The 1970’s were a time of upheaval and change in America. While some show runners were content to present the status quo to the audience, Norman Lear knew that America needed to see itself reflected on the small screen.
After the monumental success of All In The Family, Lear knew that it was time for a spin-off. The Bunker’s neighbors, George and Louise Jefferson were taken out of working class Queens and into a Manhattan high-rise. Titled The Jeffersons, George and Louise now have live in maid, Florence (Marla Gibbs), who loves nothing more than to torment her male employer. The Jefferson’s neighbor’s Helen and Tom Willis (Roxie Roker and Franklin Cover) are an interracial couple, which was unique for television at that time. Add in Harry Bentley (Paul Benedict), another neighbor, whose roots are across the pond and a relationship between the Jefferson’s son and the Willis’s daughter and you have the future of America reflected on television.
Like it’s predecessor, The Jeffersons was funny, controversial at times and forced the audience to not only look at the world around them, but accept that the world was changing.
I recommend it.