Family Ties is an American family comedy sitcom created by Gary David Goldberg. The distribution of the second season began on 28th September 1983. This comedy show is written by Alan Uger and directed by Sam Weisman under the production code 024. The syndication method of this show was television. Family Ties Episode 10 was affiliated with NBC network. The plot of this episode revolves around the Keaton family with characters Richard Grasso and his recently divorced wife, Cynthia at the center of attention. They are in a tussle over the custody of their son, Keith Bailey. Other characters starring in the show are Elyse Keaton and Steven Keaton who try to act as mediators in a bitter feud between their friend Richard and his ex-wife, Cynthia. Cynthia is determined to move with their son to California away from Richard. Guest starring in the episode is Mallory, Jennifer and Alex Keaton together with a waitress at the bar called Isabell Monk. This paper will dwell on the tenth episode, To Snatch a Keith, that highlights the conflict between Richard and his recently divorced wife, Cynthia.
The tenth episode of the second season of Family Ties, titled To Snatch a Keith originally appeared on the TV screens on December 21st, 1983 on NBC at 1.00 am BST. Richard and his son Keith are friends to the Keaton family. They come to visit the Keaton family where it is revealed that Richard has undergone a divorce from his wife, Cynthia. Richard reveals that Cynthia is soon moving to California and is intent on taking Keith with her. However, when Cynthia is about to take Keith with her, Richard takes his son away from his ex-wife. Elyse and Steven Keaton meets Richard at a bar where they are served by a waitress called Isabell. Steven and Elyse Keaton hope to convince Richard to drop his stereotyping attempts against Cynthia. Richard believes a woman, in this case, his divorced wife should not be left to take care of their child.
Conflict arises when Cynthia attempts to take Keith away from his father to California. Despondent when his divorced wife tries to leave with Keith, Richard takes Keith believing in the ideology that a father is well placed to take care of the needs of their son. Divorce goes against the family cultural norms in the United States because it is bound to bring about conflict regarding custodial rights of parents. Conflict also arises between Elyse and Steven Keaton as they try to mediate between Richard and Cynthia. They make passionate arguments, and a heated discussion ensues concerning their marriage. Their argument brings humor and satire because it is ironical that mediators turn on themselves and begin to argue about their marriage. Conflict resolution in this sitcom is evident when Steven and Elyse Keaton meet Richard to convince him that taking Keith away from Cynthia is illegal as it would be wrong to involve other prisoners in his divorce feud with Cynthia. Elyse and Steven also calm down and realize that they need to keep their marriage going and fresh. A textual analysis of this comedy reveals that mediation can be used to resolve conflicts in a family (Brandenburg, 2017).
I think Cynthia is a courageous and brave woman who tries to escape with Keith against Richards will. She is driven by the love for her son, but she has low integrity because she does not consider Richards opinion. On the other hand, Richard is a quarrelsome character with little integrity as he is driven by his feud with Cynthia and divorce. Additionally, I think he is fearsome and does not take kindly Cynthias attempts to take Keith away from him. I regard Steven and Elyse as a considerate couple with high integrity because they play mediators and realize the need to have a peaceful marriage.
Alan Uger, Gary David Goldberg (Writers), & Sam Weisman (Director). (1983). To Snatch a Keith [Television series episode 10]. Gary David Goldberg (Producer), Family Ties Season 2 Los Angeles, California; Ubu Productions, Paramount Televisions. Miller-Milkis Productions.
Brandenburg, N. C. (2017). EU Mediation as an Assemblage of Practices: Introducing a New Approach to the Study of EU Conflict Resolution. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies.
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