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Unfortunately, I never saw Maude until I got the DVD first season of her show. It appeared nowhere in syndication maybe because it was too controversial and might offend too many people. Compared to other shows today, Maude is quite mainstream and ahead of it's time. I loved Beatrice Arthur in this role of Maude, forget Dorothy Zbornak. Bea plays a terrific Maude Findlay, the cousin of dimwitted Edith Bunker, from All in the Family. Anyway, the casting of Bill Macy as Maude's fourth husband is genius. They work so well together. Adrienne Barbeau is terrific as her divorced daughter, Carol. Of course, we never see Philip, the eight year old dimwitted grandson. Then there is the supporting cast which is stellar like Conrad Bain as the conservative Republican right wing doctor neighbor and friend to Walter's character and Esther Rolle who plays the African American maid, Florida Evans who is fawned over by Maude's character in the beginning that she doesn't get much work done. Don't forget Rue McClanahan as dimwitted Vivian and friend of Maude. I can't help but like Maude. For all things that she gets wrong, she gets a lot of it right. Today's television writers and developers should learn from the sitcom master, Norman Lear, that a great show like Maude's can be both controversial and funny and genius too. Most sitcoms today lack the balance between left and right. Lear's sitcoms provided both sets of opinions without winning the battle. I'm sure if the sitcom people today would watch, they might learn something about developing quality sitcoms. Remember it's not quantity but quality and it's a shame. They think we want to see beautiful people like Friends in sitcoms with minor problems and the same point of view.
At the beginning of the Vietnam War, television showed a housewife burning a chocolate soufflé, at the end of the Vietnam War, MAUDE WAS HAVING AN ABORTION!!!!....The television portrayal of women who played the maternal figures was always one whereby everybody else in the household could have problems, but, she could not!! The role of the mother in the early TV sitcoms was such where she was branded "Miss Perfect Homemaker". Maude was the New York suburban housewife who broke the mold to all of that by giving a pejorative spin to so many of the politically liberal philosophies which prevailed during the 1970's ...While Alice Kramden ("Honeymooners") and Edith Bunker ("All in the Family") established ground-rules on the perfect mother and wife not being so perfect, it only went so far, and was attributed to a lack of adequate household income... Maude was different in that, she, herself, was the culprit to domestic upheaval, and that, she ,alone, was anything but perfect!!!...Maude was the lousy Long Island Liberal.. Have at least twenty percent of the guests at your party be African American...The maid is not inferior to me...She is to have lunch in the dining room...THAT'S AN ORDER!!..My daughter can have casual sex in my house, just to prove that I'm a modern mother....All of these socio-political actions were disconcerting qualities of successful liberalism...The ultimate compliment being...Maude is just like Jane Fonda or Barbara Walters!!!... One of the most scathing indictments of Maude was that she used minorities as objects of tokenism to nurture her seemingly egalitarian beliefs!! Arguments in the Findlay home would linger into the wee hours of the night, and would ultimately translate to Maude basically saying "I need to assuage my guilt!!" The television show "Maude" was WAY!!!! ahead of it's time, and was an accurate depiction of the increasingly emerging, yet typically atypical upper middle class domicile of the seventies...Social hang-ups and affluent facades made the perception of lace curtain living a precarious panacea!! Regardless of any political party affiliation with anyone on this show, anguish stemming from unrealistic expectations always seemed to rear it's ugly head!! A largess of emotional afflictions with the characters on "Maude" were always related to instinctive reactions!! Modern problems were perpetually subjected to the trials and tribulations of egregious human errors!! The transition in the overall American value system is what compounded the day to day domestic dilemmas in Maude's family life!! This show is one of my favorite situation comedies of all time!! Up until 1972, no TV show possessed such acrimonious and such witty dialog like "Maude" did in the whole history of television!! I wish more shows could be so realistic about attitudes and quirky lifestyles!!! Having the same producers as the show "The Honeymooners", it does not surprise me. The talent for articulating abominable human behavior in both these shows was simply amazing!! The series, "Maude" encompassed a bevy of recognizable flaws and executive class frailties which made it extraordinarily humorous!! Quasi affluent families in America are not stilted, "Maude" was one of the first television shows to point this out!! Objectionable humor is often times a necessary metamorphosis in small screen entertainment!! While some may protest to this technique, it signifies a very healthy element of realism in a television show to bring out household peculiarity concerning skeletons in the closet to everybody's immediate attention!! After "Maude", suburban New York will never be the same!!
This show centered around Bea Arthur's Maude character. This is without
a doubt the highlight of Bea's career. She took Maude & developed her
into a larger than life liberated woman.
Bill Macy & Adrienne Barbeau are strong support, & this show dealt with women's liberation which was taboo on TV until this show. People forget that even in the early 1970's, employers still discriminated against women in the workplace. The major ones try to cover it up now, but those women who lived then know better.
This show was not always as well done as All in the Family, but was very socially relevant in its time. Another well produced Norman Lear sit-com.
I only got the chance to catch seldom episodes when it ran recently on
Nick's TV Land,but I wanted to see more,but before I could seen them
they took it right off the air. When CBS premiered this spin off from
"All In The Family" in September of 1972,no one had the slightest idea
that it would last until April of 1978 where it ran for an astounding
"Maude" gave people a chance for the people of "All In The Family" to tackle the female side of issues..by creating a powerful,subtle and holds no punches as well as humorous and full of fight woman that had just as stronger views as Archie Bunker--who else couldn't keep her mouth shut! She spoke her mind on things and her her political views were extremely rare to boot! However,Maude's household was full of surprises cause you never know what can you expect especially the occurrences happening at the Findlay's. In other words,in Maude's house she didn't take no crap from any sucker cause she was the total boss of the dome! Tough-spirited yet gullible. Bill Macy was the perfect husband Walter who was an salesmen played it to the hilt! Also rounding out the cast were there next door neighbors--the nutty and slightly unpredictable Harmon's played by Rue McClanahan and Conrad Bain,and the Findley's daughter Carol played by Adrienne Barbeau and their housekeeper played by two different actresses(Seasons 1-2 played by Esther Rolle who played Florida who after this had a spin off from Maude as well called "Good Times")and Carol's son(from a previous marriage) and Maude's nephew Phillip(played by two different actors especially one of them who played the first Phillip went to star opposite Linda Lavin's son onanother CBS series "Alice").
One of the best three favorite episodes from the series was the one where Phillip was acting like a real brat. Carol and Walter were fed up with him,but Maude believed there was no such thing as a bad child. THEY WERE WRONG! She showed Phillip who was the boss around here especially when adults are in charge!
The other episode where Phillip had some friends over to the Findley's for a party complete with a live band. What made Maude so angry in that episode was that Phillip was with some friends in the back yard smoking pot while the rest of his friends really trashed the house! But anyway when Maude asked Phillip about the pot,he really gave his mom a hard time and his room and himself was smelling like pot as well and of course lied to her about it,but it was Maude that gave him a wicked back hand across his face for talking back to his mother and to her! In other words,Carol didn't know how to control Phillip when he got older,since she was a divorce parent who never took time out since Phillip's dad was never around,but it was Maude who really gave the kid a good advice and some common sense,and to Carol as well on how to raise her son!
The other episode was when The Harmon's had a special guest in the neighborhood and no one really knew it at first,but the beans leaked out and out of the blue comes the Duke himself---JOHN WAYNE! and also had a musical interlude by no other but Donny Hathaway in a rare TV appearance who also wrote and compose the show's theme song.
LONG LIVE THE QUEEN....MAUDE RULES!!!
One thing that I disagree with is that Maude was like All in the Family, although perhaps an upsides down All in the Family in that Maude was liberal and Archie was conservative. This show was, truly, one of a kind. It is true that both shows discussed real issues of the times, but both settings are entirely different, Maude and Carol are women and the dominant characters, and the texture of the film is entirely different. It is a sophisticated classic that deserves to be thought of independently for its own guts, comedic genius, and point of view. It had a lot of great stories to tell, and it had the guts to tell it to the whole world
If you don't watch this show, that is. I must admit, I love All in the
Family, however for me this is just a bit better.
Bea Arthur was PERFECT in her role as the tough-spirited yet gullible Maude Findlay. Bill Macy was the perfect husband for her, playing Walter to a T. Conrad Bain and Rue McClanahan were wonderful as well, playing the slightly nutty Harmon's, and watching their relationship develop was a testament as to how the writers could bring two characters believably together. Rounding out the cast were Adrienne Barbeau, and the late Esther Rolle and Hermoine Baddeley.
This show also tackled as many serious subjects as All in the Family. From abortion to alcoholism, Maude and family dealt with it in a fashion that was not only informative but humorous and tasteful as well.
Maudie is back!
Lady Godiva was a freedom rider...
And when the country was falling apart, Betsy Ross had it all sewn up...and then there's Maude (repeat,) right on Maude.
That was part of the opening theme song of this very popular show of the 1970s brought about by Beatrice Arthur visiting Archie and Edith Bunker's home on "All in the Family." Go know that Edith and Maude were cousins. The hilarity broke loose when Maude's liberal views were tested with Archie's ultra-conservative leanings. Arthur was such a success on the show that she was given her own show "Maude."
While Maude is very liberal, the film showed that her home was anything but functional. I guess that the same can be said about any liberal or conservative.
The show was highlighted by another great supporting cast with Bill Macy and Adrienne Barbeau as husband and daughter to Maude, respectively.
Maude is one of my favorite sitcoms off all time. Even though it's pretty
dated stuff, it still is uproariously funny. I think the older comedies are
funny because they mixed social content with humour better than today's
I read somewhere that Maude Findlay was supposed to be Edith's sister in this spin-off. Although the two are as different as night and day, Maude does sound like Edith when she's irked. Beatrice Arthur plays Maude, a feminist who has been married 4 times and is looking to make her mark in the world. She lives with her 4th husband, Walter (Bill Macy), a man who can deal with her manic depression and mood swings, and her divorced daughter (played by the buxom Adrienne Barbeau) and her son. Also, there are the Harmons, played by Conrad Bain(Arthur) and Rue McClanahan(Vivian).
Maude was always funny because the cast worked brilliantly together, the script-writers had consultation from the great Bobs Weiskopf and Schiller(of I Love Lucy fame), and the shows of the 70's didn't have to worry about being PC, because at the time, people weren't so sensitive about their stereotypes then. It was truly zany, with too many great moments to mention; mine was when The Harmons were having trouble in their young marriage and were relying on sex games to liven it up. One night the Findlay's go out to visit the Harmons, and Vivian is naked, but wrapped up in Saran Wrap. She opened the door thinking it's Arthur, but when its Maude and Walter, she screams and slams the door, and The Findlay's are standing with their backs to the camera for 40 seconds. It was gut-bustingly funny, waiting for their take on what just happened. A true comedy hit of the past.
Of course, who can't forget Maude's trademark line: "God will get you for that!" when Walter or someone else took a good verbal shot at her.
I think Maude was the best of Norman Lear's shows of the 1970's. Maude was probably the first show to tackle such issues as abortion, face-lifts and alcoholism. Bea Arthur was simply priceless as Maude--the rest of the cast was great, too, including Bill Macy as Walter, Conrad Bain as Arthur, Rue McClanahan as Vivian and Adrienne Barbeau as Carol. Maude is usually hard to find on TV.
I love Bea Arthur and this show is the only one that tops "The Golden Girls." The show was controversial, but greatly written, and carried it off with fantastic acting! Norman Lear is a television dynasty within himself. I wish I could have been old enough in the seventies to appreciate the first run of these episodes...however, I can deal with the re-runs just fine!
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