Charles, a college student, moves in with the Powell family as the housekeeper, baby-sitter, and friend to the children. Along with his best friend, Buddy, Charles attempts to manage his ... See full summary »
"Empty Nest" is set in Miami and tells of the day to day misadventures of a widowed pediatrician, Harry Weston, and his two adult daughters, Barbara and Carol Weston, who have come back to ... See full summary »
Jessica Tate's sharp-tongued former butler, Benson DuBois, moves up in the world, becoming first the governor's "director of household affairs," then the state's budget director, then lieutenant governor and candidate for the executive mansion.
A couple who were ardently leftwing political activists in the sixties face the problems of raising a family with children who have strongly conservative views. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[drunken Ned throws newspaper clipping in the fireplace]
Alex P. Keaton:
Hey, don't do that. Here give me those.
Leave me alone!
Alex P. Keaton:
Give me those!
LEAVE ME ALONE!
What the hell are you doing?
I don't know. I don't know. I'm sorry. Sorry, Alex.
[quietly, but furious]
All right, Ned. That's it. It's over. Right now, either you get some help... or you get the hell outta my house.
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Re-watching it on DVD I was amazed that Family Ties really stood the test of time. What makes it stand out is the constant high quality of the writing. On the one hand Family Ties always tackles serious issues on a personal level (death, trust, love, sexual harassment) but also on a social/ political level. I find it absolutely amazing that the writers always manage to avoid the trap of becoming sentimental or moralizing but always keep a healthy distance. Politically Family Ties is the great liberal voice of 80s television and from that point of view plays in a different league from its arch rival at the time, The Cosby show. What I also find amazing is that they manage to pack a satisfying story in the fairly short format of less then 30 minutes. The cast of course is perfect. Michael Gross stands out for me because he has the best one-liners in the show and his delivery as naive Steve Keaton is incredibly funny. Michael Fox is Michael Fox (as always) but Meredith Baxter is a great and underrated comedienne (and actually hellishly attractive...). Pity Tina Yothers stopped acting as it is amazing what a quantity and quality of dialogue she delivered at a very young age (though the jury is still out on her real age). And let's not forget Justine Bateman as airhead Mallory but who can act a fine line between comedy and drama (see Give uncle Arthur a kiss.)
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