I can’t be sure, TV scheduling being what it was back then, when simultaneous TV broadcasts between the US and the UK was some mad, foolish dream, just when it came over here and I watched it, but it feels like it mustn’t have been much later than that.
The show was essentially an ensemble piece, but at its core are Michael (Ken Olin) and Hope (Mel Harris), and their baby, Janie.
I was embarking on a career training to be a journalist, I had ambitions to be a writer.
Never trust anyone over 30 had been a mantra for two decades before that, but just maybe there was a chance that when I did get to that far-off, impossible to predict future, dreams could still be alive.
Everybody had marriage troubles, some of them had money troubles, they had affairs, they sat around a lot analysing their lives. , sharp suits, cocaine, big proto-mobile phones and a dark undercurrent, but more that the characters were in a position where they were striving for money and material things, yet felt odd disquiet about just how it had all come to this.
There was a sense that they’d been idealistic and perhaps even counter-cultural in their youths, in the Seventies, but then had hung up their ideals in pursuit of domestic bliss and money. Perhaps I thought this, in some distant, uncategorisable way, was going to be my future.
It’s curious to think of the characters now in their sixties, and not only navigating Trump’s America but being part of a generation – the baby boomers – that has not only been supplanted, first by Generation X and then by the Millennials, but is also somewhat reviled by the younger custodians of today’s society.
I’m now older than my mum was when she sat down with me to watchhave any value today, other than being a window on a period of time long gone? Maybe it shows us that we all begin with grand ideas, and very often they’re beaten out of us by life, circumstance, whatever.