Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Room 222 Comes To DVD!

Pictured (l-r) Lloyd Haynes, Karen Valentine, Denise Nicholas and Michael Constantine

On March 24, one of TV's best depictions of high school life finally comes to DVD... Room 222. Starring Lloyd Haynes as history teacher Pete Dixon, Denise Nicholas as Liz McIntyre (Pete's girlfriend and school counselor), Michael Constantine as principal Seymour Kaufman, and Karen Valentine as student teacher Alice Johnson, Room 222 dealt with a variety of serious issues (racism, alcoholism, dropping out of school, etc.) without being heavy handed. Along with the seriousness, Room 222 also had its light moments as well. I never thought about it until typing this post, but the show is an early example of what later became known as the "dramedy".

In addition to the quality of Room 222, one of the best parts about watching it today is that you get an early glimpse of performers who later became big stars. In the first season alone, Teri Garr and a pre-All In the Family Rob Reiner show up as students at Walt Whitman High School.

The DVD release of "Room 222-Season One" is fantastic news for fans of the show because although it had a successful five-year run (1969-74), it hasn't been widely syndicated in the last 30 years (other than it showing up on TV Land in the late 1990s). I haven't purchased a DVD in over two years. However, there's a strong chance that this self-imposed streak will be coming to an end this week.

The opening credits sequence to Room 222:


Sheri/Cookingmom said...

Wow, watching the opening credits, I just went back in time and landed on the carpet in front of our huge console TV.

I was very young when this show was on, so I doubt I was able to follow it very well. I'll be interested in watching it now. What gets me is that I'm older now than my mom was when the show was originally on!

Do you remember a movie in a similar vein called "Up the Down Staircase?" I saw that movie as a child and one scene really freaked me out. If you saw it, you'll know the one!

Malcolm said...

Sheri: Doesn't that opening sequence bring back memories?! I'm really hoping that sales are good for the DVD set of "Room 222" so that they can release at least some of the later seasons too. In season 2, Richard Dreyfuss, Anthony Geary, Cindy Williams, Glynn Turman, and Kurt Russell all make guest appearances as students!

Unfortunately, I've only seen parts of "Up the Down Staircase" and that was awhile ago. As soon as I'm done typing this, I'm going to visit TCM.com to see when they will be showing it again. I'm curious to see the "freak out" causing scene.

Janet said...

Oh, this is GREAT news! I adored this show...wonder why it wasn't widely syndicated?

Malcolm said...

Janet: I'll likely have to order "Room 222" online because I couldn't find it when I was out shopping on Friday night. Since I had a "jones" for getting a DVD set of a TV show, I wound up purchasing "Route 66: The Complete Second Season".

The fact that "Room 222" hasn't been widely syndicated is puzzling to me. I wonder if it just wasn't popular enough with viewers in reruns. If that's true, I'm surprised because the show would seem to have the necessary ingredients to make it successful in reruns:

1. Over 100 episodes
2. It was a quality show
3. It's timeless for the most part

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