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All in the Family - The Complete Sixth Season


TITLE: ALL IN THE FAMILY - THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: February 13, 2007 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Color
MSRP: $29.95
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: Approx. 612 Minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, Closed Captioned
Special Features: None.


Introduction:

Produced and developed by Norman Lear, the groundbreaking sitcom All in the Family continued to evolve in the sixth season without losing any of its controversial edge or its popularity; it was the #1 series for the fifth year in a row. Mike (Rob Reiner) and Gloria (Sally Struthers) finally move out of the Bunker household -- and right into the house next door, where the Jeffersons used to live. But the big news for Archie (Carroll O'Connor) and Edith (Jean Stapleton) is that their "little goil" is pregnant. Gloria later gives birth in a special two-part episode. Once the baby is home, two generations of parents clash over how to raise little Joey Stivic. The show courted further controversy when a real toy company released "Archie Bunker's Grandson" in honor of baby Joey, the first anatomically correct male doll!


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Nominated for an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Comedy Series" for its sixth straight year, All in the Family was also nominated for two Golden Globe Awards this season. Carroll O'Connor was nominated for Best TV Actor - Musical/Comedy and Rob Reiner was nominated for Best Supporting Actor - Television. During its eight-year run, the show received an amazing 48 Emmy Award nominations and took home 20 trophies with multiple wins for all the lead characters and three wins for Outstanding Comedy Series. All in the Family finished #1 in the ratings for the fifth consecutive year with a 30.1 rating for the sixth season (1975-76). In the sixth season, Mike and Gloria finally move into their own home and discover Gloria is pregnant. After the baby is born, Archie has the baby baptized without their permission. While driving a cab, Archie rescues a woman who turns out to be a transvestite, and Edith starts volunteering at an old age home.

Memorable sixth season episodes included "The Very Moving Day," in which as the Civics are about to move out, Gloria announces that she is pregnant, which delights her parents but worries Mike. In order to impress his boss and get the new dispatcher job, Archie unwittingly donates his organs to science in "Archie, the Donor." Nine days overdue and apprehensive about having the baby, Gloria takes out her frustrations on Mike in "Gloria Is Nervous." Gloria goes into labor at an Italian restaurant, but then gets stuck in a telephone booth after phoning her doctor in "Birth of the Baby (Part 1)." Amidst much chaos, Gloria finally makes it to the hospital and gives birth to a healthy baby boy in "Birth of the Baby (Part 2)." Archie is under doctor's orders to lose weight, but hates the idea of dieting and giving up his favorite foods in "Archie's Weighty Problem." After the Bunkers' furnace goes out, Archie and Edith are forced to spend the night whith Mike and Gloria at their new home in "Gloria and Mike's House Guests."

Notable guest stars included Sorrell Booke as Joseph Sanders in "Archie, the Donor" and "Grandpa Blues." Robert Guillaume appeared as Dr. Franklin in "Chain Letter." James Hong played the Chinese Waiter in "Edith Breaks Out." Bernadette Peters was Linda Galloway in "Gloria Suspects Mike." Betty Garrett appeared in multiple episodes as Betty Lorenzo. Priscilla Morrill played Bernice in "Birth of the Baby (Part 2)." Allan Melvin returned as Barney Hefner in "Birth of the Baby (Part 2)." Billy Crystal was Al in "New Year's Wedding." Burt Mustin returned as Justin Quigley in "Archie's Weighty Problem." Doris Roberts appeared as Marge in "Edith's Night Out."


Packaging:

This 3-disc set features all 24 episodes from All in the Family's sixth season (1975-1976). The packaging for this season is similar to what has been used for the previous three seasons. I like that they have remained consistent with the look from release to release. The only seasons that are somewhat different from the others are seasons one and two. The cover art features a photo of Mike, Edith, baby Joey, Archie and Gloria. Dark blue and white is the color scheme this time. The main DVD case slides out from the left of the outer cardboard box. Carroll O'Connor is featured on the spine of the box. There is a three-fold digipak that holds the three discs, and there is a pocket that holds a 6-page episode guide booklet and a flyer that promotes some other Sony TV DVD releases. The episode guide booklet features short summaries of the episodes with writing and directing credits. It would have been nice of them to include the original broadcast dates for the episodes, as well as the guest stars. Inside the digipak, there is a black and white photo of a pregnant Gloria and Mike. A nice black and white photo of Archie holding baby Joey is on the back of the digipak. There is a summary of the set, DVD specs and three small black and white photos on the back of the outer box. The discs each have a photo on them with the All in the Family logo in dark blue. Disc 1 features Edith and baby Joey (Episodes 1-8). Disc 2 has Archie (Episodes 9-16). Disc 3 has a photo of Mike and Gloria (Episodes 17-24).


Menu Design and Navigation:

The main menus feature the same photo as the cover art, but the photo is a bit cropped and baby Joey isn't visible. The dark blue and white color scheme is also found on the menus. The All in the Family logo is in dark blue in a white bar. Above that at the top of the screen, there disc number is listed in a blue bar. In the middle white bar, there are options for "Play All Episodes," "Episode Selection," and "Previews" (only on disc 1). There is a blue arrow next to the option you highlight that turns green upon your selection. When you select Episode Selection, it takes you to a separate sub-menu that has a photo from each episode. Four episodes are listed per screen. The episode title and number is also listed. The episode and photo you highlight is tinted in blue, and it turns light green upon your selection. Chapter stops are available within the episodes but no separate menus for scene selections are available.


Video and Audio Quality:

These episodes have digitally remastered video and audio, but there is only so much they can do given the original source material that is now over 30 years old. There are some minor video imperfections and occasional tape glitches once again, but these episodes look better than what you've see on TV Land or in syndication. Unfortunately, tape degrades over the years. I'm glad they are now preserved on DVD and won't further deteriorate. I feel like they could have spread these episodes out over four discs instead of three. The audio is in mono, which is typical of sitcoms from the 70's. It's at a good volume, and there weren't any major audio problems in the episodes I've watched so far. All episodes appear to be unedited, with running times over 25 minutes. Closed captioning is available.

The order of the episodes on the DVD is very strange. They aren't in the original broadcast order according to the dates listed at TV.com or epguides.com . They aren't in the production order, either. Either Sony has just put these episodes in a somewhat random order, or the online episode guides all have the wrong airdates. It seems like Sony just has them in a different order on the DVDs. Their press release had them listed in the correct airdate order, so I'm puzzled how they ended up in this order on the DVDs.

Here is a list of the episodes by disc, including their running times:

Disc 1
---------
1. The Very Moving Day (25:30)
2. Alone At Last (25:35)
3. Archie, the Donor (25:26)
4. Edith Breaks Out (25:31)
5. Mike's Pains (25:36)
6. The Little Atheist (25:30)
7. Archie, the Hero (25:31)
8. Chain Letter (25:36)

Disc 2
---------
9. Mike Faces Life (25:06)
10. Grandpa Blues (25:34)
11. Gloria Suspects Mike (25:29)
12. Archie's Civil Rights (25:26)
13. Gloria Is Nervous (25:33)
14. Birth of the Baby (Part 1) (25:39)
15. Birth of the Baby (Part 2) (25:33)
16. Archie, the Babysitter (25:27)

Disc 3
---------
17. New Year's Wedding (25:32)
18. Archie Finds a Friend (25:37)
19. Mike's Move (25:14)
20. Archie's Weighty Problem (25:29)
21. Love by Appointment (25:41)
22. Joey's Baptism (25:26)
23. Gloria and Mike's House Guests (25:25)
24. Edith's Night Out (25:42)


Special Features:

No special features are included once again. It would be nice to see some cast interviews or bloopers on some of these sets. There are 5 previews on the first disc: Bewitched (TV) (1:00), Boynton Beach Club (2:21), Classic Urban TV Series (2:06), Great TV Families (2:14), Dynamic Duos (TV) (1:59).


Final Comments:

It has been 13 months between seasons 5 and 6. That may seem like a lot, but it's not even the longest break. It was almost 17 months between seasons 2 and 3. With 3 more seasons left to go, it will probably be 3 more years to go to complete the series at the 1 release per year pace. No word yet on when they will release the second season of Archie Bunker's Place. It is strange how M*A*S*H can have all 11 seasons released within 5 years. Sony is just traditionally slow with their releases, but they never abandon the most popular series. While we patiently wait for Season 7, you can check out a few more classics from the legendary Norman Lear. Sony is releasing Maude - The Complete First Season on March 20th and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman on March 27th.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 01/31/07

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000KX0IPY/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=193245


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