I love to take quizzes, like how much do I know about “Seinfeld”, or “Friends”? When I came across a quiz about “All in The Family” recently, I had to oblige.
There were a series of 30 questions that went by so fast that I hadn’t realized I’d completed the quiz. I got 22 out of 30 questions correct. Good, but not perfect, and that’s just fine with me. It’s also sort of how I think about the show, it was great but not perfect. To be fair, perfection is overrated.
It was groundbreaking, an honest look into an American family, a family with a racist at the patriarchal head. I appreciated the fact that the show’s creators were willing to tackle topics that no one else wanted to touch then – or now. Red-lining, voter suppression, civil rights, stereotypes, women’s rights, and all-around good-ole American ignorance.
Carroll O’Connor brought humanity to the character of Archie Bunker, making it easier to see that there was a human being behind that unfounded bigotry. Watching the show helped me to hope. I hoped that I could be a person who is able to look past the obvious signs of racism in order to get to the the origins of it.
What better way to tackle it than with laughter? That’s what “All in the Family” did. It made me laugh. I laughed at the absurdity that was Archie Bunker and the flightiness of Edith, his wife. Being able to relate to people through laughter is a tool that can help build dialogue and understanding.
Bring on the laughter.