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Punky Brewster is a show about a girl named Penelope "Punky" Brewster. She is abandoned with her dog, Brandon, in a supermarket by her mother. She doesn't want to stay in an orphanage, and ... See full summary »
Soleil Moon Frye,
Steven and Elyse Keaton, once 1960s radicals, now find themselves in Reagan-era American trying to raise a traditional suburban family. Their three first kids are Alex (a very ambitious Young Republican), Mallory (a ditzy and boy-crazy fashionista) and Jennifer (whom we first get to know as a precocious nine-year-old tomboy). Later on, a fourth child (Andrew) was added to the Keaton family. Most of the comedy arose from the conflict between the ex-hippie parents vs the conservative Alex and the brainless beauty Mallory.
Michael J. Fox's first audition was deemed terrible by Gary Goldberg, because Fox came off too smart-aleck. Casting Director Judith Wiener really liked Fox and begged Goldberg to see him a second time. Fox took a different approach, the audition went great, and Fox was offered the part. See more »
The complete opening credit sequences in each episode were cut from one minute to thirty seconds in syndication. Episodes now airing on Nick at Nite have restored the complete opening credit sequences. Original syndication episodes released in 1987 retain their original versions of the Paramount Pictures ID Jingle. Current Nick at Nite episodes feature the current Paramount TV ID. See more »
If there's something that popular culture from the decades of the 1950s and 1980s share,it's the "family" sitcom(i.e. unitary parents and kids,all attractive and relatively free of deep problems). And while there was some variance of family types,from the more safe,traditional families of "The Cosby Show","Growing Pains" ,"Mr.Belvedere",to the not-so-conventional domestic groupings as "Full House", "The Hogan Family"(originally "VAlerie",which originally aimed to BE a conventional family sitcom) and "Who's the Boss"(or,for that matter,surface-traditional-looking shows "Roseanne" and "Married...With Children"),it seemed to me that as these shows went,none of them matched the wit,warmth and viability as "Family Ties".
The Keatons are about as polarized a unit as they come: parents Steven and Elyse(MIchael Gross and Meredith BAxter-Birney,both excellent!)are '60s Lefty IDealists,and as such,carried their idealism into their work as adults--Steven works for Public TElevision and Elyse carries her form of modified feminism into a successful job as an architect--but cannot seem to carry it into their children. Alex(Michael J.Fox,birthing much of his career out of one very iconic role,which is no mean feat!),a buttoned-down Conservative practically from birth,MAllory(Justine BAteman,who is STILL a babe IMHO),the dim,materialistic mall-girl younger daughter and Jennifer(Tina Yothers,who became as famous for disappearing from showbiz as appearing),the bright but resigned youngest,who is neither idealist or materialist. As the show ran along,you added such extra characters to the pastiche as Skippy(MArc Price,doing stand-up somewhere now),the dippy,well-meaning neighbor kid with a painful crush on MAllory,Nick(Scott VAlentine),MAllory's equally dim but cool boyfriend,Ellen(Tracy POllan,future Mrs.Michael J.Fox),Alex's unlikely liberal girlfriend and LAuren(Coutreney Cox,yes,THAT Coutrney Cox),another lock-horns girlfriend of Alex's and baby brother Andy(Brian "Mikey" Bonsall),Alex's potential protégé.
After a bit of a sluggish start,NBC wisely gambled to keep this on and it managed to hook on to Thursday and Sunday night schedules and ride steadily improving ratings over the remainder of the show's run. While it's been some years since I've seen any of the shows,I was a loyal viewer of the show and enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm not sure if or where this show is re-running,but I may have to check these shows out again soon,if for nothing else to re-visit one of the more well-crafted TV programs to grace the airwaves over that rascally decade of greed,spandex and hair.
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