Life Goes On: Season One

"Good"

Life Goes On: Season One Review


Life Goes On was a high-minded late-'80s family show that was scheduled as early Sunday evening counterprogramming to 60 Minutes. Unfortunately, pretty much everyone kept watching 60 Minutes, and the show never found a large audience. What those Mike Wallace fans missed was a sometimes heartwarming, sometimes lachrymose dramedy that aimed to break new ground by featuring a victim of Down Syndrome as a regular cast member.

The middle-class Thacher clan includes dad Drew (Bill Smitrovich), Mom Libby (Patty LuPone struggling to hold her Broadway theatricality in check), teenager Becca (Kellie Martin), older sister Paige (Monique Lanier), and in the most important role, Chris Burke as Corky, the teenager with Down's. The problems the Thatcher family face on a weekly basis tend to be of a mundane nature, but they're made more interesting when viewed through the Corky prism. Corky struggles with schoolwork as he is mainstreamed into Becca's 9th-grade class. Corky gets bullied. Corky has a crush. Corky goes to the Special Olympics. Corky gets a babysitting job. Corky witnesses a crime. Family meetings, group hugs, and pleas for understanding seem to be a daily occurrence.

For the rest of the family, well, life goes on. Dad struggles with his new restaurant business. Mom hits the glass ceiling at her ad agency and surprises everyone -- except maybe Dad -- by getting pregnant. Paige tries to become a vet's assistant, and Becca goes through puberty, finds a boyfriend with a roving eye, and talks endlessly about it all.

Although the first season tries to stick with Corky storylines, it's obvious that the Corky-centric plots are running thin, so the producers start focusing more of their attention on the blossoming Becca and turning Life Goes On into Sweet Valley High with an AIDS arc. In later seasons Corky fades into the woodwork as Becca finds a new boyfriend, the dreamy but troubled Jesse (Chad Lowe!), who turns out to be HIV positive. What had been the show about developmental disability becomes the show about AIDS awareness and understanding.

Tedious though it may be at times, Life Goes On could be a good family viewing choice for parents who want to heighten their tweens' awareness and teach them a few things about tolerance and sympathy. If you've already burned through all of Little House on the Prairie, this is a good modern-day follow-on.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: , Lorenzo DeStefano, R.W. Goodwin, Michael Lange, Michael Nankin, , Sandy Smolan, Paul Wolff, Michael Braverman

Producer: William Cairncross, Lorenzo DeStefano, Thania St. John

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.