Hope and Michael are a married couple in their thirties, living in Philadelphia, and struggling with everyday adult angst. Michael runs an ad agency with his friend Elliot, whose marriage ... See full summary »
Hope and Michael are a married couple in their thirties, living in Philadelphia, and struggling with everyday adult angst. Michael runs an ad agency with his friend Elliot, whose marriage to Nancy is beginning to show the cracks of age, as is the friendship between Hope and her best friend Ellyn. Michael's best friend, Gary, on the other hand, is trying to get on with his womanising life, and get over the mutually-destructive affair he had with Michael's cousin, Melissa. It all sounds like just another soap, but is given a unique atmosphere by the production team (the Bedford Falls company, also responsible for 'My So Called Life') whose intelligent scripts, believable characters and frequent dips into the slightly surreal world of the character's minds places the series as one of the highlights of the late 1980s. Written by
Spiral Lobster <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Throughout season 1 and season 2 Elliot's and Ellyn's names are spelled incorrectly in the opening credits. Elliot's is spelled with two 't's ("Elliott"), and Ellyn's is spelled with a second 'e' instead of a 'y' ("Ellen"). "Ellyn" is not corrected until the first episode of season 3 (3.1 "Nancy's mom") and "Elliot", not until the fourth episode of season 3 (3.4 "new baby"). See more »
Thirtysomething isn't a show, that anyone can really take seriously. It revolves around a group of 80s Yuppies in their thirties, who spend too much time obsessing about their own angst. The show tried too hard to be 'deep and meaningful', and wound-up becoming a parody of itself.
Virtually all of the male characters on this show, suffer from arrested emotional development. They never seemed to come to terms, with the fact that they couldn't have everything their own way, all of the time. The thing is, they got their way ALMOST all of the time, which is more than most people do. Still, that wasn't good enough for these guys. They just didn't appreciate the fact, that they were better off than 90% of the general population.
Like the male characters, the women on Thirtysomething also seemed to concentrate too much on navel-gazing, so to speak. Most of these women are intelligent, capable, and pursued interesting careers. Yet they were still consumed with insecurity about themselves, and their lives in general. Worst of all, they were too willing to be excessively accommodating, towards the often immature men in their lives.
The fact that the females on this show were frequently demeaned, was a reflection of the 80s backlash against feminism. In her book entitled "Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women", Susan Faludi eloquently pointed-out that Thirtysomething was guilty, of negative portrayals of the females characters. Especially compared to the male characters, who were much less evolved, than the female characters. So for those hoping to see a show that gave women adequate respect, Thirtysomething definitely disappoints in that regard.
Thirtysomething's only real entertainment value, is it's campy quality. After all, a show that tried so diligently, to convince viewers that over-privileged Yuppies are so riveting, has GOT to be camp of the highest order. I'd like to see a quality TV drama created about the poor, and/or minorities, who have truly harsh realities to deal with in life. A show like that would be much more compelling, than Thirtysomething ever was.
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