There were a lot of changes in store for the Bunkers in the sixth season. The Jeffersons, long a source of irritation for Archie and a ton of laughs for us, were moving on up to the East Side and that big de-lux apartment in the sky. Mike and Gloria finally move out of the house, but only as far as next door in the vacated Jefferson home. Most importantly, little baby Joey joins the family. For the 30 years since All In The Family, there is still speculation as to just how Carroll O’ Connor was able to take such a bigoted, seemingly irredeemable character and make him loved by millions. We get perhaps the best insight into that mystery in year 6. In the now famous Joey’s Baptism episode, we see just a glimpse of the Archie Bunker that O’Connor had been playing all along. Arguably the best episode of the series finds Archie worried about his grandson’s soul when Mike and Gloria refuse to have the child baptized. Archie takes matters into his own hands, culminating in one of the most touching moments in television history. Archie Bunker is a complicated man, and nowhere has that been more evident. Season 6 is well worth your time. This was the peak of the show, and it would never again regain the ratings numbers enjoyed at this point.
All In The Family is appropriately presented in its original full frame 1.33:1 format. This is a 30 year old sitcom. Colors are clearly washed out 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.
Let’s be fair here. Yes, this is a minimalist mono track. All you really need is clear dialogue, and this release provides just that. Anything more would be unfaithful to the original program.
Sadly none of these sets contain extras.
All In The Family is simply timeless. Few 30 plus year old sitcoms can make any claim to relevance today. While many might still be quite funny, none have maintained quite the way this one has. Credit the brilliant writing and you wouldn’t be wrong. Still, the bulk of the credit belongs to Carroll O’Connor. He may be gone but, Carroll, legions of fans “still believe in Thee”.