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Life Goes On: Season 1

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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 9, 2006
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EGDAF2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,288 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Life Goes On: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 22 episodes on six discs
  • Commentary on the pilot episode by actor Chris Burke ("Corky") and series creator Michael Braverman
  • Bill Smitrovich and Patti Lupone's screen test
  • Laughs Go On: a mini gag reel

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Life Goes On: The Complete First Season (DVD)


When Life Goes On first aired on ABC in 1989, it wore its ground-breaking bravura on its theoretical sleeve: The dramedy focused on a hard-working but deep-loving Midwest family, the Thachers, with a small twist. Son Corky, 18, had Down syndrome, and the actor who played him, the charming, sweet-faced Chris Burke, also has Down syndrome. And while many of the plot points revolved around Corky and the challenges he faced being "mainstreamed" into a regular high school, his sweet temperament and determination, and the ongoing trials of the rest of the members of the family, made for a compelling and well-rounded TV saga. The Emmy-nominated Kellie Martin (who would go on to star in ER) plays plucky sister Becca, the 14-year-old initially mortified that her older brother would be in her freshman class, but she rallies, believably, and becomes a key source of emotional support for Corky. The other cast high point is Patti LuPone, who in the '80s was one of the premiere stars of Broadway musicals, and who plays the loving but sometimes battle-scarred mom, Libby, to steely perfection. The Complete First Season contains all 22 episodes, plus some great extras, including commentaries by Burke and series creator Michael Braverman. In the end what made the Thacher family so special was that it was really just like every family; sometimes there are curve balls, and sometimes there are wild moments of joy. And always, life goes on. --A.T. Hurley

Customer Reviews

Growing up I used to watch this show, nearly every Sunday night.
Family dramas had existed since the invention of television-but 'Life Goes On' really attempted to deal with real life.
Robin Orlowski
I hope this season sells really well so that all four seasons will be released and available for purchase.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A. Gammill VINE VOICE on February 8, 2006
Format: DVD
I've got great memories of watching this show on Sundays night over dinner with my family. They really don't make t.v. like this anymore, and that's a shame. The Thatchers were a believable family, albeit a very unique one.

I do think the first season was a bit uneven, as the show struggled to become more than just a soapbox for accepting different people (i.e., Corky's Down Syndrome). And they never could seem to figure out what to do with oldest daughter Paige (who was played by another actress in seasons 2-4). But it's still engaging family drama that never gets TOO preachy.

The best part about the first season has to be Kellie Martin as Becca. The part was smarter and better-written than any teenage role I can recall. Martin just got better as the series went on; it's a shame she would only do one more series (the short-lived CHRISTY) before becoming the queen of t.v. movies throughout much of the 90's.

I hope that this set sells well so Warner will be able to release the remaining seasons of Life Goes On.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Robin Orlowski on May 7, 2006
Format: DVD
Family dramas had existed since the invention of television-but 'Life Goes On' really attempted to deal with real life.

14 years after the passage of laws requiring special education, this was the first series realistically examining a person with a disability as lead character that audiences intentionally were supposed to empathize with.

Nineteen year old Charles "Corky" Thatcher has Downs Syndrome (as does the actor Chris Burke who plays him). Many plots of this award-winning series involved Corky adjusting to being mainstreamed in a regular school after previously having attended a special school.

Younger sister Becca (Kellie Martin-in her breakout role) loves her brother, but also wrestles with her own challenges of wanting to support family while wanting to fit in with her peers who don't take easily to the `weird'. Winning the affections of Tyler Benchfield (Tommy Puett) is her recurring goal throughout the 1989-1990 season. She also gets an EXCELLENT `star' episode in "Becca and the Underground Newspaper" , learning the hard way that publishing everything and anything you find out without first doing fact-checking is irresponsible journalism. Tyler is admittedly hot for the era, but the writers wanted Becca to also be daring.

"Corky for President" is a good episode because Corky runs for president---without realizing that the girl whom he sincerely had a crush on encouraged him to run to only toy with his emotions. She did not feel the same way about him. At the same time, it showed Corky seriously campaigning and sincerely believing that he could be president.

Another memorable episode is "The Baby-sitter" because Corky gets a job as a babysitter, taking care of children.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Sean Pasek on March 7, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Oh-blah-dee, Oh-blie-dah, Life Goes On!

I grew up with many family shows such as Little House on the Praire, the Waltons, and so forth. But, Life Goes On will always be my favorite.

Life Goes On put realism and just a touch of grit into television as it attempted to broadcast to families the changing times, the new issues facing teenagers, and the plights of an American family constantly struggling to make do.

Life Goes On is the first television series to have a down-syndrome actor as one of its stars. Chris Burke (Charles "Corky" Thacher) is simply wonderful. You will see over the course of four seasons how his acting range really blossoms. He was originally going to be the focal point of the show.

Life Goes On is about the Thachers...a semi-middle class family living in Glenbrook Illinois which is a suburb of Chicago. It is the story of a hard-working family that faces one plight after another...just like life!

Drew Thacher (Bill Smitrovich) is the father who is working as a construction worker. He's tired of "just getting by" with the hard physical labor and the small checks. He plays a father who loves his children and is always trying to find a way to get ahead; to get on top of things. His life-long dream is to be the owner of a restaurant. Over the course of the first season we find out if he can achieve this dream or not...and if so, what are the costs?

Libby Thacher is wonderfully played by stage performer and Tony award winner, Patti Lupone. She works for an advertising agency run by Jerry (who becomes a favorite character played by Ray Butenika). Libby is tired of doing all of Jerry's dirty work...taking his clothes to the cleaners, washing his car, getting him coffee, etc.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Ovalle on July 3, 2006
Format: DVD
My sister has Down Syndrome---and when this show was airing---she never missed an episode.

She is now 46 years old, lives with me and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's ---which doctors/researchers are discovering in Down Syndrome's who live into their 40' and 50's.

I have tried numerous things to engage Cathy Sue--in an effort to keep her mind as alert as possible. Sadly, she seems to have lost interest in most of the things that she dearly loved. The Dodgers; Cops TV show; arts/crafts and oldies music.

When I found this show on DVD--I immediately ordered the series for her---and she just perked right up! She remembers the show, the theme song, the characters and of course, Corky Thacher!

In fact, whenever she sees Corky on her big screen TV------ she forgets that it's TV and tries to touch Corky on the screen.

I enjoy watching Cathy Sue---while she watches Corky.

I recommend this wonderful program to anyone with kids of any age......the show's story and characters present an ideal opportunity to teach children about "special people".

It goes without saying---anyone with a Down's adult who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's-----should try shaking up the memory cells and purchase this program.
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Wouldn't You All Like Life Goes On Seasons 2, 3 and 4 To Be Released?
yes--I agree! What are they waiting for?
Nov 30, 2006 by RALR |  See all 33 posts
life goes on
On The "Life Goes On" Complete First Season DVD set the pilot episode DOES have the original opening theme song: Ob La Di, Ob La Da (Life Goes On), the Beatles song.
The other 21 episodes have a replacement song; and I will say, in my opinion, it is very well done. The sound of it is... Read More
Aug 30, 2009 by W. Gardner |  See all 7 posts
closing song
The closing song on the pilot episode is "I Want To Walk You Home" by Fats Domino.
Released on July 8, 1959.
It reached #8 on the American Pop Chart on July 27, 19 days later.
If you like this song, I recommend this CD compilation, which has this song and 19 other Fats Domino... Read More
Aug 30, 2009 by W. Gardner |  See all 2 posts
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