In the show's first season, we're introduced to Steven and Elyse Keaton's fun loving, wild and dynamic family.
The show's fourth season marks the appearance of Alex's first serious girlfriend, Ellen Reed. Alex tries to pick out his perfect girl in the school directory but falls in love with her roommate, with whom he has nothing in common. Meanwhile, Steven has a very difficult time accepting that Jennifer is growing up and no longer wants to hang out with him. Later, Mallory faces the possibility of failing her senior year in high school because of her poor grades.
As the season begins, Mallory, is still seeing her boyfriend, Jeff, while Alex continues to play the field.
In the final season the family copes with Steven's heart attack and subsequent heart surgery in the 3-part "Heartstrings" episodes. Alex is forced to deal with change when Andy begins making new friends and, later in the season, when he chooses between a friendship and his career. Finally, in the series finale Alex bids a tearful goodbye to his family before moving to New York.
The sixth season of Family Ties begins with Alex finding a new romance with Lauren, played by Jami Gertz, a pretty psychology student. Their relationship leads to new trials and tribulations for Alex, such as when he is intimidated by Lauren's old boyfriend and when Lauren writes a paper on the Keaton family for her class.
After Meredith Baxter Birney became pregnant during the third season, Elyse follows suit, and little Andy evens out the household's gender balance ("Birth of a Keaton, Pt 1 and Pt 2"). While Elyse and Steven prepare for the new arrival, Alex starts college ("Little Man on Campus"), Mallory gets a job ("Fabric Smarts"), and Jennifer discovers boys ("Love Thy Neighbor").
The fifth season of Family Ties begins with Alex objecting to the teaching style at Andrew's elite pre-school. Later, after Ellen leaves for Paris, Alex is on the rebound and deals with more drama in his love life when he jeopardizes his career at a bank after he falls for his boss. His love life continues to get intertwined with his work when his boss makes a pass at him while on a business trip in Chicago. Meanwhile, Mallory's love life is no less complicated.