Archie Bunker, was a bigoted working-class family man who held his views of the world. His viewpoints clash with nearly everyone he comes into contact with especially his son-in-law Mike Stivic (or, as Archie delights in calling him, "Meathead").Written by
Brian Rathjen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
You are about to see something new in comedy. Real people. To err is human. Which makes the Bunkers just about the most human family you'll ever want to meet. Also the funniest. Enjoy a laugh on them and the prejudices which keep them in constant battle and bafflement. (season 1)
People forget Lionel was the first Jefferson, not Louise. Lionel (Mike Evans) appears in the very first episode even before Archie does as a matter of fact! Louise/Isabel Sanford does not appear until Season 1 Episode 8 "Lionel Moves Into The Neighborhood". And George/Sherman Hemsley doesn't debut until Season 4 episode 3 "Henry's Farewell". People kind of assume that Louise was the spinoff character but that isn't actually the case. See more »
In the season 8 episode "Mike's New Job", Mike accepts a position in Los Angeles, and will move out of the house they are renting from the Jeffersons. George then arrives announcing that he has sold the house,
and asks that Mike and Gloria move immediately, However, in the season 9 episode "The Family Next Door", Louise arrives at the Bunkers and tells Edith that they are renting out the house to Ed and Polly Lewis...The same house that they sold the season before. See more »
I tell ya, Edith, when a plumber's business goes into the toilet you're sitting pretty.
See more »
In later seasons of the show, the theme song was re-recorded with Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton) more clearly enunciating the line "Gee, our old LaSalle ran great!" See more »
The beginning of modern TV and quite a gamble at the time
When All In The Family premiered in 1971 it took some chances. Remember that the CBS lineup at the time included The Beverly Hillbillies, Gunsmoke, and Green Acres - hardly the stuff of controversy. Controversial "Laugh-In" had been racking up big ratings for a couple of years, but second-rate NBC had nothing to lose by taking chances.
Besides broaching all of the controversial topics of the day - abortion, the Vietnam War, homosexuality, and race relations, the show dared to say something that was seldom said on stage or screen before - that bigotry and racism thrived north of the Mason Dixon line, and found particularly safe harbors in some of the urban areas of what is normally thought of as the heart of liberalism. In this case, the Bunker household is in Queens, New York.
The year is 1971, and before outsourcing is even a word, Archie Bunker is able to maintain a middle class lifestyle in New York City with a blue collar job and a stay-at-home wife, Edith. He will never be anything more than he is right then. Archie holds very conservative though not well thought out - or at least not well articulated - viewpoints. And then his 18 year old daughter Gloria marries a liberal. Mike is an atheist with a Polish Catholic background, and stands for everything Archie is against. The icing on the cake - he's a penniless student and he will be a guest in Archie's home for the next several years while he finishes the university degree that will enable him to look down on Archie forever afterwords. It's funny this last point is brought up only once, by the observant if subservient Edith, Archie's wife.
For a few seasons all was well, and then this show and MASH suffered a series of crushing blows - the Vietnam War ended, Nixon was disgraced, and the controversial views held by Archie's son-in-law Mike began to enter the mainstream. Thus the show had to come up with new angles to stay fresh, and it did that, even managing to negotiate the loss of three of the four main characters and a neighboring family that played an important supporting role, the African-American Jeffersons.
Today it looks somewhat tie-dyed, but it's still worth studying just to see mainstream viewpoints change before your eyes.
11 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this