95. FAMILY TIES
Created by Gary David Goldberg
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Aired: NBC, 1982-1989
In 1986, The Washington Post reported that at a White House ceremony honoring 141 high school students selected as presidential scholars for achievement in academics, the arts and leadership, President Reagan called Family Ties his favorite TV show, pointing to how “the wider culture is once again beginning to respect, even to celebrate, family life.” Evidently, the President hardly minded that the main butt of the show’s jokes was a buttoned-down young Republican. Alex P. Keaton was something of a Frankenstein monster – at once a likeable young man, a know-it-all, and a lobbyist for Big Business (star Michael J. Fox was good enough to endear us to all three parts of the character). That his parents were ex-hippie peaceniks whose nostalgia for the free-loving ’60s was also gently mocked is now proof that back in the ’80s, at least on this classic sitcom, partisanship wasn’t a zero-sum game.
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