"I'm coming to join you Elizabeth!"
Debuting in 1972, "Sanford and Son" was a mid-season replacement about a father-and-son who own and operate a junk collection business from their home. Touting one of the first African-American casts on television, "Sanford and Son" was an instant success and thrust Redd Foxx into the spotlight as one of the funniest men on television.
The beauty about a show like "Sanford and Son" is in the situations that Fred and Lamont are thrust into. For instance, in my favorite episode in this set, Fred and Lamont get busted for participating in a pornographic film. Even by today's television standards, that episode pushes boundaries. But because it's presented in a good, light-hearted way, we're able to laugh instead of shake our head at their attempts to shock us.
"Sanford and Son" is one of those shows I never had the opportunity of seeing, but I am more than familiar with it because of it's impact on pop culture. I enjoyed watching through these episodes, as you could really see the brilliance of Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford. There are a total of 24 episodes, spread over 3 DVDs. There are no chapter stops within the episodes, and each one has a runtime of approximately 25 minutes. Here is an episode per disc breakdown, plus brief summaries:
The Light Housekeeper - Fred gets into a car accident and seeks a maid to help out around the Sanford residence. Unfortunately for them, being white is the least of her problems.
Blood is Thicker than Junk - Lamont quits his partnership with Fred, and starts working at a competitor's junk collection business.
By the Numbers - Fred's hunch that his dreams will provide him with the lucky numbers for a lottery comes true. Unfortunately, being $500 richer, Aunt Ethel and Bubba look to him for money.
The Card Sharps - It's poker night at the Sanford residence, and Lamont wants Fred to beat it.
Whiplash - Fred gets into an accident with a truck. Despite Lamont's objections, Bubba convinces Fred to sue for whiplash.
Have Gun, Will Sell A gun used in a crime is found. Unfortunately, Fred is mistaken for a robber when he pawns it off for some money.
The Dowry - Fred tries to fix up Lamont with his cousin's ugly stepdaughter, who stands to inherit $10,000 when she gets married.
Jealousy - Donna brings a patient over to the Sanford residence for dinner, but it appears that he's more hungry for Donna than food he's being served.
Tooth or Consequences - Fred refuses to see a dentist for his toothache, and instead, opts for Bubba's home remedies.
The Shootout - Fred plays around with an antique shotgun and accidentally pulls the trigger. He jumps to the conclusion that he had just killed his neighbor.
The Puerto Ricans are Coming! - Fred's new neighbor is Puerto Rican… and plans on opening his very own junk business.
A Visit from Lena Horne - Sanford and Son take a tour of NBC studios, and get a kick out of seeing Lena Horne's car. Subsequently, Fred sneaks into her dressing room.
Sanford and Son and Sister Makes Three - Fred's old girlfriend stops by with her daughter, whom Lamont is trying to court. Unfortunately for Lamont, he doesn't know her little secret.
Fred & Carol & Fred & Donna - Fred invites a saleslady to dinner, and is forced to juggle dates with her and Donna much to Lamont's delight.
A Guest in the Yard - A homeless man tries to sue Fred and Lamont for getting hurt on their property. Meanwhile, Fred and Lamont try to prove he's trying to scam them.
The Big Party - Trying their best not to go on welfare, Fred and Lamont throw a party and charge admission.
Lamont goes African - Lamont is on an African kick; dressing differently and learning about African culture.
Watts Side Story - Fred goes off the deep end when Lamont asks Julio's sister out.
Pops 'n' Pals - Lamont spends more time with Julio, leaving Fred left out. Fortunately, Fred starts to value all his newly free time.
The Infernal Triangle - Like father, like son. Fred meets a woman and announces to Lamont that he's proposing to her; meanwhile, Lamont used to date her and would like to marry her as well.
Home Sweet Home for the Aged - Lamont breaks the news that he plans on sailing around the world; and while he's doing that, he's going to stick Fred in an old folk's home.
Pot Luck - Lamont purchases a toilet that he thinks is a valuable antique. Later on, the husband of the woman he bought it from demands it back from Lamont.
The Kid - The Sanfords' takes in a "spitited" nine-year old runaway despite Fred's objections.
Rated X - The Sanfords and Rollo try out for a low-budget movie with hopes of stardom. Unfortunately for them, the low-budget movies are X-rated.
"Sanford and Son – Season Two" is presented in full frame 1.33:1. For a television show almost 30 years old, it looks great. The picture is a little soft and bright, but that is fully expected with any show from the early 70s. There are very little instances of pixelation and artifacting throughout the show, and once again, Columbia Tri-Star did a good job with this set.
The audio is presented in Dolby 2.0. It's just what I was expecting (not much surround activity). Essentially a no fills audio track, not that I really have a problem with that. Character dialogue sounds crisp and clean, so I'm happy.
All three DVDs have the same static menu. The menu options are as follows: "Episodes" and "Subtitles". When you click on "Episodes", you can toggle between the episodes on the disc.
In truth, "Sanford and Son – Season Two" is one of the best "bang for the buck" DVD sets I've come across. The picture is better than broadcast quality, as is the sound. There are no commercials throughout the 10 hours of sitcom hilarity here, and the MSRP is an extremely reasonable $29.95. The only downside is the lack of extras, but I honestly wasn't expecting any bonuses on this set. Therefore, I give it a "Recommended", and proclaim it is a must-have for fans of the show.