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Old 08-23-2017, 01:35 AM   #1
TMC
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Default That moment when ‘Maude’ seemed 20 years ahead of its time

http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/tele...nZL/story.html

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By Matthew Gilbert GLOBE STAFF AUGUST 22, 2017

There’s really no need to surf channels anymore, unless you’re in the mood. On Sunday night, waiting for “Game of Thrones,” I was in the mood, and I stumbled across an episode of “Maude” that I’d never seen before, that impressed me with its shrewd intelligence.

The episode originally ran in December 1977, but the script feels more like it was written two decades later, in 1997, the year before “Will & Grace” premiered. It’s called “The Gay Bar,” and the story line is that Arthur, Maude’s conservative homophobic neighbor, wants to get their town to shut down a gay bar. Maude, whose impassioned and caustic liberalism was the point of the show, in the way Archie Bunker’s bigotry was the point of “All in the Family,” challenges Arthur with a few sharp comments — many of them cloaked in humor, including one killer joke revolving around the seven dwarves. “You just want to persecute people that you don’t understand,” she tells him.

Oh, and there’s a great orange juice joke, which only makes sense when you remember that Anita Bryant, brand ambassador for the Florida Citrus Commission, was peaking on her anti-gay crusade in 1977.

Maude and Arthur wind up going to the gay bar in question, a sedate place despite Arthur’s expectations of wildness. At one point, Arthur tells one of the gay customers that strange sexual behavior doesn’t belong in the town, to which the gay man answers, “But you straight people have to live someplace.” Thanks to a legal issue, the bar is in no danger, but that’s not the end of the episode. In a moment of mutual respect, despite their significant core differences, Maude and Arthur hug.

What do you know? A hug between right and left. At this moment, that’s the incendiary bit in the episode, more than the gay stuff, now that gay marriage is legal. As the two had their tentative but respectful moment of warmth, I felt queasy, as if they were breaking all the rules.
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:42 PM   #2
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Of course, what was interesting about "Maude" was the fact that despite each of them having been neighbors many years (through Maude's many marriages and Arthur's first one), and the fact that each of them openly battled the other when each found some idealogical point to oppose, the two of them actually DID like each other as friends. One of my fave moments was when Walter's boozing threatens his union with Maude, Arthur actually refuses to join his pity party but tells him straight up that he's brought that mess on himself. Also, Arthur was somewhat medically sympathetic to Maude's manic-depressive condition even if he didn't like her POVs or many of her actions.
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