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Best Show of All Times--3--FAMILY TIES
November 9, 1984
I'm six years old and at a birthday party. The music comes on, kids dance. I get on the floor, plant my shoulder into the wood, and start spinning like a can opener trying to keep my lips from touching said ground. The mom, never seeing the episode of Family Ties where Alex tries to be a ballet dancer to justify why he trespassed into a building to spy on a girlfriend, assumed I was "break-dancing".
At seven, I had this problem where I raised my hand to get called on in class, only to say "Straits of Maaaaaa........Straights of Maaaaaaa......" and then dropped my head into my arms.
I'm riveted as Mallory has to do allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll this homework in order to get a B in what appears to a seven year old to be the hardest god damn class in the world. It's actually a simple history class when you're a senior in high school. Even easier, for it's an oral exam.
even later 1985
Back to the Future comes out and I'm there, boyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.
All in the Family with Carol O' Connor and Suzanne Somers caused "Family Ties".
It repaired what All In The Family had unintentionally started.
You see, Carol O' Connor was nothing like Archie Bunker. But that didn't stop him from being GOOD as Archie Bunker.
Ronald Reagen was enormously popular because of Michael J. Fox. Not only does he name-drop him in Back to the Future, not only does he BUY A PEPSI from him in Back to the Future Part II, not only does he mention him yet again in Bright Lights Big City and Secret of My Success, but Michael J. Fox would make Reagen the political equivalent of a TV star who wins five consecutive Emmys. And it was because of his portrayal of the very charming and SURPRISINGLY open-minded and compassionate conservative Alex P. Keaton.
ABC would attempt to rip off Family Ties with a show called Growing Pains, and it seemed like Family Ties might be in trouble....for Growing Pains had not one but TWO possible Alex P. Keatons. Add to that...it gets better...the nerd of the household isn't one of the brothers, but the SISTER!!! Imagine the possibilities. Well ABC's writers, hands down the best in the world in the 80s at sitcoms, would make Traci Gold the object of every single kind of joke over the span of Growing Pains's run. She wasn't particularly attractive. She was high strung once you worked her enough. She would object to everything on a philosophical basis in what was the biggest Ohio State household you'll ever see in your life. The dad is the only man in TV history that wouldn't have made me freeze if I was jumping on his bed with my friends. I was slightly worried for every kid on every show when the dad came in to scold them. All except for Mr. Seaver on Growing Pains. I didn't even take Joanna Kerns to be much of a hard ass in response. They were so enthralled by their little Mike the way Hannah Montana makes sure you know how enthralled she is when the Jonas Brothers come to the studio on her show. They looked forward and chuckled in silence to every one of Mike Seaver's major stunts on Growing Pains as if it was only helping them get closer to catching the legacy of Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties.
Growing Pains, a wonderfully entertaining show, would continuously lose to Family Ties when it came to ever category it tried to top them in. Long after it was clear that Alex P. Keaton owned Mike and Ben Seaver, Growing Pains would try to counter with a friend named "Boner". A good idea, Growing Pains. After all, it's a family program. Yet it's funny. It works. So what does Family Ties do? Gives Mallory Keaton a boyfriend in Nick. Sorry Growing Pains.
Family Ties's show highlights are so funny, were in such high demand, and made by writers and directors who were so proud of themselves, that more then half of the episodes are flashback episodes. Literally like 4300%.
Alex P. Keaton has one hot girlfriend after another after another after another. Everyone got their start being an Alex girl -- Geena Davis, Daphne Zuniga, I'll think of more later. Tom Hanks is in alcoholic brother-in-law who sends APK flying with a punch. It's interesting when Hanks, still unknown, comes out and there's no instant applause. Nobody knows who this guy is yet.