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Family Ties

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Family Ties

 

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This successful TV program is one of the emblematic series of the 80s; it aired on NBC from September 22, 1982 (1982-09-22) to May 14, 1989; for seven seasons and 180 episodes of 22-24 minutes wach. It became very popular in ratings after being placed right after The Cosby Show during the 1984-1987 period.

Family Ties featured Steven (Michael Gross) and Elyse Keaton (Meredith Baxter), a couple of hippies with liberal views who were married in the 60s. However, their children did not adopt the same liberal values. In fact, their son Alex (Michael J. Fox) was a 100% conservative admirer of Ronald Reagan.

The children of the family, Alex, Mallory (Justine Bateman) and Jennifer (Tina Yothers), had strikingly different personalities. Alex was the overachiever, who wore a shirt and tie and was a member of the Young Republicans; Mallory was the scatter-brained slacker who was more into shopping and guys; while Jennifer was the younger sister, a precocious girl who just wanted to be the normal kid.

During the 1984-1985 season, Elyse gave birth to Andrew (Brian Bonsall). Alex soon influenced his younger brother into his ideals, and he became an Alex clone.

Through the years the Family Ties kids had several love interests. After Alex graduated high school, he attended Leyland College where he met, Ellen Reed (Tracy Pollan) who would become his first serious girlfriend in the series (and Michael's wife in real life). After that relationship was finished (in fiction), Alex met Lauren Miller (Courteney Cox).

Mallory was in serious danger of failing out of high school when she met the slacker and high school-dropout Nick Moore.

At the end of the Family Ties series, Alex accepts his dream job offer on Wall Street in New York City.

Originally, Elyse and Steven were intended to be the main characters of the story but soon the audience reacted so positively to Alex that he became the focus on the show. This show made him famous and thanks to that fame he was offered the role of Marty McFly in Back to the Future, the movie that catapulted him into stardom. He took the role of Alex Keaton after Matthew Broderick turned it down.

The were also secondary characters including the annoying but lovable neighbor Irwin "Skippy" Handelman (Marc Price), Mallory's boyfriend Nick Moore (Scott Valentine).

Several Hollywood stars made appearances on the show before they became famous or popular; including Tom Hanks who played the role of Elyse's younger brother, Ned during seasons 1 and 2. Geena Davis portraying an inept housekeeper, River Phoenix, a 14-year-old genius who developes a crush on Jennifer.

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