TITLE: ALL IN THE FAMILY - THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON
DVD Release Date: February 13, 2007 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: Approx. 612 Minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, Closed Captioned
Special Features: None.
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
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."
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
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:
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)
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)
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)
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).
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
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
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 01/31/07
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