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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Ah, to be thirtysomething

Thursday, November 19, 2009

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More times than not, people are told that their adolescent years are the toughest of the lives. But in the late 1980s, ABC debut a show, thirtysomething, that depicted the difficulties aging baby boomers were coping with, and in fact the thirtysomething's of today still struggle with.

After the big screen success of The Big Chill, ABC capitalized on the struggles of many aging American's as they tried to cope with their changing beliefs and how they fit in a society they once rebelled against.

thirtysomething revolved around the lives of eight aging baby boomers who bonded in the 1960s and have held their friendship through a series of changes in their lives as well as the society they rally against. The series touched on many subjects such as interfaith relationships, infidelity and coming to terms with who they've become.

Starring Ken Olin, Mel Harris, Timothy Busfield, Peter Horton, Melanie Mayron, Patricia Wettig, Patricia Kalember and Polly Draper, thirtysomething encapsulated the feelings of a generation that had gone through a radical transformation through its lifetime.

I've been a fan of the series since its debut way back when. I was a ripe 14 years old when it hit the small screen, but I found something extremely interesting about the series and thought it was one of the best written shows on television.

Another big draw for me was Peter Horton. I had watched him in Children of the Corn and like him, but he was so effortless and hilarious in thirtysomething. In the series, nothing was more like nails on a chalkboard to him that a baby crying.

The series is one of those forgotten gems that complete captured its time and essence. You rarely hear people talk about this series, but once it's mentioned, it instantly brings back a wave of wonderful memories. The show is not something that's sweet and touches only on the aspect of aging that are good. It delved into the dark, dirty recesses of the character's lives and reveals themselves, acting as therapist for a nation.

The show was a hit with critics as well. It won 13 Emmy Awards in its four-year run.

Shout! Factory has done a superb job with the extra goodies on this box set. The set comes with a booklet that serves as an episodes guide, but also includes three very cool essays. The sixth disc of the collection features the supplemental materials and provides a ton of great insight into the series and its creation.

Final Cut: thirtysomething is still one of the finest programs to grace the small screen. Despite dated hairstyles (except for Horton) and unbelievably hideous clothing, thirtysomething stands the test of time. It's a series that could as easily find an audience today as it did back in 1989. A true television classic.

4.5 out of 5 stars

thirtysomething: Season One

6-Disc set

Starring: Ken Olin, Mel Harris, Melanie Mayron, Timothy Busfield, Patricia Wettig, Peter Horton, Patricia Kalember, Polly Draper

Available now from Shout! Factory



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