Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

A TV set featuring Norman Lear's iconic hat.
71% (1)

Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons,” brings on the nostalgia and, for the most part, revives the spirit of the source material.


Network
ABC
Director(s) James Burrows, Andy Fisher
Writer(s) Don Nicholl, Michael Ross, Bernie West
Creator(s) Norman Lear
Genre(s) Comedy, Live
Good If You Like Nostalgia

When Comedy Was Not Politically Correct

Isn’t For You If You Don’t Enjoy, Sometimes, Dated or Corny Jokes
Noted Cast
Louise Wanda Sykes
George Jamie Foxx
Archie Woody Harrelson
Helen Kerry Washington
Tom Will Ferrell
Mama Jefferson Fran Bennett
Florence Marla Gibbs
Edith Marisa Tomei

Images and text in this post may contain affiliate links which, if a purchase is made, we’ll earn money or products from the company. Affiliate links and external links include an upward facing, superscript, arrow.

Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” Summary

It was a normal morning for Archie. One which had him yelling at his wife Edith, debating with his son in law, and dealing with his daughter often joining in. However, then Edith decides to let the Jefferson family move a party they were having over at their home to the Bunker home. Leading to Archie having to deal not just with Henry, who messes with him a bit, but also George. A man who is a smarter version of Archie, and a bit more uppity to boot.

Which sets up us seeing George and his wife Louise in a nice apartment that they both like, but are adjusting to. Well, at least Louise is since George likes to run off her friends Diane, Tom, and Helen. Yet, he calms down a bit when his momma shows up, and when Florence shows up?! While they don’t do battle, with her coming off interview sweet, he thinks he’s found a catch.

 

Highlights

Classism, Racism, and Sexism You Only See In Movies Now

Archie (Woody Harrelson) debating his family.
Archie (Woody Harrelson)

While many shows may have the occasional episode which reminds you that one or two characters are different, usually it is only in movies that they addressed the everyday issues classism, racism, and sexism cause. So it is nice to be reminded that there was a time, on network TV of all places, where these conversations were a regular thing. Not to downplay The Carmichael Show, which is one of the closest things to All In The Family and The Jeffersons we’ve gotten in modern times. However, with the way TV has gone from a means of initiating discussion to a place for escapism, it is nice to be reminded when daring for TV was more about dialog than representation.

Helen and Tom Were Adorable

In the news doc which follows, it notes how Helen and Tom played a part in not just normalizing interracial couples, but also realistically presenting them. They aren’t made to be props for a point but to show a real couple who argues and says somethings which, if you aren’t or have never been in an interracial relationship, you may have wondered about. Take the idea of using, in arguments, the most hurtful language you can think of. When it comes to Washington and Ferrell, in a role which matches his persona so well, they played all this out in a magnificent way.

Momma Jefferson

Momma Jefferson (Fran Bennett) shocked by what she was told.
Momma Jefferson (Fran Bennett)

While her part was short and sweet, it made for some of the funniest moments in the whole special. For while the All In The Family part had its back and forth, for reasons noted below, it didn’t hit as hard. However, while Foxx and Sykes may have had a nice warm up during the first half of the event, they really hit their stride when Momma Jefferson came in and challenged both of them. Especially Sykes who got to get some shine away from the ham that is Jamie Foxx.

Marla Gibbs Appearance

Florence (Marla Gibbs) making an appearance.
Florence (Marla Gibbs)

Justina Machado, from One Day At A Time, seemed like she’d be joining the mini-reunion of Norman Lear, Stephen Tobolowsky, and herself. However, instead Marla Gibbs popped out, and while she may not have been as snappy as Florence was known for, it didn’t take away from the awe what so ever. Plus, while she may not be snappy, she still knows how to land a line.

Marisa Tomei as Edith

Nearly everyone was either mimicking or trying to put their spin on the iconic characters. Tomei was probably one of the only actors who had it down pact. Making it so she definitely, alongside Foxx, for various reasons, should be looked at fondly when it comes to how this special is seen.

On The Fence

Jamie Got A Little Too Camp

George Jefferson (Jamie Foxx) during his first appearance on the special.
George Jefferson (Jamie Foxx)

Jamie Foxx is a ham. Anyone who is a fan of his knows this and with a live audience there too? You had to have known he would act up. Which, for the most part, you appreciate. However, there were times he was borderline camp in trying to take on Sherman Hemsley’s mannerism. Still funny, but definitely making it where it seemed like he wasn’t the best scene partner and didn’t allow his co-stars to shine.

Woody Harrelson’s Archie

A part of me feels Harrelson was chosen more for the way he talks than this being a role he could really get into. For while I’m sure he watched the show, or at least was aware of it, I don’t feel like he truly tapped into who Archie was. I mean, he said the lines he was supposed to, but while everyone else was honoring the original portrayal, he treated Archie as someone he could put his spin on. Making him the odd one out and creating a bit of awkwardness.

Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” Overall: Positive (Watch This)

Tom (Will Ferrell) and Helen (Kerry Washington) having a laugh.
Tom (Will Ferrell) and Helen (Kerry Washington)

Outside of Harrelson, who seems like good casting, but maybe just was unable to conjure the spirit of Carroll O’Connor, there isn’t a lot of bad things you can say about this live performance. Yes, Foxx was having a little too much fun and could have been reigned in a bit. However, outside of that, the spirit of both All In The Family and The Jeffersons was in full force, and we got a nice amount of nostalgia. The kid which makes you wonder what productions will they next revive for a night?

Follow Wherever I Look on Twitter, Like us on Facebook and Subscribe to the YouTube Channel.

Logo for TV shows, featuring a HD screen with red, black, and green colors. Artwork by Dean Nelson.
Artwork by Dean Nelson

Check out the TV Master List Page


The Latest TV Episode Recaps/ Review (with Spoilers)


Collected Quotes from TV Series


Season Reviews & Reviews of TV Specials


ChannelCurrently ActiveSpecialEndedDiscontinuedOnly Pilot or Premiere
Miracle Workers

Bronx SIU: Season 1

Jacqueline and Jilly

Bravo

Dirty John: Season 1 | Meet The Characters

Lifetime

You: Season 1 | The Cast & Characters

Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B

Requiem: Season 1

Crunchyroll

Goblin Slayer: Season 1 | Meet The Characters


The Rising of the Shield Hero: Season 1


The Promised Neverland: Season 1

Blade Runner: Blackout 2022

Garo – Vanishing Line: Season 1


The Ancient Magus' Bride: Season 1 | OVA


Youjo Senki (Saga of Tanya the Evil)


Fuuka


Cross Ange


Rokka no Yuusha (Rokka – Braves of the Six Flowers)


Grisaia no Kajitsu (The Fruit of Grisaia)


Monogatari: Hanamonogatari | Owarimonogatari [Season 1 & Season 2] | Tsukimonogatari


Boku Dake ga Inai Machi [Erased]


Knights & Magic


Akatsuki no Yona


Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka? [Sukasuka] 


Alice to Zouroku


Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash)


Juni Taisen (Zodiac War)


Netsuzou Trap


Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu


Zankyou no Terror [Terror in Resonance]


Citrus: Season 1


How Not to Summon a Demon Lord: Season 1

Sword Art Online: Season 2 


Tokyo Ghoul: Season 1 Covered Only


Evil or Live: After Episode 3


Angels of Death: Season 1


Demi-chan wa Kataritai (Interviews with Monster Girls): After Episode 4


Shuumatsu no Izetta (Izetta - The Last Witch): After Episode 6


King's Game: After Episode 2


Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online


Steins;Gate 0

Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War


Konohana Kitan


Black Clover


Caligula


Mayoiga - The Lost Village


Beautiful Bones


Bloodivores


Drifters


Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront)


Junji Ito Collection


Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka (Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?)


Orange


Plastic Memories


Sousei no Onmyouji (Twin Star Exorcists)


Taboo Tattoo


Trickster


Endride


Youkai Apartment no Yuuga na Nichijou


Katsugeki! Touken Ranbu


Big Order


Alderamin on the Sky


Utawarerumono (The False Faces)


Clockwork Planet


Granblue Fantasy - The Animation


Attack on Titan: Season 2


Aoharu x Kikanjuu


Chaos Dragon


Bungo no Stray Dogs


ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka


Chaos;Child


Masamune-kun no Revenge


Seiren


Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen


Caligula


Island

E4

Skins: Season 7

E!


Mariah's World: Pilot | Season 1

Arrangement: Season 1 - After Episode 4

Disney Channel


Andi Mack: Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3

Kim Possible (2019)

Girl Meets World: Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3

Raven's Home: Season 1 | Season 2

CW


Black Lightning: Season 1 | Season 2


In The Dark: Season 1

iZombie


Life Sentence

Channel 4


Kiri: Season 1


Humans: Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3

CBS


Doubt


Happy Together


Bull

CBC


Anne: Season 1 | Season 2

Alias Grace: Season 1

BET


The New Edition Story


The Bobby Brown Story

Black Panther (The Animated Series)


The Quad: Season 1 | Season 2

American Soul


Rebel


Being Mary Jane

BBC America

Orphan Black: Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 4

BBC 3

Some Girls: Season 3

Famalam

BBC

Laura Mvula: Generation Anxiety

Hallmark

The Watsons Go to Birmingham

HIDIVE

Domestic Girlfriend: Season 1

Netflix

BONDiNG: Season 1


The Umbrella Academy: Season 1| Meet The Cast


Sex Education: Season 1 | The Cast & Characters 


The Hookup Plan (Plan Couer): Season 1 | The Cast & Characters


The Fix: Season 1


Super Drags: Season 1 | Meet The Cast


Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Season 1 | The Cast and Characters | Season 2


Elite: Season 1 | Meet The Characters


B – The Beginning: Season 1


Altered Carbon: Season 1


Ozark: Season 1 | Season 2


Thirteen Reasons Why: Season 1 | Season 2


Dear White People: Season 1 | Season 2


Violet Evergarden: Season 1


Devilman Crybaby: Season 1


The End of the F***ing World: Season 1


She's Gotta Have It: Season 1


Stranger Things: Season 1 | Season 2


Big Mouth: Season 1 | Season 2


Neo Yokio: Season 1


On My Block: Season 1 | Season 2 | Cast & Characters


Alexa & Katie: Season 1 | Season 2

Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé


Kevin Hart’s Guide To Black History


Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias: One Show Fits All


Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour


Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable


The Comedy Lineup: Part 1


Iliza Shlesinger: Elder Millennial


Chris Rock: Tamborine


Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust


Lynne Koplitz: Hormonal Beast


DeRay Davis: How To Act Black


Mea Culpa


Def Comedy Jam 25


Chris Tucker: LIVE


Judd Apatow: The Return


Rodney King


Louis C.K.: 2017


Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark | Son of Patricia


Amy Schumer: The Leather Special


Dave Chappelle: The Age of Spin | Deep In The Heart of Texas | Equanimity | The Bird Revelation


Sense 8: Christmas Special


Marlon Wayans: Woke-ish



Ali Wong: Baby Cobra | Hard Knock Wife


Gaga: Five Foot Two

The Innocents: Season 1


Girlboss: Season 1


The Get Down: Season 1


Hotel Beau Séjour: Season 1


Maniac: Season 1


One Day At A Time: Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3

| Cast & Characters


The Protector: Season 1 | The Cast & Characters


Castlevania: Season 1


A Series of Unfortunate Events: Pilot & Season 1 Review


Orange is the New Black: Season 2


Crashing: Season 1


GLOW: Season 1


ERASED: Season 1


Rita: Season 1


3%: Season 1 (Discontinued Season 2)


Samantha!: Season 1


Sirius the Jaeger: Season 1


Chewing Gum: Season 2

Chambers


The Haunting of Hill House


Black


Easy


Free Rein


Gypsy


Jessica Jones


Re: Mind


Residue


Children of the Whales


The Break with Michelle Wolf


Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj

NBC

Rosemary's Baby (2014)

The Carmichael Show: Seasons 1 & 2 | Season 3

Believe: Season 1 | Series Review

Emerald City: Season 1 | Review of Season 1

The Good Place: Pilot | Season 1 Review

Reverie: Season 1 (After Episode 2)

Heroes Reborn: Dark Matters

Powerless

State of Affairs

Mr. Robinson

Good Girls

MTV

Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word

Faking It: Season 1

Finding Carter: Season 1

Awkward: Season 3 Finale | Season 4

The Shannara Chronicles

Todrick

Eye Candy

Scream

ITV

Liar: Season 1 | Discontinued - After Season 1

Hulu

The Handmaid's Tale: Season 1 | Season 2


Shrill: Season 1


The Act: Season 1

Runaways: Season 1


Light As A Feather: Season 1 | Meet The Characters

Delerium

HBO

Big Little Lies: Season 1


Insecure: Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3


Game of Thrones: Season 4 | Season 5 | Season 6 | Season 7 | Season 8


My Brilliant Friend: Season 1 | The Cast and Characters

Leaving Neverland


Amanda Seales: I Be Knowin'


Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady


Rock and a Hard Place


The Defiant Ones


The Trans List


Notes From The Field

Westworld: Season 1

The Night Of


The Leftovers


Miss Sherlock

FX

Better Things: Pilot & Season 2 | Season 3


Atlanta: Season 1 | Season 2


Pose: Season 1


Mr. Inbetween: Season 1

American Horror Story: Coven (Season Finale), Freak Show, and Hotel (Premiere Only) 


Legion: Season 1

Partners


Feud (Bette & Joan)

Funimation

Gangsta.: Season 1

Dimension W: Season 1

Arslan Senki | Discontinued - After Episode 2

Tokyo Ghoul: Season 1 & Season Premiere of √A | Discontinued - After Season Premiere of √A

 

Tsuki ga Kirei

91 Days

Divine Gate

Donten ni Warau (Laughing Under The Clouds)

Maria: The Virgin Witch

Owari no Seraph

Nickelodeon

Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie

I Am Frankie

Fox

9-1-1: Season 1 | Season 2

Rent: Live

Red Band Society


Star: Season 1 |Season 2 | Season 3

Gotham: Season 3 - Starting Episode 12 to Season 4 - Stopped on Episode 2

The Passage


Lucifer


Pitch


Empire


The Gifted

Facebook

Five Points: Season 1


Sorry For Your Loss: Season 1

Quinta Vs. Everything: Season 1 (?)

Red Table Talk: Season 1

Wayne: Season 1

Just a Couple

Liza on Demand (First Two Episodes)

Single By 30


First


Impulse


Little Things

USA Network

Mr. Robot: Season 2 & Season 3 - Episode 1

Falling Water

VH1

Daytime Divas: Season 1

TNT

Claws: Season 1 & Season 2

Good Behavior: Season 1 & Season 2

Animal Kingdom


The Alienist: Season 1

SyFy

Deadly Class: Season 1  | The Cast and Characters

Dominion: Season 1 | Discontinued - After First Season

The Magicians


The Expanse

Starz

SweetBitter


Vida

Tiffany Haddish: She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood

Power


Blunt Talk


American Gods

Spike TV

Tut: Season 1

Sky 1

A Discovery of Witches: Season 1

Delicious: Season 1 | Discontinued - After 3rd Episode

Bulletproof

Showtime

The Chi: Season 1 | Season 2

Smilf: Season 1 | Season 2

Desus & Mero


I'm Dying Up Here


Penny Dreadful


The Affair


Masters of Sex

PBS

Downton Abbey: Season 4 - Christmas SpecialSeason 5, and Season 6

OWN

Black Love: Season 2


Greenleaf: Season 1 PremiereSeason 1 Finale, and Season 2


Queen Sugar: Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3


 

Ready To Love: Season 1

Love Is:  | Collected Quotes

Love & Marriage

AMC


Preacher

Amazon Prime

Fleabag: Season 1 | Season 2


The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 1

Just Because: Season 1


Koi to Uso (Love & Lies): Season 1


Kuzu no Honkai (Scum’s Wish): Season 1


Shingeki no Bahamut - Virgin Soul: Season 1


Kokkoku: Season 1


Picnic at Hanging Rock: Season 1


Magical Girl Site (Mahou Shoujo Site): Season 1


Ordeal By Innocence: Season 1

Re:Creators: Season 1


Happy Sugar Life: Season 1

Hanna


Dororo


I Love Dick


Mozart in the Jungle


Transparent


Z: The Beginning of Everything


Oasis


The Last Tycoon


American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story


Sea Oak


UQ Holder!


Sagrada Reset


Beatless


Forever


Homecoming

Adult Swim


FLCL: Alternative

Black Jesus

ABC Family/ FreeForm


The Bold Type: Season 1Season 2 | Season 3


Good Trouble: Season 1

The Fosters: Girls United

Switched At Birth: Series Review


Twisted: Season 1 (Finale Only)

Beyond: Season 1


Famous In Love: Season 1 | Dropped After Episode 5


Alone Together: Season 1 | Dropped After Episode 2

Chasing Life


Stitchers


Siren


Shadow Hunters


Recovery Road


Grown-ish

ABC

The Good Doctor: Season 1 | Season 2

A Million Little Things


Single Parents


Black-ish


Dr. Ken


Fresh Off The Boat


Manhattan Love Story


The Muppets


Quantico


How To Get Away With Murder


Cristela

A&E

Bates Motel: Season 2

How Would You Rate This?

Negative Mixed Positive