TV Show Review: Family Ties (1982-1989)


This is the second time I binge watched this show since it first aired in 1982.  I watched all seven seasons, noticing Mallory’s haircut changed and everyone got younger in a few episodes that were out of order.  Despite this continuity jump, it was a trip down memory lane with seeing guest stars before they “made it” in Hollywood.  Tom Hanks, Julia Louis Dreyfus, and  There are many great episodes in this show.  It was hard to choose just one for each season.  The fact Michael J. Fox is way shorter than Michael Gross is a little bit of an eyesore, but it made for hilarious comedy between them.  I picked the best episode in each season and the best episode showcasing the acting chops of the major and some of the recurring actors/actresses.  The daily life of the Keaton family premiered in September 1982 and concluded in April 1989.

Season 1 = “Margin of Error” is the 16th episode where Alex secretly uses his parents’ money to invest in the stock market.

Season 2 = “The Harder They Fall” is the 3rd episode where Steven and Elyse can’t keep their cool around Alex’s teacher during parent/teacher conferences due to his rudeness.

Season 3 = “Here We Go Again” is the 2nd episode where Elyse has to tell the family she is pregnant again after they come back from a camping trip.

Season 4 = “Mr. Wrong” is the 3rd episode where Steven and Elyse aren’t fond on Mallory’s new boyfriend, Nick, and invite him over to dinner.

Season 5 = “My Mother, My Friend” is the 12th episode where Mallory’s friend has more in common with Elyse and she becomes jealous of them.

Season 6 = “The Play’s the Thing” is the 18th episode where Steven convinces Elyse to star in his play and then gets jealous of her co-star.

Season 7 = “Rain Forests Keep Falling on My Head” is the 21st episode where Jennifer is obsessed with saving the environment and enforces rules for the whole family to follow.


Best episode of Elyse Keaton played by Meredith Baxter = It’s in season seven, episode 26, where Elyse can’t be happy for Alex that he is moving to New York.

Best episode of Steven Keaton played by Michael Gross =  It’s in season three, episode 16, where Steven plays Thomas Jefferson in Alex’s dream.

Best episode of Alex P. Keaton played by Michael J. Fox = It’s in season four, episode 1, where Alex falls for an art student instead of his original pick from a magazine.  Ellen is played by Tracy Pollan. 

Best episode of Mallory Keaton played by Justine Bateman = It’s in season three, episode 15, where Mallory is the most affected by the death of Aunt Trudy.

Best episode of Jennifer Keaton played by Tina Yothers = It’s in season four, episode 7, where Jennifer acts her age around Alex’s math tutor who is also her age.  Eugene Forbes is played by River Phoenix.

Best episode of Andrew Keaton played by Brian Bonsall = It’s in season six, episode 6, where Andrew is jealous of Lauren, Alex’s new girlfriend.  Lauren is played by Courteney Cox.

Best episode of Skippy Handelman played by Marc Price = It’s in season two, episode 19, where Skippy finds out he’s adopted and sees his birth mother.

Best episode of Nick Moore played by Scott Valentine = It’s in season four, episode 8, where Nick tries to impress Steven and Elyse by being more like Alex.

Best episode of Lauren Miller played by Courteney Cox = It’s in season seven, episode 1, where Lauren has to deal with Alex in her study about overachievers.


I rate Family Ties Four Fingers and One Thumb NEAR PERFECT at 96%.



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