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 »
Steven and Elyse Keaton were two hippies with liberal viewpoints who had 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-... Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
Steven Keaton was from Buffalo, New York. See more »
[reading from a card given to him by Alex]
"Alex is more than a son. He's a companion, a friend, whom I can spend many long hours with discussing the economy, world events and politics." Alex, if I read this out loud, I'm afraid I'll be struck by lightning.
[Alex nods towards Elyse]
[reading from her card]
Mom, please read the "Alex is more than a son" speech, if dad refuses.
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"Family Ties" creator Gary Goldberg didn't like Michael J. Fox on his first audition, thought he played Alex a little too smart-assish. But on his second try, Fox approached it a different way and won the part that shot him to stardom. He quickly became the focal point of the show as the money obsessed teenager Alex P. Keaton. You could understand Meredith Baxter-Birney's disappointment, as the show was to be geared toward her character as the mother. But she and the rest of the cast pretty much faded into the background behind Fox. Not that he wasn't supported by a great group of performers. Michael Gross as the easy going father, Justine Bateman as the typical phone hogging, boy troubled teenage daughter, and Tina Yothers as the tomboyish younger sister. In later years some nice additions were Scott Valentine as Bateman's weirdo boyfriend, and making numerous appearances over the years was Marc Price as the nerdy next door neighbor, Skippy. High point episodes over the years were the Alex turns 18 one, the Alex rents out the rooms of the house one, and also the 4(!) part heartattack episode with the focus being on Michael Gross' father character, Steven. Shows major misstep occured during their final year when they tried to become too socially concious. Episodes dealing with book banning, oil spills, toxic fumes from household products, and racism seemed a bit out of place and more importantly, took away from the comedy. The last hurrah was a decent episode that saw Alex move to New York to be an investment banker. But most recommended from the series would be the shows middle years, where the writing was at its best. Show also must of set some sort of record with at least 6 or 7(!) of those flashback type episodes featuring clips of the past stories. But no harm done.
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