Thursday, January 17, 2013

Classic TV: Maude (1972)

Ever wonder how Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton) was able to tolerate husband Archie (Carroll O'Connor) for so long on All In The Family? Seems she had some kinfolk that were just as opinionated.........

Maude was the first spinoff from Family, bowing on CBS in 1972, and lasting for 6 seasons. Beatrice Arthur toplined as Maude Findlay, Edith's cousin, who was living in Tuckahoe, on Long Island, if I'm not mistaken, with husband Walter (Bill Macy, not to be confused with William H. Macy), daughter Carol (Adrienne Barbeau), and a maid, Florida (Esther Rolle), who would later be spun off into her own series, Good Times, a couple of years later.

Whereas Archie was an unapologetic bigot, Maude was a little more open-minded, and her show dealt with the same kind of political hot-button issues as Family. Sure, she had her arguments with Walter & Carol, seemingly every week, but at the end of the day, the Findlays remained one happy family.

After Rolle left for Good Times, Maude hired on a British maid, Mrs. Naugatuck (Hermoine Baddeley), which might be considered a Jump The Shark moment, since Mrs. Naugatuck fit in like a square peg in a round hole. One huge advantage that Maude----and, for that matter, Good Times & The Jeffersons---had on All In The Family was its theme song. "And Then There's Maude" was a high energy, up tempo number sung by R & B star Donny Hathaway. Retrorebirth provides us with the open from Season 1.

It's just too bad it's not on cable right about now.......

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

To me, Maude was essentially a liberal female mirror version of Archie.

Mrs. Naugatauk was definitely out of place - as was her name - which is actually of American Indian origin, not British!

Tuckahoe, however wasn't on Long Island, but further upstate - in Westchester.

hobbyfan said...

Oh. I wasn't sure about Tuckahoe's exact location in New York. Thanx.