It continues the Archie Bunker character and these shows are very enjoyable.
No extras explaining this show so fans of All In the Family can figure out it’s relationship to Archie Bunker’s Place.
I met Archie Bunker’s Place - The Complete First Season with a mix of joy and confusion. I had long hard about this show but I didn’t understand how it fit in amongst the lexicon of the brilliant All In the Family. After doing some internet research, I found out that All In The Family essentially became Archie Bunker’s Place, focusing a lot more on Archie and the characters in the saloon that Archie owns with new business partner Murray Klein. Stephanie Mills returns from All In The Family as the young girl that Archie and Edith are still taking care of. If one wanted to really get technical, they could consider this later show All In The Family as well, which would mean that this show’s entire run started in 1971 and ran all the way until 1983, which would tie it with Hawaii Five-O which ran from 1968 to 1980. However, Hawaii Five-O remained Hawaii Five-O all the way.
Alright, I loved Archie Bunker’s Place - The Complete First Season, but I think that has more to do with my love of the characters of Archie and Edith Bunker than anything else. There is just something comfortable about them for me and when I think about owning 12 DVD sets with these characters, I get very excited about future releases. I guess my biggest problem is how these shows are so Archie-centric. One look at the title tells you all you need to know, and it’s apparent with the reappearance of people like Sammy Davis, Jr. that Archie no longer really represents the working man like he once did.
Still, this 3 disc set is a lot of fun and with characters like Barney Hefner and Harry Snowden still hanging around, there’s still enough magic here to make us remember that “those were the days... .”
No extras came with these DVDs.
1.33:1 - Full Screen. Simply lit, shot and blocked this show really plays well against the other episodes of All In The Family. The only really difference is I don’t think the main actors on this show were nearly as talented as those on All In The Family. As a result, things feel a bit more staged and it seems like the actors are having to work harder in their roles. There really isn’t too much to say here other than the picture looked fine, however the show just didn’t feel as warm as it’s predecessor.
They don’t say what kind of audio is used on these discs but I didn’t have a problem hearing anything the characters were saying. The language is English and the sound is Close Captioned. I was really thrown off by the opening song which was more of a medley of the famous All In The Family opener. It really is hard to put into words but the more I write and the more I think about things, this show just felt off for a lot of reasons. However, from a purely technical standpoint, I didn’t notice any problems with the sound on these discs.
Archie, Murray, Stephanie and Edith grace this front cover. Behind them is a shot of Archie’s saloon. I think it’s very telling that on this cover Archie is in the front (bigger than everybody else) and Edith is in the back behind everyone. The back features four shots from this show, a description of what Archie Bunker’s Place is about and of course some technical specs. The 3 discs are houses in 2 slim, digipack cases and I really have to commend the creators of this DVD for their economical packaging. There are different pictures on the 2 covers for the 3 discs, and on the back are episode listings as well as descriptions. One glance at the subject matter of these episodes and one can tell that this show is going to be more a straight sitcom, than the biting, satire that All In The Family Was.
In my opinion, Edith isn’t around as much as she should be in Archie Bunker’s Place - The Complete First Season. While I love Archie (and could see him hanging with his buddies for hours), I just think that too much about this show is different than All In The Family. It seems almost trying to keep Archie in the same box, when it’s apparent that his character has grown. The fact that Archie Bunker’s Place ran for 4 years does say something. That’s a very respectable run for any show.
Lastly, I found out through some more internet scuttlebutt that Edith dies at the beginning of the second season. In fact, I even remember seeing a part of this episode where it’s night time, and Archie stands in the living room and drops a hat (I think) on his chair. I know that Jean Stapleton wanted out of this show, but it’s still sad to think of Archie’s life without her.
Archie Bunker's Place was released .