The series revolves around the Keaton family, with liberal parents Steven (a TV station manager) and Elyse (an architect). The couple have three children...a financially savvy, politically conservative son Alex, his shopaholic teenage sister Mallory, and a younger tomboy sister, Jennifer. Later Elyse gives birth to a fourth child, baby Andrew. Along the way, Alex develops love interests, first in the form of Ellen (played by the actor's future wife, Tracy Pollan) and later, Lauren, a psychology major. Mallory acquires a boyfriend herself, the motorcycle riding high school drop out, Nick, who incurs the disapproval of her parents and of course especially brother Alex.
The acting is stellar with Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross portraying the parents and Tina Yothers the kid sister, Jennifer. However, it is really Michael J. Fox's show with his hilarious depiction of Alex P. Keaton, who has a tendency to wear shirt & tie everyday around the house and introduces little brother Andrew to the Wall Street Journal while he's still in diapers! My personal favourite is Mallory (charmingly played by Justine Bateman); she is so amusing and endearing as his dim witted, academically slack, clothes obsessed sister who cannot get enough of the mall and talking about cute boys. Of course her contrast with the smart, serious, & focused Alex could hardly be greater.
It's a reverse generational tale to the expected. Normally the parents are the conservative ones, with the teenage offspring liberal rebels and rabble rousers. However, the Keaton parents are the left wing family members, former political activists back in their college heyday. Son Alex, on the other hand, is a die-hard and very vocal card carrying Republican who eventually finds his niche on Wall Street. The sparring between Alex and his parents (as well as with Mallory) makes for some wonderful comedy in this warm hearted family sitcom.