So this past Wednesday night was it! The live TV broadcast of original scripts from All in the Family and The Jeffersons, redone by today’s actors. Woody Harrelson and Marisa Tomei played the Bunkers and the Jeffersons were re-created by Jamie Foxx and Wanda Sykes.
Live TV is always fun, and there’s not enough of it these days. You may have heard about Jamie Foxx flubbing a line, then commenting about it, all in the George Jefferson voice of course. Funny that the only one to flub a line was probably the highest rated Oscar winner in the show.
All in the Family was controversial from the start, not only for the subjects it took on, most famously racism, but even for the fact that right at the beginning of prime time, it threw around words like “damn” and “hell” like confetti, which wasn’t common back then. But one word I didn’t remember being said, and this has already been talked about a lot, is the N-word. I guess that was in the script and it wasn’t bleeped originally. The thing is that that word back in the 70’s was considered an extremely impolite and hostile word to use, especially if a white person said it. But in the years since, it has evolved into truly being a “swear” word, right up there with the F-word. In fact, most derogatory words for races or nationalities would get bleeped today, which to me makes sense. So they did stay faithful to the script on Wednesday and the studio audience heard the word, but we folks at home heard the bleep.
Archie Bunker and George Jefferson, while they were on the same show, were a perfect pair, each being a mirror image of the other’s racism. The only time they found common ground and worked together was when they were trying to keep a Hispanic family from moving into the neighborhood.
As many have said, those shows are amazingly not that dated, with plots that are still relevant today. Though it’s nice to see that some things have changed, like having had a black president, and most men don’t think that women belong in the kitchen these days. Now if my wife wants to cook a meal for me, I won’t stop her. I don’t believe in holding her back.