Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Finally, Family Ties!

What took them so long?

This is another one of those shows where the first season wasn't as good as the others but we still have to buy it ('cause if we don't buy season 1, we don't get the better seasons). The first season wasn't bad, but it was too tied to the basic high-concept premise -- ex-hippie parents vs. soon-to-be-yuppie kids -- and didn't take full advantage of its two biggest assets: Michael J. Fox's charisma and the great comic timing of Michael Gross. In the first season, Gross was playing the part more as the slightly goofy ex-hippie who has to deal with the fact that he's grown-up now. In the second season, he grew a beard, gained a little more dignity, and became one of the best, funniest sitcom dads: able to get the most out of any line ("There was a kangaroo in my living room") without trying to hog the scenes. Meredith Baxter[-Birney] never seemed to adjust quite as well to the fact that Fox's Alex became the show's central character; whereas Gross adapted and learned to get big laughs by playing off Alex, Baxter always seemed a little sullen about not being the star of the show, and always seemed to be trying a little too hard to dominate a scene, especially when she was in a scene with Fox.

The one thing I always wondered about this version of the title sequence (season 3, I think) is why it looked like Meredith Baxter was slapping somebody, and if so, who she was slapping. And yes, "There ain't no nothing we can't love each other through" is one of the worst lines in the history of lyric writing, and probably is single-handedly responsible for bad grammar in people of my generation.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

I'm SO excited about the release of Family Ties on DVD! For some unclear reason (bad scheduling? maybe) it has done badly in syndication.