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Steven and Elyse Keaton were two hippies with liberal viewpoints who married during the 1960s. The young couple had hoped their children would adopt the same values. How wrong they were, especially in the case of oldest son Alex. "Family Ties," which was based in Columbus, Ohio, explored the relationship between Steven (a public television station manager), Elyse (an architect) and their three children, Alex, Mallory and Jennifer. Alex was an avid Reagan devotee and card-carrying Young Republicans Club member who sauntered through the house in a shirt and tie and hung a picture of William F. Buckley over his bed. But as intelligent and over-achieving as Alex was, Mallory was as underachieving and, to say the least, a slacker; she was more concerned with shopping and cute guys. Jennifer was the precocious youngster who just wanted to be a normal kid. Skippy Handleman, one of Alex's best friends, was a geeky next-door neighbor with an unrequited crush on Mallory. During the 1984-1985 ... Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
Two former 1960s left-wing hippies (Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter) try to rear their children (Michael J. Fox, Justine Bateman and Tina Yothers) in the 1980s and naturally have problem after problem in "Family Ties", one of the more memorable television successes of that impressive boob-tube decade. The show ran from 1982 to 1989 and even added another child (youngster Brian Bonsall) by the middle of its run. When the show premiered in 1982 it just could not generate any substantial interest ("Cheers" had the same problem during its initial year). After that though it was all peaches and cream as the series dominated on Sunday evenings and was consistently a top 5 or 10 show each week until they exited quietly (of its own free will after eight years). Fox and Bateman were definitely the two who dominated the show. Fox was a Republican-styled teen who seemed to only care about money and social status while Bateman was a polar opposite. She was a ditsy teen who seemed to care more about makeup, clothes, boys and being popular (in other words she was a normal youngster). Every cast member had their moments, but the series was not all fun and games. It consistently had "special" episodes where life crept into the family's crazed television world. Another of those NBC products from the 1980s that survives due to its performers and its intelligence. 4 stars out of 5.
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