66. Family Ties

Creator: Gary David Goldberg
Years: 1982-1989

I have to give credit to Goldberg here as hippie parents, Republican kids is a pretty damn good premise. The casting was also pretty good. I love Michael Gross, and Meredith Baxter plays off him well. And, of course, Michael J. Fox is pretty damn good as the arrogant Reagan worshipper. I don’t know if he’s three-time Emmy winner good, but he’s fun to watch.

Good ideas aside, it has a hard time getting away from the easy, lame jokes that fill most of the episodes. The special episodes were always awkward as they’d try to pigeonhole jokes into serious situations. The laugh track is definitely way more active than me while watching. Also, Bateman isn’t very good at playing an airhead. She was never believable and doesn’t have the charm to make her sympathetic. She’s just pointlessly annoying. And what is it with sitcoms feeling the need to introduce five year-old actors after the show has already started? Is there a meeting where someone says, “You know what this show needs to hit the top? More terrible acting and a little precociousness!”

2 thoughts on “66. Family Ties”

  1. I don’t recall many specific episodes (aside from Tom Hanks as the alcoholic uncle and one with Courtney Cox, and another with his girlfriend at the train station), but one that stuck with me was an episode about Elyse’s birthday (I think, maybe it was Alex’s). Alex bails on her in the middle of a dinner between the two of them to go hang with some friends instead.

    When he comes home she lays into him about how he really hurt her feelings and that she is not just her mom, she is a person too. I don’t remember how old I was, but this one really struck me at the time…thinking of my parents as something besides just being my parents.

    While trying to find a clip of this episode, I came across an episode, “Birthday Boy”. Who was one of the guest stars? Crispin Glover. Interesting.

  2. This is a show from the time period in my life that seems to have been wiped away by drugs. I watched probably damn near every episode but I remember nothing outside of the premise and “Sit, Ubu, sit. Good dog.”

    Tina Yothers is the second person of the day who became the lead singer of a band after her show ended. I think it was a punk outfit.

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