All in the Family : Season 8

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  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 12, 1971
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
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  • Summary: All in the Family was first seen in January of 1971 and immediately changed the face of television. Not only was this the number one television series from 1971 through 1976, but it also signified an avalanche of other situation comedies that dealt with controversial subjects in realisticAll in the Family was first seen in January of 1971 and immediately changed the face of television. Not only was this the number one television series from 1971 through 1976, but it also signified an avalanche of other situation comedies that dealt with controversial subjects in realistic ways. Including, Chico & the Man, The Jeffersons, Maude, Good Times and Sanford & Son. The series centered around the Bunker family who lived in a home located at 704 Houser Street in Queens, New York. Archie Bunker was the main character, and what a character he was. He was televisons most famous bigot, crass and down right rude. Yet he was loveable, with a soft side just beneath the surface. Edith Bunker was his somewhat dizzy wife whom he called "Dingbat". Edith put up with Archie and had qualities about her that made her one of television's most unforgetable characters. Also living in the Bunker household were Archie and Edith's daughter, Gloria, and her husband Mike, or "Meathead" as Archie called him.The stories revolved around many controversial topics including, rape, sex, homosexuality, death, and other topics that were relevant to the 1970's, especially political strife and inflation. Archie Bunker was probably the first character in a situation comedy to use racist remarks referring to blacks and other minorities, yet another first for television.Other frequent cast members include, the black neighbors, the Jeffersons, who got their own series, The Jeffersons in 1975. The Lorenzos were also neighbors. In 1975, Gloria had a son, Joey, and three years later in 1978, Gloria, Mike and Joey moved away to California, leaving Edith and Archie alone. Not for long, however. Soon they took in a niece, Stephanie Mills, who had been abandoned by her father.The original format ended in 1979 which was when the series was renamed Archie Bunker's Place. The new format centered around Archie running his local tavern which he bought in 1977.CBS Broadcast HistoryJan 1971-Jul 1971 Tuesdays 9:30 p.m.
    Sep 1971-Sep 1975 Saturdays 8:00 p.m.
    Sep 1975-Sep 1976 Mondays 9:00 p.m.
    Sep 1976-Oct 1976 Wednesdays 9:00 p.m.
    Nov 1976-Sep 1977 Saturdays 9:00 p.m.
    Oct 1977-Oct 1978 Sundays 9:00 p.m.
    Oct 1978-Sep 1979 Sundays 8:00 p.m.Nielsen Ratings: (Top 25 or Better)#1 1971-1972 Season
    #1 1972-1973 Season
    #1 1973-1974 Season
    #1 1974-1975 Season
    #1 1975-1976 Season
    #12 1976-1977 Season
    #5 1977-1978 Season
    #10 1978-1979 Season
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  • Genre(s): Comedy

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  1. Mar 5, 2017
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Throughout the numerous TV programs I have watched over the years, I've found it to be a rare feat for a show to, after experiencing a dip in overall quality, crank things back into that upper echelon again. Usually, the slippery-slope of quality is a one-way street: downhill.

    This eighth season of All In The Family is a big exception to that rule. After 4-5 seasons of brilliance, this show began noticeably showing its age in seasons 6-7. Thus, in all honesty, I didn't expect much from Season Eight. Boy, was I ever shocked at the return to comedy/dramatic genius!

    In previous seasons, the focus of the show shifted in favor of Edith (Jean Stapleton) and the Stivic Family (Rob Reiner & Sally Struthers), with Archie (Carroll O'Connor) often relegated to "peanut gallery" comments. Season Eight brings the focus back to Archie, or right where it needs to be. Not to say that the other characters aren't developed, because they certainly are, but when the comedy/drama of AITF runs through Mr. Bunker, everything just seems to fall into place.

    In all honesty, this season includes some of the greatest moments in show history, including:

    -Archie mortgaging his home to purchase Kelsie's Bar (and forging Edith's signature to do so).

    -Edith's terrifying encounter with a rapist and how it scars her emotionally.

    -A very candid, albeit drunken, conversation between Archie and "Meathead" in which Archie reveals a bit more about his own childhood and how he was treated by his father.

    -The Stivic's tearful farewell as they leave for California due to Mike's new professor job. I consider the last five minutes of this episode to be the best single scene in show history.

    Thus, while previous seasons perceptibly tilted towards pure comedy (1-4) or drama (5-7), this effort combines both emotions to provide perhaps the best all-around season the show ever produced.

    Had this season been another disappointment, I would have been tempted to skip the upcoming Season 9 (released in May 2011) altogether. Now, however, I'm fired up again for AITF and will be finishing out the string come May!
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