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"All That Glitters" was undoubtedly Norman Lear's most cutting edge
work. To say that this show was ahead of its time is an understatement.
Staying very much in the vein of Lear's trademark "social commentary"
brand of humor, the society into which this show's characters were cast
portrayed women as dominant and men as submissive and oppressed.
The key to its charm was the blatant inversion of traditional gender power dynamics as well as the complete inversion of gender-based rituals and ceremonies. I recall one episode where a wedding took place where the groom--still dressed in traditional tuxedo--came down the aisle with his bouquet in hand to meet his bride waiting at the altar.
As a first run syndicated television show, "All That Glitters" never had a regular "national" primetime slot which would have made more of the public aware of its existence. But one thing was sure: the sexism inflicted by the women on the men in this show didn't look any better than it has coming from men. By switching the typical gender roles, Lear managed to make both a humorous and serious statement about the ugly side of sexism without preachingan all too rare occurrence in television. This one ended much too soon.
It is great to have finally found a site that includes some information on "All That Glitters". I was 19 years old and living in New Orleans when this unique show aired late at night after Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. I loved it and have always wondered if I imagined it as not one single person I knew had seen it except a few guys who lived upstairs in my apartment complex. Lear was certainly right on with this way ahead of its time show. It would be awesome if TV Land could get a hold of the few episodes and get them repeated. It is a must see for all. The whole premise was terrific but I can see that it might have stirred up the TV censors for its time but would still be relevant now. Let's hope it can make it back on the small screen even if just to acknowledge Norman Lear's brilliance.
I really hope that "All the Glitters" is rerun or that videos are made available. It was such a good show! I would love to see it again. It was intelligent and definitely ahead of its time. Norman Lear is a national treasure. I miss Dark Angel also. So many of the actors in All That Glitters were top notch and went on to do other things. Most of my friends missed All That Glitters when it was on tv. It's hard to explain to them how well done it was. I also felt maybe I had imagined it when it disappeared so fast. Maybe a cable channel will rerun it. Tina
I have looked for references to this show for several years but could not remember the title. I finally got and answer from Tvpipeline and am releived to know that I did not imagine this whole plot. Several of the actors were busy in commercials and this was the only show in which I found them. The show, brief as it was, was most interesting and far ahead of its time. I hope someone shows it again!
This sit com came on the heels of "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" -- it "mysteriously" disappeared directly following an early episode which presented an older woman (Linda Gray?) in bed with a buff young black man. Zap. Gone. The network sponsors weren't having it. Most people don't remember the show -- it was canceled so prematurely -- because it touched too many nerves. Racism/age-ism/sexism -- it was incredibly smart. There should be a secret All That Glitters Society --people who "got it." I definitely did -- and I was only 15 at the time.
What a little wonder this show was!! If you got to see any of it, you
are very lucky. So far as I know it has never been shown in any other
format than its original one on network TV. I particularly remember
Lois Nettleton (a great favorite of mine) and Gary Sandy. Gary as a
sexually harassed secretary was funny and pitiful at the same time. I
guess it maybe cut too close to home for the network, because it sank
with no trace. But, gosh, it was funny.
Isn't it unfortunate that it has not had the same exposure as some of the other, far more familiar, Lear products? If someone is sitting on this little jewel, why don't you put it out there for people to see? I have a feeling it would be every bit as funny as it was almost 30 years ago. Maybe more so.
The introduction went something like...; One mornin' the Lord, she woke
up to say, "I feel like I want to be creative today. So by virtue of
the power I vested in me, I'll make the heavens, earth, and the deep
blue sea. Things that swim, fly, walk, lie, creep and crawl, and to
gather together and name them all"...(then something about creating
woman)...and from the rib of the Madame came Adam full grown... This is
all I can recall. How I wish I could remember the rest, or better yet
see it in repeats. I can still hear the tune.
Back in Oklahoma, I would watch this show after Mary Hartman, then go to summer school the next day and laugh about it with my mates. The one character I recall was Madame Abu Bahn, the oil sheikh. The company L.W. Carruthers headed was Globatron. In one episode Dan Kincaid (Gary Sandy) got a new B.M.W., and I vaguely remember the bit about the black man in bed with the white woman. How could I have forgotten Tim Thomerson, Andrea Martin, and Lois Nettleton?
Hilarious as the show was, we at school were very angry that it was suddenly chopped. Why? My mother hated both "Mary Hartman" and "All That Glitters," and unsuccessfully tried to stop me from watching it a few times. Maybe her ilk was the reason it was cancelled.
If everyone here writes to TV Land, they might revive it, that is if anyone there remembers. Like myself at 14, it was campy and ahead of it's time. Those were the days, Mr. Lear, you bloody genius.
I have always been a fan of Norman Lear, with his vision and unique sense
humor. "All That Glitters" was one of his best, and I really missed it
it vanished so abruptly. It's a shame that the networks are so quick to
shows that are unconventional before they have a chance to prove
despite rabid fan bases. (Examples (in alphabetical order): All's Fair,
Early Edition, Earth 2, Family Law, Firefly, First Monday, Freaks and
Golden Years, L.A. Doctors, Ned and Stacey, Nightmare Cafe, Now and Again,
Pretender, Prey, Push Nevada, Reasonable Doubts, Relativity, Space:Above &
Beyond, Sportsnight, Strange Luck, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd,
Tracker, Vengeance Unlimited, VR.5, Witchblade, and possibly Mister
Sterling) (You can't tell I'm a SciFi fan, can you?)
It's gotten so bad that I won't watch new shows that I've heard are great until it's been on at least 3 seasons - It seems that every time I get hooked on a show, it disappears... Of course, now, I just get the DVDs of the complete series. (That's how I've watched Angel, and will probably watch 24.)
Okay, done ranting now!
To say this show was ahead of its time is a gross understatement (as others in this forum have already noted). It ran as an independent show, after Mary Hartman Mary Hartman in many markets, which put it on between 11:30 and midnight in Vermont where I saw it. That it has never been available in any form on video is a crime (although I have a few other candidates for that particular crime). Lois Nettleton, Jessica Walter, and Gary Sandy were outstanding in their portrayals, although my favorite remains Chuck McCann as a harried house-husband. Of all the male actors, he captured his character best. Whether the audience was ready for the show will remain a mystery, since few people ever had the opportunity to see it. But WOULD SOMEBODY PLEASE BRING THIS OUT ON DVD??? Thanks in advance
All that Glitters was short lived, but WAY ahead of its time as Norman
Lear who's the "king of controversial sit com television" placed this
out there for audiences to see. As I was a female young kid at the
time, and "women's lib" was supposedly established, here Lear brought
it to fruition. A women run society. And the women were as ruthless,
sexual and cut throat as men. Boy, did people have a major cow. This
show as very short lived.
Between this show and another short lived network show I liked called "Executive Suite", America - even a very small portion of it - wasn't ready for things like women executives, heterosexual male secretaries & interracial pairings, abortion issues. "All That Glitters" focused on the woman dominated society. But that is the history of early television and the masters, male and female, behind it all. And Norman Lear was one of the leaders.
One that that is important to note: there wasn't such thing as "syndication" as we all know it back then. Syndication didn't come into play until the 1980's -- with a block of shows like "Small Wonder", a new life to "It's a Living", "Out of this World", "The New Gidget", etc. that were being packaged and sold to fill time -- and networks were poo-pooing the concepts, but an audience was out there for these shows....AND 50's & 60's actors realizing that their shows were being played ad-nausea on UHF, local channels and the new medium Cable-TV and its "Superstations", and they weren't getting paid! That's when everyone realized that syndication became ... lucrative - but the whole point of this is that Norman Lear took advantage of the medium way early of this to express a broader artistic view of programming. I'm sure he knew the networks were having a cow. But even back then, "All That Glitters" is one of the most controversial programming of that time, even light-years more than his "All In The Family".
But it was brilliant, it was inspired. It was very short lived but again...the talent! Linda Gray, Gary Sandy, etc. Now that DVD and Blue Ray is alive and well, I hope audiences can take another look at this. I'm not sure if it will "hold up through the years" with HD, etc. but the theme and genius of the concept is there.
And I am still waiting to see "that show" and "that acceptance" in which female executives and CEO's run the country ...
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