View Single Post
Old 02-20-2017, 06:02 PM
RivkahChaya's Avatar
RivkahChaya is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 9,924
Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
A childless married woman without a job was probably more common than it is now, but definitely not unusual.
What was odd (for the 70s, as opposed to maybe the 1950s) was that neither Mike nor Gloria had a job. A childless married women in the 1970s wasn't unusual as long as her husband was working; however, in the 1970s, and this was especially true when men who were college students could get a draft deferral during the Vietnam War, a young married couple where the man was in college and the wife supported them (with maybe a little help from the parents, in the form of a small monthly check) was a heck of a lot more common than her not working at all, and essentially sponging off her parents and showing no gratitude.

Honestly, that really stands out in the reruns: Mike's ingratitude. He sometimes says he's going to pay Archie back in the future, but he never says "Thank you" for anything.

Albeit, IIRC, Gloria does get a job at some point in the series, but it's a good three years or so in.

I understand that the set-up was just to pit liberal Mike against conservative Archie week after week for the humor and topicality, and people were willing to suspend their disbelief for a good laugh. It's harder to do now.

Speaking of All in the Family, one episode that wouldn't fly now is the one where Gloria is attacked by what we are left to assume is a would-be rapist. She gets away with only emotional trauma, and the episode is her struggle with whether or not she should make a police report. The last shot is her sitting in a chair looking defeated, after discussing it with the police, and being told that if it goes to trial, she will be personally attacked by the defense attorney. We don't know what she actually decides, but the suggestion is that she doesn't make a report.

Now, that would get a flurry of angry letters-- BUT, the circumstances don't exist anymore. You can't slander the victim around the courtroom like you once could ("you" being the defense attorney). So it's not that the episode wouldn't fly-- it just couldn't happen.

Speaking of episodes that couldn't happen: there's a L&O: TOS that simply couldn't happen anymore. It's a very interesting episode, so it's easy to miss the fact that it is actually politically motivated. It was made before COBRA and the insurance transfer laws, when people with a health condition were stuck at whatever job they had with insurance, because if they changed jobs, their condition became a "pre-existing" condition, and they might have to wait two years to be covered again for their condition. So, in the ep, a woman with cancer, who doesn't know she has it, changes jobs, and is then diagnosed. It's a pre-existing condition, and not covered at her new job.

Now what would happen is that if you changed jobs with less than a three month gap, and you pay for COBRA, or with no gap, your pre-existing condition must be covered. That's the law. So that episode is as dated as though it had taken place in a phone booth.