June 02, 2013


As Edith Bunker, Jean Stapleton was a comic genius. But her dramatic scenes were also so powerful. I sobbed whenever Archie did her wrong because everyone loved Jean's lovable dingbat character so much. But remember the tears of triumph that ran down our cheeks when Edith had had enough of Archie's insensitivity and finally stood up to him? Women's lib was still reaching middle America and it came slower to older generations like Edith. So when this traditional character under her bigoted man's thumb snapped and Edith took Archie to task or even left him, the whole country rejoiced. It was a combination of a dynamite script with beautifully drawn characters given to skilled actors who illuminated our changing society--with laughs. I don't keep up with a lot of current TV after wasting the time to check out several "must-see TV" programs in recent years and being completely disappointed. But if there is anything approaching All In The Family's level of genius on TV today, please let me know! A show where you hang on every word, admire the brilliant delivery and in the end, move closer to a greater understanding of the human condition. And I'll begrudgingly check it out. (And will probably end up blaming you for wasting my time.) For you youngin's who wonder what all the fuss is all about Jean Stapleton dying, here she is in action. Television wasn't always dominated by Kim Kardashian, hoarders and cupcake competitions.