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  • I love this hilarious sitcom and catch it on re runs whenever I chance upon it. I think it is one of the funniest family comedy series ever, with some entertaining and unusual character portrayals.

    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.
  • I get nostalgic about television shows like Family Ties. It was based around two parents who graduated University of California at Berkeley in the sixties. It was wise to have their eldest son, Alex P., to be on the opposite fence of politics. ALex with his tie and pictures of Ronald Reagan and Nixon. His younger sister, Mallory, played well by Justine Bateman cares more about fashion than grades or Alex's politics. It's great watching these two in action. The younger sister, Jennifer, develops from a young girl to an independent adolescent. There were always two story lines going on in every episode. Marc Price's SKippy is priceless for a thankless job. Scott valentine plays Mallory's boyfriend, Nick, a painter who never finished high school. Some of the best moments in this series happens after Nick enters the Keatons lives and his relationship with them. The mixture of great characters with witty dialogue. You can't stop laughing when Mr. Keaton tries to apologize to Nick in a ladies' shoe store. He comes across as a former gay lover than the father of Mallory but it's full of laughs. Despite the witty dialogues, this was a believable family who introduced Andrew, the youngest and fourth child. What do the children think when they find out. "I was talking about closet space" Mallory says to Alex. Oh, this is truly a family show for everybody. I can't say how I miss a family centered show on such a wonderful family like the Keatons.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This was the ultimate show of the 1980's when it ran for several seasons on NBC-TV(from 1982-1989). What more could you expect for one of the best hippiest/political families of that era which was mixed in which started in the middle of the Reagan era,and with the series ending at the beginning of the Bush administration. Besides,it was part "All In The Family" without the bigotry or the downside of it. In all,one great series.The series when it aired sprunged two made for TV movies,and also one of the most intense final episodes ever aired(the death of Steven Keaton where Mike Gross' character has a massive heart attack during an argument with Alex over some issue,but it was a thriller of way to end the series)when the show ended its run in the spring of 1989. Here you have Michael Gross(as Steven Keaton),Meredith Baxter-Birney(as Elsie Keaton),and there three adorable children;the design shopping boy hungry Mallory(Justine Bateman),the baby girl of the family who wanted to go her own way but wanted to grow up and be a kid Tina(played by Tina Yothers),and the political and conservative son Alex(played by Michael J. Fox) who was a Republican and was a fan of both Presidents Reagan and Nixon.

    This sitcom became the launching pod for Micheal J. Fox,who during this series had several hit feature films that were box-office giants(the "Back To The Future" series,and the films "Teen Wolf",and "The Secret Of My Success"),as well as for his co-star on the show Justine Bateman who also had a hit film out too during her status on the series.

    The show's theme song,"What About Us",was done by legendary musical artists Johnny Mathis and Deniece Willams which was a top 10 hit on Billboard's charts during the 80's.

    I'm surprised that these episodes are not out on video but if they are the ones that were very good were the one where Tom Hanks plays an alcoholic(in a brillant performance),and the one where the Keaton's go to Paris and Alex ends up in great danger involving a beautiful model.

    I would love to see a TV reunion movie with the entire cast. Catch the reruns on Superstation TBS!
  • Two former 1960s left-wing hippies (Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter) try to rear their children (Michael J. Fox, Justine Bateman and Tina Yothers) in the 1980s and naturally have problem after problem in "Family Ties", one of the more memorable television successes of that impressive boob-tube decade. The show ran from 1982 to 1989 and even added another child (youngster Brian Bonsall) by the middle of its run. When the show premiered in 1982 it just could not generate any substantial interest ("Cheers" had the same problem during its initial year). After that though it was all peaches and cream as the series dominated on Sunday evenings and was consistently a top 5 or 10 show each week until they exited quietly (of its own free will after eight years). Fox and Bateman were definitely the two who dominated the show. Fox was a Republican-styled teen who seemed to only care about money and social status while Bateman was a polar opposite. She was a ditsy teen who seemed to care more about makeup, clothes, boys and being popular (in other words she was a normal youngster). Every cast member had their moments, but the series was not all fun and games. It consistently had "special" episodes where life crept into the family's crazed television world. Another of those NBC products from the 1980s that survives due to its performers and its intelligence. 4 stars out of 5.
  • katie-cj12 April 2012
    I often watch old sitcoms that I use to love as a kid. A lot of times, I'm disappointed because they are not near as good as I remembered, and in some cases they are just plain bad, when seen through my now-adult eyes. Family Ties is NOT one of those sitcoms! It's more impressive now than it was then. And of course, there are things that I pick up on now that I didn't when I was 10 years old. (politics/ hippies)

    I also never realized how FUNNY Michael Gross was until I started watching it again recently. I have no idea how that slipped by me! He is hilarious. Micheal J Fox is very funny too, of course. He had a lot of funny lines, but I've only recently noticed how much physical comedy he did as well. It's really sad to watch how quick and nimble he use to be; the way he could jump up onto the kitchen counter in one quick motion and slide all the way across it.

    There was always a moral lesson, too. I think all '80s sitcoms had those, but Family Ties pulled it off w/o being too cheesy about it. It's such a great show for both kids & adults. Every time I watch it, I find myself thinking "what ever happened to good, quality TV!?"
  • "Family Ties" creator Gary Goldberg didn't like Michael J. Fox on his first audition, thought he played Alex a little too smart-assish. But on his second try, Fox approached it a different way and won the part that shot him to stardom. He quickly became the focal point of the show as the money obsessed teenager Alex P. Keaton. You could understand Meredith Baxter-Birney's disappointment, as the show was to be geared toward her character as the mother. But she and the rest of the cast pretty much faded into the background behind Fox. Not that he wasn't supported by a great group of performers. Michael Gross as the easy going father, Justine Bateman as the typical phone hogging, boy troubled teenage daughter, and Tina Yothers as the tomboyish younger sister. In later years some nice additions were Scott Valentine as Bateman's weirdo boyfriend, and making numerous appearances over the years was Marc Price as the nerdy next door neighbor, Skippy. High point episodes over the years were the Alex turns 18 one, the Alex rents out the rooms of the house one, and also the 4(!) part heartattack episode with the focus being on Michael Gross' father character, Steven. Shows major misstep occured during their final year when they tried to become too socially concious. Episodes dealing with book banning, oil spills, toxic fumes from household products, and racism seemed a bit out of place and more importantly, took away from the comedy. The last hurrah was a decent episode that saw Alex move to New York to be an investment banker. But most recommended from the series would be the shows middle years, where the writing was at its best. Show also must of set some sort of record with at least 6 or 7(!) of those flashback type episodes featuring clips of the past stories. But no harm done.
  • 'Family Ties' is great and even though I haven't seen that many episodes, I still rank it among my top ten favorite TV shows. The cast is great, the writing is excellent, and it just makes me laugh about a million times within the half hour of air time.

    Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter, Justine Bateman, and Tina Yothers are all terrific in their given roles. They are all funny and great and anything else that I want in a television show, but the real stand out is of course, Michael J. Fox. I've adored Fox for many years and then when I finally got around to seeing him as Alex P. Keaton, well he just amazed me. He's so excellent with his quick comedic timing and snappy comebacks. (Particularly the ones given to Mallory make me laugh the hardest.) All in all he's a wonderful actor, not just in this show even though it brings the best out of him, but on any project he works on.

    The writing is fast moving, hilarious, and just about some of the best that I've seen in a comedy serious. Although it is now...20 years old, the series is still one of the best, even up against today's series. Lets face it, today's television has gone straight to the trash can with the exception of a very small percent of shows.

    Each episode is great, and if the plot isn't all that good, the writing and performances make up for it. I have to say that there were many episodes that I saw where I was so bored (about the plot), yet they still turned out good because of the comedy.

    All of the Emmys and Golden Globes and many more awards that 'Family Ties' was nominated for and having won throughout the years were all well deserved. A couple of more wins wouldn't have hurt. I can honestly say that this is one show that I try to catch (only on Nick can it be seen where I'm at). I love it, I love Fox, and good job to the writers. The show is great!
  • 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.
  • Family Ties was not like the more boisterous shows of its era like Three's Company or The Cosby Show. And it certainly is not like the modern day sitcoms with constant audience cat calls with the hootin' and hollerin'. Family Ties was a more quiet and intellectual series about Baby Boomers who had older Gen Xer kids. The show used intelligent witty humour instead of sight gags and slapstick comedy. I must disagree with others who say the episode with Alex grieving over his recently deceased friend. That was the WORST episode(s) of the entire series! I didn't care one bit about Alex's unseen friend that we never knew.

    People may say that the creators were tying to make a statement about the greed and materialism of the 80s by having flower power children from the 1960s raising teenagers and children in the 1980s, but I always saw them portraying the liberals/Democrats in a bad light while propping up the conservatives/Republicans. The parents Steven and Elyse, are made out to be the old school way of doing things. The hip, young and cool kids Alex, Mallory and to a lesser degree Jennifer and Andy, are made out to be the new way of thought. The kids were nearly always right and the parents were seen as dim witted old fools. A reverse All in the Family, indeed. The kids here are about Republican individualisim, and the more modern hip way of doing things in the 80s, versus the crusty old bleeding heart liberal "peace corp volunteer" way of approaching life that were the ex-hippie parents. So I do not believe at all that Family Ties was anti-conservative and anti-80s.

    But my God, how time flies. For instance it is interesting that Family Ties premiered in 1982, with ex-hippies raising 80s teenagers/children. If we do the math, then the frontline Gen Xers that were Alex and Mallory's age would today be in their late 30s and would be the ones raising teenagers and children! Back in the 80s the parents Steven and Elyse seemed like regular "grown ups" to me, its only now in my own adult hindsight do I realize that if they were hippies in the 1960s then they must have most likely been young parents of teenagers because they were still in their 30s (and not yet middle aged) when the show first started 1982. Regarding the kids on the show,---Alex was in college through most of the series, and looked about 16 in 1982, with Mallory probably 15 and Jennifer looked about 9 or 10 years old. So now it's obviously already 2004, over 20 years later!!! Family Ties was about generation gaps in the 80s, but those older, frontline teenagers from the 80s are already 37-40 years old today. Eh, I guess we all have to get old and Gen X wasn't going to stay cool forever! ;)

    My Rating:

    8.5/10
  • Re-watching it on DVD I was amazed that Family Ties really stood the test of time. What makes it stand out is the constant high quality of the writing. On the one hand Family Ties always tackles serious issues on a personal level (death, trust, love, sexual harassment) but also on a social/ political level. I find it absolutely amazing that the writers always manage to avoid the trap of becoming sentimental or moralizing but always keep a healthy distance. Politically Family Ties is the great liberal voice of 80s television and from that point of view plays in a different league from its arch rival at the time, The Cosby show. What I also find amazing is that they manage to pack a satisfying story in the fairly short format of less then 30 minutes. The cast of course is perfect. Michael Gross stands out for me because he has the best one-liners in the show and his delivery as naive Steve Keaton is incredibly funny. Michael Fox is Michael Fox (as always) but Meredith Baxter is a great and underrated comedienne (and actually hellishly attractive...). Pity Tina Yothers stopped acting as it is amazing what a quantity and quality of dialogue she delivered at a very young age (though the jury is still out on her real age). And let's not forget Justine Bateman as airhead Mallory but who can act a fine line between comedy and drama (see Give uncle Arthur a kiss.)
  • I'm so thrilled that FAMILY TIES is finally out on DVD. To me, this was the best sitcom of the 80's. Even today, its themes are still relevant. I always thought it was great that the kids were allowed their own ideas, the parents weren't divorced, and that they were an imperfect family just doing their best. Unlike the Cosby Show, which was all about the dad, Family Ties let each character deal with their own issues in a very real way. I just watched the episode where a family friend makes a pass at Mallory, and that is something that some young people have to deal with. It dealt with racism, alcoholism, rape, politics, and a host of other things that kids are exposed to. It's still funny and is a great show that kids and parents can watch together and not be embarrassed.
  • Family Ties, is one comedy sitcom that'll stay with me forever. No matter how many years pass or viewings, whatever, it will never lose it's credit. No other sitcom, has really effected me in that sort of way. Although a comedy, the Keatons did have their fair share of dramas, a lot in quite heavy and powerful doses. They're a family you can't shake off. Of course it was Michael J Fox, in one of his best ever roles as cocky, smart beyond his years, Alex P Keaton. The character were exceptionally well created, and I'm taking more so the kids. FT really touched on a lot of powerful, serious issues, teen angst and other, very realistic stuff, while still managing to pull in it's quota of laughs, the two opposites of laughs in even tune. I don't really know any other sitcom, that can pull that off in such magnitude, as this. The performances should be well praised. The real powerfully and hardly humorous episode was that of Alex's guilt trip, in quite a freaky, confronting story line, when he passed on a car trip, where his friend died.
  • Family Ties (1982 – 1989) was an all time 80s favourite. The show is about a political couple, the Keatons, that are very left wing activists and their children take on a conservative standpoint, especially Alex Keaton played by Michael J. Fox (who happens to be one of my favourite actors of all time, not just because he's Canadian, and not just because he's the same height as me). Family Ties provides good family humour while displaying respect and love for others differences in the family setting. Elyse and Steve Keaton are acted by Meredith Baker and Micheal Gross. Justine Bateman plays Mallory Keaton, Tina Yothers – Jennifer Keaton and Brian Bonsall - Andy Keaton.

    Family Ties was produced by Paramount Television, Paramount Home Entertainment, NBC, Veronica Omroep Organisatie and Dutch Filmworks (DFW). Michael J. Fox is a highlight of this series with his acting style. He is always dressed in a suit and tie (something that I tried myself for a while, but couldn't pull off), and fun loving Mallory (Justine Bateman) is into the groove with designer jeans and is boy crazy. 9 year old Jennifer (Tina Yothers) is simply a kid, where did the concept of letting kids be kids go? Now you see a lot of 9 year old's portrayed as being grown up with added make-up and designer clothes buying condoms.

    Family Ties is a good wholesome family television series and is great to boost family values while dealing with concrete issues of life such as crime, grief, love affairs outside of marriage and teen pregnancy.
  • Family Ties was one of the best shows in the 80's. The show that made Michael J. Fox popular. The show was funny and also a little bit dramatic. The actors were great. I wonder what some of the actors are doing nowadays.
  • "FAMILY TIES," in my opinion, is a pure definition of must-see TV! Despite the fact that I've never seen every episode, I still enjoyed it. My favorite one is the one where Elyse's (Meredith Baxter Birney) brother, Ned (Tom Hanks), comes to town. You'll have to have seen it for yourself if you want to know how any why. Everyone always gave a good performance, the production design was spectacular, the costumes were well-designed, and the writing was always very strong. I also loved the theme song. It's called "Without Us," and it's performed by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams. Before I wrap this up, I hope that all you die-hard fans of the show will always have it live on in syndication. In conclusion, even though it can also be seen on Nick at Nite now, I strongly recommend you catch it before it goes off the air for good.
  • To all of you who had nothing nice to say about Family Ties,I get that this show wasn't obviously for everybody and it even had its moments of annoyance if you enjoyed it,but I'll gladly take this even over most sitcoms that aired in the same era,let alone those of today.I actually was one of the yew young boys who crushed on Tina Yothers(Jennifer Keaton),which is no knock whatsoever on Justine Bateman(Mallory Keaton)because she was a hot number then and even still is.Most of the political jargon that came out of Steven,Elyse,and Alex's mouths mostly went over my head then,but it was still entertaining how it was all delivered.I didn't watch as much of the final 2 seasons and that was mainly because it was switched to Sunday nights,it became apparent to me in the few episodes I did watch that the show had finally ran its course.At least it went out strong,unlike many of its counterparts.
  • A fabulous sitcom, 7 great years and they knew when to quit when they were ahead. My stand out episodes include Alex having 2 dates for the prom, Alex turning his home into a rooming house to raise some cash, when Tom Hanks guest-starred as the alcoholic uncle, when Elise finds out she's pregnant, the A My Name Is Alex episode where it was done almost like a play, and when Alex dreamed he helped John Adams write the Declaration of Independence. Skippy was also an underrated addition to the cast. Great show and so glad it's being rerun on Nick at Nite right now even though late at nite!
  • Family Ties was one of the most successful TV comedies during the 80s. It's gimmick was the flower power children of the 60s who met at Woodstock got married and raised a family. And their first born was a born again Reagan Republican. Michael J. Fox reached stardom playing Alex P. Keaton teenage Republican, but he certainly had teenage hormones.

    Parents Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter were indulgent if sometimes exasperated by this conservative that they've raised. There were two other kids. Justine Bateman who had not a political thought in her head, just simply concentrated on boys and keeping up with the latest fashion and Tina Yothers who before puberty was a tomboy of sorts, but had really grown out of that when the show ended its run.

    Fox was the main reason this show had the run it did. It was just acting in terms of Alex Keaton and Michael J. Fox being one and the same. His views in real life were not Reaganesque, but in terms of keeping out of scandal sheets Fox led a conservative lifestyle.

    Sadly enough we also know of the premature Parkinson's Disease diagnosis which cut his career short. I remember my grandmother having that and well remember her tremors. Only rarely does it affect the young and Michael J. Fox was that rare and tragic exception.

    Family Ties is set firmly in the Reagan years. I wonder how a middle aged Alex Keaton feels about the current administration.
  • When I was a little girl. I didn't have the best family. I wanted to be in the Keaton family. I watched it every week. I loved Michael J. Fox. I had a friend that told me she had his address she got out of a book. I was so excited. I wrote him a three page letter telling him how much I loved him and his family and if they would adopt me.. and sent it off in the mail. I was 10yrs old. I didn't tell my parents. I just checked the mail box everyday for a letter back. The day I didn't check the mailbox..the letter I sent came back in the mail and my father opened it and read it to the entire family and became a joke amongst friends. I was humiliated by this and sad that Michael never got my letter. But I continued to watch all of his movies growing up and now my 4 kids of course are also able to enjoy his movies. I have 6yr old (small for their age) twin boys, one whose name is Alex.. I have loved that name since family ties. Coincidentally he loves to wear a jacket and tie to school and carry a briefcase, just like Alex P. Keaton. Because I have direct TV,the hub channel allows me to watch family ties with my kids and hear my son Alex say "He's just like me".(with a big smile on his face that lights me up) Who would of thought...Thanks Family Ties for being the role model for my family.
  • I loved the show during its NBC run, and have begun catching the reruns on HUB. Of course Michael J. Fox was the comic centerpiece of the show, but watching it again I am reminded how consistently and brilliantly funny Michael Gross was as father Steven Keaton. He was almost always a supporting player on a show that focused more on the children's lives, which allowed him to deliver some of the best lines, usually with a look of utter confusion. Although the character was a '60s Berkeley hippie, he was as over-protective of his daughters as any father on television. No matter how serious the main story line may have been in a particular episode, he would always provide the comic relief with either Alex or Jennifer. An underrated performer in an underrated show.
  • Many remember this show quite fondly, largely because it introduced Michael J. Fox to the wide public. Perhaps that is why some place it on a list of the greatest sitcoms in history. I don't believe it was a bad show; it was of decent quality, but it never reached the level of truly great shows like "Seinfeld," "The Simpsons," or "Cheers."

    Virtually the whole show rested on Fox's shoulders. He is undeniably a charismatic actor and well-equipped to carry a show. His character, unfortunately, was annoyingly one-note in some of the episodes. One week, he would be a complex, developing young man trying to integrate life's surprises with his materialistic values, then the following week he would be a greedy stereotype played for cheap laughs. Most shows do this kind of thing, but the best shows are able to get laughs without cheapening their characters.

    The other characters were often given short shrift in order to emphasize Fox. "Family Ties" was originally about a pair of ex-hippie parents raising children whose values conflicted with theirs. By the end, Steven and Elyse were little more than blandly nice parents there to worry when their children were afflicted with "very special episodes." The plots were about average for a sitcom, and the show was typically setbound, taking place predominantly in the same two rooms.

    All in all, I would place this show at the top of average shows rather than among the greats. It has been overrated to some extent, but not as flagrantly as "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Mad About You," or "Night Court."
  • "Family Ties" original plan was to center around two former hippy parents. It showed Meredith Baxter-Birney as television's first successful working wife and mother. Sure the 1970s started to showcase unmarried career women and single moms, but the sitcom world by the 1980s had yet to purge itself of wives serving as homemakers! The Keaton family showed a woman balancing a career and motherhood, only to be overshadowed by "The Cosby Show". In fact during the third season of "Family Ties" NBC sandwiched it on Thursday nights between two popular sitcoms: "The Cosby Show" and "Cheers"! After spending three seasons following Cosby the "Peacock Network" uprooted "Family Ties" and had it exiled to Sunday night, in order to make way for Lisa Bonet to star in a "Different World"; which was then a sorry "Cosby Show" spinoff! "Family Ties" served as great springboard for Michael J. Fox! As the series progressed the focus was taken off of the liberal parents and placed on MJF's character: the conservative Alex P. Keaton. It was clear to viewers that without Alex there wouldn't be much to the show! While Meredith Baxter had a proven track record, she was clearly overshadowed by Michael J. Fox. After Fox starred in "Back to the Future","Teenwolf" and other theatrical release blockbusters; he was clearly being groomed for superstardom! In fact he was being molded into the "All-American Boy"! Fox found himself correcting the media by saying he was an "All-Canadian Boy", because he was a native of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada! None of the juvenile stars of "Family Ties" had the screen presence of Michael J. Fox. He was the only one that had a promising future after the series ended.There was good chemistry between him and the adult stars. There were many laughs when Alex's conservative views clashed with the left-leaning views of his parents. This is also combined with the awkwardness of adolescense and taking pride in the fact that he was smart. He exudes the real world sarcasm towards his younger sisters. Everyone else seemed to serve as interchangable leggo pieces! "Family Ties" without Michael J. Fox was like "Corn Flakes" without the milk!
  • mattkratz27 March 2002
    This was one of my favorite shows growing up, as I loved the exploits of the Keaton family. The show for the most part was both warm and funny. I thought Michael J. Fox was perfect as Alex P. Keaton, and the rest of the cast did fine as well, especially the parents.
  • Since I've been in colleage I started to watch reuns of this show. When I take a break from studying and can't sleep this show is on at about 1 am. The show has lots of humor and I would love to hang out with Alex. This a great show and I just wish that I ahd watched more in the eighties.
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