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Family Ties: Season 3
DVD | Box Set
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Steve and Elyse Keaton (Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter-Birney), once 1960s radicals, now find themselves in Reagan-Era American trying to raise a traditional suburban family. Son Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox) is an ambitious Young Republican and his sister Mallory (Justine Bateman) is a shallow victim of the corporate culture, obsessed with music, clothes and boys. Their only normal kid is young Jennifer (Tina Yothers), a bit of a tomboy.
With a title like Family Ties, the Keaton clan was bound to add to their number. After Meredith Baxter Birney became pregnant during the third season, Elyse follows suit, and little Andy evens out the household's gender balance (he makes his debut in two-part episode "Birth of a Keaton"). While Elyse and Steven (Michael Gross) prepare for the new arrival, 19-year-old Alex (Michael J. Fox) starts college, 17-year-old Mallory (Justine Bateman) gets a job, and 11-year-old Jennifer (Tina Yothers) discovers boys. To Alex's surprise, college proves more difficult than expected. In "Little Man on Campus," he learns it isn't just about memorizing facts and figures, but about thinking for yourself (thirtysomething's Timothy Busfield begins a recurring run as suspender-sporting classmate Doug). Fox also shines in "Hotline Fever," in which the usually over-confident freshman admits to fears of failure, and "Best Man," in which he puts aside personal misgivings to support a friend (The 4400's Billy Campbell and The O.C.'s Tate Donovan play his poker buddies). Year three also provides Bateman with opportunities to reveal her range, as in "Auntie Up," in which Mallory mourns a beloved relative, and "Cold Storage," in which she and Skippy (Marc Price) get locked in the basement.
The show's knack for welcoming Oscar contenders continues with The Accidental Tourist's Geena Davis as an incompetent nanny ("Help Wanted," "Karen II, Alex 0"), Mr. Saturday Night's David Paymer as an obnoxious father-to-be ("Oh, Donna," "Cold Storage"), and Babe's James Cromwell as John Hancock in Alex's re-imagining of the signing of the Declaration of Independence ("Philadelphia Story"). This more introspective season, which concludes with Steven reminiscing about his late father (two-parter "Remembrances of Things Past"), comes complete with episode promos and a gag reel. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
- All 24 episodes from the 1984-85 season on four discs
- Gag reel
- Episodic promos
- *Some episodes may be edited from their original network v ersions
- *Music has been changed for this home entertainment version
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Top customer reviews
True, we have to wait one more season for Nick, as well as Alex's great love (and Michael J. Fox's real-life wife) Tracey Pollan. But season 3 is definitely Family Ties at the top of its game.
It starred Michael J. Fox as Alex P. Keaton, the conservative, business-oriented son of liberal parents Elyse and Steven (Meredith Baxter-Birney and Michael Gross). Elyse was a successful architect, while Steven ran a public television station. They lived in suburban Columbus, Ohio with their children: Alex, Mallory ("Mal") (Justine Bateman) and Jennifer ("Jen") (Tina Yothers). Another child, Andrew ("Andy") (Brian Bonsall), was added later.
Saeson three includes the following 24 episodes:
"The Gambler" September 20, 1984
"Here We Go Again" September 27, 1984
"Little Man on Campus" October 4, 1984
"Love Thy Neighbor" October 11, 1984
"Keaton and Son" October 18, 1984
"Fabric Smarts" October 25, 1984
"Hotline Fever" November 1, 1984
"4 Rms Ocn Vu" November 8, 1984
"Best Man" November 15, 1984
"Lost Weekend" November 22, 1984
"Don't Kiss Me, I'm Only the Messenger" November 29, 1984
"Help Wanted" December 6, 1984
"Karen II, Alex 0" December 23, 1984
"Oh Donna" January 3, 1985
"Auntie Up" January 10, 1985
"Philadelphia Story" January 17, 1985
"Birth of a Keaton, Part I" January 24, 1985
"Birth of a Keaton, Part II" January 31, 1985
"Cry Baby" February 7, 1985
"Don't Know Much About History..." February 14, 1985
"Bringing Up Baby" February 21, 1985
"Cold Storage" March 7, 1985
"Remembrances of Things Past, Part I" March 28, 1985
"Remembrances of Things Past, Part II" March 28, 1985