The Legacy of Norman Lear: 6 Episodes that Revolutionized Television

December 6, 2023 By admin Off

Norman Lear, 1 of television’s most influential figures, passed away Tuesday at the age of 101, but his lasting impact is undeniable. Here are 6 Norman Lear TV episodes that changed television history.

First, “All in the Family” Season 1, Episode 5: Judging Books by Covers. The bigoted Archie Bunker faces his homophobia as he discovers his own friend, Steve, is gay. Steve is considered the first gay character to appear in a primetime sitcom.

Secondly, “Maude” Season 1, Episodes 9 and 10: Maude’s Dilemma. Maude is pregnant at age 47 and decides to get an abortion, airing in 1972 before Roe v. Wade, a watershed moment in TV history.

Next, “The Jeffersons” Season 4, Episode 3: Once a Friend. It was the first sympathetic telling of a trans story on American television as George Jefferson hears his old Navy buddy Eddie Stokes is now a trans woman named Edie Stokes.

Also, “Good Times” Season 1, Episode 5: Michael Gets Suspended. Michael is suspended for telling his class George Washington owned slaves, addressing debates about how schools teach American history.

Then, “All in the Family” Season 8, Episodes 4 and 5: Edith’s 50th Birthday. The episode tells a harrowing story of sexual assault, known as the first sitcom episode to address rape after consulting with sexual violence crisis professionals for months.

Lastly, “Maude” Season 2, Episodes 1 and 2: Walter’s Problem. Maude’s husband Walter has a drinking problem, and she comes to terms with it in these solemn episodes.