Norman Lear Chilton Williamson, Jr. - Essay

Chilton Williamson, Jr.

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

I was … taken instantly with [the] clever show [All in the Family], and count myself today as one of its many yet unjaded enthusiasts. Part of my delight in Lear's scripts is traceable, I suspect, to my longstanding admiration of Sinclair Lewis' work: surely Archie Bunker is the McLuhanesque counterpart of the Gutenbergian George Babbitt of half a century ago. The American appetite for social satire is, it seems, nearly as voracious as the English: indeed, every American social class with the exception of course of the noble subproletariat has by now been depicted as a set of clowns. After watching Archie thrash about recently in the tatters of his precarious and blusterous self-complacency, I summarily...

(The entire section is 655 words.)