Beginning with its very first episode, CBS’ “Mom” has earned its reputation as the closest sitcom we have today to the Norman Lear classics of the ‘70s, which include “All in the Family,” “Maude,” “Good Times,” “One Day at a Time” and “The Jeffersons.” Through a combination of fearless (for its time) writing and bravura performances, most of Lear’s shows created vivid characters and told stories to which much of the viewing public could relate (or could learn from). The acting in all of them was uniformly first rate. Regular visitors know that here on Planet Ed we place “All in the Family” above all of the others (in fact, we place it above all shows in the history of television, though we often consider putting “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” at the very top of the list). “Family” is king because it was the perfect show for its time, because it helped multiple generations begin to finally understand each other and because even when it was blisteringly funny it could frequently and believably turn deadly serious in an instant, reminding viewers that the situation at hand wasn’t so humorous after all.
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