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HTF Review: All in the Family - The Complete Sixth Season

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#1 of 4 ONLINE   Richard Gallagher

Richard Gallagher


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Posted February 10 2007 - 07:58 PM

All in the Family: The Complete Sixth Season

Studio: Sony/Columbia
Years: 1975-1976
Rated: Not Rated
Program Length: 612 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Languages: English
Subtitles: English (closed captioned for the hearing-impaired)

The Program: 4/5

All in the Family was a television phenomenon of the seventies. A mid-season replacement during the 1970-1971 season, it rocketed to #1 in the Nielsen ratings in the 1971-1972 season and remained at the top for five years. Season six debuted in September, 1975. It was to be the series’ last season at #1, although it continued to be a hit for three more years, never falling below #12.

It is a season for change for the Bunkers. In the opening episode, Mike and Gloria move out of the Bunker house (taking up residence next door, in the house previously occupied by the Jeffersons), and Gloria announces that she is pregnant. She gives birth to a baby boy in a two-part episode, listed as episodes 14 and 15.

The pregnancy and the baby are the centerpieces of the season. Archie is shocked when Mike and Gloria announce that the baby will be raised without religion. Gloria loses her job because she is pregnant. After the birth, Mike feels neglected because Gloria seemingly has lost interest in sex. In the meantime, Edith starts to become more assertive. In the season’s final episode, Archie refuses to take Edith out and she responds by going to Kelsey’s Bar anyway – alone.

This is a complete list of all 24 episodes from season six:

The Very Moving Day
Alone at Last
Archie, the Donor
Archie, the Hero
Mike's Pains
Chain Letter
Mike Faces Life
Edith Breaks Out
Grandpa Blues
Gloria Suspects Mike
The Little Atheist
Archie's Civil Rights
Gloria Is Nervous
The Baby (Part 1)
The Baby (Part 2)
New Year's Wedding
Archie, the Babysitter
Archie Finds a Friend
Mike's Move
Archie's Weighty Problem
Love by Appointment
Joey's Baptism
Gloria and Mike's House Guests
Edith's Night Out

Guest stars during season six include Bernadette Peters, Billy Crystal, Robert Guilluame and Doris Roberts. Betty Garrett returns in the role of Irene Lorenzo.

All in the Family is one of the all-time great sitcoms, and fans will agree that the show continued to maintain its high standards during season six. The 24 episodes are spread out over three discs, eight episodes per disc.

The Video 2/5

The problems with the video quality of All in the Family are well-documented. The show was shot on videotape, and there has been some degradation over the years. The image tends to be soft, sometimes even slightly blurry, and the colors are not vibrant. However, this also was the case with seasons 1-5, so anyone who owns the earlier sets knows what to expect. The show remains watchable, but it does not look nearly as good as filmed television shows from the same era.

The Audio 3/5

The mono audio sounds fine to me. There is nothing special, but nothing to complain about, either. This show is driven by the dialogue, and every word of it is completely intelligible.

The Supplements

As with the previous volumes in this series, season six is a bare-bones presentation with no supplemental materials, other than a promotional video for other television series which Sony/Columbia has released on DVD. The packaging is similar to the previous volumes. A fold-out insert lists all of the episodes, including a brief synopsis of each. It would have been nice if Sony had included the original air dates, either in the insert or on the menu pages.

Other Features

The menu allows the choice of playing all episodes or selecting individual episodes. There is no ability to select scenes from individual episodes.

The Final Analysis: 3/5

It is difficult to justify a higher rating because the video quality does not measure up to what we expect from the DVD format. However, the rating hardly matters because fans of the series know what to expect and will enjoy it regardless. If, like me, you are a fan of the series, you will want to add season six to your collection.

Equipment used for this review:

Cambridge Audio DVD-89 DVD player
Sharp LC-42D62U LCD display
Yamaha HTR-5890 THX Surround Receiver
BIC Acoustech speakers
Interconnects: Monster Cable

Release Date: February 13, 2007

Rich Gallagher

#2 of 4 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted February 11 2007 - 12:52 AM

I've already watched the first 6 episodes, but personally I think that the video quality looks somewhat better from earlier seasons. The first thing that hit me was that it looked cleaner (at least to my eyes) and I thought to myself "I wish the other seasons looked this decent". However, this was always the look of this show, and I agree that this is never going to look incredible. One thing I did notice infrequently during the first 6 shows was a tape glitch or two.

#3 of 4 ONLINE   Richard Gallagher

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Posted February 11 2007 - 08:21 AM

When I get a chance I'll go back and take a fresh look at some the episodes from prior seasons. I may have been a bit harsh in my assessment because some of the other TV shows I have been watching on DVD recently (Seinfeld, Mission Impossible) look so much better.

Rich Gallagher

#4 of 4 OFFLINE   Jeff_A



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Posted February 14 2007 - 12:28 AM

Absolutely! Posted Image

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