Audience Cared About Norman Lear's All In The Family

894 words - 4 pages

In an interview in 1974, Producer and show creator Norman Lear said of his television sitcom, All in the Family: “People laugh harder at the things the care the most about.” ("Day at Night: Norman Lear, renowned TV producer ("All in the Family")." ) If that is true then the viewers most certainly must have cared about the topics being addressed on the show because All in the Family topped the Neilsen ratings, ranking number-one, from 1971 to 1976. As with any successful producer, Lear’s and co-producer Bud Yorkin’s primary goal was to get ratings. The fact that All in The Family arguably became one of the most influential television sitcoms ever aired was just a bonus. The show became a ...view middle of the document...

The character is based in part on Norman Lear’s father to whom Lear has referred to as “a loveable bigot”. By giving the Archie Bunker character some redeeming and positive qualities, such as his genuine love for his family and his country, the shows producers are able to bring about awareness of the inaccurate and biased views some people have of minorities while still allowing for them to care about and possibly even like the character.

The part of Edith Bunker, Archie’s ditzy but loyal and ultra-sympathetic wife, is played by actress Jean Stapleton. Edith loves her husband deeply despite all his flaws. She is one of the only characters who can rein Archie in when he goes off on a rant of dismissiveness toward other people’s viewpoints. Although she is portrayed for the most part as a simple woman, of perhaps less than average intelligence, all the other characters love her and she is friends with everyone. By making her not all that smart, the show’s producers are able to suspend the disbelief that an Archie Bunker type could be happily married to a good and decent woman who loves him back.

Gloria and Mike Stivic are Archie and Edith’s daughter and son-in-law. Through most of the seasons of the show the Stivics live with the Bunkers while Mike is attending college. Gloria is the Bunkers only child. She is good natured like her mother but stubborn like her father. Her character is definitely left leaning politically and socially but she is often the mediator of loud discussions between Archie and her husband Mike. Sometimes she will...

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