Happy 100th Birthday to Norman Lear! | Chaz’s Journal

4. 

“‘One Day at a Time’ Moves to Pop”: This past March, Allison Shoemaker reviewed the fourth season of Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce’s acclaimed remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom (Lear serves as executive producer of the new show).

That’s the most wonderful thing about the Alvarez family. Watching them is a warm and wonderful experience, the epitome of comfort food TV, and yet the world they inhabit is recognizably our own. (Now operating on a network schedule, the show closed up production this month along with the rest of Hollywood; when it returns, it’s difficult to imagine Lydia won’t have some things to say about the Coronavirus from behind those curtains.) Neither they nor their writers ignore the darkness; it is always there in some form or other. The only thing about them that’s idealized is the sense at the end of each episode that everything will be okay, but it’s not because it’s overly sunny or blindly optimistic. It’s because what matters is what they have each other, and another day to look forward to—another breakfast Lydia makes while dancing, another group therapy session with a room full of smart and quick-witted women for Penelope, another e-sports tournament for Elena or sneaker run for Alex, and some more beautiful, affectionate pathos from Schneider and Dr. B. They muddle through, as the theme song once said, one day at a time—and, you can still hear the song on YouTube, so even that loss is survivable.

5. 

Norman Lear: Even This I Get to Experience“: At Norman’s official site, you can order a copy of his beloved 2014 excerpted below. 

In my ninety-plus years I’ve lived a multitude of lives. In the course of all these lives, I had a front- row seat at the birth of television; wrote, produced, created or developed more than a hundred shows; had nine on the air at the same time; founded the 300,000-member liberal advocacy group People for the American Way; was labeled the ‘No. 1 enemy of the American family’ by Jerry Falwell; made it onto Richard Nixon’s ‘Enemies List’; was presented with the National Medal of the Arts by President Clinton; purchased an original copy of the Declaration of Independence and toured it for ten years in all fifty states; blew a fortune in a series of bad investments in failing businesses; and reached a point where I was informed we might even have to sell our home. Having heard that we’d fallen into such dire straits, my son-in-law phoned me and asked how I was feeling. My answer was, ‘Terrible, of course,’ but then I added, ‘but I must be crazy, because despite all that’s happened, I keep hearing this inner voice saying, ‘Even this I get to experience.’

6.

Norman Lear on the Declaration of Independence road trip. Courtesy of The Norman Lear Center.

The Norman Lear Center“: The nonpartisan research and public policy center (named in 2000) that studies the social, political, economic and cultural impact of entertainment on the world. 

In 2001, Norman Lear launched the  Declaration of Independence road trip to exhibit the document across the United States on a three-and-a-half year cross country tour. He and his wife Lyn Lear bought a copy of the Declaration of Independence to inspire Americans, especially young people, to see citizenship an an opportunity to participate in civic life, exercise their rights, and above all, to vote. In 1981, Lear joined Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and a group of business, civic, religious, and civil rights leaders who were disturbed by the divisive rhetoric of newly politicized televangelists. Together, they founded the advocacy affiliate People For the American Way.

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