Picks and Pans Main: Tube

updated 05/09/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/09/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

This week we turn our attention to 704 Hauser, a mutant '90s version of All in the Family (an African-American family lives in Archie Bunker's old house). Last week, quite by coincidence, I ended up watching a rerun of that '70s sitcom. In this episode, a chagrined Archie must apply for unemployment. But what's this? Playing the civil service clerk who deals with Archie's assumptions about how the system works was F. Murray Abraham, who a decade later would win an Oscar for his role in Amadeus. I love when that happens, when a not-yet-famous face turns up on an old show—when for instance you spot Burt Reynolds piloting a one-man sub on Flipper or Sharon Stone—as twins, yet!—trying to seduce Tom Selleck on Magnum, P.I. I think that's why-God created reruns: for the frisson of occasionally seeing a wild surprise pop up amid the totally familiar.

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