Though it emerged during the Reagan era, Family Ties remains as relevant as ever. Most children find their parents a little embarrassing, but what sets this sitcom apart is that former hippies Steven (Michael Gross) and E... more »lyse (Meredith Baxter-Birney) Keaton have three children, Alex (three-time Emmy winner Michael J. Fox), Mallory (Justine Bateman), and Jennifer (Tina Yothers), yet they haven't lost their youthful idealism. The ambitious Alex and materialistic Mallory, however, don't share it. Poster children for the go-go 1980s, they'd rather rake in the cash than change the world. As Alex quips in the pilot, "The '60s are over, Dad." If the writing were more cynical, it's unlikely the ABC show would've become a seven-season hit. It works because the Keatons obviously love each other--foibles and all. In their first year, the family faces a variety of challenges. Steven finds out his father has a fatal illness ("I Never Killed for My Father"), 15-year-old Mallory deals with unwelcome male attention ("Give Your Uncle a Kiss"), and 17-year-old Alex learns a lesson about responsibility when he loses nine-year-old Jennifer while babysitting ("The Fifth Wheel"). Guest stars include Bewitched's Dick Sargent as Elyse's father, Charlie ("No Nukes Is Good Nukes"), and a lanky Tom Hanks as her brother, Ned (two-part episode "The Fugitive"). Though Fox (Back to the Future, Spin City) was the breakout star of Family Ties, he was part of a strong ensemble. Some storylines are also surprisingly hard-hitting, particularly the script dealing with sexual harassment. On the downside, there are no extras and, like many Paramount boxed sets, most of the original music has been changed or eliminated. The theme song "Without Us," for instance, is sung by session players on several episodes rather than by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams. --Kathleen C. Fennessy Beyond Family Ties
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"Paramount has totally let true fans of classic television down with this much-anticipated release. Due to music issues, a handful of episodes (4 or so) have some original broadcast scenes deleted! This is completely unacceptable. They could have changed the music (which is bad enough in my opinion), but to delete the scene entirely is ridiculous! As much as I loved this show, I can't bring myself to support this set.
To add insult to injury, they still used the word "complete" on the cover! I've noticed in some upcoming Paramount releases that this word is suddenly missing. Check out the cover art for "Happy Days" Season Two and "Wings" Season Four. This leads us to wonder, are these shows truly complete, or will they suffer a fate similar to that of "Family Ties"?
As much as I've always despised music alterations, I've still bought DVD sets that used that tactic since the shows otherwise contained all of the original broadcast footage. But I will NOT buy a set that just hacks away at the episodes like this. If we do support these products, the studios will just keep getting lazier and lazier. Why should they care about putting work into their releases if the public will still gobble up whatever garbage they put out?
I really hate this, because I was looking SO forward to finally owning what I thought was going to be the complete and uncut version of each episode. I guess I should have known better than to count my chickens before they hatched."
Set contains edited episodes!
M. J Krankka | New London,MO | 02/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Warning to all Family Ties fans that is buying this set,the set contains edited episodes.What I read is that Family Ties season 1 had some music that Paramount was to cheap to pay for,and so instead of replacing some of the music Paramount decided to delete some scenes from some of the episodes that contain music including a scene from the first episode.I think that's dumb changing the music is one thing but to edit episodes is a bunch of bull,we fans want to buy TV shows on DVD in there uncut form.Yeah go change the music but dont delete scenes.Of course not all the episodes will be edited so that is why I'm still going to buy this set to get the episodes that will be uncut."
The theme song was NOT changed
Matt | Washington, DC | 03/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is in response to the concerns a couple people have raised about the theme song. In the original broadcast run the theme song was sung by studio singers for the first 10 or so episodes only. After that new vocals were recorded by Johnny Mathis and Denise Williams over the same backing tracks and their vocals were heard on all subsequent episodes. That is exactly what happens on these DVDs. After episode 10 we get the Mathis/Williams recording on all the remaining episodes. I have all these early episodes on VHS recorded MANY years ago and the theme song - with both pairs of singers - is exactly the same."
The best of 80's sitcom
Zaved Ahmed | Dhaka, Bangladesh | 12/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the funniest sitcoms from the 80's is finally released in dvd. This is the show that launched the career of Michael J Fox (21 years old and beautifully portraying the role of 16 year old Alex). Alex was the first child of Elyse (played by Meredith Baxter-Birney) and Steven Keaton (played by Michael Gross). Elyse was a very successful architect and Steven ran a public television station.
Alex was an avid republican (a Regan devotee) who often wore business formal attire (i.e. shirt and tie) as he wandered across the house. Mallory (played by Justine Bateman), the second born, had a relaxed personality and preferred shopping over studying. Jennifer (played by Tina Yothers) was the cute youngster in the family. The majority of the show's humor is derived from the tension between Alex's traditional mindset, Mallory's uninhibited consumerism, and their parents' attitudes (who grew up as the care-free non-materialistic children in the 1960s).
The episodes for season 1 are:
Episode 1: Pilot Episode 2: Not with My Sister You Don't Episode 3: I Know Jennifer's Boyfriend Episode 4: Summer of '82 Episode 5: I Never Killed for My Father Episode 6: Give Your Uncle a Kiss Episode 7: Big Brother Is Watching Episode 8: No Nukes Is Good Nukes Episode 9: Death of a Grocer Episode 10: Have Gun, Will Unravel Episode 11: A Christmas Story Episode 12: Oops Episode 13: Sherry Baby Episode 14: The Fugitive: Part 1 Episode 15: The Fugitive: Part 2 Episode 16: Margin of Error Episode 17: French Lessons Episode 18: I Gotta Be Ming Episode 19: Suzanne Takes You Down Episode 20: The Fifth Wheel Episode 21: Stage Fright Episode 22: Elyse D'Arc
Highly recommended sitcom full of amusing political banter between the parents (liberal democrats) and the son (conservative republican). "
Can anyone get TV DVD's right?
Skyclad | Michigan | 02/23/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I came on here to complain about music issues in the Season 1 DVD. I'm a big fan of Family Ties, but I have not seen most of these episodes in at least 15 years, so I don't remember a lot of things. What I came on to complain about is that on the DVD box it says in small letters that the music is different than when the show originally aired. I had no idea that some complete scenes were missing like the other reviewers pointed out. Like I said, it's been too long for me to remember. I thought it was bad when the music on Northern Exposure was changed so they didn't have to pay for the music, but to take the entire scene out is indeed blasphemy, especially when it sayd "Complete" on the box. I guess those deleted scenes explains why someof the fade ins after the act break seemed odd to me. In one episode, the camera fades in an Alex goes up and turn the radio station that his dad is listening to, and complains about the song. You actually don't hear any song until he changes the station.
Anybody remember Freaks And Geeks? They refused to release those DVD's until they had all of the original music that was in the episodes that aired. And every one of those episodes had music from 3-6 popular bands. If that show which had few fans can get all of the music right, you'd think they could do it for Family Ties.
Besides that, there's some video issues, like lines through the image on the left side of the screen.
The show is still a 5/5, but we're talking the DVD set here, and it's far from perfect, and actually nowhere near as good as it should be. Sad thing is, if they cut scenes and changed the music for season 1, they'll probably do it for all of the seasons.
And lastly, there's not ANY bonus features on this DVD set at all. Not even TV ads or anything. This is the first TV DVD set I'v ever boughten that didn't have any bonus features at all."