All In the Family was first seen in January of 1971 and immediately changed the face of television. Not only was this the number one television series from 1971 through 1976, but it also signified an avalanche of other situation comedies that dealt with controversial subjects in realistic ways, including Chico and the Man, The Jeffersons, Maude, Good Times and Sanford and Son.
The series centered around the Bunker family who lived in a home located at 704 Houser Street in Queens, New York. Archie Bunker was the main character, and what a character he was. He was televisons most famous bigot, crass and down right rude. Yet he was loveable, with a soft side just beneath the surface. Edith Bunker was his somewhat dizzy wife whom he called "Dingbat". Edith put up with Archie and had qualities about her that made her one of television's most unforgetable characters. Also living in the Bunker household were Archie and Edith's daughter, Gloria, and her husband Mike, or "Meathead".
Runtime: 30 minutes
All In the Family - All in the Family - Netflix
All in the Family is an American sitcom TV-series that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network for nine seasons, from January 1971 to April 1979. The following September, it was continued with the spin-off series Archie Bunker's Place, which picked up where All in the Family had ended and ran for four more seasons. All in the Family was produced by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin. It starred Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Sally Struthers, and Rob Reiner. The show revolves around the life of a working-class bigot and his family. The show broke ground in its depiction of issues previously considered unsuitable for a U.S. network television comedy, such as racism, infidelity, homosexuality, women's liberation, rape, religion, miscarriages, abortion, breast cancer, the Vietnam War, menopause, and impotence. Through depicting these controversial issues, the series became arguably one of television's most influential comedic programs, as it injected the sitcom format with more dramatic moments and realistic, topical conflicts. Based on the BBC1 sitcom Till Death Us Do Part (with Archie Bunker modeled after Alf Garnett), All in the Family is often regarded in the United States as one of the greatest television series of all time. Following a lackluster first season, the show soon became the most watched show in the United States during summer reruns and afterwards ranked number one in the yearly Nielsen ratings from 1971 to 1976. It became the first television series to reach the milestone of having topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive years. The episode “Sammy's Visit” was ranked number 13 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time ranked All in the Family as number four. Bravo also named the show's protagonist, Archie Bunker, TV's greatest character of all time. In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked All in the Family the fourth-best written TV series ever, and TV Guide ranked it as the fourth-greatest show of all time.
All In the Family - Main characters - Netflix
Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker: Frequently called a “lovable bigot”, Archie was an assertively prejudiced blue-collar worker. A World War II veteran, Archie longs for better times when people sharing his viewpoint were in charge, as evidenced by the nostalgic theme song “Those Were the Days” (also the show's original title). Despite his bigotry, he is portrayed as loving and decent, as well as a man who is simply struggling to adapt to the changes in the world, rather than someone motivated by hateful racism or prejudice. His ignorance and stubbornness seem to cause his malapropism-filled arguments to self-destruct. He often rejects uncomfortable truths by blowing a raspberry. Former child actor Mickey Rooney was Lear's first choice to play Archie, but Rooney declined the offer because of the strong potential for controversy, and in Rooney's opinion, a poor chance for success. Scott Brady, formerly of the Western series Shotgun Slade, also declined the role of Archie Bunker, but appeared four times on the series in 1976 in the role of Joe Foley. O'Connor appears in all but seven episodes of the series' run. Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker, née Baines: Edith is Archie's ditzy but kind-hearted wife. Archie often tells her to “stifle” herself and calls her a “dingbat”, and although Edith generally defers to her husband's authority and endures his insults, on the rare occasions when Edith takes a stand, she proves to have a simple but profound wisdom. Despite their different personalities, they love each other deeply. Stapleton developed Edith's distinctive voice. Stapleton remained with the show through the original series run, but decided to leave at that time. During the first season of Archie Bunker's Place, Edith was seen in five of the first 14 episodes in guest appearances. After that point, Edith was written out as having suffered a stroke and died off-camera, leaving Archie to deal with the death of his beloved “dingbat”. Stapleton appeared in all but four episodes of All in the Family. In the series' first episode, Edith is portrayed as being less of a dingbat and even sarcastically refers to her husband as “Mr. Religion, here...” after they come home from church, something her character would not be expected to say later. Sally Struthers as Gloria Stivic, née Bunker: The Bunkers' college-aged daughter who is married to Michael Stivic. She has the generally kind nature of her mother, but the stubbornness of her father, which early in the series manifests as childishness, later as a more mature feminism. Gloria frequently attempts to mediate between her father and husband, generally siding with the latter. The roles of the Bunkers' daughter and son-in-law (then named “Dickie”) initially went to Candice Azzara and Chip Oliver. However, after seeing the show's pilot, ABC requested a second pilot expressing dissatisfaction with both actors. Lear later recast the roles of Gloria and Dickie with Struthers and Reiner. Penny Marshall (Reiner's wife, whom he married in April 1971, shortly after the program began) was also considered for the role of Gloria. During the earlier seasons of the show, Struthers was known to be discontented with how static her part was and, in 1974, sued to get out of her contract. But the character became more developed, satisfying her. Struthers appeared in 157 of the 202 episodes during the first eight seasons—from January 12, 1971 to March 19, 1978. She later reprised the role in the spin-off series Gloria, which lasted for a single season in 1982–1983. Rob Reiner as Michael “the Meathead” Stivic: Gloria's Polish-American hippie husband is part of the counterculture of the 1960s. While good-hearted and well-meaning, he constantly spars with Archie, and is equally stubborn, although his moral views are generally presented as being more ethical and his logic somewhat sounder. He is the most-educated person in the household, a fact which gives him a self-assured arrogance, and despite his intellectual belief in progressive social values, he tends to expect Gloria to defer to him as her husband. As discussed in All in the Family retrospectives, Richard Dreyfuss sought the part, but Norman Lear was convinced to cast Reiner. Harrison Ford turned down the role, citing Archie Bunker's bigotry. Reiner appeared in 174 of the 202 episodes of the series during the first eight seasons—from January 12, 1971 to March 19, 1978. Reiner is also credited with writing three of the series' episodes. Danielle Brisebois as the cute nine-year-old daughter of one of Edith's cousins, Stephanie Mills, who is a regular throughout the ninth season. Despite being cute and having a sweet side, she is smart, clever, and does give her own few remarks at Archie from time to time. The Bunkers take her in after the child's father, Floyd Mills, abandons her on their doorstep in 1978 (he later extorts money from them to let them keep her). She remained with the show through its transition to Archie Bunker's Place, and appeared in all four seasons of the latter show.
All In the Family - References - Netflix