All in the Family Character Review: Maude Finley

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series All in the FamilyRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

Our families, as much as we love them, can drive us crazy. The same goes for the families that we marry into. In an ideal world, we would get along with our in-laws. But we don’t live in an ideal world.

On All in the Family, Maude Findlay (the late Bea Arthur) is Edith Bunker’s (the late Jean Stapleton) cousin. Maude arrives when Edith is sick, seeing that she is needed. She gets along great with Mike and Gloria (Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers). But there is one person who she does not get along with: Edith’s husband, Archie (the late Carroll O’Connor).

Maude is an out and proud liberal. Archie firmly believes in the ideals of the political right. They get along like oil and water, knowing exactly how to push each other’s buttons. Edith tries to keep the peace, but to no avail.

To sum it up: Every great character needs someone to challenge them. Maude challenges Archie at his level, matching biting remark for biting remark. Neither tops the other, though they do try.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

This will be my last All in the Family Character Review post. The next group of characters I will be reviewing is…come back next week and find out.


The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir Book Review

We all know how quickly the game of politics can get dirty. But even among that dirt, there are some who actually get into it for altruistic reasons.

John Bolton is one of those people. His decades long career is proof that not everyone is in it for personal gain. His memoir, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, was published in June. In the book, he gives readers a first person perspective of what it was like to work in chaos that is the current Presidential administration.

The impression I got from the book is that the aides/advisors who interact directly with you know who fall into two distinct camps. The first camp has made politics their career. They believe in the rule of law, the Constitution and the what the office of the President of the United States represents. The second camp are nothing more than sycophantic yes-people who may be looking to take advantage of their position.

Do I recommend it? It depends on the reader. This book is not meant for the political neophyte. It is a heavy book, both in the literal and physical sense, demanding that those who open the book have a solid knowledge of the current state of American politics.

Throwback Thursday: Nostradamus Effect (2009)

We would all love to be able to predict the future. It is human to wonder and ask what is to come.

In the 16th century, Nostradamus was known as an astrologer, a doctor, and a reputed seer. The quatrains he wrote are said to have predicted the future. In 2009, Nostradamus Effect premiered on the History Channel. This “documentary” series promised to explain how his prophecies have come or will come to pass.

This is one of those history programs that tries to sound legit, but it is questionable at best. The information presented sounds good. But watching it, I have to wonder how much of it is real and how much is embellished to add to the drama.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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