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Norman Lear, producer of TV's 'All in the Family' and influential liberal advocate, dies at 101

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By LYNN ELBER

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SidDec. 7  08:31 pm JST

I loved 'All in the Family', but it didn't have the same edge as the British 'Till Death Us Do Part'. It always seemed like a more sanitised version. As starpunk points out, the central characters in both versions were characterised by their stupidity, intended to show how their racist, homophobic, sexist beliefs were idiotic.

You have to show the viewers how imbecilic these prejudiced beliefs are. Norman Lear exposed out in full glare, no sugarcoating or covering it up. No sanitizing. And we needs this exposure (and the satire) more now than ever. Look how far into the ultimate nadir America has fallen during the years since, American society fell for the childish hatreds again and it all lead to Americans accepting and going along with the dictatorship of Donald Trump and his vile disgusting ilk.

Alf Garnett, the central character of 'Till Death ...' on whom Archie Bunker was based, always came off worst and was shown up by the decent people around him. Unfortunately, these days 'Till Death ...' is misunderstood by a new generation (who probably haven't watched it) and criticised for promoting racist, homophobic and sexist views. They completely miss the point and it's never repeated on the BBC, almost certainly to assuage these people who don't understand satire.

We need the satire to go along with it. Over the seasons Archie Bunker and George Jefferson showed their human sides and realized how wrong they've been in some matters. They matured some. And the shows still were funny. Now everything is just plain preachy and screamy, on the 'left' as well as the 'right'. And nobody knows how to be funny anymore. Americans have become cold, sadistic, robotic and stupid.

We need many more Norman Lears now. I hope and pray his influenced rubbed off on somebody, in a positive way.

RIP to a real pioneer, one who dared to confront realities and take TV out of the milquetoast 'fantasy fairy tale fantasy land' that dominated the medium before. We love you and salute you, Norman!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When I saw a post on Twitter from him I was surprised he was still around. And in July he posted a video.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I loved 'All in the Family', but it didn't have the same edge as the British 'Till Death Us Do Part'. It always seemed like a more sanitised version. As starpunk points out, the central characters in both versions were characterised by their stupidity, intended to show how their racist, homophobic, sexist beliefs were idiotic. Alf Garnett, the central character of 'Till Death ...' on whom Archie Bunker was based, always came off worst and was shown up by the decent people around him. Unfortunately, these days 'Till Death ...' is misunderstood by a new generation (who probably haven't watched it) and criticised for promoting racist, homophobic and sexist views. They completely miss the point and it's never repeated on the BBC, almost certainly to assuage these people who don't understand satire.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Few people taught TV viewers more about life. Humanity wrapped up in a sitcom. Thank you Mr Lear.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

dagonToday  07:21 am JST

Racism, feminism, and the Vietnam War were flashpoints as blue collar conservative Archie Bunker, played by O'Connor, clashed with liberal son-in-law Mike Stivic (Reiner).

Sad that after the social progress of the previous era, in 2023 you could easily remake this with a family with MAGA members.

And the interactions would be even worse now.

Archie Bunker (and George Jefferson) were character icons played by skilled actors who were not those characters in real life. They were meant to show that all racism and prejudices by anyone and against anyone is stupid. And may I refer to Redd Foxx in 'Sanford and Son' as well.

And they kept the shows hilarious and funny! But it's so sad that some numbskulls didn't quite 'get the gist' of what Norman Lear was showing here.

Art has the ability to illuminate and teach but faced with corporate funded political propaganda to sow division and destroy class consciousness it is hard to compete.

He was a pioneer and a leader in television. He addressed issues previously untouched, brought it out of the 'Leave It to Beaver' and 'Brady Bunch' mentality but made it entertaining. Now everything on TV is insipid and it screams atcha, no matter if they're wrong or right. It's just scream, and unfunny.

RIP Norman Lear. I remember you since I was 5. You will be sorely missed.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Racism, feminism, and the Vietnam War were flashpoints as blue collar conservative Archie Bunker, played by O'Connor, clashed with liberal son-in-law Mike Stivic (Reiner).

Sad that after the social progress of the previous era, in 2023 you could easily remake this with a family with MAGA members.

And the interactions would be even worse now.

Art has the ability to illuminate and teach but faced with corporate funded political propaganda to sow division and destroy class consciousness it is hard to compete.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

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