The Jeffersons

The Jeffersons

“The Jeffersons” was perhaps the most-successful spinoff series to “All in the Family.” George Jefferson was the black version of Archie Bunker in many respects, both were loud-mouthed, opinionated and set in their bigoted ways. By 1975, Jefferson’s fledging dry-cleaning business, Jefferson Cleaners, had successfully grown into a small chain; his newfound wealth led to moving his family to a “deluxe apartment in the sky” in Manhattan. His family included his wife, Louise, a level-headed and open-minded woman who often had to scold George when his mouth got him into trouble; and Lionel, an engineering major at a local college. He especially disliked Tom and Helen Willis, a mixed couple (he was white, she was black) whose daughter, Jenny, was dating and later married Lionel; Florence, his sharp-tongued maid; and Harry Bentley, the esoteric Englishman who lived next door. George often flaunted his wealth and displayed rude, arrogant, bigoted behavior; however, he often found that money didn’t open every door or win him favor with everyone. In later years, George and Louise became grandparents (welcoming an adorable little girl, Jessica); and Lionel and Jenny found work he as an electrical engineer, she as a fashion designer. However, Lionel and Jenny’s marriage soon began to crumble. Meanwhile, as Jefferson Cleaners continued to expand, George continually had to deal with competing dry-cleaning franchises, who sought to put George out of business. In the final season, George and Tom formed a partnership and purchased Charlie’s Bar, their favorite hangout.

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