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#1

mcmaenza

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Posted Jun 29, 2006 @ 10:03 AM

Any fans of the 70's drama "Family" - which aired on ABC for five seasons and starred Kristy McNichol and Meredith Baxter-Birney? I just heard word that season 1 (6 episodes) and season 2 (22 episodes) will be released together in a six disk set on September 5th. I remember watching this drama as a young teen growing up. I'm looking forward to the release. It would be really nice to have some commentary by Kristy and the other actors too.

#2

kassa

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Posted Jun 29, 2006 @ 12:43 PM

I loved this show when it was on! I caught some repeats back in the 80s. It doesn't hold up too well, but then again, it's probably worth seeing for the outfits!

My favorite part of that show was that the Mom looked a lot like my Mom, and my friends' moms, as opposed to Florence Henderson or Shirley Jones.

#3

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Posted Jun 29, 2006 @ 12:51 PM

SO glad to see a thread for this show. I loved Family and never missed it.James Broderick has to be one of the best TV dads ever, Sada Thompson was great, and I had a major crush on Gary Frank. And I have to admit I ran around in overalls my freshman year in 1975-76 because Kristy McNichol wore them so often.

#4

TudorQueen

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Posted Jun 29, 2006 @ 1:53 PM

Count me as a diehard "Family" fan. I loved everyone, although my favorite had to be James Broderick's Doug. What I loved most of all was how realistic the family dynamic was. Everyone loved each other, but each had his or her 'special' relationship - Doug with Nancy, who followed him into law, Willie and 'Peaches'/'Buddy'/Leticia, Kate with Willie - and Doug and Willie's thorny relationship was so like that between my real brother and father that it was sometimes painful to watch, kind of like Doug's magic act [jk].

I would love to see this series again. Any hope for DVDs? Maybe producer Aaron Spelling's death will remiind everyone of how good it was...

#5

harmony60

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Posted Jun 29, 2006 @ 3:31 PM

I just voted for this as my favourite Aaron Spelling show on a poll a few days ago.

I absolutely loved James Broderick and Sada Thompson in this. :)

September 5th can't come soon enough, as far the DVD set is concerned.

#6

TudorQueen

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Posted Jun 29, 2006 @ 4:33 PM

So there will be DVDs? Awesome!

Remember Nancy's on-again, off-again, can't-live-with-him, don't-want-anyone-else-to-have-him relationship with Jeff? [I remember a young Veronica Hamel playing a very nice young woman Jeff was about to marry before Nancy meddled]. Somehow, in spite of Nancy being borderline insufferable half the time, and Jeff needing a spine or something, I kept thinking they really would find a way to get back together for good, but they never did...

After James Broderick died I stopped wishing for a reunion because it would be too painful to watch the Lawrence family without Doug.

#7

valny

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Posted Jun 30, 2006 @ 10:58 PM

I remember watching this drama as a young teen growing up.

Me too. I liked it alot. The older brother/younger sister relationship kind of reminded me of me and my brother. I forgot, what night was it on? Thursdays at 10pmEST?

And I have to admit I ran around in overalls my freshman year in 1975-76 because Kristy McNichol wore them so often.

Heh, and I think I started skateboarding because of her.

Remember Nancy's on-again, off-again, can't-live-with-him, don't-want-anyone-else-to-have-him relationship with Jeff? [I remember a young Veronica Hamel playing a very nice young woman Jeff was about to marry before Nancy meddled]. Somehow, in spite of Nancy being borderline insufferable half the time, and Jeff needing a spine or something, I kept thinking they really would find a way to get back together for good, but they never did...

I don't really remember too much about that but I remember I didn't really care for her character all that much, wasn't she kind of cold...bordering on bitchy sometimes? It's been a while, so I only have vague memories.

I'm also trying to remember specific episodes but I really can't think of any. I'll have to look HERE for the episode recaps to jog my memory.

#8

oceanblue

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Posted Jun 30, 2006 @ 11:11 PM

I loved this show. The dynamic between the older sister and the younger really struck me, as I have a sister much older. On most shows it would be played without the complexity that was here. So much of the show was completely valid, and so different from anything else on TV.

#9

chrisrose

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Posted Jul 1, 2006 @ 6:51 AM

Never saw this show...it was before my time. But I've preordered the DVDs and I'm looking forward to checking it out. Mainly 'cause my heroes, Ed Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz, (who went on to form the Bedford Falls company responsible for my absolute favorite TV series, My So-Called Life) - wrote some episodes for Family - I'm curious to see how that series might've influenced their later work. And I figure Family's gotta be a quality show if they were involved. :) Even if they didn't create/produce it. (I'm a little concerned since Aaron Spelling's involved - and he wasn't exactly known for spearheading realistic family dramas, right?) But, from what you guys say, this show's got true-to-life family dynamic/relationships, so...yay. :)

So, who's Kristy McNichol? I have a friend who hates her for some reason...he kinda sorta barely remembers Family, and says she was a bimbo on the show. Overalls and skateboarding screams "tomboy" not "bimbo" to me, but what do I know? :) Maybe it's a 70's fashion thing that I'm not getting. ;) (Also, this same friend loooooooved SMG in her pre-Buffy soap opera days, and she was pretty bimbo-y there, wasn't she? So I'm confused. Hypocrisy hurts my head.)

I hope Family Ties comes to DVD soon, for cryinoutloud. Best sitcom ever.

Edited by chrisrose, Jul 1, 2006 @ 7:04 AM.


#10

TudorQueen

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Posted Jul 1, 2006 @ 7:55 AM

Kristy MacNicol's character was not a bimbo at all, IMHO. Indeed, 'Buddy' [she hated her given name, Leticia, which was bestowed in honor of a grandmother or some such, and no one looked less like a 'Leticia' than Buddy Lawrence] was a skateboarding tomboy with appealingly 'real' features and real life day to day dilemmas, who popularized the slang word 'yucka' and faced her inevitable growing up with tremulous confusion.

As for Aaron Spelling's involvement, don't worry; this really was a detour into gentle, understated class for him, with nary a bikini-wearing detective or glitzy catfight in sight.

#11

chrisrose

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Posted Jul 1, 2006 @ 4:20 PM

Thank you for clearing that up for me. :) My friend is not the most reliable source...I mean, first he told me Kirsty MacColl (the singer/songwriter) sucked, 'cause he was mixing up the similar names. :P

Don't worry, I will make up my own mind about Buddy and the show as a whole. Hey, there's a thread for Family over at www.hometheaterforum.com (look for the TV DVD discussion boards) and a bunch of guys are drooling over Kristy MacNicol there. ;) I must say, it's refreshing to see guys go ga-ga over a "skateboarding tomboy with appealingly 'real' features". Awesomeness. :)

Well, I won't pollute this thread with my ignorance anymore - I'll be back once I've actually seen some eps and can say something meaningful about the show...hopefully. See ya!

#12

TudorQueen

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Posted Jul 1, 2006 @ 7:58 PM

You pollute nothing, and the best way to address ignorance is to do what you did - ask the questions.

Hope you get to see it soon - dying to hear your opinion. Actually, I'm incredibly eager to see it again myself, as it's been years and I sometimes worry - secretly - that shows I've loved in the past won't stand up well...

#13

Sarcastico

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Posted Aug 30, 2006 @ 1:03 PM

Never saw this show...it was before my time. But I've preordered the DVDs and I'm looking forward to checking it out. Mainly 'cause my heroes, Ed Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz, (who went on to form the Bedford Falls company responsible for my absolute favorite TV series, My So-Called Life) - wrote some episodes for Family


It's absolutely no surprise to learn me that Zwick & Herskovitz were involved in Family, because I always believed that Family is the show that made thirtysomething possible. Now I know it is true!

Didja ever notice that nobody on this show really smiled? It was always a weak, half-hearted, quick smile.

And it's funny to look back and realize that this show -- the one you would least expect --fell into the "cute kid" syndrome: when Kristi got too old, they brought in Quinn Cummings, fresh from The Goodbye Girl.

#14

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Posted Aug 30, 2006 @ 1:56 PM

I think it would be hard for a show with this quality and detail to be on network TV anymore; Meredith Baxter Birney was the only one on the show who was drop-dead gorgeous. Everyone else was rather normal (for Hollywood) looking. The family had a real history as well; we found out in a back-handed way that they'd lost a child to drowning (named Tim; Nancy named her son after him). Nancy was newly-divorced at the start of the show; Willie married a woman who succumbed to some disease (leukemia)? I saw bits of "Family" in a lot of other shows, ranging from "Sisters" to "Providence" to "Judging Amy" but none of them ever hit the kind of consistent quality of that show (excusing, of course, the Leif Garrett guest appearance as a the boy who kissed Buddy for the first time). (And probably the last. Heh.)

Edited by kwnyc, Aug 30, 2006 @ 1:57 PM.


#15

TudorQueen

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Posted Aug 30, 2006 @ 2:00 PM

I was seriously pissed off Sunday night during the Emmy Awards that the otherwise lovely tribute to the late Aaron Spelling made no mention of "Family". It was critically acclaimed, won several Emmy awards and had a solid run. In addition, it was a notable exception, along with "And the Band Played On" and a few other projects, to Spelling's reputation for 'jiggle' and cheese.

#16

Sarcastico

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Posted Aug 30, 2006 @ 2:06 PM

I saw bits of "Family" in a lot of other shows,


I would add Once and Again, the one with Billy Campbell and Sela Ward.

#17

mcmaenza

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Posted Dec 13, 2006 @ 1:24 PM

I have fond memories of this show from growing up. I got the DVD set after Christmas and have watched the first few disks. Exactly as I remembered it.

Edited by mcmaenza, Jan 16, 2007 @ 3:28 PM.


#18

maraleia

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Posted Feb 28, 2008 @ 10:59 PM

I'm watching this too right now and I really like how nuanced the show was. It was before its time and actually had an episode with Willie's friend coming out of the closet. I was handled so well and I love how Buddy was a regular kid.

#19

thatsforsure

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Posted Jan 17, 2009 @ 3:54 PM

I have just started watching this show on DVD and what amazes me the most is how much times have changed. For example, in the first couple of episodes we see a pregnant Nancy being given an alcoholic cocktail by her mother. We also see Kate assuming that Nancy's husband cheating on her must somehow be Nancy's fault! I really thought we were more enlightened by the mid seventies.

It's also disheartening to see how many rude comments are made to Kate about her weight and she just laughs them off. Those remarks are cruel, especially coming from your own family, and shouldn't be played for laughs.

Other than that, I love this show. It handles more controversial topics better than any other show since and shows a real-life looking family. I mean, Willie, who was skinny and completely ordinary looking, was supposed to be a world-class stud. And Buddy couldn't have been a more adorable tomboy. Too bad Kristy McNichol grew up to have so many problems because she was certainly an excellent actress who really had something special. In fact, imagine a whole generation of boys falling in love with such an ordinary looking girl nowadays. Just something about her.

I can't wait to finish the DVDs and hope they come up with more seasons soon.

Edited by thatsforsure, Jan 17, 2009 @ 3:56 PM.


#20

Jen2000

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Posted Jan 25, 2009 @ 4:15 PM

I've been getting season 1 of this show from Netflix. Partly out of boredom and partly because I'm a huge Waltons fan and I thought this might be somewhat similar since it was made in the 70s. Just a few random observations:

The first few eps were hilarious to me - so melodramatic. Kate's domestic role seems so 50's. She is always doing housework in nice dresses and baking pies and stuff. The kids seem so overparented. The parents are always exchanging worried looks about one of the kids' problems and taking turns saying "I'll go talk to him/her"....

It's set in Pasadena but Willie and Nancy's husband have strong New York accents.

That was a good move to re-cast Meredith Baxter Birney in the role of Nancy - she really outshines the other actress.

I can't really get a handle on how rich they are supposed to be. They drive around in Pintos - those were pretty cheap I think. They have that huge house but it turns out Doug inherited his childhood home, or at least bought it from his parents.

Overall I'm warming up to it. The 2-part "Jury Duty" ep really sucked me in. I didn't see that twist ending coming at all.

#21

oceanblue

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Posted Jan 25, 2009 @ 6:23 PM

I'm psyched to hear this is on netflix. I loved this show. As far as the family's wealth, they were an ordinary middle class family. The father was a lawyer, the mother stayed home. Much was made of Nancy marrying into a really wealthy family.

#22

thatsforsure

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Posted Jan 29, 2009 @ 11:23 AM

The cars they drive aren't pintos, though. Doug had an LTD and Kate had a Maverick.

The only thing that really started to get to me after watching all the episodes is the way they use the same musical score for each episode. It's so melodramatic and overused. And so very '70's. Thank you Miami Vice for incorporating regular music into TV shows and changing the soundtrack of dramas forever (although it makes DVDs very expensive).

#23

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Posted Jan 29, 2009 @ 5:29 PM

I'm thoroughly engrossed in Season 2 and Kate is definitely driving around in a Pinto wagon. Maybe they had different cars for different seasons?

It's getting good...Willie is dating an older woman and Nancy doesn't yet realize it's her friend.

In one ep Kate served breakfast outside - how cool! I want to move to Pasadena just so I can do that.

It's so good but sometimes so corny, like when Doug gets overly excited over Christmas or his new dog. There was one ep that ended with Buddy doing this terrible Saturday Night Fever inspired dance for the family and I was so embarrassed for her.

#24

thatsforsure

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Posted Jan 30, 2009 @ 4:52 PM

You're right, I remember the station wagon now. But I definitely remember in the first season them talking about Kate's Maverick and thinking how unKatelike it seemed. Remember how ginormous those cars were?

I think I'm the only viewer who was less than enamored with the Selena Magee character. First I hate that Willie always called her "Magee". It just bugged me for some reason. And then because she always seemed so passive and boring to me. She's very pretty, but doesn't seem like a whole lot of fun. And a fairly bad actress to boot.

Love watching for the guest stars: James Woods, Tommy Lee Jones, Willie Aames, Helen Hunt, Dana Plato, Genie Francis of Luke and Laura fame are a few that come to mind.

#25

Jen2000

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Posted Feb 5, 2009 @ 5:43 PM

I'm really enjoying Season 2 - too bad subsequent seasons aren't on DVD.

Last night I watched the Nancy/stalker episode - it was so suspenseful. Sort of a weird ending though - Nancy confronted her stalker and then somebody asked her "What did he do?" and she shrieked in response - "He sent me presents!"

I'm getting to like Kate a lot, she is so smart and straightforward.

#26

editorgrrl

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Posted Feb 6, 2009 @ 3:40 PM

I'm surprised no one's mentioned that the late James Broderick (Doug) is the father of actor Matthew Broderick. And, IIRC, the namesake of Matthew's son with Sarah Jessica Parker.

#27

TudorQueen

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Posted Feb 6, 2009 @ 6:36 PM

You recall correctly. I remember being not at all surprised when they named the baby James Wilkes Broderick - Matthew Broderick speaks with such deep love and admiration for his late father at every opportunity and I always assumed that if he ever had a son he would name that child after him.

While I loved the series as a whole throughout its run, if I ever bought "Family" on DVD it would be primarily to see James Broderick as Doug again.

#28

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Posted Feb 8, 2009 @ 7:54 PM

I never missed Family in its original run. About two months ago, I rented season one and two on DVD. I thought it held up fairly well but there are some "1970's encounter group" moments when Doug and Kate talk to each other that kind of made me cringe. But the cast was great-I had a major crush on Gary Frank back then, not to mention Willie Aames as TJ, Buddy's boyfriend. James Broderick really stands out more to me, now. What a sweet man he seemed to be.

#29

thatsforsure

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Posted Feb 9, 2009 @ 12:00 PM

Am I the only one who thinks that James Broderick bears a striking resemblance to GW Bush? I find it uncanny.

#30

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Posted Feb 9, 2009 @ 3:13 PM

thatsforsure: You're right, I remember the station wagon now. But I definitely remember in the first season them talking about Kate's Maverick and thinking how unKatelike it seemed. Remember how ginormous those cars were?

I remember this series from its first run (I'm about a year older than Kristy M), and cars often changed from season to season, especially in sitcoms (The Brady Bunch and My Three Sons come to mind). As for ginormous cars, the LTD that Doug drove was a big car; it was the equivalent of today's Crown Victoria. Mavericks were small, Pintos even smaller.

Family and Eight is Enough both aired on ABC at the same time and probably have a similar "look" (I say "probably" because I haven't seen Family in probably 20 years).