I was just talking to my friend Ryan about sitcoms and how characters are so static. It's what makes it funny, I guess, but it's also kind of sad. Archie is a sad person. He never changes. He's always that lovable bigot, but anyone who REALLY is a bigot is NOT lovable, something Carroll O'Connor understood, but I'm not sure all of us learned as a life lesson. The show was satire in addition to sitcom. How many other sitcoms really fit into the satire category? So, I guess I'm impressed that someone bothered to make a satire out of the genre. Maybe the lesson is that you can address real issues in sitcoms. Kind of like Twain's Huck Finn, however, you can't really control how that satire will be received and whether or not some people will even recognize it.
All in the Family is on nightly in my very conservative city right now. I have to wonder who's watching. Maybe it's the dads or grandpas who are seeing themselves in Archie, but it might also be the children who are tuning in. I am sure young people with open minds might be able to understand the point of the sitcom. Then again, maybe it will live on with the bigots because they can, years later, see it as straight up comedy rather than satire. That's an interesting concept, really.