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Romance was in the air in Family Ties' fourth season (1985-86), when it was in the coveted 8:30 p.m. slot following The Cosby Show in NBC's Must-See TV Thursday lineup. When Alex (Michael J. Fox) is starting his sophomore year at Leland College, his plan to pick a prospective girlfriend from the freshman directory goes awry when he battles with her art-major roommate, Ellen (Tracy Pollan). Not surprisingly, opposites attract, and Alex and Ellen's dance together and the heart-tugging aftermath became one of the series' emotional high points and made a No. 1 single out of Billy Vera and the Beaters' "At This Moment." (It turns out that Fox and Pollan's incredible chemistry wasn't just acting: they married less than three years later.) Many of the season's best episodes feature Alex and Ellen, including those involving her father (played by Ronny Cox), but another major character was added in Nick (Scott Valentine), the Kawasaki-riding, garbage-art-making, earring-wearing boyfriend of Mallory (Justine Bateman). Nick, whose favorite greeting is "Ayyy!", immediately sets off warning bells for Mallory's father Steven (Michael Gross), though the Rambo comparisons seem silly today. Also in the season, Mallory tops Alex in an IQ test, Stephen finds a new and demanding job, Elyse (Meredith Baxter-Birney) and Alex take an automotive class, Jennifer (Tina Yothers) winds up in a difficult spot when Alex helps her with a speech, and Skippy (Marc Price) finally decides to pursue Mallory. Guest stars include River Phoenix as Alex's 13-year-old math tutor, Martha Plimpton as a young shoplifter, and Peter Scolari as Elyse's romantically inclined coworker. The four-DVD set has the 90-minute Family Ties Vacation movie that aired before the season started, episode promos, the original theme song, and the original Billy Vera song.

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PA137514 Family Ties 4th Season DVD (1985) $39.98 $29.99