THE PLOT THUS FAR
During the third season, Arnold and Willis get held hostage by bank robbers, Mr. Drummond (Conrad Bain) celebrates his 50th birthday in the hospital, Kimberly (Dana Plato) helps a pregnant girlfriend, and Arnold the great goes missing after a more-than-effective disappearing act. Diff’rent Strokes never shied away from the social and cultural issues at hand, but always managed to deliver laughs and heartfelt character development from week to week. Diff’rent Strokes ran eight seasons strong, from 1978 to 1986, airing both on NBC and ABC.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“Diff’rent Strokes” didn’t care about changing their characters. What they wanted to do was keep enough guest stars coming on the set and everybody laughing until the show ended. You want to know how you can tell they didn’t take the show seriously? Alan Thicke wrote and sang the theme song. Yeah, that guy. But, this is also the show that featured Nancy Reagan chastising drug users and bike shop owners molesting kids.
The third season revolved around Arnold and two plot concepts. Arnold is going to learn something this week or Arnold is going to get into trouble. The concept was original and addressed the issue of child adoption in a straight-to-the-point manner but at the same time combine laughs with clean cut jokes, good gags and great humor. It’s such a shame though that the notoriety of the show, in regards to the child performers was always brought up; likewise Coleman’s own brushes with the law and surprising fall from grace
The DVD comes with no special features. The standard definition transfer is workable, even though the dated source material suffers on a modern home theater. The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track is sharp enough for what’s available. Still, it works. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!