Norman Lear died yesterday at 101 - A look at how he changed TV

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And for those who think in binary 1100101.

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When I first saw adverts for “All In The Family”, I thought it might be amusing. Turned on the first ep broadcast. Archie started his bigot routine. I said “this isn’t funny”. Turned it off and never looked at it again.

Steve

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I think the Public got the same drift in fairly short order. I noticed that, while Archie continued to be socially “hard to please”, so to speak, he dropped the argot.

As far Norman Lear himself, while he was universally celebrated for “raising the bar” for TV writing, I think he just lowered the standards for what was able to pass as acceptable. Not that there wasn’t a need to progress from lingering Victorianism. That was going to happen anyway.

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I adored All in the Family, as did my TV hating curmugeonly father, and thought and think of Norman Lear as a genius and political nudger of the first order.

d fb

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Television was the last to crack; it wasn’t going to stay “Life With Father” for the rest of time. By the time “All In The Family” debuted, publishing had already gone off the “1950’s pure” road, music was heavily into counter-culture rock and roll, Broadway had debuted the hit show “Hair” (*featuring full frontal nudity) a full two years earlier. Woodstock had happened, the hippies had happened, Rolling Stone Magazine was already four years old. The Civil Rights demonstrations in Washington brought hundreds of thousands to the Mall, as did the Vietnam protests only slightly later.

Quite the contrary the show, which went to #1 over the course of its first premiere summer, stayed there for years, and the language and fighting stayed just as intense throughout. “Maude”, a spinoff series, also rocketed into the upper ranks tackling topics like rape, abortion, and inequality.

The best story I recall is that CBS ran a disclaimer before the airing of the first episode, cautioning people about the brusqueness in the episode, and hired 100 special operators to take viewer complaints during the broadcast. No one called. Perhaps the audience was a bit more sophisticated, or at least ready for something more challenging than “Leave It To Beaver” and the trials of doing homework.

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I already said that was the case. I didn’t spend a lot of time on it though

Quite the contrary the show, which went to #1 over the course of its first premiere summer, stayed there for years,

Unfortunately unrelated to my statements. I know. AITF lasted a long time

and the language and fighting stayed just as intense throughout.

Incorrect. I didn’t say they watered down the show. Yes the arguing and the subject matter formerly avoided on TV was a staple of the show.

Maude”, a spinoff series, also rocketed into the upper ranks tackling topics like rape, abortion, and inequality.

Yes, we know. I didn’t indicate otherwise.

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