HTF REVIEW: "All In The Family" The Complete Second Season (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [​IMG]

    All In The Family
    The Complete Second Season






    Studio: Columbia
    Year: 1971-1972
    Rated: NR
    Film Length: 528 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Full Frame (1.33:1)
    Subtitles: English and Spanish





    All in the Family was simultaneously the most
    popular and controversial show of the 1970's.
    The show used controversial themes such as
    sexuality and race relations to make a middle
    ground for the show's story lines. The show
    was actually based on a British Sitcom, "Till
    Death Do Us Part", created by Johnny Speight.
    When writer and director Norman Lear saw "Till
    Death Do Us Part", he decided that if this
    could be done for British TV, it could be done
    for American TV too.

    All in the Family effectively tackled issues
    previously never discussed in situation comedies
    before it. None of it would have been possible
    if not for the perfect portrayal of Archie Bunker
    by Carroll O'Connor, who plays off his loving,
    understanding wife Edith (Jean Stapleton), whose
    kindness and tolerance is a perfect contrast to
    Archie's ignorance and bigotry. The show was an
    instant lightning rod for controversy but went
    on to earn the comedy Emmy Award in its first year.
    By its second year, the show ran away with a whopping
    7 Emmy Awards that included Outstanding Series.
    By the beginning of 1972, an estimated 50 million
    people a week were tuning in.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Following in the footsteps of the The Complete
    First Season
    , Columbia has just released The
    Complete Second Season
    which arrives in a
    slipcovered 3-pane gatefold cardboard enclosure
    with 3 DVDs set in plastic hub housing. A total of
    24 episodes are presented here, uncut.

    [​IMG]

    Inside the gatefold enclosure is a small paper
    booklet that contains a synopsis for each episode
    as well as credits for the writers and directors.
    Unfortunately, what we do not get is original
    air dates.

    It's surprising to note that the episodes
    presented here are not in order of original air
    date, but rather what seems to be production date.

    I sampled three episodes -- one from each disc (and
    all personal favorites) -- in order to judge the
    quality of this release.

    [​IMG]

    Gloria Poses In The Nude
    Mike's old friend Szabo (David Soul) comes to
    town for an art show. He's an artist whose talent
    is painting nudes. When Archie takes a look at
    some of his artwork, he isn't very appreciative
    of what he sees. He becomes even more unappreciative
    when he learns that Szabo wants to paint his
    daughter Gloria in the nude. Gloria excitedly
    agrees to model much to the initial support of her
    husband Mike. However, as time goes on, Mike
    begins to have second thoughts.

    [​IMG]

    Cousin Maude's Visit
    Everyone in the family is sick, that is, except
    Edith who is running around catering to everyone's
    demands. When the flu overruns the household,
    Edith calls on Cousin Maude to help out, much to
    the discouragement of Archie. When Maude finally
    arrives, the mudslinging begins in what has got
    to be one of the best set of angry verbal exchanges
    in the entire series.

    [​IMG]

    Sammy's Visit
    Archie is moonlighting at night as a cab driver
    and ends up giving a ride to none other than Sammy
    Davis Jr. When Sammy leaves his briefcase in the
    cab, Archie offers Sammy to stop by the house to
    pick it up. As usual, Archie displays his ignorance
    and bigotry, but Sammy plays along. Truly one of
    the best shows of the entire series!


    How is the transfer?

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Looking back on my review of The Complete First
    Season
    , I rated the overall transfer as being
    pretty lackluster. As a matter of fact, I went
    on to say, "this is one of the worst DVD television
    transfers I have seen to date."

    Well folks, things have significantly improved with
    The Complete Second Season. Picture looks
    much sharper with far better overall color stability
    (the FIRST SEASON had a lot of color bleeding).
    Colors still look rather dull here. Mind you,
    nothing is perfect here as picture is still rather
    soft and there appears to be a small amount of
    background shimmer in props and furniture. That
    green tinge is also still evident with a noticeable
    amount of background grain in many shots. All of
    this, of course, is the fault of the original
    videotape source.

    The mono sound still sounds harsh, but I never
    really sensed any over modulation. I did notice the
    introduction of hiss as I nudged the volume control
    higher, though it never became bothersome.


    Special Features

    There are none.

    Let me use this space to address the fact that
    Columbia has not introduced chapter stops in any
    of these episodes, a concern that was brought to
    their attention upon the release of The Complete
    First Season
    .


    Final Thoughts


    By the time the second series had premiered some
    32 years ago, the show was in full swing. Jean
    Stapleton had turned Edith from a passive housewife
    into one of the most vibrant characters ever created.
    Yessiree, the Bunkers were becoming established as
    one of the most beloved families in television history.

    This second season contains some of the best shows
    of its entire 9-year run -- some of which I have
    mentioned above. Above most others, this is the
    season you should own!


    Release Date: NOW


    All screen captures have been further compressed.
    They are for illustrative purposes only and do not
    represent actual picture quality
     
  2. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Andrew,

    Boy, that mistake was embedded in there.

    Next time please send this sort of correction
    to me via email. It's less embarrasing! [​IMG]
     
  4. Beast

    Beast Second Unit

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    Thanks for the excellent review, Ron. This was a must buy for me, and it was nice to see a better packaging and price then on the first season release. [​IMG]

    Can someone check an episode for me, I want to make sure that it's the actual episode and not an error on my DVD. Disc 2 - Episode 9 "The Blockbuster"

    At the 06:40 point in the episode, when Edith and Archie are sitting and looking thru travel brouchers, there seems to be large patches of bad jittery lines going thru the picture. It's a bit hard to explain, but it lasts the whole scene. It's really noticable when the camera switches to "Meathead" and he says that "California is just as bad as New York". You can see really bad jittery distortion in the plates on the table. [​IMG]
     
  5. Roy Van Nostrand

    Roy Van Nostrand Stunt Coordinator

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    Nice review ...as usual. It brings releases I'd otherwise dismiss to my attention. Thanks.

    The series is time capsule material.
     
  6. Ron Kaye

    Ron Kaye Agent

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    Nice review

    And ... Nice Carpeting!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Ron E. wrote.....

     
  8. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  9. Beast

    Beast Second Unit

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  10. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Yes, Mike. I don't think I've ever seen them UNCUT either, come to think of it.

    When you watch them in syndication, the "epilog" scene is nearly always cut out, plus bits 'n pieces elsewhere.

    Watching the DVDs, it's like watching the shows for the 1st time again.

    BTW.....

    "IF THERE'S ONE THING THAT GUY DON'T NEED, IT'S PRUNES!!!!" [​IMG]
     
  11. Jeff_A

    Jeff_A Screenwriter

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    Great review, Ron! I cannot wait to get to my favorite AITF episode of all-time: Edith's Change. [​IMG]
     
  12. Tony Scello

    Tony Scello Second Unit

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    Ron,
    Thanks for the very nice review. I've had this second season set for a couple of days now and haven't laughed this hard in a long time[​IMG] This is one of the best seasons of any sit-com in the history of TV in my opinion. Columbia has also provided a very attractive price point for this set. You can pick this set up at most on-line venders for a little over $20 for a full 24 episode season. If you enjoy great writing and great comedic acting do yourself a favor and pick this set up.
     
  13. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I agree the AITF and Sanford Seasons are really the Best Value of any series being released to DVD. When you think you get 24 shows for under $20 it's amazing and I can excuse Columbia somewhat for the lack of extras and Chapter stops. These are even better deals then the MASH sets. WHen you watch a series Like AITF or Sanford and then try to watch almost any sitcom on today you can see how much the genre has fallen. I hope that we start seeing some 60's series soon
     
  14. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Excellent review again Ron. I'm even more eagerly awaiting my copy now. Is in the plane!

    Cees
     
  15. James_Garner

    James_Garner Stunt Coordinator

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    Real Name:
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  16. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  17. Benjamin.D

    Benjamin.D Stunt Coordinator

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    Picked this up a couple of days ago. Some of the greatest episodes of AITF are on this set. Great value for the price. My only complaint is that the discs are hard to remove from the packaging. Bring on season three!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Ben
     
  18. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  19. Kurt N

    Kurt N Stunt Coordinator

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    Good review as always.

    This season aired during my first year away from college and as I remember, hard as this may be to believe, there were only 3 tv sets on campus, so you couldn't always see what you wanted. I'm using this as an excuse for several of these episodes (unlike season 1) being totally new to me. A truly unexpected bonus. I've watched the entire season in the past couple days and there is not an weak episode in the bunch. Nearly 12 hours of great entertainment. What a value. Maybe the best DVD deal I've had yet...
     

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