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That patented combination of funny business and moving moments lives on in the second season of Family Ties. Other than the fact that the now-bearded Steven Keaton (Michael Gross) turns 40, there are no significant changes, but no fall-off in quality either. As the season begins, Mallory (Justine Bateman), is still seeing her boyfriend, Jeff (now a college freshman), while Alex (Michael J. Fox) continues to plays the field--an ever-expanding field that includes a feminist, a family friend, and a 40-year-old Frenchwoman (During the year, other lady loves include Less Than Zero's Jami Gertz and Melrose Place's Daphne Zuniga.) Standout episodes include "This Year's Model," in which Mallory enters Elyse (Meredith Baxter-Birney, who should've won an Emmy for her stellar work) and herself in a modeling contest. To Mallory's dismay, her mother attracts all the attention. Elyse's relationship with her son is similarly tested in "Birthday Boy," in which Alex turns 18 and declares his independence--even though he still lives at home (Fox's Back to the Future father, Crispin Glover, guests in this episode). That leaves Jennifer (Tina Yothers), the youngest Keaton. Few storylines revolve around her, but Jennifer's deadpan wit adds levity whenever things start to get too serious.

Notable guests during the 1983-1984 season include a pre-Who's the Boss? Judith Light, who attempts to seduce Steven ("Not an Affair to Remember"), and a post-Bosom Buddies Tom Hanks, who returns, for the last time, as the troubled Uncle Ned ("Say Uncle"). While the first boxed set was a barebones release, the second offers promos for each episode and three informative featurettes. Participants include Fox, Gross, Yothers, creator Gary David Goldberg, and Marc "Skippy Handleman" Price. In addition, the theme song ("Without Us") has not been tampered with this time around.

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Special Features

All 22 episodes from the 1983-1984 season on 4 discs
The Making of Family Ties
Michael J. Fox: The Best Gig in the World
The Year of the Beard

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PA045352 Family Ties Season 2 DVD (1983/Michael J Fox) $28.99 $25.99