Watch This: A Christmas episode predicted a bleak Family Ties future
One week a month, Watch This offers staff recommendations inspired by a new show coming out that week. This week: The return of Black Mirror has us thinking about TV’s other visions of ominous futures.
Family Ties, “A Keaton Christmas Carol” (season two, episode nine; originally aired 12/14/1983)
Family Ties creator Gary David Goldberg realized early on in the series that Michael J. Fox was the kind of breakout star sitcom creators usually only dream about. As the conservative son rebelling against his former hippie parents, Alex P. Keaton and his liberal-put-down wisecracks made the series a runaway hit. Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter-Birney (now Baxter) couldn’t have been any more compassionate as Alex’s eye-rolling parents, while Fox’s sparring with Justine Bateman, who played his shallow sister Mallory, was always good for some cheers from the studio audience. (Only Tina Yothers as younger sister …