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All in the Family: Fan Favorites [DVD]

Release Date:09/29/2009
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Season two of All in the Family was also the series' first "full" season, offering 24 episodes in contrast with season one's meager manifest of 13. The opener, "The Saga of Cousin Oscar," is the first of the series' episodes to deal with the previously taboo topic of death (but hardly the last!). In the subsequent "Archie and the Lock-Up," Allan Melvin who would later become a semi-regular as Archie's (Carroll O'Connor) pal Barney, is cast as a grumpy Polish-American desk sergeant. "Edith Writes a Song" affords a major opportunity for a hitherto unknown young actor named Demond Wilson, who within the year would be co-starring with Redd Foxx in another Norman Lear sitcom, Sanford and Son. And "Cousin Maude's Visit" introduces Beatrice Arthur in the role that would catapult her to sitcom stardom the following year. The season's most memorable episodes include the Emmy-winning "Edith's Problem," in which Edith (Jean Stapleton) exhibits some very peculiar behavior while undergoing menopause; the self-explanatory "Flashback: Mike Meets Archie"; "Mike's Mysterious Son," wherein Mike (Rob Reiner) is accused of fathering a child out of wedlock; "The Man in the Street," a comedy of errors revolving around Archie's appearance on a TV interview show; and arguably the series' best-known episode, "Sammy's Visit," in which Sammy Davis Jr. bestows a very surprising "gift" upon the wide-eyed Archie Bunker. After a shaky start during its first season, All in the Family closed out season two as the top-rated program on American television -- a status it would maintain for the next four years!