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Family Ties

By Jen

Family Ties ran from 1982-1989 and was one of the most popular TV shows of the 80s. It was about the Keaton's: a family consisting of a parents who grew up with 1960&'s liberal values and and their three three kids, who were growing up in the Reagan Awesome80s.

Alex (Michael J. Fox), the oldest, loved politics, and money. He adored Nixon and Reagan. Mallory (Justine Bateman), the second oldest, was into clothes, boys, and talking on the phone. She wasn't a book worm like Alex. She spent the seven years avoiding Skippy Handleman (Marc Price), the sweet, but sometimes overbearing neighbor, who was completely in love with her. He wasn't in the cool crowd, so Mallory wasn't interested in him, other than a friend.

Jennifer (Tina Yothers), the youngest, (at the beginning of the show), was into sports, and wasn't really like Alex, or Mallory. The mother, Elyse (Meredith Baxter-Birney) was an architect, and the father, Steven (Michael Gross) was the manager at the public broadcast station, WKS.

In the middle of the third season, a fourth child, Andy (Brian Bonsell) was born, and he aged quickly, turning into a three year old by season five. In season four, the character Nick was added. He was Mallory's boyfriend. Alex, Elyse, and Steven, opposed Nick and his ways of life. He mumbled a lot, and didn't seem to be able to form sentences well, and wasn't smart. He was an environmental artist, and Steven called him Rambo.

Alex had two girlfriends during the show, first Ellen (Tracy Pollen), a dancer, and then Lauren (Courtney Cox), a psychology student. In the end, Alex got a high position job in New York, his dream, and he moved out. For those of us who felt so bad for Skippy, we never got to see Skippy and Mallory end up together, and those of us who had hoped they would be together, hated Nick. This show was a wonderful, family show, with values. It could make you laugh, and even cry.

 

Share Your Memories!

Do you have a favorite episode of Family Ties? What do you remember about the series? Share your stories with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"My favorite episode was when Alex's friend died and Alex was supposed to be in the car but wasn't and Alex was wondering if he should actually be alive. I love this episode cause it showed that Michael J. Fox could do more than just comedy."

--Ann E

"My favorite episode is the one that the kids were alone and the dad walk in and sees a kangaroo in his living room. His olderest kid Alex, tells dad that nothing is going on. The dad says 'Then tell me about the valet parking in the driveway and the sign on the interstate.' Then the dad says 'Parents leave their kids and they can accept a few things like spilled milk on the carpet but there was a kangaroo in my living room.'"

--Magpie

"What also made this show so great was that each character had a reputation, Alex was the young straight A repbublican who voted Nickson, Mallory who was the fashion queen and Jennifer who was the little sister stuck in in the middle that is of course until Andrew was born, and their parents who where quite different, because they shared in the 60's."

--Cha Chi

"Family Ties is one of my favourite Awesome80s shows, not only because I love Michael J Fox, but because of the humour that was used. I love the sarcastic yet loving comments thrown in by both parents, and the way the characters were so exaggerated in their stereotypes.

My favourite episode has to be the one where Steven and Jennifer spend the whole half/hour building a mouse trap. I especially love the beginning, when they first spot the mouse, and Alex jumps on the counter. Jennifer says "Alex, what are you doing?" and he says he's "checking the light fixtures". Jennifer figures he's just scared of the mouse (which was true) and tells him "Mice don't fly". Alex, always the clever one, responds with "Oh yeah? Haven't you heard of Mighty Mouse Jen? Dad, was it wearing a cape?"

I don't know why I love that episode so much, but it just sticks out in my mind."

--Glass Tiger

"I was about 16 when the show first aired, and about 21 when it went off. It was interesting, because it was one of only a few shows that dealt with the interaction of parents who came of age in the 1960s and their children who were born in the 1960s and early Super70s. "

--LM Williams

"I liked the episode where Malory, Alex, and Jennifer lost their aunt, and Alex forgot to call off the garage sale that he had planned earlier.

I also liked the episode where Malory and Alex got into trouble for leaving Jennifer all alone when they were supposed to be watching her."

--LM Williams

"My favorite episode is "Don't Kiss Me, I'm Only The Messanger". This is my favorite episode, because for once we get to see Mallory react a different way. Skippy meets one of Mallory's friends and falls in love with her. He asks Alex to talk to her (Jane) for him. Later that day, Skippy comes over to see if Alex had talked to Jane yet, and Mallory says hi to Skippy. Skippy hardly even acknowledges her, which is very unlike Skippy. Mallory isn't used to Skippy not making a big deal out of her, and giving her tons of attention. She points out to Skippy that she said hi to him, and he still barely acknowledges her. Skippy asks Alex, if he talked to Jane yet, and Mallory wants to know why Skippy would want Alex to talk to Jane. Alex tells Mallory that Skippy is in love with her, and Mallory gets upset, and says "Oh really?!" Mallory walks over to Skippy and says, "Skippy, this is kind of sudden, I mean you just met the girl, and you don't know anything about her, anyway, I thought we had some kind of undestanding. You worship me, and I reject you. " Skippy tells her that the years were really nice, but that it's over, and tells her to try to be strong. He then asks Mallory if Jane talks about him much and she tells him that Jane doesn't even know he exists. She leaves the kitchen through the swinging door more forcefully then necessary, obviously, hurt. Later in the episode, Mallory sees Alex and Jane kissing and tries to keep Skippy from seeing the two kissing. Mallory kisses Skippy, hoping to distract him. He ends up seeing Jane and Alex kissing anyway. A fan of Skippy & Mallory, this has to be the best episode, in my opinion. It seemed like a reversal of roles, Mallory actually being nice to Skippy, and Skippy, ignoring her, which is very unlike him."

--Jen

"Family Ties, ran from 1982-1989. It was about two liberal, former 1960&'s individuals, who were raising three kids in the Awesome80s. Alex, the oldest, loved politics, and money. He adored, Nixon and Reagan. Mallory, the second oldest, was into clothes, boys, and talking on the phone. She wasn&'t a book worm like Alex. She spent the seven years avoiding Skippy Handleman, the sweet, but sometimes overbearing neighbor, who was completely in love with her. He wasn&'t in the cool crowd, and Mallory wasn&'t interested in him, other than a friend. Jennifer, the youngest, (at the beginning of the show), was into sports, and wasn&'t really like Alex, or Mallory. Elyse was an arcitect, and Steven was the manager at the public broadcast station, WKS. In the middle of the third season, a fourth child, Andy was born, and he aged quickly, turning into a three year old by season five. In season four, the character Nick was added. He was Mallory&'s boyfriend. Alex, Elyse, and Steven, opposed Nick and his ways of life. He mumbled a lot, and didn&'t seem to be able to form sentences well, and wasn&'t smart. He was an environmental artist, and Steven called him "Rambo". Alex had two girlfriends during the show, first Ellen, a dancer, and then Lauren, a psychology student. In the end, Alex got a high position job in NY, his dream, and he moved out. For those of us who felt so bad for Skippy, we never got to see Skippy and Mallory end up together, and those of us who had hoped they would be together, hated Nick. This show was a wonderful, family show, with values. It could make you laugh, and even cry."

--Jen

"My favorite episode is "Don&'t Kiss Me, I&'m Only The Messanger". This is my favorite episode, because for once we get to see Mallory react a different way. Skippy meets one of Mallory&'s friends and falls in love with her. He asks Alex to talk to her (Jane) for him. Later that day, Skippy comes over to see if Alex had talked to Jane yet, and Mallory says hi to Skippy. Skippy hardly even acknowledges her, which is very unlike Skippy. Mallory isn&'t used to Skippy not making a big deal out of her, and giving her tons of attention. She points out to Skippy that she said hi to him, and he still barely acknowledges her. Skippy asks Alex, if he talked to Jane yet, and Mallory wants to know why Skippy would want Alex to talk to Jane. Alex tells Mallory that Skippy is in love with her, and Mallory gets upset, and says "Oh really?!" Mallory walks over to Skippy and says, "Skippy, this is kind of sudden, I mean you just met the girl, and you don&'t know anything about her, anyway, I thought we had some kind of undestanding. You worship me, and I reject you. " Skippy tells her that the years were really nice, but that it&'s over, and tells her to try to be strong. He then asks Mallory if Jane talks about him much and she tells him that Jane doesn&'t even know he exists. She leaves the kitchen through the swinging door more forcefully then necessary, obviously, hurt. Later in the episode, Mallory sees Alex and Jane kissing and tries to keep Skippy from seeing the two kissing. Mallory kisses Skippy, hoping to distract him. He ends up seeing Jane and Alex kissing anyway. A fan of Skippy & Mallory, this has to be the best episode, in my opinion. It seemed like a reversal of roles, Mallory actually being nice to Skippy, and Skippy, ignoring her, which is very unlike him."

--Jen

 

TV TIDBITS

Aired: September 22, 1982 - September 17, 1989

Cast: Michael J. Fox, Meredith Baxter-Birney, Justine Bateman, Michael Gross, Tina Yothers, Courtney Cox, Tracy Pollan

Network: NBC

Genre: Sitcom

Theme songWithout Us by Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams

Image courtesy of NBC


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