Harry Boyle, a mostly conservative businessman, has a son, Chet, and a daughter Alice. Chet is a hippie and Alice is sexually liberated. Harry's shrewd youngest son Jamie is often an ally, but Harry's wife Irma is a neutral in the ongoing generational war. Their paranoid reactionary neighbor, Ralph, prepares them for the oncoming takeover by the Communists. Written by
J.E. McKillop <email@example.com>
One-of-a-kind show (that got almost no credit for it)
Much of what I have to say about it, I've already said on "Jump The Shark," but, this was a show that tried to be a cartoon answer to ones like All In The Family, without being a COPY of them, and it actually succeeded in a very big way. Without getting credit for it, or much of any publicity that I know of. (It was a syndicated show, and in my area at least, came on before prime time, so it probably "flew beneath the radar.") In some ways, it actually OUTDID the Norman Lear kinds of shows. Especially with the "Ralph" character, played by Jack Burns, who's always been so great at playing comical loudmouths, and sometimes bigoted ones (as in the famous Burns and Schreiber "Taxi" routine). The Ralph character was almost closer to "Joe" (in the Peter Boyle movie) than to Archie Bunker, because he was an actual vigilante (although one who never actually DID anything violent), who was on the lookout for minorities as much as Communists. And some of his lines were genuinely "strong," lines that AITF probably would've though twice about putting into Archie Bunker's mouth.(But again, who expected something like that from a Hanna-Barbera cartoon show? So no one seemed to know about it.) Then there was "Chet" the older son, who (even though it was a cartoon) was one of the least exaggerated comical hippies on TV! One of the best episodes was about Chet getting drafted, and planning to leave the country, which is STILL a touchy subject. Even though it had a sort of "tidy" ending - he gets a deferment - it was still a pretty bold thing to do with a REGULAR character on a show (as opposed to a ONE-TIME character, that no one's going to see again). And Alice (played by Kristina Holland, who played the "ditzy" secretary on "Courtship of Eddie's Father") was far from a stereotyped "fat girl" - instead of being worried about her having no social life, Harry always seemed to be worried about her fooling around with too many boys. And of course, Tom Bosley as Harry - some time before Happy Days, he was already playing the put-upon father very well.
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