALL GET OVER the fact that S&S: The Complete Series comes without the discs being individually cased--go to the store and buy the cases!! Okay, now that that's settled, let's talk about Domestic Syndication operations. After a show makes its 100th episode (in prime time), it becomes eligible to be "picked up" in syndicated (i.e. "local") markets if the original broadcast network (NBC, for example) decides to offer the program for syndication. Once a show goes syndicated, it is EXTREMELY RARE to see the show in its original, unedited form (due largely to the fact that local stations WILL trim episodes in order to sell more commercial time). That said, one must realize that ORIGINAL S&S episodes ran about 25 minutes UNCUT (including opening and closing credits); this left about FIVE minutes for ALL commercial breaks (national and local). When S&S was on NBC's daytime syndication (14 June 1976 to 21 July 1978), the episodes were pretty much left intact. However, the current syndication version of S&S episodes feature an average program runtime of 22:25 (about 18:00 to 20:00 on TV LAND). The good thing about this box set is that the episodes ARE about 95% complete; "Happy Birthday, Pop"(Season 1 Episode 2) does NOT feature a scene between Fred and a shapely hat check girl (although the actress, Indira Danks, is listed in the closing credits). A rather pleasant surprise is featured in the episode "Rated X"(Season 2 Episode 24); at the end of the episode as Esther reads from the Bible while Rollo, Lamont and Fred are behind bars, they groan and turn away; the syndication version fades to commercial, but the DVD version features additional dialogue! Finally, in "The Masquerade Party" (Season 4 Episode 18) there is a weirdly cool scene (NEVER shown in syndication) featuring the actor Dap "Sugar" Willie (as himself) as a neighborhood acquaintance of Lamont and other cast characters. If your only exposure to "Sanford and Son" is from TV Land, you're gonna be amazed; if you remember this show from prime time, you won't be disappointed--you'll just wish it was 100% complete--there ARE only 135 episodes (136 in syndication)--"The Hawaiian Connection" (Season 6) was originally shown in only TWO parts (a one hour episode on 24 September 1976 and a 30 minute episode on 1 October 1976). Regardless, the S&S purists out there will smile EVERY time they witness a scene on the DVDs that you NEVER see in syndication!! What would've put this set over the top is if a booklet containing rare pictures of the cast and crew (along with some interviews) had been included. I'd love to see the original tapes restored, remastered and uncut, but for the price, this collection is very good.
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