Long before The Office put Scranton on the sitcom map, there was All In The Family, which racked up countless mentions of the city over its nine-year run.
Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton) famously hailed from Scranton, and in one memorable episode in season five, she returned to her hometown for a wedding.
While in town, Edith met up with an old boyfriend (Tim O'Connor) who attempted to sweep her off her feet all over again. The episode – called Edith's Friend – is included in the newly released All In The Family: The Complete Series (1970-1979, Shout Factory, unrated, $200), which collects all 213 original episodes and nine seasons of the show on 28 discs. Sweetening the deal are supplemental features including documentaries, reunion specials, pilots for spin-off series and a new interview with creator Norman Lear.
Carroll O'Connor starred in the series as arch-conservative bus driver Archie Bunker. He lives in Queens with his dingbat wife, Edith, their daughter Gloria (Sally Struthers) and her liberal husband Mike (Rob Reiner). The genius of the show is that it worked both as a celebration of a flawed, easily relatable family and as a showcase for humor that touched upon issues of the day, including race, sexual politics and homophobia.
Simply put, All In The Family is one of the best sitcoms ever made – and The Complete Series presents the show in spiffy-looking transfers. Doesn't get any better than that.
Amy Longsdorf writes about DVD and Blu-Ray releases with local connections.