Tag Archives: Mike Stivic

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*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.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

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, New York City, Politics, Television