2 thoughts on “When Did Growing Pains Jump the Shark?

  1. I always hated this show and as you allude to, the premise was only noteworthy in 1985 because America was still reacting to the aftermath of the civil rights/woman’s liberation movements of the 60s and 70s amid the Reagan Revolution whose goal was to get America back to where it was before FDR. It falls apart with any scrutiny and I always saw GROWING PAINS as an example of a mediocre 1980s network sitcom which somehow ran 7 seasons out of pure inertia. Only FULL HOUSE is more intolerable (yet somehow enduring).
    Plus, it got two TV movies you didn’t mention in 2000 and 2004. That means the Seavers appeared in every decade from 1980-2010. That is insane for a show that I can hardly recall anyone (critics, pundits, actual real live humans in the wild) recalling fondly. The fact that Kirk Cameron became who he has become (i.e. an evangelical anti-LGBTQ+ slime-ball on par with Kenneth Copeland or Peter Popoff) just tarnishes the reputation of the show further. Sure, some sitcoms have propped up loathsome people, but at least some of them were funny.
    I did like some of the guest appearances Alan Thicke made on “MARRIED WITH CHILDREN” where he played a sleazy and oversexed local tycoon. It was deliberately against type compared to Jason Seaver.

  2. I enjoyed the show and I don’t think the premise made that much difference: it was still a generic family sitcom at heart. Just funny enough i watched … but for some reason I stopped before the engagement and didn’t miss it. Which doesn’t mean that’s when it jumped the shark — it could be something as simple as another show competing in that time slot.
    Even though I liked it, it would have to be a lot better to jump the shark, I think. How’s that for damning with faint praise?

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