The Jeffersons (DVD) Review
Posted by Nick Niesen on October 27th, 2010
Nominated for 13 Emmys and 8 Golden Globes, The Jeffersons was a groundbreaking situation comedy that was not only utterly hilarious, but also explored the controversial social issues of its day. Premiering in mid-season 1975, the show was a spin-off of the #1 hit series All In The Family, where main characters George and Louise were the next-door neighbors of Archie and Edith Bunker. During its nine-season run, The Jeffersons spent all but its last season as a Top 25 Nielsen rated show. One of the first sitcoms to center exclusively around the lives of African-Americans, The Jeffersons most likely featured television's first interracial married couple in Tom and Helen Willis. It was this fearless attempt to push the boundaries of the status quo that made the show one of the funniest of its time as well as a valuable resource for American race relations?
The Jeffersons follows the lives of George (Sherman Hemsley) and Louise Jefferson (Isabel Sanford), a middle-aged African-American couple who own a string of successful dry cleaning stores. The windfall generated by their business paves the way for George and Louise to "move on up" into an exclusive Park Avenue apartment. The series is made by Hemsley's portrayal of the stubborn and greedy, yet quite lovable, character of George whose sarcasm and antics are only equaled by the Jeffersons' quick witted live-in maid Florence (Marla Gibbs). A supporting cast composed of omni-present neighbors Tom (Franklin Cover) and Helen Willis (Roxie Roker), the ever-polite Bentley (Paul Benedict), and a tip-grubbing doorman named Ralph (Ned Wertimer) provide for endless sources of irritation and annoyance for George. Throw in George's mother (Zara Cully) and her constant insults of Louise, and The Jeffersons becomes one of the best-written humorous shows of its time?
The Jeffersons DVD features a number of hilarious episodes including the series premiere "A Friend in Need" in which the audience meets George and Louise Jefferson as they settle into their brand new Park Avenue apartment. George demands that Louise hire a maid to take care of place, but she refuses because she doesn't want to be bored. Meanwhile, a new friend of Louise has a hard time believing that George could reach such a level of success without compromising his ethics? Other notable episodes from Season 1 include "Lionel the Playboy" in which the Jeffersons' son Lionel starts enjoying the fruits of George's labor and debates dropping out of college, and "Rich Man's Disease" in which George is diagnosed with an ulcer, prompting Louise to try to keep him from getting upset - a near impossible task?
Below is a list of episodes included on The Jeffersons (Season 1) DVD:
Episode 1 (A Friend in Need) Air Date: 01-18-1975
About the AuthorNick Niesen
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