For this viewer, there is something poignant about the final episode of Season One of The Jeffersons. FINALLY there is an actor and secondary character seemingly poised (by the way, I'd love to know if this was ever truly considered or just appeared so) to be added to the series who plays it real instead of as a stereotype. Rubin's interpretation fits the role instead of belaboring a hackneyed, scripted, 'produced,' committee-written point over and over again into abject predictability. (Sit down, ghost of Paul Benedict, sweet soul that you may have been!) And yet we fans of the series know that it just gets worse after this.
In Season Five, we are faced with a totally different actor in the role, one who proves a stale stand-in for the original Allan Willis portrayal, and the unfortunate miscasting lasts for 8 tiresome episodes (most of which I skip over completely when I rewatch my collection).
I really felt there was missed opportunity in not keeping Andrew Rubin in the cast. He proves a worthy partner when playing the Dozens with Sherman Hemsley's George Jefferson at the end of the episode. That's an authentic piece of African American culture referenced right there, and continuing to include it in the series surely would have beat having to listen to George lob boring "whitey"/"honky" insults at Jenny's and Allan's father, Tom Willis, for the next umpteen years.
But of course we couldn't have dared be too authentic in the 1970s and still hope to sell dishsoap at every commercial break, now could we! Feh.
I love (most of) the episodes in the first five seasons of The Jeffersons, despite the many flaws. This 'groundbreaking' TV show deserved much more thought and care than it generally received from whoever was making some of these important series-shaping decisions. I guess we take what we can get.