Nor­man Lear: Just An­other Ver­sion Of You

NOW Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Rat­ing: NNN Bol­stered by TV clips and in­ter­views with the likes of Ge­orge Clooney and Rob Reiner, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s doc­u­men­tary tracks the life of Nor­man Lear, the 20th cen­tury’s most in­flu­en­tial Amer­i­can TV pro­ducer.

He trans­formed the tele­vi­sion land­scape with his come­dies All In The Fam­ily, Maude, Good Times, The Jef­fer­sons and oth­ers, forc­ing the fa­mously be­hind-the-times TV uni­verse to catch up with what was hap­pen­ing in the U.S. So threat­en­ing was he to the sta­tus quo that he was on Nixon’s en­e­mies list. He went on to be­come a cru­cial free speech ad­vo­cate bat­tling the so-called silent ma­jor­ity in the 80s.

An archival in­ter­view with Good Times star Es­ther Rolle, who com­plains about that show’s buf­foon-like char­ac­ter J.J., sug­gests Lear was not a hero to all. More of this type of thing and of his sad re­la­tion­ship with his fa­ther, which the direc­tors han­dle clum­sily, would have made this less of a love let­ter.

To re­ally un­der­stand Lear, go back to those su­perb shows. 91 min­utes.

SU­SAN G. COLE

To re­ally un­der­stand TV pro­ducer Nor­man Lear, go back to his su­perb shows.

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