"...and then there's Maude!"
A spin-off of the hit sitcom All in the Family
created by Norman Lear
, the title character, Maude Chadbourne-Hillard-Findlay, was originally written as Archie Bunker's Foil
: female, liberal, new age, free-thinking, and yet every bit as domineering and pushy. Though the show was overtly political, it didn't suffer from the problems with strawmen
that plagues so many other "hot button" shows. While Maude's political views were usually cast in a positive light — helping the needy, racial sensitivity, women's liberation — the greatest handicap to the character was her personality: she was too forceful, stubborn, ego-driven, and often out of touch with the very issues she claimed expertise of. Thus the show wasn't necessarily a Take That
at left-wing beliefs the way All in the Family
was for Archie's stubborn traditionalism, but more a character-driven sitcom that simply had politics at its surface.
The show is usually remembered for featuring one of the first (positive) portrayals of abortion in TV history, when Maude realizes she's pregnant by her husband but makes the decision that she's just too old to have a baby. Her family supports her and she comes out of the situation (for the most part) better for it. Keep in mind this episode premiered just two months before the Roe v. Wade
decision made abortion legal nationwide.
Lasted for six years in no small part to good writing and Bea Arthur
. Just Bea Arthur
Not to be confused with Harold and Maude
This show provides examples of: