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227 - The Complete First Season
227 - The Complete First Season
Actors: Marla Gibbs, Hal Williams, Alaina Reed-Hall, Jackée Harry, Regina King
Directors: Arlando Smith, Ellen Falcon, Gary Brown, Gerren Keith, Oz Scott
Genres: Television
NR     2004     8hr 46min

The Complete First Season of the ?80s classic "227" is now available on DVD! This 3-disc set features Marla Gibbs as a sharp-witted housewife who finds herself mixed up in the lives of the eccentric fellow tenants i...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Marla Gibbs, Hal Williams, Alaina Reed-Hall, Jackée Harry, Regina King
Directors: Arlando Smith, Ellen Falcon, Gary Brown, Gerren Keith, Oz Scott
Creators: Bill Boulware, Bob Myer
Genres: Television
Sub-Genres: Television
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 09/28/2004
Original Release Date: 09/14/1985
Theatrical Release Date: 09/14/1985
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 8hr 46min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Glad to see this show on DVD
Dorrie Wheeler | 10/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is really great that Columbia Tri Star is brining back some of the class African-American comedies from the 70's and 80's to DVD. These shows were enjoyed by all. The first season of 227 we really learn about the foundation of the characters on 227, Mary, Lester and her daughter Brenda. It was nice to see Marla Gibb in a role where she wasn't a maid but a wife and mother. Her and Lester had a nice family. The late Helen Martin shines as the elderly wise cracking neighbor Pearl and Jackee Harry is quite funny as Sexy Sandra. I really enjoy this show because these were working class people who often found themselves in funny predicaments that usually were solved by the end of the show. Some of the funniest episodes on this set include the episode when the people in the building think they have won the lottery, the episode when Brenda has a crush on Calvin and turns to Sandra for advice and the first episode when Mary accidently hits a car and leaves a note on the car only to have another car come along and almost destroy the car. I hope that future seasons make it to DVD also. The first three seasons were the funniest! I purchase a lot of these DVD's to let my family watch because some of these older shows are a lot better than these new shows."
Tamra J. Gibson | Los Angeles,CA | 12/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have always loved this show and was thrilled when it was finally released on dvd, but this show really started to cook in the second season hint!hint! I just wish the powers at be would'nt take so long releasing other season sets, which I think can really affect the sales and future sets being released.
Meanwhile, I hope the second season sees the light of day on dvd because I would love to own the episode when Sondra meets a politian who also has eyes for Brenda's teacher, played by Jayne Kennedy! The whole second season is filled with great episodes and I hope we fans won't have to wait in vain for the next release of this very funny show!!!"
~* With your family around you, you're never alone ~*
Tara Plumeri | East Hampton, CT | 09/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"227: The Complete First Season is a classic series. Pull up a milk crate and take up a space on the stoop - you'll be laughing in no time.

Marla Gibbs, within a few weeks of her last performance as the smart-mouthed maid Florence on The Jeffersons, Gibbs purchased the rights to a stage play called 227, had it developed into a sitcom, and began filming the new series. In July 1985, The Jeffersons ran for the last time on CBS. Two months later, on September 14, 1985, 227 joined NBC's Saturday night lineup.

Set in Washington, DC, the series follows the residents of building number 227, a solidly middle-class apartment house located in a neighbor that is rapidly becoming gentrified with posh condominiums. Gibbs plays Mary Jenkins, a no-nonsense housewife. Mary's construction supervisor husband, Lester (Hal Williams), is a caring, dependable father to their teenage daughter, Brenda (Regina King). Mary's best friend is Rose Lee Holloway (Alaina Reed-Hall), a gossipy widow. The two pals love to sit on the stoop and discuss their lives.and the lives of anyone else who happens to wander by. Sandra Clark (Jackee Harry) is the building's resident vamp, a sashaying mantrap whose haughty attitude often sets her at odds with down-to-earth Mary. Pearl Shay (Helen Martin) is an elderly busybody who observes all of 227's comings and goings from her perch at the window of her first floor apartment. Rounding out the building's principal residents are Calvin (Curtis Baldwin), Pearl's seventeen year-old grandson (and Brenda's boyfriend), and Rose's daughter Tiffany (Kia Goodwin).

One reason that the show is so fresh is that its characters are relatively unique, especially for a show created in 1985. Rather than depicting African-Americans living in poverty (Sanford & Son, Good Times) or as nouveau riche (The Cosby Show, The Jeffersons), Gibbs developed the show, in part, because she wanted the nation's large black middle-class to be portrayed on TV. The result is that the characters and their concerns can be easily related to by a broad cross section of viewers. The show is warm and funny, with the residents of the building serving as an extended family to each other, and to its viewers.

The entire cast is strong - Gibbs especially proves her versatility by playing a character that is completely unlike snappy Florence - but Jackee Harry is the show's breakout star. She has the gift of being able to deliver even the dullest of lines in a way that provokes laughs. With her clingy dresses, mincing walk, and honey-coated buzz-saw vocal style, she manages to steal almost every scene in which she appears.

Several guest stars appear in the first season. The Naked Gun's Leslie Nielson plays a Secret Service agent who investigates Mary when she writes a "Letter to the President." Wrestling weirdo (and Cyndi Lauper video star) Captain Lou Albano plays an old associate of Lester's who is hired to be 227's handyman, but harbors a big secret (not to mention several rubber bands in his beard) in "We the People." In "Fifty Big Ones," Beah Richards (Roots: The Next Generations) and Whitman Mayo (Sanford & Son) play Mary's parents who come to town to celebrate their 50th by renewing their marriage vows.provided they even want to stay married.

One interesting fact is the episodes are presented here in production order, not broadcast order. Ordinarily, this wouldn't really be a problem for a sitcom. Here, however, it is a small flaw. The pilot episode was actually aired six episodes into the series. Since it was produced first, it is presented as the first episode on disc one. The pilot features a cliffhanger ending that is continued in "The Sidewalk Sale." "Sidewalk" was not filmed until later on in the season, so it appears as the first episode on disc two. Since the packaging does not indicate that the episodes are part one and part two of a single story, viewers will be left to figure out for themselves that the conclusion of the first episode in the set is actually found on disc tw :)

The twenty-two episodes that make up the first season are divided onto three discs. The discs are housed in slim, clear keepcases. The front covers are yellow and each feature a separate, small cast photo. The back covers include episode numbers, episode titles, plot synopses, and basic creative credits. The double-sided coversheets show through to the inside of the case, but the interiors are simply solid yellow. The DVDs are black with "227" printed in a bold yellow font. The three keepcases slide into a cardboard sleeve which showcases Gibbs and Harry in front of a stoop.

The DVD menus feature static cast photos. Viewers can play all episodes or choose an individual episode. Although there are no scene selection menus, chapter stops are included.

All of the extras are found on disc three. First up is "From Stage to Screen: 227," a six minute look at the play that inspired the series. Interviews with playwright Christine Houston, star Marla Gibbs, and co-creator/producer/writer Bill Boulware help to explain the process by which the show moved from stage to screen.

The six minute, thirty second "Three Ladies Remembering 227" gathers Alaina Reed, Jackee Harry, and Gibbs for a lively discussion of the series. The three are charming and fun to watch.

"Stories from the Stoop" is a twenty minute featurette on the making of the series, featuring interviews with the show's stars and creative team, including Gibbs, Harry, Reed, Hal Williams, playwright Houston, directors Gerren Keith and Arlando Smith, Bill Boulware, executive producer Dick Bensfield, and co-producer Roxie Wenk-Evans. The enthusiasm of the participants is infectious, making this (and the set's other extras) a must-see for fans.

Season 2.....WHERE IS IT?
R. Carter | St. Louis, Missouri United States | 02/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Me being a 227 fan, i am looking for the 2nd season and i cant find it because its not released YET! COme on people get the 2nd season on NOW! Martin 2nd season is coming out in MAY, come on and lets do this and release release release.............DANG IT!"