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All our Yesterdays

Lou Grant
By Martin Kelner on May 29, 2002 - 2:33:00 PM

All Our Yesterdays
Article dated: Wednesday 29 May 2002
Lou Grant

Look at the dates above. In Britain, the series ran for the course of Mrs Thatcher's first term. So while our Prime Minister was busy claiming there was "no such thing as society", prominent left-winger Ed Asner, as city editor Grant, was showing that society was a concept they were taking seriously in, of all places, Los Angeles. The weekly dramas, unfolding in the offices of the LA Trib, tackled issues such as abortion, homelessness, and political extremism, and usually from a vaguely pinko liberal, or at least humanist, standpoint. Not that the show was anywhere near as radical as Asner would have liked - Capraesque would probably be the best way to describe it - and after 114 episodes it was cancelled, amid rumours of political differences.

The stories, though, were never the most appealing aspect of this very popular programme anyway. What it caught best was the banter, the politics, and the characters of a newspaper office; the spiky relationship between Lou and his managing editor, the way Lou had no life outside of the paper, the brilliant but hopelessly disorganised photographer. It was not exactly new ground, but brought brilliantly to life by one of the best casts ever assembled for weekly TV drama.

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