Family Ties

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NBC (ended 1989)

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  • Season 1 Episode 10: Have Gun, Will Unravel

  • In this episode, Marty Obeck lives across the street. In Big Brother is Watching, The Fugitive (2), and The Fifth Wheel, Mrs. Obeck lives next door.

  • Season 1 Episode 8: No Nukes Is Good Nukes

  • In 1982, the USC-Notre Dame game was played in the Coliseum in Los Angeles. Assuming a 1:00 p.m. start time, the game would have run from 4:00 to 7:00 local time for the Keatons. The game would not have conflicted with the normal soap opera lineup. And the planned dinner time would have been rather late.

  • The USC-Notre Dame game was depicted as having been played on Thanksgiving Day. In 1982, that game was played on Saturday -- two days after Thanksgiving.

  • Steven and Elyse find an old picket sign endorsing the presidential ticket of McGovern and Eagleton. Seeing the pickets, Alex observes sarcastically that his parents knew how to pick winners. George McGovern lost the 1972 presidential election in electoral votes: 520-17. McGovern's initial selection for running mate, Thomas Eagleton, resigned from the ticket after two weeks as a candidate for Vice President.

  • Alex was right. Though Jennifer's system of selecting winners was to assume Alex would pick the loser ("Works every time."), Alex correctly picked 2½-point favorite USC to beat Notre Dame. On November 27, 1982 - three days after this episode aired, USC defeated Notre Dame 17-13. Michael Harper scored the winning touchdown for USC with 48 seconds remaining, though Notre Dame claimed that Harper had fumbled prior to crossing the goal line.

  • Season 1 Episode 7: Big Brother is Watching

  • The viewer is given the sense that 61-year-old Mrs. Obeck lives alone. She doesn't. A young and attractive Liz Obeck apparently lives with her, as shown in episode #104, The Big Fix. A "Marty Obeck" is mentioned as peeking at Mallory in episode #10, Have Gun, Will Unravel.

  • Season 1 Episode 5: I Never Killed for My Father

  • The episode never discloses what Jake is dying of.

  • Steven and Jake disagreed over where the felt tip pen was invented. Jake said it was invented in Russia; Steven disagreed. Steven was correct. The felt tip pen was invented in 1953 by Sidney Rosenthal from Richmond Hill, New York.

  • Season 1 Episode 4: Summer of '82

  • Alex's favorite economist was Milton Friedman. Friedman was a Nobel Prize-winning Economist who supported laissez-faire capitalism. He was influential in Ronald Reagan's policy of supply side economics.

  • When Stephanie invites Alex to spend the night, Alex at first declines noting that he only lives a 10-minute drive away. But when Alex returns home from his aborted second date with her, Steven commented that he had only been gone 11 minutes. In that 11 minutes, Alex drove to Stephanie's, spent nearly 3 minutes in her apartment, and drove home.

  • This episdode marks Alex's first day working at Adlers Grocery. He delivers groceries while wearing an apron lettered with "Adlers Grocery." Episode 9, Death of a Grocer, expounds more fully on his responsibitities at Adlers.

  • Season 1 Episode 3: I Know Jennifer's Boyfriend

  • When Jennifer's mother enters her room, Jennifer is reading a copy of Sports Illustrated with baseball players on the cover. The cut scene then goes to her mother asking her if she is going to clean her room anytime soon. The camera then cuts back to Jennifer for a response. Now she is holding a different Sports Illustrated with tennis on the cover.

  • Episode #11 reveals that Jennifer was born November 7, 1972. She celebrated her 10th birthday in this episode, air date October 4, 1982. Give the writers credit for being fairly consistent.

  • The first wave of party guests included 5 boys and 6 girls. (Ultimately, there would be 10 boys.) All the boys entered first, and the girls followed. Rarely do that many home party guests arrive simultaneously, and in that organized a manner.

  • Elyse and Mallory come home from the grocery store with "bulgur." Bulgur is a wheat grrain that has been parboiled (pre-boiled prior to cooking another way), dried in the sun, and de-branned.

  • Tina Yothers' character Jennifer had 67 lines in this episode, about three lines per minute. Tina was 9 years old when the episode aired.

  • Season 1 Episode 2: Not With My Sister You Don't

  • The Keatons were married 20 years ago. They will celebrate their 20th anniversary again, five years later, in episode #142, The Anniversary Waltz.

  • Eric Morrison is reputed to be the Captain of eight varsity teams. What this means is unclear, as the school year contains at most three sports seasons.

  • Steven and Elyse deliberate about whether to continue the 20-year tradition of re-honeymooning with the Davises. Such deliberation proves pointless in Episode 19 when the Davises terminate their marriage.

  • Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot

  • Steven enters a private country club wearing a flannel shirt and a baseball jacket, and walks right over to Alex's table. It seems highly unlikely that such an exclusive venue would allow him full access, especially as a non-member, dressed in such a way.

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Comedy

Themes

Sitcoms, 80s, Classics, Coming of Age, Family Comedies