2011, $2.99 (in the original shrink wrapper!), at Goodwill on Brand in Glendale

First Impression: The Goddess has returned!

Second Impression: Avert your eyes and lace up those Reeboks!

Jane Fonda is the original home fitness guru. The walls of the exercise studio itself are a walk down memory lane, decorated with framed pictures of her previous workout videos, leg warmers and all. Jane Fonda has made 23 exercise videos over the years. The first workout, appropriately titled Workout, was the top selling VHS title for several years, and it is what prompted many people to buy a VCR in the first place. (Millenials: a VCR is like a Victrola for YouTube.) I have not yet been able to find any of Jane Fonda’s original workouts on DVD, so you can imagine how happy I am to be writing about this video for my one hundredth review!

All of Jane’s helpers are “of a certain age,” but none achieve such heights of perfection as Jane herself. Jane Fonda looks amazing. We should all hope to be this fabulous when we are in our seventh decade. Yes, I know, she’s had nips and tucks, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn she’s in neck-to-ankle Spanx, but that does not matter. This lady in her seventies is leading an exercise video, and does so with confidence and expertise.

When Jane introduces her helpers, she tells us their occupations as well as their names. I am most intrigued by the white-haired lady who was a parole officer. What? This kind-faced woman who might have knit you a tea cozy was in charge of ex-cons? Jane didn’t elaborate, so the mystery remains.

The workout begins, and the camera pans over to reveal a band playing. “Live music in an exercise video? How about that?” says Jane, and I’m all, “I know!” Longtime readers know I exclaim with surprise over and over again each time I come across a workout DVD with live music.

In Jane’s case, we quickly learn why the band is there. The lead singer is her boyfriend. She mentions this several times, with the demeanor of a high school junior who wants you to know that yes, she is going to both proms. I think making this DVD is the best way Jane Fonda knew how to show Ted Turner exactly what he is missing.

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