All In The Family
The Complete Second Season
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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
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