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
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A scene included in the episode "Strangers" showing Russell (David Marshall Grant) and Peter (Peter Frechette) in a post-coital conversation is widely believed to be the first time gay male characters were ever shown in bed together in a sexual context on American network television. Although the other (heterosexual) couples on the show were frequently shown kissing and having sex scenes, and despite the fact that the scene contained no revealing nudity, no kiss, or even any physical contact at all between between Grant and Frechette, just the fact that the two men were implied to have just had sex was enough to prompt the loss of about US$1.5 million worth of advertising revenue when many of the show's advertisers withdrew their commercials. ABC responded by pulling the episode out of the rerun and syndication lineup, so it was only seen again once the show was released on DVD. Actor David Marshall Grant went on to a second career as a writer and producer of plays and TV shows, including the shows "Brothers & Sisters" and "Smash," both of which featured gay couples who display affection with little controversy. See more »
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 »
I look back with a degree of nostalgia to the 1980's when my own kids were born and the work/life balance was a constant juggling act. Yes it was a 'yuppie' show as some have said but it was true to life for many, hitting a nerve for those of us struggling with young children and a slightly off-beat boss.
The acting and script writing was first rate and each of the characters utterly believable. I guess an airing now many reveal a show that is a little dated but it was true to its era. For all of us who really were in their thirties when the show was on prime time TV, please will someone out there consider releasing it on DVD!
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