40 years ago Archie was complaining about all the stuff we complain about now

I’m on an Archie Bunker kick. Maybe I just miss my dad (who sounds almost exactly like Archie). It’s amazing how all the stuff Old Norman Lear imagined his parents generation complaining about, coming out of the mouth of Archie, we are still compliant about today. I guess Meathead’s utopia never really panned out all these years later.

 

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14 thoughts on “40 years ago Archie was complaining about all the stuff we complain about now”

  1. I watched the show too of course but I’ve since seen it as a Hollywood tool to engender social conservatives as uneducated, parochial, sexist, and grammatically challenged.

    Norman Lear was the leader of the pack in terms of starting this socio-economic war. He was the most arrogant snob in Hollywood and that’s quite an accomplishment.

    Actually, I hated the show. Edith and Gloria were portrayed as idiots, Archie as the ignorant enemy of all that was sensible and yet, “Meathead” his son-in-law, was presented as the true hero.

    Ugh.

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  2. EThompson:
    I watched the show too of course but I’ve since seen it as a Hollywood tool to engender social conservatives as uneducated, parochial, sexist, and grammatically challenged.

    Norman Lear was the leader of the pack in terms of starting this socio-economic war. He was the most arrogant snob in Hollywood and that’s quite an accomplishment.

    Actually, I hated the show. Edith and Gloria were portrayed as idiots, Archie as the ignorant enemy of all that was sensible and yet, “Meathead” his son-in-law, was presented as the true hero.

    Ugh.

    I think that was the intention, but Archie became a lovable character. Meathead was an arrogant leach. A pathetic beta male, who couldn’t even provide a home for his wife. A ingrate who constantly berated the man who put a roof over his head and food in his belly so he could get his degree.

    I think that is the scenario many people saw. Norman Lear’s problem was the he was everything that meathead was and never could have imagined that most people were more like Archie and would relate better to him.

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  3. Mate De:
    Norman Lear’s problem was the he was everything that meathead was and never could have imagined that most people were more like Archie and would relate better to him.

    I can’t take argument here. I was looking at the show through my own lenses and not the general outlook that, to your point, eventually developed. Is there a a 2016 comparison to be made here???

    As a kid, I had a similar reaction to The Honeymooners and I Love Luci; my parents loved those shows but as a budding boomer, I had an intrinsic dislike for both of these productions. I felt incredibly sorry for Alice and Trixie and Luci and Ethel!

    I was in grade school during the height of these shows’ popularity but I think the true generational gap was already beginning at a youngsters’ level. I only wanted to watch Ed Sullivan in hopes of seeing the Beatles and Jim Morrison and Mick Jagger upset the CoC! 🙂

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  4. I never thought the show was that funny. The obnoxious Meathead and the ditzy womenfolk were tiresome. It’s strange to hear the laugh track and bogus applause in this day of streaming media. Odd how movies never needed laugh and applause tracks. Legacy TV is even more lame in retrospect.

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  5. I’m a late gen X and I loved the show when I used to watch on reruns. Maybe it is a generational thing. I was a teen in the 90’s when PC was pretty bad and every dad on TV was brain dead. All in the family was refreshing. They said things that you could NEVER say on network TV anymore. Also, maybe because Meathead and Gloria represented our parents generation and we just thought “maybe grandpa had a point.”

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  6. Mate De:
    I’m a late gen X and I loved the show when I used to watch on reruns. Maybe it is a generational thing. I was a teen in the 90’s when PC was pretty bad and every dad on TV was brain dead. All in the family was refreshing. They said things that you could NEVER say on network TV anymore. Also, maybe because Meathead and Gloria represented our parents generation and we just thought “maybe grandpa had a point.”

    That’s the trouble with you young whippersnappers. Back in the day, we used to say that stuff every day. Some of us still do.

    Regarding brain-dead dads, I’m afraid that trope predates the 1990s. According to that unimpeachable source IMDB

    When Bob Newhart read the premise for the proposed series [1972 Bob Newhart Show], he insisted on two changes. First, he insisted that his character be changed from a psychiatrist to a psychologist so he wouldn’t make fun of the seriously mentally ill, and he insisted that his character have no children as to avoid the standard scenario of a goofy father.

    There were probably goofy fathers in Sophocles. Oedipus springs to mind, though I’m not sure “goofy” is quite the right word.

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  7. Those old shows sound contemporary for a reason.   Archie was struggling against a New York City that had become a Leftist hegemony.

    In our own times the U.S.A. as a whole has become just as Leftist as NYC was then.   Meanwhile, NYC has lurched much further Left.

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  8. drlorentz:

    Mate De:
    I’m a late gen X and I loved the show when I used to watch on reruns. Maybe it is a generational thing. I was a teen in the 90’s when PC was pretty bad and every dad on TV was brain dead. All in the family was refreshing. They said things that you could NEVER say on network TV anymore. Also, maybe because Meathead and Gloria represented our parents generation and we just thought “maybe grandpa had a point.”

    That’s the trouble with you young whippersnappers. Back in the day, we used to say that stuff every day. Some of us still do.

    Regarding brain-dead dads, I’m afraid that trope predates the 1990s. According to that unimpeachable source IMDB

    When Bob Newhart read the premise for the proposed series [1972 Bob Newhart Show], he insisted on two changes. First, he insisted that his character be changed from a psychiatrist to a psychologist so he wouldn’t make fun of the seriously mentally ill, and he insisted that his character have no children as to avoid the standard scenario of a goofy father.

    There were probably goofy fathers in Sophocles. Oedipus springs to mind, though I’m not sure “goofy” is quite the right word.

    Ha, that is true. I guess there isn’t anything new under the sun.

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  9. EThompson:
    I can’t take argument here. I was looking at the show through my own lenses and not the general outlook that, to your point, eventually developed. Is there a a 2016 comparison to be made here???

    I think of “Parks and Recreation” and the character of Ron Swanson. He was supposed to be the buffoonish right-wing character (actually an extreme Libertarian), but became the most popular character on the show. Amy Poehler certainly didn’t anticipate this. HER character, the Hillary/Biden worshiping Leslie Knope, was supposed to be the heart of the show, not Ron Swanson.

    The show finished its run in 2015. In 2016, the “buffoon” DJT won the election against Hillary.

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  10. Mate De:
    A pathetic beta male, who couldn’t even provide a home for his wife. A ingrate who constantly berated the man who put a roof over his head and food in his belly so he could get his degree.

    Well put! 🙂

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  11. ….and 40 years later, the Meathead is still complaining about the stuff he complained about, too.

    All TV sitcoms have followed the format of the cat and mouse cartoons, or of Baeumarchias’ Figaro: the mouse, the commoner, the woman, is always, actually, right.   The ostensibly powerless character gets her way, by virtue of wit, decency, cunning—and that’s funny!  “Edit’ “ sounded shrill and ditzy but wasn’t she the one who always delivered the words o’ wisdom?

    No need to make fun of the all-powerful male any more.  Because, he isn’t.

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  12. Hypatia:
    No need to make fun of the all-powerful male any more.  Because, he isn’t.

    I like to think they still are but operate in cognito. Example: my husband. Appears as a gentle, easy going guy but he operates in the biz world as King Kong.

    Who else could put up with me for 25 yrs?

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