The impact of "All in the Family" on American culture is hard to accurately measure, but all would agree it is profound. Like no other show before it, AITF dared to tackle social situations that were considered by most to be "too taboo" for TV.
Racial tensions, bigotry, narrow-mindedness all rolled up into one Archie Bunker. Surrounded by his family, Archie showed how a misguided and bigoted man could be lovable.
It was more than just "in your face" because AITF was willing to leave issues without resolution. Archie never really found full enlightenment along the way. For every step forward he took, he still showed how rigid he could be.
Featuring television's first same sex kiss (between Archie Bunker and Sammy Davis Jr.) the shocking humor of this brilliant show challenged viewers to throw open their own bigotry and prejudice to the bright light of day.
The Jefferson's (George and Wheezy) were born here. So was Maude (Bea Arthur). They all got their start interacting with lovable, frustrating, ignorant and offensive Archie. Other classic episodes have Archie "meeting God" while dilusional and trapped in his basement. Or the time that he saved a woman's life, only to find out that "she" was a he! It is almost impossible for me to think of any other show that has done (or is doing) more to challenge the stereotypical mindsets that limit us.
Brilliant television done with style. If you haven't seen any episodes, do yourself a favor and watch. If like me you have seen them, watch again and remind yourself that we are "All in the Family."