Those Were the Days
An appreciation of Norman Lear
The inimitable (and Talmud-quoting) Norman Lear gets love from the A.V. Club on the release of a new boxed set of DVDs of six Lear shows. Not all the titles are winners. One Day at a Time and The Jeffersons are singled out as second-rate, though without the latter there’d be no Diff’rent Strokes or Fresh Prince of Bel Air. And a world without those gems would be like a world without rainbows.
More frequently, Lear created universes populated by the cantankerous, opinionated likes of Archie Bunker, Maude Findlay, and James Evans. The legacy they left is “not in today’s best sitcoms—which tend to be gag-oriented and stingless, not achingly relevant—but in the sports analysts and political pundits yelling at each other all across the cable TV spectrum. The problem is that none of those bozos are as funny or endearing.”
The Norman Lear Collection [AV Club]
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.