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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Family Ties – The Complete First Season

Family Ties – The Complete First Season


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Episodes: C+



Family Ties arrived in 1982 as Pop Music and MTV were having a great year, NBC was rebuilding into a network to be reckoned with and Michael J. Fox was about to become a breakout star.  The show began as the next potential hit for Meredith Baxter Birney, who already had two hit series under her belt.  She plays the mother of three, with a husband (Michael Gross) who was very liberal and as much so as she, which is how they fell in love.  Their daughters (Justine Bateman, Tina Yothers) are centrists, but son Alex (Fox) is a diehard Republican before that became so radical.


All 22 shows from the 1982 – 1983 season are here in broadcast order and the show is much smarter in its first season than it would be in its later hit years.  While the intents of the later seasons seemed to be to make a mockery of anything remotely liberal, this debut season is more balanced, smart, interesting and willing to tackle issues than the show would later be interested in dealing with as Fox became the star.  Enjoy it if interested.


The 1.33 X 1 image was shot in professional analog NTSC video and shows its age, but has digititis problems that throughout.  These need new transfers.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is better, showing its age, but sounding as good as it ever has.  There are inexplicably no extras, save Mr. Fox’s current health condition.  You’d think there were more items in the vault alone on such a hit.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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