"Gordy, I'm gonna hit ya."
For Carol O'Conner. This show was genius, and it was a shame that racist morons took Archie for a hero instead of a fool.
I think most audiences knew back then that Archie wasn't a racist, but he did buy into stereotypes. I think the genius of the show was humanizing Archie so that he himself wasn't a stereotype and no one he came across was one, either. Every episode sees him interacting with people who are drawn really well and he dismisses them as much as possible but when push comes to shove, he doesn't advocate hurting anyone for being different. It's kind of the perfect encapsulation for how good people view themselves who don't necessarily consider what it's like to be an "other" most of the time. Until they see someone they care about being treated badly. It's such a beautiful bit of writing and I really love Carol O'Connor's acting. I think he was a total genius.
I also submitted a really great clip from the Jeffersons where George finds himself in a building meeting to clean up the riffraff, not knowing it's actually a KKK meeting. The great thing about both of these shows is that they were able to veer between very real drama and incredibly funny comedy without losing sight of the story. Neither of these shows ever felt "preachy" and the slice-of-life representation of America was sorely needed.
I think to some extent Roseanne is doing that now, in spite of the fact she is being trashed for doing pretty much what O'Connor did 40 years ago.
Archie isn't a fool or a hero, he's a fallible human being that serves as a vehicle for morality plays and was the catalyst for having many different sociopolitical conversations being put into the spotlight because this show was rather popular. He's definitely not a villain, and he's definitely not a hero. Although he has taken virtuous stances pretty much every time a major issue has come up. I'm sure you could find examples that contradict it, but that just kinda reinforces the notion he's a human being and sometimes they aren't wholly consistent with themselves.
Seven Arts/H8 Red
The main difference with Roseanne is that Roseanne's sitcom is a translated version of her stand-up routine. You can't dissociate Roseanne's sitcom completely from that or her celebrity, whereas Carroll O'Connor made it clear that his actual personality/political views weren't that of Archie Bunker's.
Norman Lear's book mentions O'Connor being difficult to work with, but I can't blame O'Connor for wanting at least some control over the character. It kept Archie Bunker from being the designated straw-man Lear would have preferred. O'Connor knew full goddamned well what the network meat grinder does.
|Maggot Brain |
Roseanne really is the homeopathic version of all in the family.
|Yellow Lantern |
Gordie looks kind of like the guy from the Stella d'oro Breakfast Treats commercial
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