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Renée Elise Goldsberry
A TV-series about the life of the Thachers, especially "Corky", that has Down syndrome but goes to ordinary school ("mainstreaming). We get into their problems and joys. Drew Thacher's dream comes true when he is able to open his own restaurant, but it's a hard business, and he often run into problems. Becca has a constant crush on Tyler, but he's not available. He and his girlfriend, Rona, break up and get together all the time. Libby Thacher hates her boss, and quits her job. After a while she finds out that she's pregnant, and that her boss is desperate to get her back. She starts working for him again, after getting better paid, among other things. Meanwhile, "Corky" has problems with keeping up at school and accepting who he is. He fights his battles, and wins. Written by
Eva Kristin Berntzen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Life Goes On" focused on the daily life of the Thatcher family, particularly Corky (Chris Burke), a young man with Down's Syndrome. When the show began in 1989, 18-year-old Corky was mainstreamed into a normal high school as a freshman, which meant that he was in the same grade as his younger sister Becca (Kellie Martin). At first, Becca was embarrassed about the idea of going to school with her brother, but eventually she accepted him as a fellow high school student (and served as his primary source of emotional support during school). As a developmentally disabled person trying to function in a difficult world, Corky dealt with many struggles and hardships. The show was not all about Corky, of course: viewers also saw the other members of the Thatcher family face their own problems.
In my mind, the most impressive thing about Corky was his optimistic view of life, as well as his perseverance. No matter how many obstacles or drawbacks he faced, Corky always bounced back with a positive attitude. Chris Burke was very realistic in his portrayal of Corky, of course (since Burke actually has Down's Syndrome), but he also made the character very charming and likeable. There was another young person on the show (other than Burke) who showed a lot of promise from the very beginning: Kellie Martin. Even though she was only 13 when the series began, Martin immediately displayed a natural talent for acting. As the character Becca became more confident and mature, Kellie developed into an actress seemingly capable of taking on any dramatic role.
After four years, ABC canceled "Life Goes On" in 1993. The Family Channel and PAX both reran the series, but unfortunately it is not currently on cable. I would love to see reruns of this great show again, particularly on a network like ABC Family (which is the successor to the Family Channel). Also, I think the talented Kellie Martin should star on another TV series, especially since she has not done much acting over the past couple of years (since her two-year stint on "ER" ended in 2000).
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