Alex starts his sophomore year looking for a girlfriend in the freshman directory. He meets Tricia who seems to be everything he wants. However, after a spat with Tricia's roommate, Ellen, Alex finds...
The parents are away for a few days, Alex is in charge but cares only for his date Monica, so he wants the girls out; Mallory 'drives' straight into a telephone pole, now they must come up with some ...
Tony Micell, a retired baseball player, becomes the housekeeper of Angela Bower, an advertising executive in New York. Together they raise their kids, Samantha Micelli and Jonathon Bower, with help from Mona Robinson, Angela's man-crazy mother.
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 »
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>
[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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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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