""Married ... with Children" is the longest running family sitcom in the entire history of episodic television. When the series premiered some 21 years ago on some obscure TV station called Fox no one thought that it would ever morph into this huge worldwide hit.
The Star of the series is Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill.) Al is the perpetual, typical husband who just can't catch a break no matter how hard he tries. Peggy Bundy (Katey Sagal) is Al's love-starved wife. Peggy is just as horny as she is lazy. The woman has a serious aversion to work and enjoys passing her time smoking on the couch, watching Oprah and eating bonbons. Bud Bundy (David Faustino) is Al and Peg's son. Bud is totally the most intelligent person in this family, however he often gets sidetracked if there's a hot chick involved. Kelly (Christina Applegate) is the daughter of the family and such a sweet girl. Kelly has lofty dreams of being a model but first she'll need to master the art of turning the doorknob. Al can often be seen defending his daughter's honor because he wouldn't ever allow anyone to take advantage of his little "Pumpkin." As a matter of fact, even though he'd never admit it, Al is just as protective over both Peggy and Bud, too. Rounding out this very interesting group of people is Marcy D'Arcy (you gotta love that name) (Amanda Bearse) and Jefferson D'Arcy (Ted McGinley) the Bundys' neighbors. Marcy and Al have a very serious hatred for each other. I think this is because both are threatened by each other; Al is a man who isn't afraid to say what he wants and vice versa. Jefferson is Marcy's pretty boy second hubby. He's basically the male version of Peggy.
The reason why I love this series so much is because it never pretended to be anything than what it was. It never preached to the audience. It never put on airs. No one tried to "educate" the viewers. No one tried to give a "moral" to the story. And most of all the reason why I consider "Married... with Children" to be the defining sitcom of the 80's (and the 90's) is because it never tried to end each show with a "happy ending." Nope. They were miserable and they were staying miserable. Although, sometimes I bet Bud would have welcomed a "happy ending."
There are a total of 27 eps from Season 9 (as well as 1 special.) That's another reason why I loved this show because they often produced in excess of the standard 22 eps per Season. Season 9 is just as good as all of the others and my favorite show from this Season is "Kelly Takes a Shot." These are the Season 9 eps Shoeway to Heaven Driving Mr. Boondy Kelly Breaks Out Naughty but Niece Business S ucks (1) Business Still S ucks (2) Dial "B" for V irgin Sleepless in Chicago No Pot to Pease In Dud Bowl A Man for No Seasons I Want My Psycho Dad (1) I Want My Psycho Dad (2) The Naked and the Dead, but Mostly the Naked Kelly Takes a Shot Get the Dodge Outta Hell Best of Bundy 25 Years and What Do You Get? Ship Happens (1) Ship Happens (2) Something Larry This Way Comes And Bingo was Her Game-O User Friendly Pump Fiction My Favorite Married (special) Radio Free Trumaine Shoeless Al The Undergraduate
Why was "Married ... with Children" so groundbreaking & controversial?
Unlike every other sitcom of the last 50 years, this one didn't show the pretty side of life. Instead they showed families as they really were. But more than that "Married ... with Children" celebrated this and embraced this. They never tried to improve upon the Bundy's. Sure, over the course of 11 Seasons they'd change and evolve (after all, even a pack of wild dogs will change) but this wasn't that typical systematic television evolution nonsense that (for some reason) was/is always intent on building people up and showing the sunny-side of life.
This is also the first American coast-to-coast program to use such strong language and adult themes and storylines. Of course today it may seem almost tame in the potluck of reality TV hell that domestic television has retrogressed into. (I can only imagine what Al would have to say about this latest batch of reality-garbage that's strewn all over the networks.) It may be hard to believe, but nearly 20 years ago, some of the things discussed on "Married ... with Children" were never discussed before.
All of the performers were perfect. This is because, like the series, they never took themselves or their roles too seriously. I'm sure Christina and David aren't Shakespearian trained but that's OK and they're probably better off for it. Ed never won an Emmy (he was never even nominated) the series was never in the Top 10 and perhaps overshadowed by those 2 other "groundbreaking" family sitcoms of the 80's/90's (you know which ones,) the writers never even received the acclaim that they very rightfully deserved.
As a matter of fact, some people were even outraged by the Bundy's. When the show premiered Fox was bombarded with letters and phone calls from angry parents demanding that they pull the plug on this show. For most of the run they had to battle the network and the mindless haters who were afraid of someone corrupting their kids' minds (I suppose the thought of simply changing the channel never occurred?)
But all of this really doesn't matter though. Because "Married ... with Children" has turned into a huge worldwide phenomenon. The series has been dubbed in more than 75 different languages (everything from German to Japanese to Italian to Indian.) The viewers recognized that this was a fine show and they were the ones who embraced "Married ... with Children" because there was never anything like it, before or since. The fans will never forget about this modern classic.
This was also a sitcom written from a man's perspective. How many other sitcoms are there like this? (I count zip.) And, in the 80's when everyone was turning all PC, this series stuck out like a smashed thumb. There have always been billions of shows from the women's prospective (I'm so sick of hearing otherwise.) But "Married...with Children" didn't conform to the norm. They didn't follow all of the other mindless sheep to that greener pasture. They set their own rules and on this show, father may not have always knew best, but he got his opportunity to be heard."
Shark? What shark?
EPA316 | 09/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I give up.. some people expect the writers to stick with seasons 1 through 3 endlessly and never change a thing. If anything changes, get ready for cries of "you jumped the shark!" Whatever. Better tell Bud and Kelly to stop getting older then, but if you do, then you lose the opportunity for countless great stories. Such as: Bud's new job at the DMV, Kelly auditioning for a TV show while battling a pimple, Bud staffing the virgin hotline, Kelly going after a commercial, and Bud volunteering for a virtual reality sex experiment. Then there's Al.. the older he gets, the more cynical he gets, the funnier he gets. This season's highlights: being forced to sleep with Marcy, pleading with Bud to pass him on his driver's test, breaking into Wrigley Field with No Ma'am, banning breast feeding in the shoe store, suing the mall for on-the-job stress, and making a movie about shoes with Kelly. Oh, and they FINALLY included a few bloopers and extras, but only as part of the 200th episode celebration. You can hear a little "love and marriage" music in that episode. (I really miss hearing that song when the fountain goes up in the intro!) So, if this is jumping the shark, well, all shows should do it. The only thing that stinks is that there are only two seasons left. So stop complaining that the show jumped the shark, because they're not going to go back and change it to suit you, and just enjoy it!"
One of the best seasons out there
Halokllr609 | 06/25/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had to get a season of married with children and I enjoy the newer seasons better than the older ones. This is the season when Al and whipped men begin NO'MAAM, bud and kelly are more mature and the rounchy jokes are much funnier. Highly recommend this and later seasons."
Married With Children DVD
Kenneth A. Grove | 02/11/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I got this gift for my father who is a big "Married With Children" fan when the series was still running television. He enjoys getting another season from me each year. Great show and sick, funny, twisted humor for a mature adult. Or immature lol."
Married with children -Always Hilarious!
Laura E. Bergen | Kings Park, NY | 12/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The ninth season of Married with Children is a must have. The episodes are hilarious!"