It’s perhaps a sad commentary on the level of political correctness that Archie Bunker could never have graced network primetime in 2004. Archie was ignorant and an incredibly vocal bigot. Archie was an equal opportunity bigot. He didn’t just hate certain minorities … he hated everybody who wasn’t white blue collar protestant. Carroll O’Connor, who brilliantly portrayed Archie, was without a doubt one of the best actors to grace a network sitcom. Just watch his eyes and you’ll understand. All in the Family holds a re…ord for spin-off series. The Jeffersons, Maude, Good Times, and Archie Bunker’s Place are just a few of the highly successful shows that owe their roots to All In The Family. Rob Reiner, Meathead, has since followed in his father Carl Reiner’s footsteps as a highly acclaimed producer.
Let’s be fair here. Yes, this is a minimalist Dolby Digital mono audio track. All you really need is clear dialogue and this release provides just that. Anything more would be unfaithful to the original program.
All In The Family is appropriately presented in its original full frame 1.33:1 format. This is a 30-year-old sit-com; colors are clearly washed and the prints show noticeable wear. I must say that the presentation is still quite extraordinary when you consider the source material. There is nothing here to distract from the very funny material being presented.
Sadly there are no special features. Menus are plain and static but easy to navigate.
That All In The Family is a classic is beyond argument. I doubt these DVD’s could be any better except with the addition of bonus materials. This seems unlikely. There are few extras included with most sitcom releases. Norman Lear, who created the show, is now working with the gang at South Park, perhaps the last remaining outpost in the war against political correctness. In the season’s opening episode, Archie’s solution to the hijacking problem was to hand out “rods” to all passengers as they board the plane. The theory is to even the playing field. While that might not be too practical, I do advise you arm yourself with this set of classic episodes. A sitcom with heart and soul… “Those were the days”.
Special Features List