Step by Step

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CBS (ended 1998)

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8.4
out of 10
User Rating
1,033 votes
42

SHOW REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Step by Step

Show Summary

Two appealing stars, winsome kids, and a can't miss time slot in the middle of ABC's hit Friday lineup was more important than plot in the early success of this standard issue family sitcom. Frank (Patrick Duffy of Dallas) is a freewheeling, divorced contractor who impetuously marries widowed beautician Carol (Suzanne Somers of Three's Company) when they meet during separate vacations in Jamaica. They flew home to Port Washington, Wisconsin, where they both lived, told their kids-his three and her three - and all the problems of a merged family began. She is orderly and borderline OCD, he is laid back and almost chaotic. The kids eyed each suspiciously. Hers were teenagers Dana (the oldest), as compulsive as her mom, middle sis Karen, a budding fashion plate and young, nerdy Mark. Frank's were teenager J.T. (short for John Thomas), a cool customer, preteen Al, into sports and animals, and carefree Brendan. Working with Carol in her beauty shop next door were her mother Ivy and sister Penny. Cody was Frank's spaced-out 19-year-old nephew, whose nutty schemes and obsessions kept everyone in an uproar but who was really smarter than he seemed.

Show History: SBS was the latest addition to the already successful Friday night lineup on ABC, dubbed "TGIF." Scheduled right after the hit Friday night mainstay, "Family Matters" @ 8:30, it soon became an equally big hit. By the beginning of the 3rd season the series blossomed into the night's "tent pole" position @ 9:00, a position it would retain for a solid three year run.

"The Brady Bunch for the 90's" as it was hailed by critics upon its debut, was pretty much a straight forward "fun around the house" comedy, that ABC thrived on in the late 80's and early 90's. The series was Developed and Produced by the same team (Michael Warren, William Bickley, Robert L. Boyett, and Thomas L. Miller) responsible for many of ABC's hits (including all of T.G.I.F at one point) in that same era.

In the small town of Port Washington, Wisconsin you have newly married couple Frank Lambert and Carol Foster and their 6 kids. Frank (Patrick Duffy) and Carol (Suzanne Sommers) having met only a week before on vacation and impulsively married, now face the monumental task of blending their very different families into one. All kinds of personalities filled the house. On the Lambert side, there was Cody (Sasha Mitchell), the spaced-out but good hearted and lovable nephew of Frank, Al (Christine Lakin), the tomboy daughter, JT (Brandon Call), the joker and oldest son and Brendan (Josh Byrne), the youngest son. On the Foster side was Mark (Christopher Castile), the genius younger brother of the Fosters, Dana (Staci Keanan), the genius older sister and Karen (Angela Watson), the beautiful, popular and full of herself middle sister.

There were many others, notably Rich (Jason Marsden), Dana's short and well-meaning boyfriend, as well as friend of JT's, and Jean-Luc (Bronson Pinchot, "Meego"), the French hairstylist who worked with Carol.moreless
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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • One of my favorite tv show of the 90s

    9.5
    Grew up watching. Pretty good.
  • This was a pretty standard show, with a cast of about 10 characters. It'd be hard enough getting to know them if they had personalities, but since they were boring it was that much harder to get into it.moreless

    3.7
    Step by Step was a pretty "standard" show by the definition of the industry. I can pretty much imagine the meeting that happened at ABC when they were thinking of the next hit sitcom to create.



    Exec #1: "OK...we need another sitcom like the Brady Bunch...where two people with sole custody of their kids meet one another, fall in love and get married. We can then center the show around the hilarity that ensues when the kids don't get along."



    Exec #2: "Let's throw in a twist though to be original...let's make it so the guy's kids are NOT all boys and the girl's kids are not all girls!! However, it will still need to come out to be a total of 3 boys and 3 girls...we can't tamper with this successful formula TOO much."



    Exec #3: "Great idea...while we're at it let's throw in a goofy idiot that lives in a van in their driveway. It'll appear from his actions that he smokes a pound of weed a day, but he'll actually be a very moral and rightous dude."



    And that right there describes this show. Who would have thought the hottest chick by the end of this show's run would have been the tomboy that came from Frank's side of the family? The other two girls just didn't age very well did they?



    To sum it up, the plots were generally pretty boring and there was nothing new this show offered that other shows in the past hadn't offered. It just failed on most counts to be funny. Since it had a few moments here and there, I'll give it a more respectable rating, but I'm tempted to drive it down because of Suzanne Somers. *Gag*moreless
  • Had pretty good characters. Cheezy at times but a nice family show of the 90s.

    8.5
    The show is about 2 families that are joined through the marriage of a single father and mother. They each bring along three children for a total of an 8 person family. They are joined by Frank's nephew Cody, who lives on their driveway in his van. The characters resemble a 90s lifestyle, but can be unrealistic at times. THe show is humerous and has many ways of relating real life to the audience. Although there are cheezy moments, they do convey many lessons typically seen and experienced by both the kids and adults in the family. It is entertaining and stands as one of the entertaining family shows of the 90s.moreless
  • Avg to pass the time.

    6.0
    The show is about 2 families that are joined through the marriage of a single father and mother. They each bring along three children for a total of an 8 person family. They are joined by Frank's nephew Cody, who lives on their driveway in his van. The characters resemble a 90s lifestyle, but can be unrealistic at times. The show is humorous and has many ways of relating real life to the audience. Although there are cheezy moments, they do convey many lessons typically seen and experienced by both the kids and adults in the family. It is entertaining and stands as one of the entertaining family shows of the 90s.moreless
  • This show is terrible and unfunny

    1.0
    I have no idea why did I wach that.Its a bad ripoff of Brady Bunch.The writng is bad and acting is even worse.The dad is a wuss,mom is confused and doesnt know how to run the house,and the kids are the worst.They just call eichother kiddy names,and it gets old pretty fast.Everyone is a jerk to everybody and because they wont work together,in every epi they screw everything up.The only good character on the show was Cody.He had some personality and humanity.But he went missing for a while and the series turned to crap again.This show is very annoying and im suprised it lasted that long.No offence to fans,but i just dont like it.moreless
  • SUDDENLY SUSAN AND OTHERS WILL BE REIMAGINED BY PRODUCERS FOR RUSSIAN TV.

    Old US sitcoms get Russian makeovers

  • THIS WEEK'S BATCH OF RELEASES IS A BRILLIANT MIX OF CLASSIC SHOWS, CURRENT HITS, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN. FEAR FACTOR, PROJECT RUNWAY, AND STRANGERS WITH CANDY ARE SURE TO PLEASE. OH, AND THERE'S JUST ONE MORE THING--COLUMBO: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON APPEARS IN STORES THIS WEEK.

    June 27, 2006 DVD Releases

    • Which episode...
      ...was it where Brendan said to his Dad, something like, "Oh, by the way, grandma called last week. She said she's flying in and w...
      02/16/14
      2
    • Brendan Poll
      If you were in Josh Byrne's shoes, how would you have saved his character from being extinct?1).  Have a girlfriend.2).  Be par...
      08/10/12
      11
    • School
      I'm curious, what's the name of the schools (if we know any) that the kids attend aside from Cheese Whiz U (East Wisconsin Univers...
      07/14/12
      1
    • Jean-Luc Is.....
      The WORST character i have ever seen on any TV Show/Sitcom EVER.....I DVR Step by Step and they just started Season 6 last week a...
      06/25/12
      9
    • Who thinks Staci is hot?
      She's why i watch the show.
      06/25/12
      2
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    More Info About This Show

    Categories

    Comedy

    Themes

    laugh track, growing up too fast, feel good comedy, opposites attract, pressures of high school