Family Ties

 (465)7.21983X-RayTV-PG
In the show's first season, we're introduced to Steven and Elyse Keaton's fun loving, wild and dynamic family.
Genres
Comedy
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English

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  1. 1. Pilot
    September 22, 1982
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Alex escorts a pretty socialite to a dance at her country club.
  2. 2. Not With My Sister You Don't
    September 29, 1982
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Alex heads the household when Elyse and Steven go away for the weekend.
  3. 3. I Know Jennifer's Boyfriend
    October 6, 1982
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Jennifer gets picked on when she befriends a boy at school.
  4. 4. Summer of '82
    October 27, 1982
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Alex mistakes an older woman's friendship for romance.
  5. 5. I Never Killed for My Father
    November 3, 1982
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A visit from Steven's father evokes confrontation between the two.
  6. 6. Give Uncle Arthur a Kiss
    November 10, 1982
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    An older friend of Steven's makes a pass at Mallory.
  7. 7. Big Brother is Watching
    November 17, 1982
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Alex publishes a list of cheaters in the school paper.
  8. 8. No Nukes Is Good Nukes
    November 24, 1982
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Steven and Elyse spend Thanksgiving in jail for attending an anti-nuke rally.
  9. 9. Death of a Grocer
    December 1, 1982
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Alex quits his supermarket job to climb the corporate ladder.
  10. 10. Have Gun, Will Unravel
    December 8, 1982
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The Keatons consider buying a gun for protection after getting burglarized.
  11. 11. A Christmas Story
    December 15, 1982
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The Keatons reminisce when they get snowed in on Christmas Day.
  12. 12. Oops
    December 22, 1982
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Mallory resents Elyse for the advice she gives her pregnant friend.
  13. 13. Sherry Baby
    January 12, 1983
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Mallory uses Alex's popularity with the girls to get into a sorority.
  14. 14. The Fugitive (1)
    January 19, 1983
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Elyse's once successful brother gets into trouble with the FBI.
  15. 15. The Fugitive (2)
    January 26, 1983
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Elyse's brother Ned faces the consequences of embezzling corporate funds.
  16. 16. Margin of Error
    February 19, 1983
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Alex makes ill-fated decisions when he secretly invests his father's money.
  17. 17. French Lessons
    February 16, 1983
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Mallory has a disastrous date with a handsome French tutor.
  18. 18. I Gotta Be Ming
    February 23, 1983
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Alex joins the Big Brother program and tries to mold a young version of him.
  19. 19. Suzanne Takes You Down
    March 16, 1983
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Elyse regrets her decision to hire her unqualified friend.
  20. 20. The Fifth Wheel
    March 28, 1983
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Jennifer runs away when she feels neglected by her siblings.
  21. 21. Stage Fright (a.k.a.) Video Jitters
    April 4, 1983
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Alex tutors Mallory for a television quiz game show.
  22. 22. Elyse D'Arc
    April 11, 1983
    24min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Elyse gets so wrapped up in work that she neglects her family.

More details

Season year
1983
Network
CBS
Purchase rights
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Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
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Other formats

Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

465 global ratings

  1. 83% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 0% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

B. M. BlockReviewed in the United States on February 4, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
A slice of the 80's re-visited
Verified purchase
Family Ties was one of the most popular shows on television when I was growing up, and re-watching some of the episodes now, it's easy to see why it made Michael J. Fox a star. Tom Hanks also appears in the first season as Elyse Keaton's brother. His energy, charisma, and star power are also unmistakable, even on the small screen. The show itself has aged, and in some cases not as well as one would have hoped, as some of the "lessons learned" seem a little trite, and characters that annoyed you in the 80's are doubly annoying now (Skippy Handelman and later Nick) - although that is keeping with the general formula of family sitcoms of the era. The main cast of Family Ties is very strong, with each actor truly growing into the subtle idiosyncrasies of their characters episode by episode. Like most sitcoms, there is an arc to the quality of the show's run - in my opinion, the first season has some lovely moments and some clunky bits as each character and the family dynamic is established, which, once out of the way, helps tailor the writing in later seasons. Seasons two and three really establish the family before the introduction of boyfriends, girlfriends, and the inevitable new baby in the middle of the show's run.
8 people found this helpful
O. B. TryggvasonReviewed in the United States on August 27, 2008
3.0 out of 5 stars
Meet the Keaton's
Verified purchase
Because of a "Coach" draught (I'm amazed at how slowly these old shows are released) I wanted to watch another friendly sitcom and I fondly remembered "Family Ties" from way back when. It doesn't hurt that I'm a big fan of Michael J. Fox either.

"Family Ties" is a nice little family sitcom which I doubt seriously would offend anyone. All the family members are likable in their own way and deal with their fair share of shortcomings. What I like most about it though is their political overtone. Elyse and Steven Keaton (Meredith Baxter-Birney and Michael Gross) are old hippies who seem to have raised a die-hard Republican in Alex P. Keaton (Fox). Alex's ideals continually clash with his parents's and those moments provide some great entertainment. Although the tone is pretty lefty it is not judgemental and the clashes always end well (usually with Alex seeing the errors of his ways).

The first season of "Family Ties" isn't laugh out loud funny it must be said. The first three episodes in particular are not at all interesting or very funny but things pick up immediately in the fourth episode which deals nearly exclusively with Alex. The kids gradually took center stage but originally the parents were to be the real main characters.

"Family Ties" ran for seven seasons and when shows run that long it's usually thanks in large parts to great chemistry between the cast members. It's easy to see why Fox became a hot property. He's such a natural comic performer and overall good actor and he easily carries the lesser episodes in the series. Justine Bateman grows on you as Mallory and Meredith Baxter is sincere and likable as Elyse. But here on the first season Michael Gross is easily the weakest link. His one-liners look like they're read off of cue cards and his comic talents seem to be mostly non-existent. He fares better when he's called upon to be serious (like in the episode dealing with his father and when Mallory's uncle behaves inappropriately), that's where he looks pretty solid.

Overall "Family Ties" is a sporadically funny but (nearly) always enjoyable sitcom. The irresistably appealing Fox carries the shows in it's duller moments but mostly it's great fun watching the goings on at the Keaton household. Nearly every reviewer here says the seasons got better and I'm taking them at their word as Season 2 is on it's way.
2 people found this helpful
Angie CReviewed in the United States on August 5, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Nostalgia at its finest ...
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This is the ultimate Xennial show ! This is better appreciated when thinking about how the concept of family has evolved in the past 30 years . It's surreal and intriguing to see how the issues of the time are playing themselves out today such as feminism, the me too movement (abuse), women at work, etc... I do miss the days in which politics were not as polarizing and divisive in a dialogue. The show had a liberal but family values were still conservative in my view.
One person found this helpful
L. KayeReviewed in the United States on February 25, 2007
5.0 out of 5 stars
Still funny after all these years!!!!
Verified purchase
When this series first aired, I enjoyed it but didn't see every episode. Therefore I don't know what, if any, scenes were cut as previous reviewers have alleged. I must say that the set was advertised as complete, with the only acknowledged change being the music. The program itself still has laugh out loud moments, and deserves 5 stars. However, the dvd package is disappointing, with no special features such as outtakes, interviews, or commentary. If in fact scenes were cut, then I would definitely believe that as a consumer, I had been short-changed. I hope future dvd packages will give us a little more for our money. That being said, I realized as I watched the various episodes that it truly was an ensemble series, with all of the actors contributing to its success. I must admit that when the show first aired, I, like many others, tended to focus on the performance of Michael J. Fox. Even now it is interesting to see how his role expanded as the series progressed, and deservedly so. However, now we can appreciate the performances of the other actors as well. It would be nice to have features about them on the next set of dvds. All in all, this series is a good addition to my tv collection.
3 people found this helpful
Brian WyssReviewed in the United States on January 18, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Don't make 'em like this any more
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My son and I started watching this together. This was one of my favorite shows when I was a young lad. This is my favorite Michael J. Fox role while my son leans towards Back to the Future. A great family show that teaches shows real world issues. They don't make 'em like this any more.
8 people found this helpful
Joshua SpauldingReviewed in the United States on March 30, 2007
4.0 out of 5 stars
Alex P. Keaton: Greatest sitcom character ever
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The premise of Family Ties is relatively simple. A pair of activists from the 60s with decidedly liberal views find themselves raising a family in the 80s with kids who are very 1980s-minded.

Yet from this simple premise was born a great television show, one that dealt with many very serious issues, but one that found comedy in all sorts of situations. Watching this much-anticipated first season release, one will find themselves laughing at the situations that the characters find themselves in, even 25 years later.

Steven and Elyse Keaton (Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter Birney) were anti-war demonstrators in the 60s, but in the 1980s things are a little different. The couple is raising three children, 17-year-old Alex (Michael J. Fox in his career-defining role), 15-year-old Mallory (Justine Bateman) and 10-year-old Jennifer (Tina Yothers). As parents they want to be sure they are raising the kids right, but they are also hoping to avoid the traps that they believe their parents fell into when raising them.

The relationship between the parents and kids, as well as the relationship between the kids, is the hallmark of this show and none of those relationships are as entertaining as the one between Alex and his parents. Alex is a hard-core Republican conservative, worshiping at the altar of Nixon and Reagan, all the while keeping track of investments and any way he can make money. His views are obviously completely opposite of his parents and this leads to a number of hilarious encounters. Fox really brought a lot to this role and when he was cast, he was basically an unknown. This part put his career on the fast track, leading to his eventual role as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy. I remember watching this show as a kid and really enjoying the character, but watching it now with a better understanding of the political views and such, it is even funnier.

Mallory is the typical teenage girl, completely infatuated with boys, but not so much with school. While her brother shines in the academic world, she struggles in his shadow, instead electing to focus on fashion and such. But she is also a good friend and a good sister, as she helps one of her friends through a teenage pregnancy in one of her stronger storylines of the first season. She also deals with the flirtations of an old family friend. Thankfully, though the subjects were serious, the show was always able to find comedy in serious matters.

Jennifer is the perfect example of a tomboy, into sports and hanging out with boys, which gets her in trouble with some of her classmates, as they are at the age where boys and girls begin to separate. As the youngest member of the Keaton clan, Jennifer often feels overlooked, but she is always quick to put in a good punch line and play the role of precocious kid when it is needed. Often times she even comes out looking more mature than her older siblings.

In this first season, Tom Hanks makes a guest appearance as Elyse's brother, who is on the run from the authorities after stealing a large amount of money from his company. It was interesting to see Hanks at such a young age, as many in my generation know him mainly for his most recent movies.

The only disappointing thing about this set was the lack of extras, but that was expected. I am hopeful for more seasons of this fantastic show to be released, though it would be nice if they were able to put together a few extras along the way.

All in all, though, this show transferred well to DVD. It was obvious that the show was shot in the early 80s, but there were no visual side effects and everything appeared pretty clear. This is a great family comedy, one that can be enjoyed by all ages, but will surely be enjoyed by someone who grew up in the 1980s and knows the time period.
5 people found this helpful
Happy in OhioReviewed in the United States on November 17, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars
So great to be able to watch my favorite childhood show!
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As soon as the theme song started, my eyes welled up. I was immediately taken back to my childhood. I hate today's sitcoms - complete junk with all of the young characters sporting sassy attitudes. I ordered The Facts of Life, Silver Spoons and Family Ties for my kids and they love them! (I think Diff'rent Strokes is next on my list) I'm happy to be able to offer them an alternative to the poor programming available today. Not sure what some of the negative reviews are about with edited scenes - I didn't notice anything missing. As far as the theme song goes, it changed over the years and what they have for the first season is correct. Buy the DVD...you'll be transported back to childhood too!
3 people found this helpful
hues2000Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
Worth your time.
Verified purchase
This is an early sitcom series that is funny. More importantly, it is enlightening. As with many sitcoms in this time period, social issues are discussed and in some cases, resolved. Lessons can be learned from this program. Tolerance and open communications is a solid key portrayed through out this series. This is a clean show well worth watching for both adults and children. Strongly recommend as family viewing.
8 people found this helpful
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