"What would we do baby, without us?
—Last lines of "Without Us", the Family Ties theme song.
is a rather straightforward Dom Com
that ran on NBC
Former flower children Steven (Michael Gross) and Elyse (Meredith Baxter-Birney) Keaton are now adults
and raising three kids of their own: hyper-conservative Alex (Michael J. Fox in the role that made him a star), ditzy
Mallory (Justine Bateman) and precocious Jennifer (Tina Yothers). A fourth Keaton child, Andrew, is born in the third season and played by Brian Bonsall beginning in season 5.
Much of the humor comes from the conflict between the Republican Alex and the very Democratic parents
. In a rare example, there are no Strawman Political
sequences to be found here: both ideologies are given equal time in the spotlight, and there is no Strawman Ball
Unlike many Dom Coms
(and most of the ones made since The Seventies
), the show was about a completely standard "nuclear" family
. Think My Three Sons
, Family Affair
, The Brady Bunch
, Diff'rent Strokes
, Full House
, etc. The fact that Family Ties
had no adopted kids, cousins, kids from previous marriages, or single parents actually made it something of a rarity, even for The Eighties
Provides Examples Of:
"Sit, Ubu, sit. Good dog." "Woof."