In the 70's, producer Norman Lear could do no wrong: Lear came up with a remarkable series of smash hits, including: "All in the Family", "The Jeffersons", "Sanford and Son", "Good Times", "Maude", "All in the Family" and "One Day at a Time". "Time" (not to compare the two shows, but I occasionally felt while watching "Time" a bit like as if I was watching a '70's version of "Reba") focuses on Ann Romano (Bonnie Franklin), a single mother who finds herself newly divorced after a long marriage.
While the adjustment of single life is difficult, Ann also has to deal with her two teenage girls: Julie (Mackenzie Phillips) and the basketball-playing Barbara (Valerie Bertinelli). There's also Schneider (Pat Harrington, Jr.), the building super, who often wanders in unannounced in order to contribute something unexpected to the scene, like some early relative of "Seinfeld"'s Kramer. Ann also finds a romantic interest in David (Richard Masur), a lawyer and her neighbor.
The series does understandably look pretty dated at this point (and the shot-on-video look doesn't help), but the series does get a good mixture of laughs and emotional moments, thanks to strong performances from Franklin, Harrington and Masur. Bertinelli and Phillips are reasonably good as the teens, but they can be somewhat shrill at times. However, the ensemble cast has good chemistry and the show's humor and heart still works well.
Episodes: Ann's Decision, Chicago Rendezvous, Jealousy, How to Succeed Without Trying, David Loves Ann, Julie's Best Friend, Super Blues, All the Way, Fighting City Hall, David Plus Two, Julie's Job, The College Man, Father David, Dad Comes Back (1), Dad Comes Back (2)
VIDEO: :"One Day at a Time" is presented in its original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio on this release. As mentioned, the series definitely looks very "70's" at this point, but this presentation does a nice job with the material. Sharpness and detail are reasonably good and visible wear is very limited. Some minor shimmering is occasionally spotted, but the episodes otherwise looked pretty clean and clear. Colors looked bright and nicely saturated, with no smearing.
SOUND: The mono soundtrack sounded perfectly fine, considering the age, with clear dialogue and no distortion or other concerns.
EXTRAS: An enjoyable 38 minute "reunion" featurette that has Franklin, Phillips, Bertinelli and Harrington getting back together to discuss their thoughts on the series.
Final Thoughts: While the show may look its age at times, "One Day At a Time" is still an enjoyable sitcom over thirty years later, with very good performances and solid writing. This DVD set offers the shows about as good as they're going to look and sound, and throws in a very nice documentary. Recommended for fans.