DVD Review: One Day At A Time: The Complete Series

One Day At A Time: The Complete Series was created by Whitney Blake and Allan Manings, and developed by Norman Lear. The liberated sitcom classic was directed by Alan Rafkin and stars Bonnie Franklin, Mackenzie Phillips, Pat Harrington and Valerie Bertinelli.

One Day At A Time follows Ann Romano (Bonnie Franklin), an independent woman who transplants herself and her two daughters – rebellious Julie (Mackenzie Phillips) and smart aleck Barbara (Valerie Bertinelli) – to Indianapolis in search of a new life. Moving into an apartment under the watchful eye and ever-present tool belt of the building’s quirky superintendent Schneider (Pat Harrington), the Romano women muddle through life, love, and laughs as they discover their own potential.

One Day at a Time ran from 1975-1984. The series follows Anne Romano, a divorced mother who is raising her two daughters as best as she can. Julie is the oldest daugher and brings a lot of rebellious drama for Anne to deal with while the younger Barbara always delivers her wisecracks on demand. Anne does a great job balancing her career with her small family but there are always some extra stumbling blocks along the way for her to deal with. There’s also Schneider, the loyal building super, who is more like a family member than maintenance man and he is always ready to deliver some laughs.

The series ran for nine season and always had a rotating door of recurring characters from beginning to end and they all served an important part of the series. Bonnie Franklin, Mackenzie Phillips, Pat Harrington and Valerie Bertinelli were the mainstays of this long-running sitcom even though Phillips started having more of a recurring role towards the end of the fifth season. This is when more new characters were introduced into the mix as well as a new love interest for Anne that came along in the sixth season. There was a lot of chemistry with this cast and it’s all evident with each and every episode. The writing was smart, funny and even series when it needed to be and this talented cast delivered it all on queue every single time.

The packaging comes with a thick slipcase with five clear plastic keepcases inside. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes series details, some images and list of special features. . There’s also a nice 20-page booklet inside that includes episode listing, synopsis, air dates and images. The discs for each season are all color coded so you don’t have to worry about getting them mixed up. Inserting each disc, the menu screens were simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this standard-definition release varied with each disc and the video is a little fuzzy/blurry at times but that’s to be expected considering the age of this series. There’s a disclaimer that plays at the beginning of each disc. As far as the audio goes it was all sounded really good and with very little static. I really didn’t have any major issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, I really enjoyed watching One Day At A Time: The Complete Series and the majority of it was all a first time watch for me. Over the years I guess that I had caught a few episodes here and there (probably on TV Land?) in passing but never really payed that much attention to it but this was really a funny sitcom that dealt with real-life situations. As silly as it got at times, there were also some very serious moments that focused on some controversial topics like harrassment, discrimination, sex, drugs and good ole family drama. The smart writing and this wonderful cast where the heart and soul of the series and why it was one of the most successful sitcoms of the 1970s and 1980s. If you’re not familiar with Norman Lear, he was the television legend behind other classic sitcoms like All In The Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, and Mary Hartman and this one fits perfectly in with this impressive lineup. One Day at a Time even features the catchy theme song “This is It” that’s now stuck in my head. All 208 episodes will finally be available in a 27-DVD set on December 5th thanks to Shout! Factory. This is one that fans have been wanting for a long time and now it’s finally arriving.

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Run Time: 27 Discs / 208 Episodes / 5130 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

DVD Video: Widescreen Presentation

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include Mackenzie Phillips & Glenn Scarpelli One Day Later (28:52), the One Day At A Time Reunion (38:43), and “This Is It: The Story Of One Day At A Time.” (30:28)

 

 

 

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