A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The importance of family and respecting other people’s points of view are underscored here.
Positive Role Models
The Keatons are a loving, happy, generally communicative family who share in household tasks and other responsibilities. Disagreements are frequent, but despite some sibling spats and the humorous mild name-calling and sarcastic put-downs, they try to respect each other’s views and demonstrate self-control.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some kissing between a husband and wife as well as teen couples. Some storylines touch on sexual topics like teen pregnancy and extramarital affairs. Mallory is obsessed with being popular and having a boyfriend, so she often talks about guys being cute.
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Very rare use of words like â€œhellâ€ and â€œdamn.â€
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some storylines center on issues like underage drinking, alcoholism, and drug abuse, but the messages are always positive and honest.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Family Ties is a classic '80s sitcom centering on a strong family headed by loving parents who happily share domestic duties. Much of the show's humor stems from the personality differences among the family members, but despite many disagreements, the parents support their kids and encourage them to express their views. Some episodes touch on serious issues like teen pregnancy, grief, extramarital affairs, and crime, but they're all addressed in an honest, thoughtful manner.
Is It Any Good?
This iconic series set trends of its own, finding heartfelt entertainment in the ups and downs of one of TV's most believable TV families. During its seven-year run in the '80s, Family Ties did a lot more than just making it cool to don a calculator watch and tie like Alex. The Keatons were symbols of a new kind of American household, where both parents were successful professionals and shared domestic duties. Despite the Keatons' vastly different views -- which often led to some heated discussions -- the result was a heartwarming family atmosphere where everyone had a voice and loved ones always pulled together in the end.
In addition to common teen woes like dating and applying to college, the series also tackled serious topics like racial tension, alcoholism, drug addiction, and teen pregnancy, so some of the content may be on the mature side for young kids. But through every trial, Steven and Elyse remained positive role models who offered messages of tolerance, respect, and self-awareness -- making this series still an excellent choice for families. If you can look past the shoulder pads and big hair, you'll find timeless stories and positive lessons that resonate today with the same force as they did in the '80s.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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