You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have THE FACTS OF LIFE... A spin-off of the tremendously popular Diff'rent Strokes, THE FACTS OF LIFE is the hilarious series that follows Mrs. Edna Gar... more »rett (Charlotte Rae) and her mission as housemother to instill values in the girls of Eastland School. The large first season cast included John Lawlor, Jenny O'Hara, Lisa Whelchel, Felice Schachter, Julie Piekarski, Kim Fields, Molly Ringwald, Julie Anne Haddock, and Mindy Cohn. By the second season, the show focused on Mrs. Garrett and just four Eastland girls - spoiled Blair, gossipy Tootie, wise-cracking Natalie, and rebellious Jo. Under Mrs. Garrett's guidance, these four go from wide-eyed school girls to mature young women...all while learning THE FACTS OF LIFE. Guest stars include the cast of Diff'rent Strokes, Helen Hunt and Richard Dean Anderson of TV's MacGyver. Includes all 29 laugh-packed episodes from Seasons One and Two.« less
Marleen M. from WHEELING, WV Reviewed on 3/6/2014...
Giving this a 5 star rating as I really enjoyed it. Quite interesting seeing Molly Ringwald at that age and several of the guest stars who are now famous as adults. Great trip back in time for me.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
If you hear them from your brother, better clear them with y
JGC | 03/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Facts Of Life" was one of my favorite shows growing up because all of the characters were so likeable, and everyone could relate to them. There's rich and sometimes snobbish Blair (Lisa Whelchel) who had more blonde feathered hair than Big-bird. Jo (Nancy McKeon) joined the cast in the second season, and was a tough street-wise girl from NY that also had a very sensitive side. Then there's the funny girl-next-door Natalie (Mindy Cohn), didn't everyone know someone that looked just like Natalie? Tootie (Kim Fields) was the mouthy youngest cast member who always had a smart line (picture Dee from "What's Happening" but not at all mean-spirited). Rounding out the cast was Mrs. Garrett (Charlotte Rae) who was nursemaid, seamstress, cook, good friend, listener, and surrogate mother for these girls.
There are a total of 29 episodes from Season 1 and Season 2.
Here are all the episodes from Season 1 with descriptions and original air dates:
Rough Housing (First aired: 8/24/1979) The series opens with a crossover from the Drummonds of Diff'rent Strokes visiting Eastland to see Mrs. Garrett (their ex-housekeeper). They arrive during the Harvest Queen competition. Blair thinks she's certain to win. So when Cindy considers running, Blair makes some hateful comments about Cindy's sexuality.
Like Mother, Like Daughter (First aired: 8/31/1979) It's Parent's Night at Eastland and Blair's sophisticated mother arrives bringing with her, her flirtatious tendencies which prompt rumors when she becomes "friendly" with a married man. Blair is furious and decides she doesn't want to be like her rich and beautiful mother. It's Mrs. Garrett to the rescue to help smooth things over.
The Return of Mr. Garrett (First aired: 9/7/1979) Mrs. Garrett is surprised by a visit from her ex-husband, who is interested in her again. However, his gambling ways rub off on the girls who begin playing the game that he taught them.
I.Q. (First aired: 9/14/1979) Nosey Tootie accidentally comes across a paper which lists the I.Q. scores of each one of the girls. Of course, she repeats this confidential information back to the girls prompting a furor with Nancy and Sue Ann.
Overachieving (First aired: 3/12/1980) Tootie's dad comes for a visit and doesn't like the activities that Tootie is up to. Believing Mrs. Garrett is a bad influence, Mr. Ramsey decides to have Tootie removed from Eastland.
Emily Dickinson (First aired: 3/14/1980). Blair is so caught up with her latest boyfriend that she forgets to write a poem, so she copies one.
Dieting (First aired: 3/21/1980) Blair and Sue Ann kid each other about their weight and Sue Ann takes Blair's comments a little too seriously, dieting, starving herself, and eventually getting sick.
The Facts of Love (First aired: 4/4/1980) Mrs. Garrett begins teaching a sex-education class in stark-disagreement with prudish Mr. Bradley.
Flash Flood (First aired: 4/11/1980) A flood hits Peekskill which prompts Blair and Tootie to race out to the stables to save their animals. Blair "falls in love" with Mr. Bradley when he comes to the girls' rescue.
Adoption (First aired: 4/25/1980) Blair sticks here big nose in Natalie's affairs when she finds out that her schoolmate was adopted. Mrs. Garrett convinces Natalie that she's too young to be running after her birth mother because she is too young and not ready for it.
Running (First aired: 5/2/1980) Mr. Bradley pits Sue Ann and Cindy against eachother so they can each compete to win a track competition. Both girls wind up hating eachother, and it's up to Mrs. Garrett (as usual) to fix things.
Molly's Holiday (First aired: 6/4/1980) Molly is down in the dumps due to her parents' impending divorce.
Dope (First aired: 6/11/1980) Blair befriends two girls who she introduces to Sue Ann. All seems to be fine until they learn that their friends are potheads. This episode was dropped from Nick at Nite/TV Land (during it's regular rotation) because of it's "risque" content and storyline.
Here are all the episodes from Season 2 with descriptions and original air dates:
The New Girl (1) (First aired: 11/19/1980) The new year brings a new student, Jo, a tough girl who hot wires the school van and takes off to the Chug-a-Lug bar with Blair, Natalie and Tootie to meet older boys. However, one of the guys they meet happens to be an undercover officer that drags all the girls to jail when they act up (Tootie pours a pitcher of beer over his head!).
The New Girl (2) (First aired: 11/26/1980) Mrs. Garrett bails the girls out of jail and announces that they all have been expelled from Eastland. However, they can stay if they move in with Mrs. Garrett and work in the cafeteria. This prompts the new premise with a scaled-down cast.
Double Standard (First aired: 12/10/1980) Blair is sure that an old friend, Harrison Andrews is going to invite her to a cotillion. However, he invites Jo because Harrison is a sexist snob that thinks he can get lucky with Jo.
Who Am I? (First aired: 12/17/1980) Tootie begins to think long and hard about her race and how she's being treated at Eastland, thanks to a new boy she meets.
Cousin Geri (First aired: 12/24/1980) When Blair's cousin Geri (Geri Jewell) makes a big splash at Eastland. Mrs. Garret thinks that Blair is embarrassed of her handicapped cousin because she hides out in her room. But it's actually the green eye of jealousy that's bitten Blair.
Shoplifting (First aired: 12/31/1980) It's Mrs. Garrett's birthday and the girls (except Blair) steal a blouse to give her.
Teenage Marriage (1) (First aired: 1/7/1981) Jo's cute little boyfriend, Eddie, surprises her by making a sudden visit to Eastland, but she gets even more of a surprise when he proposes to her.
Teenage Marriage (2) (First aired: 1/14/1981) Jo is unsure of whether or not to accept Eddie's proposal but finally decides to go ahead with the wedding. All the girls, including Mrs. Garrett help to convince Jo that she's making the wrong decision.
Gossip (First aired: 1/21/1981) Tootie's big-ears get her in trouble again. She overseas some gossip and repeats it back to the girls inciting another catastrophe.
Breaking Point (First aired: 1/28/1981) Blair is running for class president but things get out of hand when one of the candidates commits suicide. This is another episode that Nick at Nite/TV Land didn't like to air.
Sex Symbol (First aired: 2/4/1981) Natalie hits it off with Neil. However, rumors fly that Natalie and Neil did more than just study. Natalie encourages the gossip because she doesn't want the girls to think she's inexperienced.
The Secret (First aired: 2/25/1981) Shortly after winning an award, Jo learns that her incarcerated father, is getting paroled and that he would like to attend the awards ceremony.
Bought and Sold (First aired: 3/4/1981) Blair is selling cosmetics for Countess Calvet's cosmetic company. The Countess (played by Zsa Zsa Gabor) makes a special visit to Eastland to give some tips to Blair and the other girls.
Pretty Babies (First aired: 3/11/1981) A top fashion photographer is coming to Eastland to find the "Face of the 80's." Tootie is picked because this pig of a photographer gets off taking pictures of young girls all dressed up as women with makeup and appealing outfits. Mrs. Garrett is right when she calls this "one step above child pornography."
Free Spirit (First aired: 3/18/1981) Mrs. Garrett's free-spirited son, Alex whisks by Eastland for a visit, with "tales" about how he rubs elbows with other musicians like Neil Diamond and Carly Simon.
Brian and Sylvia (First aired: 3/25/1981) Tootie and Natalie visit Tootie's aunt and uncle (an interracial couple living in DC). However, they're unaware they showed up right in the middle of a fight."
Renroll at Eastland
Robin Orlowski | United States | 03/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some sitcom spin-offs are good in their own right ("Mork and Mindy", "Laverne and Shirley") while others are deserving of a swift cancellation ("Joannie Loves Chachi").
"The Facts of Life successfully spun off from "Diff'rent Strokes" and then unarguably went on to establish it's own far more successful and separate idenity. It did this by combining the 1970's 'women's buddy show' with a 1980's emphasis on wealth and luxury.
Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae), the Drumond's housekeeper, becomes housemother at Kimberly's boarding school in Peekskill New York. The Drummonds make 'special guest appearances' at Eastland into the second season. However, considering it is Kimberly's school, her single guest appearance in "Rough Housing" is puzzling. Surely, we would have seen her more?
29 episodes make up the combined season. Whomever was in charge of DVD production for this release remembered that the series did not become the cultural phenomena it is remembered as today until the second season. However important to establishing the series (and featuring a VERY young Molly Ringwald) the first season comparatively lacked the oomph which ultimately made the series click. I'm also pleased that the price is bellow $30 dollars, studios actually want people buying this product as soon as it hits the shelves.
During the second season, the 'core' group of girls is paired down to four and their distinctive personalities are emphasized. Livening things up, 'rough' 'Jo' (Joanne)Polniaczek is added to the cast. Former season one regulars Molly Ringwald (Molly)Julie Anne Haddock (Cindy), Julie Piekarski (Sue Ann), and Felice Schachter (Nancy) come back for guest appearances.
Season 2 explains how this seemingly disparate group of girls ends up living together. After they are caught sneaking out to the Chugalug bar (The new girl part 2) the girls end up working in the kitchen--with Mrs. Garett always around to dispense advice---in order to be reinstated at Eastland. Realizing they do like working together, the girls follow Mrs. Garrett over when she opens up "Edna's Edibles" ('Gossip').
Other special episodes include "The Return of Mr. Garrett" because Mrs. Garett's ex-husband returns, along with his gambling problem. He is better known to my generation as the father of actor Alan Alda, but Robert Alda is an accomplished actor in his own right.
Another good episode is "The Secret" because Jo is torn between wanting to show off an accomplishment and being worried what her 'fancy' new friends will ultimately think of her father. This dilemma also reveals that Jo ultimately does care what her peers think of her.
Blair also deals with the opinions of others and her own internalized discomfort with 'difference'. Her cousin Geri (played by Geri Jewell) has cerebral palsy. Jewell made television history, becoming the first person with an obvious disability to become a recurring series regular. I was too young to appreciate everything this character did when first seeing the show, but her lines provide insight of what young adult women with disabilities go through.
There are two features, but the important thing is that this series is finally on DVD--and two seasons at once! This series should be required viewing for anybody even considering making a television spin-off. "
Finally, a TV show on DVD series worth buying!
Sleepers Delight | New York, NY United States | 03/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This show was a staple in my life and I am glad to hear it's in production for May '06 release. There is so much TV on DVD that it was about time this show was featured.
Started as a spin-off to Diffrent Strokes, Mrs. Garrett goes to Eastland (where Kimberly is a student) to become the house mother. The early season featured a larger cast (Jo was the rebel biker who arrived in season 2 to complet the 5-some of Mrs. G, Blair, Tootie, and Natalie) and has always tackled issues from drug abuse to parental death.
It's light humor and typical plot of the 70's and 80's theme kept it popular for many years. This show is utterly amazing, family oriented, and long overdue on DVD. You will no doubt fall in love with its simplicity and fun times of 4 girls forced to live together as roomies (more so in season 2 forward).
Enjoy this DVD set and may it keep coming with all 9 seasons!!!"
Don't Worry! The Episodes will NOT be Edited
Sleepers Delight | 03/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The press release for The Facts of Life Seasons 1 and 2 states that the runtime is 707 minutes. Obviously there was some kind of typo on amazon. So never fear unedited episodes are hear! (Well coming May 9 that is)
I can't wait for the featurettes: "Remembering the Facts of Life" "After Facts"
Hopefully they will include interviews with at least 3 of the main cast members. It is unlikely all 5 will be interviewed but we can all hope so!"
"In 1979, the NBC hit show Different Strokes spun off the TV show The Facts of Life for Charlotte Rae's character Mrs Garrett.
During the first season, she had seven young women at the Eastland School, who she was housemother to. By season two, The show was streamlined to four students (and the core of the show for the rest of the show's life).This career move was the best for the show.
I enjoyed watching this show> it had messages shows like about self images, rumors and gossip, Teen weddings, Suicide and others subjext you think a comedy show wouldn't do. They did it and it workes well
The first season had too many girls to enjoy and get to know. The show was great in its first season, however I usually got confuse between Julie Piekarski amd Julie Anne Haddock characters.Also it seemed Felice Schacter and Lisa Whenchel character were so similar, you can put the lines in either mouth and it woulkd work. And then there was young Molly Ringwall a few years before her 16 Candles days.
It was the second year when the core group of GIRLS...Blair (Lisa Whelchel), Tootie (Kim Fields), Natalie (Mindy Cohn) and Jo (Nancy McKeon).... murphed into making this show into something special.
My take on this 29 episode DVD set is just like the Theme song, You take the good , You take the bad...Its the Facts of Life. It is fun and barely date itself and that what make it worthwhile--I wonder why TV land doesn't run this show on their schedule. And kids can watch this and enjoy this with their parents