Wednesday, August 24, 2011

All In the Family Revisited

Sammy Davis Jr. lays one on Archie Bunker

The themes of socialism, race, the place of religion in politics are still all with us.

Yesterday was lazy.  I didn't feel good, so after teaching I did an enormous amount of sleeping and nearly as much TV watching.  Somehow I ended up taking a little trip down sitcom memory lane with "All in the Family."

After watching a "30 years later" interview of Carrol O'Connor (Archie) and Jean Stapleton (Edith) on a talk show I didn't recognize, I decided to hunt down the pilot episode.   It turns out there were a couple of other pilots shot but not shown.  Apparently the characters are played somewhat differently in the alternate pilots.  If you want to see a meaner Edith - modeled after the English version of the show called "Till Death Do Us Part" - go to YouTube and find the other pilots.  I watched the inaugural episode of the British series, too.   I didn't even know there was an English version.

By the way, these shows are both proof that nothing much changes in political wrangling. Being separated by an ocean doesn't much matter either. In "Till Death Do Us Part," the daughter says, "He blames everything on Labor. He'd blame the weather on Labor if he thought he could get away with it."


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