All in the Family revolves around Archie Bunker, a working-class World War II veteran living in Queens, New York. He is a short-tempered, outspoken bigot, seemingly prejudiced against everyone who is not a U.S.-born, heterosexual White Anglo-Saxon Protestant male, and dismissive of anyone not in agreement with his view of the world. Naturally, the world throws everything he hates at him.
Queer Plotline Timeline
The second episode of season 8, “Cousin Liz” originally aired on October 9, 1977. “Cousin Liz” is about Edith Bunker’s inheritance of a valuable tea service from her deceased cousin Liz and her decision, upon learning that Liz’s “roommate” Veronica is really Liz’s surviving longtime companion, to give Veronica the service.
“Cousin Liz” was critically acclaimed, winning an Emmy Award for its script. The episode aired at a time when gay rights protections were being challenged through ballot initiatives and one of the writers believed that “Cousin Liz” was associated with the defeat of one such initiative.
Notable Queer-Centric Episodes
- Season 6 Episode 4 “Archie the Hero” – (originally aired Sept 29, 1975) – Archie saves Beverly’s life via mouth-to-mouth
- Season 7 Episode 8 “Beverly Rides Again” (originally aired November 06, 1976 – Archie fixes up one of his drinking buddies with Beverly
- Season 8 Episode 2 “Cousin Liz” (originally aired October 09, 1977) – Archie and Edith attend the funeral of Edith’s cousin whom Archie is shocked to learn was a lesbian.
- Season 8 Episode 13 “Edith’s Crisis of Faith” (originally aired December 25, 1977) – Edith’s religious faith is shaken after Beverly is brutally murdered by street thugs at Christmas.