There's a Depth to "Family Ties" Most Sitcoms Avoid Review

As CBS continues to rollout their extensive TV series of past and present on DVD, we get the seventh of final season of Family Ties. This beloved 80s sitcom was hugely popular in its day and its resonances can still be felt today. While much of the style of the series (and costuming) is inherently dated, the humor and content of the show remain in tact, making this a very enjoyable show to watch.

In this final season, the Keaton family faces some emotional turmoil early on as patriarch Steven (Michael Gross) suffers a heart attack. Matriarch Elyse (Meredith Baxter Birney) must rally and keep the family strong in the 3-part episode “Heartstrings” as Steven undergoes heart surgery. In the latter half of the season, the writers set up the futures for the Keaton children. Spunky Jennifer (Tina Yothers) becomes a hardcore environmentalist. Ditzy Mallory (Justine Bateman) breaks into the fashion world with her designs. And even little Andy (Brian Bonsall) steals some screen time as he builds a time capsule with his family to create an emotionally overwhelming reminiscence of the show.

But it’s Alex’s (Michael J. Fox) future that the season’s framework is based on. He faces life after graduation, his long-term relationship with Lauren (Courtney Cox), and an opportunity to leave his family in Ohio and pursue a career on Wall St. Some tough decisions (and a few temptations) lie ahead for everyone’s favorite Keaton, but with a show like Family Ties, you can be sure he’ll end up making the right decisions.

Although the humor of the show still translates well in 2013, it seems the inevitable end-of-episode life lessons do not. With the characters always learning the importance of doing the right thing and loving family it is not unlike the treacly endings of Modern Family episodes. What really makes this show stand out, however, is the surprising amount of political talk sprinkled throughout. Family Ties plays off the Republican-Democrat divide within the Keaton family and addresses current political events going on at the time—a subject matter that most sitcoms rarely address.

Whether you’ve never seen an episode or have been marathoning the show on Netflix, Family Ties is easy to jump into and enjoy.

DVD Bonus Features

There are no special features. 

"Family Ties: The Seventh and Final Season" is on sale August 13, 2013 and is rated NC17. Comedy. Directed by Matthew Diamond, Sam Weisman. Written by Marc Lawrence, Katie Ford, Susan Borowitz, Alan Uger. Starring Justine Bateman, Meredith Baxter Birney, Michael Gross, Michael J Fox, Tina Yothers.

John Keith • Staff Writer

Writer. TV Addict. Bibliophile. Reviewer. Pop Culture Consumer. Vampire Enthusiast. LOST fanatic.


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