Its so hard for me to give Family Ties such a low rating. Perhaps one of the best sitcoms in the history of television, complete with memorable moment after memorable moment, this show was the beacon of good writing, amazing acting, and performances we won't soon forget.
But I simply cannot stand by and not voice my outrage at CBS DVD and their butchering of the finest show in the entire run of this series.
Season Five featured an episode called "My Name is Alex"...a ground-breaking episode not only because of the superb talents of Michael J. Fox, but also because of how it was originally broadcast. When first aired, it ran for one hour, the final half hour being completely uninterrupted by commercials and, from what I can tell, unedited. It played out like a stage performance, with Alex (Michael J. Fox) going thru every part of his life, searching for answers as to why his friend would be killed in a car accident and he be allowed to live. Watching it in its entirety, you feel the back and forth, the conflicting emotions, and the roller coaster ride he goes on. The viewer is right along with him.
Sadly, this DVD features the syndicated version, which cuts the episode into two shows. It cuts right in the middle of Alex's journey, going instead to end credits of the first show. The 2nd show then begins part-way thru his session with his psychiatrist, thus killing the momentum of the show, and the entire reason it was aired in its entirety the first time.
I'm just lucky I still have the VHS I recorded off-air back in the mid-80s. That will continue to be the only way I'll watch "My Name is Alex".