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Norman Lear Reboots

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http://tvline.com/2016/12/17/all-in-the-family-reboot-the-jeffersons/

 

Normally, an idea like this would make me mad.  How can you reboot any of these shows today?  All In The Family for example was edgy, and it really only worked because of two things--perfect writing, which would be very hard to duplicate today since well, it's not 1970 anymore, and perfect acting, which would be next to impossible to duplicate because they really struck gold.

It's not easy to recast an iconic role decades later.  Hell, look at the trouble they've had recasting Superman, and that's not even an original character.

But here, the talk isn't really a true reboot.  It's taking classic scripts (solving the writing problem), and bringing in modern actors to act them out.  It would be meant as a short term run.

Something like that might actually entice an A list actor to give it a go.

Could another actor make Archie Bunker likeable, acting out the same script?

Which episodes would you pick?  Would you pick one of the funniest ones, or one of the rare very serious ones, like Edith's rape or Archie cheating on Edith?

Which Good Times episodes would you pick?

If this was a reboot like Odd Couple, I would probably just watch the pilot and pass, but a short term thing like this might be fun.

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kenman   

I would be more interested in the idea of someone trying to maybe come up with a new concept similar to All in the Family (which was a remake of a similar British show, let us not forget), and make a new edgy half hour comedy that just has character comically discuss the political and social issues of the day.  Our generation needs a release like this I think.  We aren't any shorter of angry racist middle aged bigots in our modern world, and I think they need a bit of skewering on broadcast television.

Or everyone could just giggle along with Jimmy Fallon and stop thinking.

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None of this needs to be done. At all.

I grew up on the Norman Lear comedies, like "All in the Family" "Maude" etc.

We DO NOT need reboots; especially if they're just recreating past episodes.  This sounds about as fruitless as Gun van Sant's frame-per-frame 1998 remake of "Psycho"; what's the point?  And other than hairstyles, slang and clothing, the Lear originals are every bit as relevant as they were in the mid '70s.  

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None of this needs to be done. At all.

I grew up on the Norman Lear comedies, like "All in the Family" "Maude" etc.

We DO NOT need reboots; especially if they're just recreating past episodes.  This sounds about as fruitless as Gun van Sant's frame-per-frame 1998 remake of "Psycho"; what's the point?  And other than hairstyles, slang and clothing, the Lear originals are every bit as relevant as they were in the mid '70s.  

All you can do is re-dress the sets and put them in modern clothes. It's in no way going to improve on anything.

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kenman   

Exactly why I think someone taking the format of All in the Family (basically just 30 minutes of people discussing issues of today in blunt comic fashion) would be a far better route than just taking old scripts and putting them with new actors.  Maybe Lear just wants to prove his stuff is still relevant or just as strong as an old play or something...but I just don't see the point.  We can all see how strong the were by watching the old shows.  And we have new issues with similar problems today...is no one willing to tackle that in such a way?

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I would be more interested in the idea of someone trying to maybe come up with a new concept similar to All in the Family (which was a remake of a similar British show, let us not forget), and make a new edgy half hour comedy that just has character comically discuss the political and social issues of the day.  Our generation needs a release like this I think.  We aren't any shorter of angry racist middle aged bigots in our modern world, and I think they need a bit of skewering on broadcast television.

It wouldn't work.  The writers in Hollywood are too hardcore left wing extreme, so all they would do is create a caricature of what their fictional belief of a conservative is.  It would be an Archie Bunker where the jokes fell flat and only pissed people off.  It would be a ratings flop.  They tried something like that a long time ago--a show called Monty, starring Henry Winkler.  It flopped. 

All In The Family only worked because we liked Archie, and he was not a bad man.  He just had some outdated ideas.  And the show was a comedy, not an attack on conservative values. 

There are talented writers out there, but I don't think any can truly do what Lear did. 

 

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I would be more interested in the idea of someone trying to maybe come up with a new concept similar to All in the Family (which was a remake of a similar British show, let us not forget), and make a new edgy half hour comedy that just has character comically discuss the political and social issues of the day.  Our generation needs a release like this I think.  We aren't any shorter of angry racist middle aged bigots in our modern world, and I think they need a bit of skewering on broadcast television.

It wouldn't work.  The writers in Hollywood are too hardcore left wing extreme, so all they would do is create a caricature of what their fictional belief of a conservative is.  It would be an Archie Bunker where the jokes fell flat and only pissed people off.  It would be a ratings flop.  They tried something like that a long time ago--a show called Monty, starring Henry Winkler.  It flopped. 

All In The Family only worked because we liked Archie, and he was not a bad man.  He just had some outdated ideas.  And the show was a comedy, not an attack on conservative values. 

There are talented writers out there, but I don't think any can truly do what Lear did. 

 

For the record?  The people behind the original AITF are of a liberal bent as well; Norman Lear famously so, as were the late Carroll O'Connor and Rob Reiner currently.  

Archie was made sympathetic not because of balanced and fair writing (usually Archie was clearly shown to be in the wrong); but it was largely because of the skill of O'Connor as an actor.  Archie was, as are many frustrated conservatives today I believe, a man out of time.  He was born and raised in a world of different standards and values.  His vision of that world is glimpsed through rose-tinted glasses (the title song "Those Were The Days" says it all; this is a man drowning in nostalgia). 

Archie wasn't really a 'good' person either; he was deeply flawed.  And the lessons of each episode were usually that Archie's flaws were usually his own worst enemies.  His brand of conservatism was shown as something that wasn't quite working anymore in an increasingly changing world.

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kenman   

I would be more interested in the idea of someone trying to maybe come up with a new concept similar to All in the Family (which was a remake of a similar British show, let us not forget), and make a new edgy half hour comedy that just has character comically discuss the political and social issues of the day.  Our generation needs a release like this I think.  We aren't any shorter of angry racist middle aged bigots in our modern world, and I think they need a bit of skewering on broadcast television.

It wouldn't work.  The writers in Hollywood are too hardcore left wing extreme, so all they would do is create a caricature of what their fictional belief of a conservative is.  It would be an Archie Bunker where the jokes fell flat and only pissed people off.  It would be a ratings flop.  They tried something like that a long time ago--a show called Monty, starring Henry Winkler.  It flopped. 

All In The Family only worked because we liked Archie, and he was not a bad man.  He just had some outdated ideas.  And the show was a comedy, not an attack on conservative values. 

There are talented writers out there, but I don't think any can truly do what Lear did. 

That seems narrow minded. It is entirey possible someone as talented as Lear is out there. And there are plenty of conservatives in Hollywood too. And Archie's ideas don't seem so outdated anymore, or they wouldn't still be lingering with a vengeance. 

Also, for me personally? It always seemed that Archie WAS the joke. 

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I would be more interested in the idea of someone trying to maybe come up with a new concept similar to All in the Family (which was a remake of a similar British show, let us not forget), and make a new edgy half hour comedy that just has character comically discuss the political and social issues of the day.  Our generation needs a release like this I think.  We aren't any shorter of angry racist middle aged bigots in our modern world, and I think they need a bit of skewering on broadcast television.

It wouldn't work.  The writers in Hollywood are too hardcore left wing extreme, so all they would do is create a caricature of what their fictional belief of a conservative is.  It would be an Archie Bunker where the jokes fell flat and only pissed people off.  It would be a ratings flop.  They tried something like that a long time ago--a show called Monty, starring Henry Winkler.  It flopped. 

All In The Family only worked because we liked Archie, and he was not a bad man.  He just had some outdated ideas.  And the show was a comedy, not an attack on conservative values. 

There are talented writers out there, but I don't think any can truly do what Lear did. 

That seems narrow minded. It is entirey possible someone as talented as Lear is out there. And there are plenty of conservatives in Hollywood too. And Archie's ideas don't seem so outdated anymore, or they wouldn't still be lingering with a vengeance. 

Also, for me personally? It always seemed that Archie WAS the joke. 

Very often, Archie's values were DIRECTLY under attack; and were often shown to be just plain wrong.

I remember an episode where Edith's lesbian cousin passed away, and Archie & Edith meet her lover.  Both are slow to understand the relationship (the usually slow-witted Edith actually realizes it first), as Archie is too busy wondering what fine things around her cousin's apartment he and Edith can 'inherit.'  Once he realizes the relationship he threatens to blackmail the woman (who was a schoolteacher) if she didn't give up her cherished tea set.

Only when Edith intervenes does Archie stand down.

There are literally dozens more examples like this one, but usually Archie was the butt of the joke.  He was made fun of not just for some of his outdated values, but his seeming lack of flexibility as well. 

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kenman   

I mean one of the funniest moments in the show for me had nothing to do with their politics, but Archie's inability to understand and need to criticize Mike for putting on his sock and boots differently than he puts on his shoes...the joke wasn't on anything other than the old man can't see or fathom new ways of doing things.

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There's no question the writers behind AITF were liberal.  But they also were not so ignorant of conservative values and they managed to make their point without mocking them.  Archie also wasn't ALWAYS wrong.  There were times when Mike got his comeuppance.  The show, while to the left, wasn't nearly as extreme as writers are today, and I don't think it's possible to create an Archie like character because today's extremist writers can't make him likeable.

 

Conservatives are NOT out of time.  That's the problem--Hollywood writers probably think that too.  But the values of conservatives are timeless.  And many of the issues that may seem dated to liberals are just stereotypes, like the idea that all conservatives are racists.

 

Archie was also a man who worked hard, pushed through hard times, loved his family, and his country.  And the character grew.  Today, he would be played as nothing more than a jerk and a bastardization of conservatism as seen through the eyes of a liberal.

That seems narrow minded. It is entirey possible someone as talented as Lear is out there. And there are plenty of conservatives in Hollywood too. And Archie's ideas don't seem so outdated anymore, or they wouldn't still be lingering with a vengeance. 

Also, for me personally? It always seemed that Archie WAS the joke. 

 

That's the problem.  Hollywood IS narrow minded.  How many shows are written by conservatives?  How many shows have a conservative slant despite half the country subscribing to those values?  There is no balance in Hollywood.  People often get blackballed if they are conservative.  I imagine it would be worse on the writing side of the industry. 

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I mean one of the funniest moments in the show for me had nothing to do with their politics, but Archie's inability to understand and need to criticize Mike for putting on his sock and boots differently than he puts on his shoes...the joke wasn't on anything other than the old man can't see or fathom new ways of doing things.

I remember. :)

 

Archie:

"It's a sock and a sock and a shoe and a shoe."

 

And I happen to agree.

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kenman   

There's no question the writers behind AITF were liberal.  But they also were not so ignorant of conservative values and they managed to make their point without mocking them.  Archie also wasn't ALWAYS wrong.  There were times when Mike got his comeuppance.  The show, while to the left, wasn't nearly as extreme as writers are today, and I don't think it's possible to create an Archie like character because today's extremist writers can't make him likeable.

 

Conservatives are NOT out of time.  That's the problem--Hollywood writers probably think that too.  But the values of conservatives are timeless.  And many of the issues that may seem dated to liberals are just stereotypes, like the idea that all conservatives are racists.

 

Archie was also a man who worked hard, pushed through hard times, loved his family, and his country.  And the character grew.  Today, he would be played as nothing more than a jerk and a bastardization of conservatism as seen through the eyes of a liberal.

That seems narrow minded. It is entirey possible someone as talented as Lear is out there. And there are plenty of conservatives in Hollywood too. And Archie's ideas don't seem so outdated anymore, or they wouldn't still be lingering with a vengeance. 

Also, for me personally? It always seemed that Archie WAS the joke. 

 

That's the problem.  Hollywood IS narrow minded.  How many shows are written by conservatives?  How many shows have a conservative slant despite half the country subscribing to those values?  There is no balance in Hollywood.  People often get blackballed if they are conservative.  I imagine it would be worse on the writing side of the industry. 

I don't think that many writers are extremists. That's silly.  Also I can think of plenty of more conservative leanign Hollywood types, writers, comedians, actors, definitely producers.  But if people say Hollywood is extreme liberal enough, it is an easy enough pill to swallow.  I'm not saying it isn't left leaning, it definitely is...but I don't think it is radical or extreme or even militantly so. There are also plenty of conservative leaning shows on television, I dunno if you've seen the CBS primetime line-up, but it doesn't feel like left wing extremism to me, so much as mild conservatism.

I mean one of the funniest moments in the show for me had nothing to do with their politics, but Archie's inability to understand and need to criticize Mike for putting on his sock and boots differently than he puts on his shoes...the joke wasn't on anything other than the old man can't see or fathom new ways of doing things.

I remember. :)

 

Archie:

"It's a sock and a sock and a shoe and a shoe."

 

And I happen to agree.

Well if the house is on fire and it's snowing outside, I can bounce around in one boot and both feet are dry and both your socks are wet.

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I don't think that many writers are extremists. That's silly.  Also I can think of plenty of more conservative leanign Hollywood types, writers, comedians, actors, definitely producers.  But if people say Hollywood is extreme liberal enough, it is an easy enough pill to swallow.  I'm not saying it isn't left leaning, it definitely is...but I don't think it is radical or extreme or even militantly so. There are also plenty of conservative leaning shows on television, I dunno if you've seen the CBS primetime line-up, but it doesn't feel like left wing extremism to me, so much as mild conservatism.

You ever watch a David E. Kelley show, or SNL?  Ever read a celebrity account or a writer on Twitter?  They are ridiculously extreme.  The networks are filled with political correctness and statements.  All the time. 

 

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kenman   

I don't think that many writers are extremists. That's silly.  Also I can think of plenty of more conservative leanign Hollywood types, writers, comedians, actors, definitely producers.  But if people say Hollywood is extreme liberal enough, it is an easy enough pill to swallow.  I'm not saying it isn't left leaning, it definitely is...but I don't think it is radical or extreme or even militantly so. There are also plenty of conservative leaning shows on television, I dunno if you've seen the CBS primetime line-up, but it doesn't feel like left wing extremism to me, so much as mild conservatism.

You ever watch a David E. Kelley show, or SNL?  Ever read a celebrity account or a writer on Twitter?  They are ridiculously extreme.  The networks are filled with political correctness and statements.  All the time. 

 

you mean the SNL that had Donald Trump as a host this last year? We can cite examples on both sides of the spectrum. You ever see Blue Bloods? You ever watch a Dick Wolf production? Conservatives aren't always the punchline. Also I see plenty of celebrity accounts on Twitter that are pretty conservative. 

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Political correctness doesn't mean what you think it means.

I don't think that many writers are extremists. That's silly.  Also I can think of plenty of more conservative leanign Hollywood types, writers, comedians, actors, definitely producers.  But if people say Hollywood is extreme liberal enough, it is an easy enough pill to swallow.  I'm not saying it isn't left leaning, it definitely is...but I don't think it is radical or extreme or even militantly so. There are also plenty of conservative leaning shows on television, I dunno if you've seen the CBS primetime line-up, but it doesn't feel like left wing extremism to me, so much as mild conservatism.

You ever watch a David E. Kelley show, or SNL?  Ever read a celebrity account or a writer on Twitter?  They are ridiculously extreme.  The networks are filled with political correctness and statements.  All the time. 

 

you mean the SNL that had Donald Trump as a host this last year? We can cite examples on both sides of the spectrum. You ever see Blue Bloods? You ever watch a Dick Wolf production? Conservatives aren't always the punchline. Also I see plenty of celebrity accounts on Twitter that are pretty conservative. 

This.

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I don't watch Blue Bloods or SNL, in part because SNL has a ridiculous liberal slant.  You really think having Trump on negates the liberal slant?  Daily Show, Bill Maher, late night comedy?  All of it is left wing extremism.  Lorne Michaels has even said they don't make fun of liberals in the same way in part because they can't take it.

There are not both sides of the spectrum.  You have liberal agendas pushed everywhere. 

Conservatives have Scott Baio, Dean Cain, and a few others.  Liberal extremism is pretty much everyone else.  Celebrities and writers often go off the deep end on twitter.  I'm sure many of you read Bob Orci's stuff.  Ever read George Takei?  The guy is a loon, and his obsession with Trump is so extreme, he should probably seek help. 

Hollywood is propaganda for the left.  And that's why they can't possibly (back on topic) write a show like All in the Family today.  They are just far too closed minded and intolerant to fully digest the conservative point of view.

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Gosh, who would have thought George Takei, a man who spent his childhood in an internment camp, might be touchy about a POTUS looking to scapegoat another minority.

Hollywood is propaganda for the left.  And that's why they can't possibly (back on topic) write a show like All in the Family today.  They are just far too closed minded and intolerant to fully digest the conservative point of view.

Archie was mocked mercilessly. Indeed, O'Connor said repeatedly over the years that he wouldn't have played Bunker at all if Bunker's racism, bigotry and misogyny were written as if they were legitimate points of view. 

Edited by prometheus59650

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It's way more than that.  Takei is obsessed, and shows nothing but ignorance in our electoral system and constitutional law.  He's so out of his league it's pathetic. 

Bigotry, misogyny and racism are NOT conservative ideals. 

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It's way more than that.  Takei is obsessed, and shows nothing but ignorance in our electoral system and constitutional law.  He's so out of his league it's pathetic. 

Bigotry, misogyny and racism are NOT conservative ideals. 

On that, we disagree, but, all I see on Takei's Twitter is a rampant desire to end the Electoral College, and, quite frankly, it should be eliminated, since, the only reason it was put in place was to defend slavery. What its function boils down to, at this point, are the rural welfare states exercising power over the people that make it possible to send them checks.

Very OT, and if you want a nice thread in KM, cool, but this is my last statement on the OT stuff.

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kenman   

It's way more than that.  Takei is obsessed, and shows nothing but ignorance in our electoral system and constitutional law.  He's so out of his league it's pathetic. 

Bigotry, misogyny and racism are NOT conservative ideals. 

Yet they've been pretty embraced by that sect. 

Sorry Takei has every right to be obsessed with a man who seems bent on bringing back a very integral part of his childhood that he despises. And yeah...it is more than that...he has more thing to disagree with him on. 

This is drifting into KM terrirtory...but Blue Bloods is a fairly conservative show about a family of Cops. I don't watch it, but I saw enough of it when I worked at a CBS affiliate to see it leaned to the conservative side of the spectrum.  As does a lot Law & Order (or at least it had plenty of reasonable and likable characters who happened to represent a conservative point of view).  SNL leans left. Sure.  But it also let Trump host and it gave him this likable fun element for a good chunk of America.  Just as his Fallon appearance just made him seem like a fun ol' boy you'd like to hang out with...when his views are far more frightening. 

But...as much as you want to make Hollywood and everything it puts out to just be leftist propaganda...I just don't see it that way. I see plenty from both sides of the aisle. Artists tend to lean liberal, this is true (in part because I think you have to be a tad liberal to go into such a business which is NOT conservative as the arts. It isn't a day job that guarantees a paycheck and all the normalcy and conservative ideals that comes with it), but that is not to say that conservatives aren't out there putting their spin and viewpoints out there in the arts. They are. What was 24?  What is NCIS (you know the most popular show in network right now)?  Tim Allen's sitcom Last Man Standing seems to lean to the right.  I mean it isn't as cut and dry as you seem to make it.

 

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What is NCIS (you know the most popular show in network right now)?  Tim Allen's sitcom Last Man Standing seems to lean to the right.  I mean it isn't as cut and dry as you seem to make it.

 

Haven't really ever seen LMS, but NCIS...I've pretty much watched it since S1, and it's pretty moderate. It's certainly not what I'd call "liberal." Blue Bloods is certainly more to the right. I'd call it 70s/early 80s family drama right. But definitely right. 

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There's no question the writers behind AITF were liberal.  But they also were not so ignorant of conservative values and they managed to make their point without mocking them.  Archie also wasn't ALWAYS wrong.  There were times when Mike got his comeuppance.  The show, while to the left, wasn't nearly as extreme as writers are today, and I don't think it's possible to create an Archie like character because today's extremist writers can't make him likeable.

 

Conservatives are NOT out of time.  That's the problem--Hollywood writers probably think that too.  But the values of conservatives are timeless.  And many of the issues that may seem dated to liberals are just stereotypes, like the idea that all conservatives are racists.

 

Archie was also a man who worked hard, pushed through hard times, loved his family, and his country.  And the character grew.  Today, he would be played as nothing more than a jerk and a bastardization of conservatism as seen through the eyes of a liberal.

That seems narrow minded. It is entirey possible someone as talented as Lear is out there. And there are plenty of conservatives in Hollywood too. And Archie's ideas don't seem so outdated anymore, or they wouldn't still be lingering with a vengeance. 

Also, for me personally? It always seemed that Archie WAS the joke. 

 

That's the problem.  Hollywood IS narrow minded.  How many shows are written by conservatives?  How many shows have a conservative slant despite half the country subscribing to those values?  There is no balance in Hollywood.  People often get blackballed if they are conservative.  I imagine it would be worse on the writing side of the industry. 

There's no laws saying the can't try...

If they make a show people like?  People will watch.   Advertisers will pay.  

We're also getting VERY much on the Kobayashi Maru side of things here too... Let's not dig too deeply into politics here.  I know that's tough in a Norman Lear thread, but let's try (ALL of us... Myself included).

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On that, we disagree, but, all I see on Takei's Twitter is a rampant desire to end the Electoral College, and, quite frankly, it should be eliminated, since, the only reason it was put in place was to defend slavery. What its function boils down to, at this point, are the rural welfare states exercising power over the people that make it possible to send them checks

That's a completely misguided view of the Electoral College, and Takei only wants to get rid of it because his candidate lost. Takei is a complete lunatic, and he would not be spewing his nonsense had Hillary won.  Oh, and they aren't bringing back the Democrat imposed internment camps.  But that's more Takei lunacy.

There's no laws saying the can't try...

If they make a show people like?  People will watch.   Advertisers will pay.  

We're also getting VERY much on the Kobayashi Maru side of things here too... Let's not dig too deeply into politics here.  I know that's tough in a Norman Lear thread, but let's try (ALL of us... Myself included).

It won't get on the air.  Try, and you lose your career.  In general, conservatives have to be in the closet in Hollywood. 

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