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One Day at a Time - The Complete First Season



DVD Release Date: April 24, 2007 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $29.95
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 15
Running Time: 380 minutes
Running Time of Special Features: approx. 39 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed Captioned
Special Features: “The One Day at a Time Reunion” (CBS, 2005)


This is it! One Day at a Time is FINALLY on DVD with the Complete First Season in a 2-disc box set from Sony. All 15 episodes from the Emmy Award Winning series that starred Bonnie Franklin, Mackenzie Phillips, Valerie Bertinelli, Richard Masur and Pat Harrington, Jr. are on DVD! Also included is the 2005 reunion that aired on CBS. It brought back Franklin, Bertinelli, Phillips and Harrington one more time. The show debuted on CBS in December 1975 and ran until 1984, with 209 episodes. The show was about a divorced mother raising two teenage daughters while trying to maintain a career. The series was produced by the legendary Norman Lear, and like his other sitcoms, it was occasionally controversial, tackling topical family issues such as teen sexuality and money problems in a candid, straightforward manner. The first season has episodes where Julie (Phillips) debates going “all the way,” Barbara tries to get her parents back together, David (Masur) proposes to Ann (Franklin), Julie’s date develops a crush on Ann and Ann’s ex-husband (Joseph Campanella) decides to remarry.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The first season only had 15 episodes. I liked them all, but I think the show really takes off after this season. “Ann’s Decision” is the episode that starts it all. This is the first time where Ann has to make a big decision on her own. Julie wants to go camping with her friends, which include boys and she doesn’t want her going. This time her husband or father are not around, so Ann has to make a decision. “Chicago Rendezvous” is the second episode and it is about Ann being picked up by a man in a restaurant, much to the dismay of her daughters. “How to Succeed Without Trying” has guest star Robert Mandan (Soap, Three’s a Crowd) as an executive who interviews Ann and wants to continue the interview at her place at night. Mandan is great playing a letch, as we saw a few years later on Soap. “All the Way” is probably the most memorable episode of this season. It is about Julie contemplating on having sex with her boyfriend Chuck for the first time. “David Plus Two” has David caught in a lie as Ann catches him with a sexy neighbor. “Julie’s Job” has Julie getting a job at truck stop diner, so she can buy a car. Suzanne Somers (Three’s Company, Step by Step) has a minor role in the episode playing a young woman at the diner. Veteran Charles Lane also guest stars. The two-part season finale is “Dad Comes Back.” It is a mix bag…is Ed (guest star Joseph Campanella) getting re-married or is trying to get back together with Ann?

Other guest stars include Fritzi Burr (Miss Collins from What’s Happening!!) and Robby Benson (American Dreams).


The packaging is a typical Sony design--an outer box with slim cases inside. The outer box has the show logo on top in a shade of green and white. Then we have Schneider on the left and the girls (Ann, Julie, and Barbara) on the right. The complete first season wording is below them. The back of the box has a quote from the theme, a nice synopsis of the show & set, lots of cool images, and more basic info.

Inside the box, we have two slim cases and the generic Sony booklet. Like usual, the generic Sony booklet is out of date, as it says season six of The Jeffersons is coming soon, but that has been out already. Anyway, we have slim cases, each holding a disc. Slim case one is green and has a nice color photo of the girls in front. The second slim case is blue in color and has a nice color photo of the girls, Schneider and David. The back of each slim case has episode info (episode number, title, synopsis, and cast). Inside the slim cases, on the left side the episode info continues. On the right side are the discs. When we take the discs out you will see a photo on the case (slim case one has a full cast photo and slim case two has a full shot of Schneider). The discs are the same style as the slim case style. Disc one is green and disc two is blue. Disc one holds episodes 1-7 and disc two holds episodes 8-15 and also the reunion.

Menu Design and Navigation:

One Day a Time - The Complete First Season Menu One Day a Time - The Complete First Season Menu

The menu screens match the color style of each disc. Disc one’s menu is green and disc two is blue. There is no theme playing the background, like most Sony sets. Options are Play All Episodes, Episode Selection, Previews (Disc one only) and The One Day at a Time Reunion (disc two only). Previews option has Great TV Families, ‘80s Hits, Classic Comedy and Ladies’ Night...typical Sony previews and all old of course. When we select Episode Selection, we get the typical Sony episode menu--a square screenshot from the episode with the title. Each episode has four chapter stops, which include the opening and closing credit chapters. The One Day at a Time Reunion has six chapter stops, but more on that in the special features section.

Video and Audio Quality:

The back of the box says the show is digitally remastered. It certainly looks good. A few episodes seem a bit light in color early on but then it gets much better. The audio is fine, a nice Dolby digital sound. The episodes for the most part are around 25:30, so it looks unedited, unless there is something very minor cut.

The runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. Ann’s Decision (25:33)
2. Chicago Rendezvous (25:35)
3. Jealousy (25:35)
4. How to Succeed Without Trying (25:35)
5. David Loves Ann (25:06)
6. Julie’s Best Friend (25:00)
7. Super Blues (25:35)

Disc 2:
8. All the Way (25:33)
9. Fighting City Hall (25:34)
10. David Plus Two (25:33)
11. Julie’s Job (25:30)
12. The College Man (25:25)
13. Father David (25:32)
14. Dad Comes Back, Part 1 (25:34)
15. Dad Comes Back, Part 2 (25:29)

Special Features:

Usually, Sony sets are bare with just Sony previews. This set has something of value…nothing new, but still good. The 2005 One Day at a Time Reunion that aired on CBS is on this set. It runs 38:43, my how network hour shows are so short now. In 1975, it would have been 48 minutes. Anyway, the reunion has reunited the four main cast members and has interviews with other recurring stars such as Richard Masur, Shelley Fabares, Nanette Fabray, Michael Lembeck, and Glenn Scarpelli.

Final Comments:

This WAS it! I loved the set and had fun watching the episodes once again after many years of not seeing this show. Let’s hope Sony will continue to release this series. The series had nine seasons, so we have along way to go and Sony goes so slow on their sets, we might not be done with this series on DVD for another nine years or so. I hope we get some bloopers, interviews, or audio commentaries on future sets. Valerie Bertinelli is still doing stuff, just today she was on The View, so I’m sure she’d contribute. So, this is it! So, go and have a ball and buy this set even if you’ve never seen the show. I’ll keep on doing what I do, as the theme song says, and will watch the show. So, up on your feet and buy this set, or better yet, don’t get on your feet and click away below to buy the set! One Day at a Time, One Day at a Time!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 04/10/07

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