The Good

Some shows lose it around the Sixth Season but All in the Family was still firing on all cylinders.

The Bad

No Special Features.

All in the Family: The Complete Sixth Season contains 24 episodes from one of the most groundbreaking socially relevant shows in television history. The characters of Archie Bunker, his wife Edith, his son-in-law Michael (aka Meathead) and "little goil" Gloria will forever live on in television syndication. There was still a great deal of spark contained in this boundary pushing show, and while nothing can ever touch the sharpness that the early seasons had, All in the Family: The Complete Sixth Season is as shocking and sidesplitting as ever.

We begin with "The Very Moving Day" which sees Mike and Gloria moving out to the house next-door and Gloria announcing that she's pregnant. True to form, this show doesn't focus on Mike and Gloria's joy but rather Mike's fears that the world is already too overcrowded. Continuing with touchy scenarios "The Little Atheist" focuses on the fall out of Mike and Gloria announcing to Archie and Edith that they aren't going to raise their child in any religion. In addition to this, we get a great two part episode when Gloria gives birth to Little Joey ("Birth of the Baby" Pts. 1 and 2), but one of the finest episodes is "Joey's Baptism." In this episode, Archie has Joey baptized without the permission of his parents or Edith.

This Sixth season didn't only see stories about the baby. "Archie Finds A Friend" is a touching episode about how fragile life is. "Chain Letter" is a funny expose on what happens when Archie breaks a chain and is exposed to bad luck. Lastly, "Archie, The Hero" is a funny and hysterical look at our legal system.

Features

No Extras came with this DVD release.

Video

Full Screen - 1.33:1. These shows looked really good on my small TV. I actually had a chance to watch some of them on a bigger screen, and I will admit that the picture wasn't as sharp being blown up. As this show is on TV Land everyday at 1pm, I was also able to compare and contrast the images. On a small screen, you can't beat the sharpness that these DVDs afford. On a larger screen, it seems that the broadcasted shows look a little better on TV than the DVDs in this set.

Audio

The packaging doesn't list out what kind of audio these shows have. The episodes are close captioned and they are presented in English. The audio was really good but nothing about it was spectacular. Considering that these shows are 31 years old, I think the sound quality is quite commendable. I didn't have to turn up the audio on my set that loud, and I didn't notice any problems on any of the audio. With 612 minutes of content, that is quite an accomplishment.

Package

Mike, Edith, Archie and Gloria grace this simple, slipcase front cover with Baby Joey sleeping in Edith's arms. The back contains three grayish/blue pictures from the show, a description of what All in the Family: The Complete Sixth Season is about, and technical specs. All three discs are connected by one piece of artwork with folds out of the slipcase. Inside is a threefold episode guide which lists out each show, what it's about, and offers up a description. Sony has kept this release simple, compact and economical.

Final Word

I love this show. I have been given the opportunity to review a few seasons now, and I honestly feel that All in the Family loses nothing over time. I will admit that the stories aren't as fun when Mike and Gloria go to California, and Archie starts to soften up a little bit. Part of this show's charm was getting to see him blow his top about the littlest things. This is all on display in All in the Family: The Complete Sixth Season, however. In fact the relationship between Mike and Archie gets even more tense because these guys now share something, Joey. As much as we always knew that Archie cared about him, his life wasn't really affected by what happened between him and Gloria. With Joey in the picture, Archie's ways and Mike's ways collide even more and that makes the child rearing environment highly volatile (and hilarious).

These shows also gave Gloria and Edith a lot to work with. We get to see the characters evolve as they deal with women's issues, and I no longer felt like Gloria was simply there just because she was a Bunker. Don't get me wrong, she's good in all the shows, but it seems that by this point in the character arcs, they had found things for her to do beyond being the little goil.

This is such a good show and I love that All in the Family: The Complete Sixth Season has made it's way to DVD. Technically there are only 3 more seasons left (6 if you count Archie Bunker's Place), and I think it's great to be able to have such an important part of television history all on DVD. These shows are worth every penny.

All in the Family was released .