Set in the Flint, Michigan of Michael Moore's memory it featured an Irish Catholic (big surprise) family. The father (Mike) was an autoworker and the mother (Maggie) was a waitress. To capture all the demographics there were teen sons (Sean and Jack), a teenage daughter (Mo), and a grade school son (Max) who was inserted for a cuteness factor. Even the love interest teenage neighbor girl had an Irish first name (Kerry) and a multi ethnic last name (Gerardi); she was played by a very young Helen Hunt.
Although I enjoyed all the episodes that I saw (it was difficult to catch the show because the network frequently changed the time slot or substituted some special) one in particular made a lasting impression. In "A Love Story" young Jack (Jimmy McNichol) is playing hockey and meets a girl his age at the local skating rink, she is a serious competitive figure skater (the country was going through a Dorothy Hamill fixation at that time).
The two fall in love despite the opposition of the girl's parents, who consider the romance an unwanted distraction from their daughter's goal. A prominent national skating coach wants the girl to train with him out west. She is faced with having to choose between Jack and her dream of being a world-class skater. She tells Jack that she has decided to stay but the next day changes her mind and leaves.
Jack is crushed, but begins to recover after a father-son session where Mike insightfully points out that there was never really a choice to be made. The qualities that made Jack fall in love with her were the very things that required her to follow her dream no matter what the sacrifice. The girl he was in love with could never have stayed nor would he have fallen in love with a girl who would have stayed. A very profound resolution (especially for television) and my all time favorite hour of television. I just wish it were available on DVD.
The episode apparently impressed someone else at the time because McNichol somewhat reprised the role two years later in a television movie called "Champions: A Love Story".
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.