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Family Ties: Season 3

4.7 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

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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


Special Features

  • 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

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael J. Fox
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: February 12, 2008
  • Run Time: 573 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Y7U9AK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,545 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Family Ties: Season 3" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Family Ties is an American television sitcom which aired on NBC for seven seasons, from 1982 to 1989. At the height of its popularity, Family Ties was #2 in the yearly Nielsen ratings, as it aired in the prized time-slot right after the top-rated Cosby Show on Thursday nights.

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
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It would be really hard for me to pick a favorite season of Family Ties, but #3 is tough to beat. In addition to a major change (the birth of baby Andrew in the classic 2-parter in which Elyse goes into labor during a public t.v. telethon), there are so many favorite episodes/moments: Geena Davis shakes things up as a housekeeper on whom Alex develops a crush; jealous Jennifer dressing up to crash Mallory's date; Steven & Elyse regret leaving the kids alone for the weekend; Alex taking calls on a crisis hotline. . .those are just a few off the top of my head.

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.
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As with all of the Family Ties series, I think you would have had to live through the times to really understand the comedy of this series; but also if not, on can still enjoy the verbal slapstick comedy. It leans toward the liberal approach, which at times I might not agree with, but I still get a good laugh at times.
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Clean; funny; heartwarming; good writing; great acting; they just don't make TV comedies like this anymore. Our family of seven watches a Family Ties episode every night before bed and we laugh; we know there will be no crass humor; no cuss words; no inappropriate content. It's refreshing and a great way to raise a family. Try it. You'll like it! And they might rub off on you!!
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I forgot how good this series was.

This is not just a series of loosely connected jokes. There is a story being told.

The Keaton family all love each other, in spite of Alex always insulting his sister. There is a lot of subtle, excellent, acting. The sister Mallory is a poor student, though she tries. Alex is a quicker wit. When Alex insults his sister, Mallory, and the script does not give the actress another line, most actresses would do nothing. However, Justine Bateman is great in this roll, because she does not just do nothing, she responds with a blank look that also says, "I am trying to think of a comeback, thinking, I cannot come up with one, I am a bit hurt, I am exasperated", at which point Mallory storms out of the room. These great responses really embellished Alex's insults.

Little sister, Jennifer, always has a clever line. Such as when Alex gets in trouble and brings his little sister along for sympathy. Jennifer realizes this, and asks Alex, "Do you want me to limp?"

The parents are former hippies, but their son Alex, in sharp contrast, is a preppie, businessman. Skippy is the neighbor boy, who loves Mallory, but Mallory is not interested. All the actors are excellent. Clever scripts. All the seasons are good.
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My daughter watches it every day..I can hear her laugh and laugh..a great gift.
Clean family entertainment. She wasn't born yet when this was on TV, but saw
the reruns and wanted to see it everyday. She will get season 7 next.
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I have the first 5 seasons, and I like them all.

The third season is nice. The characters are all in stride, and there is no baby yet.

The series continues to be funny and tackle some serious issues.

The price per viewing time is a great ratio.
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Format: DVD
FAMILY TIES was an American sitcom that ran for 7 years on NBC from 1982-89 that reflected on a Midwestern families move in the United States from the cultural liberasim of the 1960's and 1970's to the conservatism of the 1980's that was particularly expressed through the relationship between young Republican Alex Keaton(Michael J. Fox), materialistic young lady Mallory(Justine Bateman), athletic tomboy Jennifer(Tina Yothers), independent architect Elyse(Meredith Baxter), and local TV station manager Steven(Michael Gross)whom all resided in suburban Columbus, Ohio.

FAMILY TIES was also an instant smash when it made its debut on NBC in the Fall of 1982 and the series even won multiple awards, including 3 consecutive Emmy Awards for Michael J. Fox as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

This 1984-85 Season also takes me back to memory lane to when I was 12 years old in the 6th grade and when I used to watch FAMILY TIES at 8:30 PM after THE COSBY SHOW at 8PM every Thursday night on NBC, plus it also takes me back to memory lane to when NBC's motto was "Let's All Be There", which was NBC's slogan from the Fall of 1984 thru the Summer of 1986.
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