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Diff'erent Strokes : Season 1

Gary Coleman , Todd Bridges , Herbert Kenwith    Unrated   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.99
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Diff'erent Strokes : Season 1 + Diff'rent Strokes : The Complete Second Season + Diffrent Strokes S3
Price For All Three: CDN$ 57.95

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Product Description


More than just a ratings hit for NBC, the Norman Lear/Bud Yorkin-produced Diff'rent Strokes was a pop-culture phenomenon, thanks largely to the wise-beyond-his-years performance of star Gary Coleman. And while the show has languished of late in syndication in a heavily edited form, Columbia's first-season set amends that situation by packaging all 24 uncut episodes on a three-disc set with some interesting extras. Launched in November 1978 as a mid-season replacement for the failed Joe Namath series The Waverly Wonders, Diff'rent Strokes vaulted to no. 27 in the Nielsen ratings; audiences responded to the warmth and humorous culture clash between wealthy Philip Drummond (Lear vet Conrad Bain) and Arnold and Willis (Coleman and Todd Bridges), the sons of his late housekeeper whom he adopted. Though Bain, Bridges, Dana Plato (as Bain's daughter), and Charlotte Rae (as housekeeper Mrs. Garrett) all delivered solid performances, it was Coleman's charm, his timing, and most of all, his catch phrase "Whatchoo talkin' bout?" that drew in viewers.

The series was so successful that NBC used it to launch or boost two other shows: The Facts of Life, which sent Mrs. Garrett to run a girls' school (its pilot, "The Girls' School," is episode 24 on the third disc), and the McLean Stevenson program Hello, Larry, which followed Strokes on the network (the two-part cross-over episodes are featured on disc 3). Though perhaps best known to current audiences for the unfortunate luck suffered by several of its cast members after the show's cancellation in 1986, this first-season set offers a pleasant reminder of the show's charms. The set is rounded out by two featurettes featuring interviews with many of the show's stars and producers (though Coleman is notably absent), and commentaries by story editor Fred Rubin. --Paul Gaita

Product Description

The Complete First Season Of The Tv Series Diff'Rent Strokes

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Gary Coleman, while brilliant in small roles in "Good Times" and "The Jeffersons" and such in the 1970's, would hit international-fame status with a little show called "Diff'rent Strokes" that would blow up into a huge hit ... and, some would say, a huge curse!
The first season was my favorite -- the Charlotte Rae episodes, where Mrs. Garrett took care of the home and boys -- and, in many cases, also Kimberly and Mr. Drummond -- before taking off to run girls' school and Peekskill.

This golden first season contained 24 episodes, and here's how they should appear on the greatly-anticipated DVD boxed set release:
1) Movin' In - When Mr. Drummond agrees to a deathbed wish to raise his housekeeper's two sons, he learns that showering the boys with gifts and wealth isn't going to keep them home ... when he hears them plotting to run away.
2) The Social Worker - Arnold's big ears misunderstand a comment he hears Mr. Drummond make to a social worker, and thinks he and Willis are not wanted at home.
3) Mother's Last Visit - A visit from Mr. Drummond's socialite mother stirs up trouble.
4) Prep School - Mr. Drummond learns a valuable lesson when he enrolls Willis and Arnold into a snobbish prep school.
5) The Spanking - Arnold ignores threats of a spanking when he's dropping water balloons off the balcony, but when the time comes Willis insists on spanking him ... until Arnold disappears!
6) Goodbye Dolly - EVERYONE in the house is going to be miserable until Arnold finds his lost doll.
7) The Trial - Mrs. Garrett holds court as judge when a trial decides if Arnold really put his goldfish into the hot tub.
8) Respective, Part 1 - A Christmas-themed show has the family recounting memories they've built since the boys moved in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Different Strokes Season 1 June 14 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Gary Coleman he is a short guy on the show. He was adopted by a father and a brother and sister. The father is a rich man and he works for a living also he hired a maid to go the chores around the apartment while he at work and the three kids go to school. It is a great T.V. Show to Watch. Gary Coleman past away and will be miss by is fans. He came out for four T.V. show so far I don't know if anymore are coming out before he died. Love you Gary your Fan Francine
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4.0 out of 5 stars Strong start to a hilarious sitcom. Jan. 16 2013
Hello all, I bought this DVD because I was a huge fan of this show
way back when. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released this
and Season 2 on DVD. I am glad there is Commentary and some
neat extras in this show. It would have been nice to have seen Gary
Coleman in the commentary but oh well. I enjoyed most of the episodes.
I believe there are a few episodes that were syndicated meaning the
episodes were shortened and that is very disappointing. That is why
I can't give this DVD a "five" star rating. Who knows, maybe Shout!Factory
can re-release this on DVD in its Full entirety. However, I digress, I
do recommend this DVD.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks like a winner!! July 12 2004
Here is the info I recieved about this upcoming DVD...
The show aired on 22 nights during the first season, and twice the airing was a double-length hour-long story, bringing the total to 24 half-hour episode slots for the series' rookie year. One of those hour-long airings was "The Trip", which crossed-over Strokes with another series: Hello, Larry. That was also the year that ended in the episode "The Girls School" (a.k.a. "Garrett's Girls"), which was actually the pilot for a spin-off, The Facts of Life.
588 minutes of episodes are accompanied by several great extras:
All new interviews with Todd Bridges and Conrad Bain
Featurette about Gary Coleman
Audio commentary with writer Fred Rubin, whose credits during
this season include "Prep School", "The Trial", and "Willis' Privacy".
This was a fun little show that hasn't been on tv (in re-runs) in a very long time, so it will be nice to finally see it again...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly pleasant begining July 9 2004
When this series debuted (1978) on the NBC network, interracial families and/or single parent families were still a cultural annomally.

Harlem residents Arnold and Willis come to live with the white Phillip Drummond (Conraid Bain), after their mother dies from a generic fatal illness. On her death bed, she makes her employer promise that the boys will be taken care of in her absence. Instead of being annoyed by the new responsibilities and ensuing mishaps, Mr. Drummond is genuinely happy to treat the boys as one of his own. Subsequently, there is an endless stream of gags about the family and their cosmetic legitimacy in relation to the larger society. Are they actually a family, or is it a practial joke several families decided to put together?
Another notable character is Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae) the Drumond's new housekeeper. Although she would quickly be spun off into the far more successfull The Facts of Life as dorm mother of Kimberly's (the late Dana Plato) elite boarding school, she provides the 'maternal influence' to this comedy ensemble. This critical transition occurs towards the end of the season, and although it does not do anything for the series itself---was very important for network ratings.
With the status of it's many associated child stars subsequently diminishing, this show has taken a beating in American pop culture. Since the first season is not half that bad, it is rather disappointing that the crude jokes abound.
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