All In The Family and Gloria

All In The Family (1971-1979)
Gloria (1982-1983)
Type: Spin Off
Group: 1

    Gloria spun off Archie Bunker's daughter Gloria from All In The Family into her own show, many years after she had left the original show. That is fairly unusual. The usual would be for a character to leave a show directly for their own spin off series. And maybe that was the problem and the reason the series only lasted one season.

    I think the character had been gone long enough that by the time they attempted to bring her back, people didn't care. By the eighties, the whole Bunker clan had lost much of the immediacy they had had in the seventies. Lets face it, in the eighties, most people wanted to push aside the seventies and the Bunker's will forever be a symbol of that decade.

    The last we had seen Gloria Stivic, she had moved away with her husband Michael and her son Joey for greener pastures in California. When she returned, it was minus Michael. They had broken up and Michael had gone to live on a commune. Gloria moved back to New York with her son and began working to become a vet.

Hidden in the above description I think are the other reasons why the show only lasted one season:

1.) It was Gloria alone without any of the other cast from All In The Family. As an ensemble they were great. Each character alone was just not as interesting. Just look at what became of Archie Bunker on Archie Bunker's Place once the other original cast members left.

2.) In particular, the fact that Muchael Stivic was absent really hurt the proceedings. I don't know about other people, but I HATE it when TV shows break up couples for expediancy and not for any real plot motivation. Michael was gone only because they weren't going to be able to have Rob Reiner on the show. It had nothing to do with Michael and Gloria's on screen relationship, which last we saw was fine. Michael moving to a commune? Come on! Michael Stivic would not have left his family in such a stupid way. If Archie Bunker became more liberal as time went on, Michael Stivic became somewhat more conservative before he left the show and would have continued to become moreso. Michael and Gloria's breakup was never used or dealt with to drive episodes, only as a gimmick to set up the premise of the show. Which brings up...

3.) The main premise was silly sitcom clap trap. The original All In The Family and all its successful spin offs were funny but also were stages to in some way deal with social issues. Maude did this in a huge way. The Jeffersons did the same if to a lesser extent. Even the Maude spin off Good Times was an attempt to show life from the point of view of a family living in the projects. Gloria should have been about a real world single mother trying to make ends meet, to try and have time for work and her child, about dealing with an ex-husband etc etc. Instead it was about a sit com mom who worked at a Vets office! Whoopee. What fun! Cancelled!

Other All In The Family Crossover Links
All In The Family and Archie Bunker's Place
All In The Family and The Jeffersons
All In The Family and Maude
All In The Family and 704 Hauser Street

Links To All In The Family Web Sites
Archie Bunker's Fansite

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