Welcome to a new Sitcom Tuesday and more of our second annual RERUN series, designed to give yours truly a chance to get further ahead in coverage of our last few ’90s comedies. Regular programming will resume soon, but in the meantime, I’m excited to resurrect and re-examine some of my favorite Sitcom posts from this blog’s nearly six year run!
As with last year’s series (begun here), my intention is to provide a link to each original piece and then offer a tiny bit of updated commentary, either on episode picks I’d call differently now (like in my famous “Regrets” post) or on something broader, like evolving thoughts on the year/series as a whole. I’ve picked a few goodies, so I hope you’re as excited as I am about revisiting our favorites… But please be gentle! Many of the posts you’ll see were written a while ago. The standards here have changed as I’ve changed. (There are plenty of typos, juvenile “hot takes,” and places where more information would now be appreciated.)
This week, I’m rerunning… The Ten Best THE JEFFERSONS Episodes of Season Five. Check it out here: http://jacksonupperco.com/2015/12/01/the-ten-best-the-jeffersons-episodes-of-season-five/
With such a long run, not every season of The Jeffersons is created equal. In fact, there are whole years where the series just trucks along, producing solid episodes — but none of the classics that, when we step back and examine the big picture, only come from a few specific seasons. One of those “trucking along” years is Five, which sits between the strong early era (Seasons One, Two, and Three) that best balanced the thesis’ Lear-ian social relevance with rewarding character-driven comedy, and the quasi-renaissance of Seasons Six and Seven, when Mike Evans returned as Lionel and the series’ rising comedic tides hadn’t yet robbed the characters of their brains. Accordingly, Five is a year I tend to gloss over — along with Four, which nevertheless is comparatively stronger — even though, when looking at my list, I enjoy all the episodes I selected… However, there’s one that stands out above the rest. And that’s “George Finds A Father,” a Christmas outing with some heavier character drama that this era typically doesn’t offer. It’s almost a throwback to the more serious-minded entries of the early years, and for this reason, it leaves the strongest impression. As a result, and if I were choosing an MVE today, I probably would pick this one over the broad and more farcical “Every Night Fever.” Perhaps the latter best embodies the silly nature of the fifth year, but “George Finds A Father” supersedes the season in which it resides, leading me to think better of Five than it maybe deserves; now that’s what makes a great MVE… So, check out the post above again, and feel free to share your thoughts on the series and its trajectory in the comments below!
Come back next week for another Sitcom Tuesday! And stay tuned tomorrow for a new Wildcard Wednesday!