All Is Forgiven (TV Series 1986) Poster

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Brilliant Comedy, victim of network stupidity
WallyB17 September 2003
All Is Forgiven was one of the funniest sitcoms of the 80's and almost no one saw it. Yanked by NBC after only a few episodes to make room for the insipid (and thankfully short lived) 'The Tortellis', it had a brief rerun on cable (A&E?) and now, alas, is gone. I'm happy to say that I have most of the episodes on tape. This had the potential to be another "Cheers" or "Murphy Brown" with an outstanding cast including Bess Armstrong, Terence Knox, Shawnee Smith, David Alan Grier and the WONDERFUL Carol Kane. In the unlikely even it pops up again on cable, watch it, TAPE IT! and LAUGH!
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Great story, but not funny enough
budikavlan6 October 2002
I loved the plot of this sitcom: a woman gets a job as a secretary at a soap opera then because of a sudden power vacuum becomes the producer during her first day on the job. Bess Armstrong is a fine actress, but the character was too average--she needed to be either crazier or stiffer. Either would have made for more comedy. One scene, however, has stuck in my memory, a comedy classic: the head writer of the show (Carol Kane) is visited by her great lost love from the past, a man she never got to dance with. She is meeting with him in an office while the others wait outside, and she asks them to hum "The Tennessee Waltz" over the intercom so the couple can dance. The music starts out VERY tentatively and they begin to dance. As the music builds and gets more confident, the dancers talk, agree to go somewhere else to get better acquainted, and leave. The hummers continue their song to the empty office, adding harmonies, counterpoints and flourishes, never knowing they're playing to an empty house.
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Amazing show; far ahead of its time.
ejcarney1 July 2014
Terrific show, indeed.

The writing was ahead of its time, but the show never had a chance to smooth out the rough edges. The acting was all a bit stagy and overplayed. I'm sure they would have improved if they'd even had a full season.

One of the best lines came from Terence Knox's character, Matt. He was concerned that the family never had supper together. Here's a paraphrase (most likely) of the lines:

Even the Borgias sat down to eat together....They didn't all get up, but at least they made the effort.
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I loved this show !!
eldiablo42731 May 2003
Having read the other comments, I have to mention two very funny scenes I still remember from this show. (I do remember also the one where everyone is humming the "Tennessee Waltz" over the intercom.) One scene I remember is when the new head writer comes aboard and meets the soap opera diva. The diva wants to get heads up on what the plots will be, so the writer, who doesn't want to get into trouble, fishes for bribes of new clothing from her by saying (roughly) "Well, you know I would give you the 16 neck, 34 sleeve shirt from my back, but I don't want to be caught with my 32 waist, 34 inseam pants down. Now I'm sure you know that if the size 12 shoe was on the other foot, I couldn't give you any information about upcoming plots." The other moment I remember fondly is where the daughter is on a curfew and explains that she couldn't get home in time for her curfew because she promised a dance to a boy, but the band played 'Stairway to Heaven' - the long version - "and (she explains), you know, you can't dance to that" so she had to wait for a song she could dance to even though she kept telling the boy "I have a curfew." Oh, another moment I remember is when the Bess Armstong character has asked the new (somewhat dim) soap opera actress to go participate in the opening of a new mall, and she runs her opening speech by Bess Armstrong which starts "Welcome to the new _____ mall. Even though shopping malls represent the worst kind of commercialism that is the ruin of our society, I welcome you." Bess Armstrong says that she didn't realize that this was an ethical point with that actress and says she'll try to find someone else whose feeling about shopping malls is a little more positive and the actress says, doubtfully, "okay, if there is such a person." The writing on this show was superb, even though the plots were sometimes a little flimsy. I would love to see episodes of this again.
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stockton2211 August 2010
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who remembers this show. I enjoyed it a lot, not to mention I'm the same age as Shawnee Smith and had a thing for her. Two lines in the show that stick out for me are when Carol Kane's character said, "You've caught me between social engagements; my debutant party and my funeral." There's also the exchange between Bess Armstrong and her husband, when Bess has booked a vacation to Mexico, but he says he has some news for her. Enthused for her planned trip, she insists he sings the news to her, so to the tune of "Aye Yai Yai Yai," they sing:

Matt: You know my daughter.

Paula: Her name is Sonia Russell.

Matt: Well she got kicked out of school again and she's come to live with us forever.
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Loved This Show!
timlg89501 May 2009
I think of this show often and I too wish I could see it again. I thought it was very funny and had some very memorable characters. I think it was a victim of not being in a good time slot. As I recall it was on Saturday nights. It was in reruns of cable for a while after it left NBC but had some obvious cuts so the channel could add more commercial time. Cant believe it was back in 1986. So many shows are out on DVD now but I guess there is no market for a short-lived TV series of so long ago. THere are always good shows that get canned because of bad ratings or bad time slots or being bounced around to different days. IF a show doesn't grab an audience right away the axe falls and there is no hope for it.
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Great (but somewhat vague) memories of this show
cigardener17 December 2008
In one scene, Paula and another character are dealing with some problem when a third person interrupts them (I told you that my memories were vague). Paula protests that they can't deal with the interloper's problem because they are too busy dealing with their own. "We have whales to fry!" I love that expression and occasionally use it myself. In another episode, Oliver has been a writer on the show for some time but has been very frugal with his increased salary. His co-workers encourage to splurge with some of his money and treat himself to a new car. He goes out and buys a high-end sports car that is way outside his price range. Now his friends advise him to return the car and get out of the financial obligation. "You can't just return a car like this; they won't take it back!", he protests. Nicolette Bingham, Carol Kane's character, replies in her honeyed southern accent, "Why, Oliver, if you simply inform them that you won't be making the payments, I'm sure that they will be happy to take it back."
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Funny Show, and it really had potential
jlgreenlee2 June 2008
I remember "All is Forgiven" mostly because I was going through a "aren't VCRs neat" phase, and decided it would be cool to tape all of the opening theme songs from the 1986 TV season. Since I've watched that tape a few times over the years, the cast of the show remains clear in my head.

I think the show would've grown on people, but they probably would have had to iron out the kinks between the home life and the work life (like "Barney Miller" did), because they didn't mesh very well.

One scene that stuck with me was a fight between stepdaughter Shawnee Smith and stepmother Bess Armstrong. They were fighting, and Bess thought she had the upper hand, shouting: "When you're old, I'm going to be there, dancing on your cake!" And Shawnee replied, "GOOD, because you certainly won't be able to CHEW it!" Did I mention I love Shawnee Smith? Though the "Saw" films made me see her in a whole new light.
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Great TV
tin4tru10 May 2007
The few of us who saw this short run (9 episodes) show still smile when we think of it. And it was eleven years ago! I have a couple of them on tape and regret not taping all. I was just sure that a show this funny and clever and well written would go on and on and on. The cast was hard to beat, each a hoot in his own way. Carol Kane's southern got-the-vapors gal was only one highlight in casting. The first thing that was LOL funny and that made me know I was going to love these people was when I saw this scene. Paula was fried by her new, high pressure job. She needed to decompress. She had pulled off juggling her husband's and her schedule so they could go somewhere south. (remembering maracas and sombrero) As he walked in the door, she danced around singing about this vacation they were going to leave for immediately. He had something serious to say and she made him "sing it!" So, as she led him around the room, conga line style, he sang something like this; "You know my daughter.... (Si!) Her name is Sonja Russell...Well she was expelled from school today and she's coming to live here foreverrrrrrr......." Followed immediately by an earth shattering scream from Paula. Now THAT'S good TV. =)
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Short Lived But Funny
richard.fuller113 October 2002
Bess Armstrong is newly married to Terrence KNox and he has a daughter from his first marriage. Shawnee Smith (currently on Becker) was the scene stealing daughter, Sonia. Things were very tense between Armstrong and her new step daughter. Armstrong: "I'm going down to the studio. The video machine just chewed up tomorrow's episode." Smith: "Why? are you going to thank it?"

The other scene Stealer was Carol Kane as the southern Nicholette Bingham, the writer of the show. "The old producer and I used to have heated arguments about the contents of the show. Yes. I felt the show should HAVE some."

Armstrong was to be the center of this universe, but sadly, when neither Smith nor Kane were onscreen, it was boring. ONe episode that guested Gwen Verdon was especially dull. I did not know David Alan Grier was the repair man who got promoted to writer on the show.

The never seen Creator of "All Is Forgiven" the Agnes Dixon/Gloria Monty type overseer who was never shown, we always heard her on the intercom system, asked Armstrong who had just come in for the secretary job, "How long have you been with us, dear?" before she made Armstrong the new producer. Judith Marie-Bergin did what she was supposed to do as the soap diva. The table reading where the terrorist turned out to be (gasp!) Arthur, her psychologist, was hilarious. Deborah Richter, who auditioned in the first episode, spoke to Armstrong. "Are you here for the part of the prostitute turned Senator?" Later, Richter's character obviously got popular, so she giggly informed Armstrong that she needed a dressing room now, because "Today, . . . I have to change!" All I can say is Shawnee Smith and Carol Kane were leagues ahead of the rest. Grier might have been able to contribute but at that time it apparently wasn't clear what he was capable of doing. Still would be good to see this show again tho.
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