i watched the interview with ed o'neill and ad much as i love, respect and appreciate him as a comedic actor i do agree that his comments seem pretty biased and rude. honestly i get it though, not that i'm condoning it. oddly enough i watched a documentary about hp lovecraft recently that really shed light on people from earlier generations. lovecraft was very racist and had a lot of opinions that most would deem unpopuular, if not rude in the modern world. many respect him as a writer and it doesn't make it right for him to say the things he said or belivee the things he did but you really have to consider that different generations see things in different ways. homosexuality definitely existed in the past but it was not the norm for many cultures. i guess it's like saying you're the product of your environment. my grandfather was a bartender throughout most of his life. they made fun of everyone and every race and sexual orientation was free game. maybe the understanding wasn't there because honestly it seemed incredibly weird to many people, but it's not to say that there wasn't a respect. ed and amanda worked together for years and on a professional level they respected one another enough to work together and get the job done. they play off each other in many scenes, not out of bias, but to make comedy. al was as much the target of ridicule as marcy was. marcy played the straight person, well established and successful in her career and moving forward. al was a dinosaur of the past. many guys identified with that but the real comedy pointed out that his character's ideas on the world were outdated. i think many folks view the no ma'am episodes as a knock against women. to many extents that is true but the joke was that the world is changing and has changed and the ideas of the past were on their way to extinction.
since the beginning of the series, mwc has never been about positive support of modern ideas. the bundys only gained success by being the opposite of that. the working title for the series title was "not the cosbys". they wanted to be the antithesis of the wholesome, righteous family and anyone who ever assumed the series would bend to political correctness was obviously watching the wrong show. what i personally loved was that the bundys were dysfunctional and self aware. perfection was never within their scope. that's what made this show so great and i would never trade that in for anything. the cast's personal views are a different matter. much like you might not agree with the politics of your plumber, accountant or garbage man, so long as they do the job their tasked with that's really all you need them to be. they can have abrasive opinions that clash with your own but at the end of the day it's their performance in their profession that matters. they don't have to be someone who you want to share a beer with or invite to a party. hell, i don't like ted nugent's politics but i still enjoy listening to cat scratch fever. i guess what i'm saying is that you're not required to love the actor just to love the characters they play. ed comes from a different time when the world was simpler and weird was weird. many of us grew up in a different world where different was more tolerated, accepted and understood. we each have our respective status quos and it's not realistic to assume that the generations of the past should be made to adhere to the politics of the contemporary. if some people can do that, great! good for them for evolving. it's not a requirement though. i think it's very presumptuous to assume that you can make your parents and grandparents adhere to your world views on tolerance. some can but most won't. we each make sense of this world around us as we choose and there really is no one universal correct opinion.
mwc may not have taught ideal family values but i cherish it for being more real to me than any other show on television at the time. my family was thick with sarcasm and finger pointing. we took jabs at each other often and while i know that's not ideal it is the reality i grew up with. the bundys were the first family on tv that i identified with and what's more they made me laugh at times when little else could. this was a sitcom and as ed said in the interview, it's not meant to be used as a template for advice or life choices. it's jokes! laugh at them! don't take any of it seriously because these are fictional characters and they have never aspired or attempted to be anything more. scrutiny on any joke will only ever serve to destroy the humor and i prefer not to do that with this show or it's cast. they can differ in politics and i love that they do. it's that conflict of opinion that allows each actor to bring a unique perspective to the character they play. each has their time to be heard and the mwc cast were consummate professionals that never stepped on another's line nor tried to outstage each other. whether they were friends off screen, who really cares? why should it even matter?
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