The Good

A great show that has held up over time!

The Bad

No Extra Features! What are they trying to do to me?

With 22 episodes making up Family Ties: The Complete First Season, audiences are given almost 9 hours of the Keaton family. This consists of Steven Keaton (Michael Gross), Elyse Keaton (Meredith Baxter Birney), Alex P. Keaton (the brilliant Michael J. Fox), Mallory (Justine Bateman) and Jennifer Keaton (Tina Yothers). Steven and Elyse are children of the 1960s. Their son Alex is a Reagan Republican, while all Mallory seems to care about is fashion. Jennifer is too young to really have any convictions, but she sometimes seems smarter than her brother and sister put together.

Some of the episodes in this stand out set are "Summer of '82," in which Alex starts off delivering groceries and ends up getting more than he bargained for from one female customer. "Have Gun Will Unravel," sees Steven and Elyse's pacifistic views called into question when they are robbed and Steven buys a gun. Lastly, "The Fugitive Parts 1 & 2," showcases Tom Hanks as Elyse's brother Ned. His visit is great until the Keaton family realizes he's wanted by the FBI.

With all the TV on DVD releases coming out Family Ties: The Complete First Season stands tall above the pack.


No extras came with this 4 disc set.


Full Screen Format. The compression seems to have made this show look a little darker than I remember it. Family Ties used to be on TV Land's regular schedule, but when I used to watch the show there I don't recall those episodes looking like I was watching them with sunglasses. The quality overall is really good, I just guess I was expecting things to be brighter. However, maybe I have just been watching too many bright shows that are TV on DVDs?


Dolby Digital. The audio on these DVDs is good. I didn't hear anything that struck me is odd, and I didn't notice any audio dropouts. What does bother me is a little disclaimer on a lot of Paramount releases that say: Music has been changed for this home entertainment version. While I didn't notice this at first, it eventually becomes obvious if you are a fan of this show. While I still love this release, I am saddened that the seminal music that accompanied my TV viewings from the 1980s is not 100% there.


I am slowly being won over by Paramount's very economical packaging. First off, the front cover gives us a shot of the Keaton family as we remember them. Just by looking at these character's clothes you can tell who these characters are. The back cover offers up some more pictures from the episodes in this release, a description of this show, a cast list, and some minor technical specs. Comprising 4 discs and making up a total of almost 9 hours of content, Paramount has very safely contained all 22 episodes of this first season in one amaray case. In fact, all you need to do is remove the discs to get episode listings, descriptions and air dates. Great packaging job, Paramount!

Final Word

This is a great show and one that is on my list of TV on DVD to collect. I watched Family Ties a lot when I was growing up. Even though I didn't keep up with this show for every episode, this is one of the few shows that I saw most of when they originally aired. As I write this I am kicking myself, because if the sales of this set are not good, chances are Paramount will not complete it. With only 7 Seasons to it's credit, we only have 6 more to go.

This is clearly one of those shows that always had it. The jokes, the character's delivery, the subject matter, I never felt for a second when I was watching this set that I was seeing Family Ties in it's maiden voyage. Watching these episodes brought back so many memories for me. I remember being in elementary school and wanting to be like Alex P. Keaton. I remember doing and saying things because that's what I thought Alex would do. I remember seeing a heartwrenching episode where Alex played a man who had lost a friend. I was only in the sixth grade and I can still recall that episode really hitting me. Then there's the last episodes of this show titled "Alex Doesn't Live Here Anymore." The way I remember it he moved out because he got a job in New York as stock broker. The end of that episode will touch anybody who has ever left the nest.

I cannot say enough good things about Family Ties: The Complete First Season, so all I will say is if you ever liked the show, please buy it because I need to own every season on DVD.

Family Ties was released .