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Thu May 23, 2019, 10:36 AM

Did you watch Norman Lear special, "All in the Family," "The Jeffersons"?

Did anyone watch last night when ABC broadcast a live version of ‘All In The Family’ & ‘The Jeffersons’?

I’m a big fan of Woody Harrelson, who played Archie Bunker, but I think he failed at the job of portraying Archie.
Ike Barinholtz, who played Michael aka ‘Meathead’, in my opinion didn’t get it right. The ‘real’ Meathead was angrier.
Marisa Tomei, as Edith Bunker, was OK. Just OK, but the best of the cast in my humble opinion.

They took the script from an original show and did it without changing anything (as I heard somewhere). It must have been one of the most racist and bigoted shows in the whole series. I know Archie was a bigot, but I thought this went way too far and was totally inappropriate for 2019. There were funnier shows in the series they could have used which would gave also shown Archie’s prejudice.

I didn’t watch ‘The Jeffersons’ section of last night’s show because I didn’t follow it as a series.

In my humble opinion, I thought it was pretty disappointing.

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Reply Did you watch Norman Lear special, "All in the Family," "The Jeffersons"? (Original post)
left-of-center2012 May 2019 OP
hlthe2b May 2019 #1
kimbutgar May 2019 #2
left-of-center2012 May 2019 #3
kimbutgar May 2019 #4
pnwest May 2019 #5
brush May 2019 #8
Auggie May 2019 #9
Auggie May 2019 #10
global1 May 2019 #6
dameatball May 2019 #7
femmocrat May 2019 #11
LessAspin Jul 2019 #12
left-of-center2012 Jul 2019 #13

Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 10:40 AM

1. Live performance (plays) are very hard to translate to tv.

I thought it a very nice tribute to Norman Lear and the performances were fine--some better than others. I only saw the first part as I had time constraints so I speak to the ALL In THE Family portion.

But mainly it provided what was likely a very "jarring" representation to younger audiences of shows that were both timely and BEFORE their time in their "frankness" but whose themes clearly resonate today. The shows didn't sugarcoat even subtle racism. Archie may have felt empowered to speak (not act on) his bigoted opinions but they were nothing like today's Trumpism.

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 10:46 AM

2. My husband went to a taping of the Jeffersons and he said they were so professional

And then he saw facts of life and said it was a joke and they had so many retakes it was unwatchable.

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Response to kimbutgar (Reply #2)

Thu May 23, 2019, 10:48 AM

3. "then he saw facts of life"

Where?

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Reply #3)

Thu May 23, 2019, 10:49 AM

4. In Los Angeles at the studios

Not at same time but over several years he went to these live taping a of sitcoms.

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 10:51 AM

5. Agree on Woody. Everyone else were

pretty great! Marisa was excellent. I think the whole point of choosing those episodes was to highlight the fact that we’re still having these conversations, still seeing these attitudes, all these years later - and work must continue. Jeffersons was so good, I forgot to critique and compare, and just enjoyed the performance.

But yeah, I don’t know what Woody was doing, but it was weirdly bad.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #5)

Thu May 23, 2019, 11:31 AM

8. I agree, "The Jeffersons" was more spot on. I enjoyed it more.

But the episode they choose of "All in the Family" IMO was to highlight the similarities we are in now as a nation with where we were back then with a crook in the WH.

Maybe they should've added padding to Harrelson to make him more physically resemble the Archie character like they did with Wanda Sykes' Mrs. Jefferson. He didn't quite pull it off. Edith and Gloria were good. Meathead was also good but he didn't match the forcefulness of Rob Reiner's original creation.

"The Jeffersons" recreation was excellent. And when the maid character appeared at the apt. door I thought to myself that they really found someone who looked like Marla Gibbs. And it turned out it was 82-year-old Marla Gibbs. Amazing! All I have to say to her appearance is "black don't crack". She looks wonderful for 82.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #5)

Thu May 23, 2019, 07:20 PM

9. Woody was miscast IMO. I would have tried for Sean Penn, Russel Crow or Alec Baldwin

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Response to Auggie (Reply #9)

Thu May 23, 2019, 07:23 PM

10. Or Steve Carell

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 11:03 AM

6. Did They Bleep Some Of The Dialogue?.....

Why? If it was ok when it first aired - why isn't it acceptable today?

They were pushing the envelope back then. Isn't that the point that they wanted to make with this show?

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 11:11 AM

7. It was so-so, but I had no expectations one way or the other. The Jefferson's episode seemed

truer to the original imo. The live audience seemed to really enjoy both shows. I probably wouldn't watch it again.


Some shows just don't hold up over time. I think a Barney Miller remake might work.

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2019, 09:37 AM

11. I watched both of them.

I didn’t care for the original Jeffersons, but I thought this version was well-done.
The "All in the Family” segment was abysmal. Not funny and so offensive.
IMO, neither of these shows aged well.

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 12:03 PM

12. Archie Bunker'd

Actually I'm encouraged to read your description of the episode. I didn't get a chance to watch it and I probably wouldn't have even if i could. Was never a fan of the show so I'm glad they picked a script that depicted the worst of Archie.

Emily Nussbaum was on Fresh Air yesterday and talked about some of the pushback that Norman Lear received at the time. Lear defended the Archie Bunker character by saying hey we all have that bigoted relative that we love anyhow.




Did Archie Bunker pave the way for Trump or just foreshadow Trump?


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Response to LessAspin (Reply #12)

Tue Jul 16, 2019, 12:13 PM

13. "we all have that bigoted relative that we love anyhow"

My dad was that bigot; born in 1902 in a segregated America.
He had a slur word for almost everyone (Polish, Irish, Italians, African Americans, etc).
I found it a turn off and we didn't have a great relationship.

After leaving home I got an apartment with 3 other guys.
One gay, one Jewish, and one African American.

The four of us could have done a comedy TV show!

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