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This series came out post-"Roots" and only lasted for barely one
Two young boys, one black and one white would defy their small town's
attitude to become the best of friends. Similar to a show called BOON,
series examined the civil rights era in America and all the progresses and
setbacks that existed.
Mike Fox (MJ Fox) was cast as Willy the grocery boy shortly after he arrived in LA. He had finished "Leo and Me" for the CBC and was heading to Hollywood where fate would play a huge role in getting him Family Ties. His role in Palmerston,although limited, was enough to get him noticed.
I remember watching this when I was very young (about 5). It was one of
shows my family would watch together in the evening, with the Waltons. It
was a nice, family oriented show.
The only episode I remember is one in which the two young boys find a bottle of whiskey someplace and get drunk.
VERY ahead of its time.
I would certainly like to see all of the series of Palmerstown again. I remember it as a young- adult growing up. It had the some of the same qualities of say the Waltons or little house on the prairie. I enjoyed good wholesome family entertainment. I don't know why it went off of the air so quickly. I would really like to see it again. We have so little good wholesome programming these days and when I saw Palmerstown for the first time I was really delighted. It dealt with many real life issues that were prevalent at that time. I kind of like that "down home" feeling that you can get when watching Palmerstown. I would really hope to see it again in the near future.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember this short-lived program from the makers of the Waltons,
about a little black boy and a little white boy who forge a friendship
in the segregated 1930s (which was not the civil rights era. That would
be 30 years later).
I guess that was Bill Duke as the Freeman father and I guess I didn't realize Jonelle Allen was the mother.
The white father was one of two actors who had played Margaret Houlihan's husband, Donald Ponopscotch, on MASH.
And of course, Michael J. Fox played the wayward older brother in the Hall family. I remember one episode where he pulled up onto the scene to see a new car someone else had, probably a '30s model.
Fox said when he auditioned for Family Ties, he tried listing things that he had done on NBC and put down his Here's Boomer appearance. I guess he steered clear of Palmerstown? Palmerstown wasn't bad or dull, just a little long about getting things said and done.
Don't really recall much about it.
I know Mr. Hall sent some cologne over to Duke's character as a friendly gesture or something and Duke regarded it as charity. I remember Jonelle Allen hollering at Duke that it was a friendly gift so he wouldn't be 'smelling of shaving soap anymore'.
Can't recall much about the two boys tho.
I think they were kidnapped in one episode and upon their return, Mrs. Hall declared 'its just like that Lindbergh baby' and I hadn't an ever-lovin' clue what she was talking about and my journey into who the Lindbergh baby was went from there.
And I think I recall the boys finding the whiskey episode, as at the end the fathers, strong, stalwart men that they were, decided to drink it themselves with rather amusing results. I guess it was some pretty powerful mixings.
Oh, yes. An early episode had the Freeman's being attacked by 'Klansmen' (for the record, all persons who display racist and hostile attitude and behavior are not automatically KKK members, but Hollywood then nor now doesn't make this distinction) and threw a rock through the Freeman's window.
Funny bit was Mr. Hall was present in the house at the time and upon confronting the two guys, told them the rock had hit him (which it hadn't) a white man, and they would both be in serious trouble for what they did. That was very amusing.
I guess if Michael J. Fox had any dialogue back then, it was against the Freeman family, as he was the antagonizing older brother.
But above all else, I remember the show just didn't click. The two kids seemed likable enough, but something just stretched out or took too long in dealing with things.
I guess had the show lasted, Willy Joe would have gone into WWII, but if the show HAD lasted, we would have never have had Alex P. Keaton, would we? Ah well.
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