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Roeper's view of Archie Bunker

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Perry, Jun 26, 2001.

  1. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Well-Known Member

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    Today, Richard Roeper (Sun-Times columnist) wrote a column which I think would be good for discussion, regarding All in the Family.
    Roeper's contention is that while AITF was a groundbreaking and quality show, it failed on some level because of Archie Bunker's popularity. Yes, Bunker was purposefully made to look like a fool to show the ridiculousness of his racism, homophobia, etc. But somehow he became an icon with whom many people identified, which was probably the opposite effect of what was intended. For that reason alone, Roeper cannot put it in the "all-time" best group of TV shows.
    I disagree -- I think the fact that many people see a bit of Archie in themselves is good in helping them see the flaws of their own prejudices.
     
  2. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Well-Known Member
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    I have heard people say that they could not get into the show because they thought it glorified bigotry. I file them into the "just don't get it" category and move on. The show was brilliant. Archie was the buffoon who was always proven wrong. It was almost like a white bigot minstrel show. His stubborn ignorance was part of his charm, as it was for George Jefferson as well.
    It's like saying that Seinfeld is a failure because audiences identified with neurotic obsessives & moochers who were mean people or that MASH was a failure because audiences identified with sexist alcoholic medical officers who subverted chain of command and disrespected their superiors.
    Their flaws are their charm. If the show works, this is the very reason we like and sympathize with them. We see the flaws that they could never see in themselves. A character with well defined and understood flaws is grist for the comedy mill week after week. They are constantly doomed to repeat their patterns of behavior for our own personal amusement. This repetition, in turn, endears them to us.
    Regards,
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    Ken McAlinden
    Livonia, MI USA
     
  3. Jodee

    Jodee Well-Known Member

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    Gee, that's funny considering Roeper sounded a lot like Archie Bunker when he made his "Ben Affleck is a sissy" rant a few weeks ago.
    This guy just bugs me.
     
  4. Mitty

    Mitty Well-Known Member

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    Here's the paragraph which best sums up his position:
    quote: Archie Bunker was supposed to be a hapless buffoon. Instead, he became an icon. For that reason, I wouldn't rank "All in the Family" among the greatest shows of all time because, for that to happen to Archie, the program had to have failed on some level.[/quote]
    It makes for sound reasoning, I suppose, but, at the same time, isn't he blaming the television show for the reactions of its viewers? Does he also blame himself if someone misunderstands something he says on HIS show, no matter how clear he makes it?
     
  5. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Well-Known Member
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    Just because he became an icon, doesn't mean that he was no longer a hapless buffoon. He became a hapless buffoon icon. [​IMG]
    Regards,
    ------------------
    Ken McAlinden
    Livonia, MI USA
     

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