STUDIO: Shout Factory
MSRP: $29.93
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 600 minutes

* Nothing

The Pitch

Archie Bunkers hates the ethnic hordes. But, he loves his dingbat wife.

The Humans

Carroll O’ Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers

The Nutshell

All in the Family limped into its seventh season. By the 1976-1977 season, no one really cared about the show like they once had adored it. The spin-offs had already taken off and the show was running low on carefully placed cameos. Carter had taken over the White House and the nation seemed to be getting past a lot of the Nixon/Carter fueled anger. So, where did that leave Archie Bunker? Would the audience still give a damn about Archie shitting on minorities?

The shadow of a False War. A do-nothing President. Crippling gas prices. General Malaise. THOSE WERE THE DAYS!!!!

The Lowdown

After Archie Bunker’s grandson was born, the showrunners seemed hellbent on making him a softer man. Coupling this with the racist schtick growing old, we had several episodes in the seventh season where the material fell flat. Sure, you had three stellar episodes in a line-up of twenty-five shows, but those are slim pickings. While the show would continue on for two more seasons, this was the first time that fans knew that All in the Family was slowly coming to a close. Sure, it morphed into Archie Bunker’s Place and killed off Edith in a memorable episode. It’s just that those last years feel like they were trying to make up for the decline that started here.

TV on DVD fans will make note that Shout Factory’s release of Season 7 marks the return of this show to timely DVD release patterns. SONY abandoned the series after Season 6’s release in 2007. Fearing the inevitable shitstorm on the horizon, I don’t fault SONY for their actions. You can count the memorable moments left in this series on one hand. Edith dies, Archie gets a kid sidekick, Archie cheats on Edith, Archie fights with a Draft Dodger and Archie learns to love his son-in-law via his grandson. Character moments are fleeting, as they feel like retreads on past material. Also, there’s something that’s been bothering me about these episodes since I started the DVD.

The premiere episode has had part of the opening slash. Some of the mid-season episodes seem to have been nipped for time which leads me to wonder how Shout Factory can call this a complete season release. I know that it’s a bitch to find properly mastered materials for older shows, but be upfront about it. That being said, it’s not like we were going to find missing character development in those cut scenes. If you’re not terribly familiar with All in the Family, then I can’t recommend starting here. Go back and hunt down the first three seasons on Netflix. Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers used to be good actors. Look back in time and remember. REMEMBER!

CBS would only allow this sex scene to be shown from the neck up. Thank you, CBS. Old people molestation is the kind of horrors that only exists in the mind’s eye of a bag woman.

The Package

The DVD comes with no extras. The A/V Quality is passable for such an older show, but the image is very soft.  The Mono 2.0 track is realistic when you consider the audio sources that were available, so don’t expect it to blow your speakers up. The lack of special features is a little sad, but I’m glad that Shout Factory was able to keep the set to a mere three discs. I hate having to constantly change out DVDs, when I get my classic television viewing sessions on.


Out of a Possible 5 Stars