View Full Version : The reunion tv movies
12-14-2001, 08:32 AM
Did anyone like the two (I think it was just two) Eight is Enough reunion tv movies? I thought they were good, but one thing I didn't like was how they turned Tommy into a total jerk in them . Tommy may have had some problems later in the series (didn't he get a girl pregnant?) but for the most part he was a happy guy. Shame Betty Buckly couldn't get away from Broadway long enough to come back for them.
12-14-2001, 12:29 PM
I think the first one, which was about Tom's birthday and him buying the newspaper, was better than the second, which focused on David's wedding. The plot was better in the first (although Tom should have been celebrating his 60th birthday -- 50 was ridiculous), and it payed more homage to the original series. I liked how the credits rolled as Tom was looking at old slides of the family while an instrumental version of the theme played (there was a scene in the original pilot where Tom looked at old slides, too). We got to see some minor characters, like Tom's boss, Elliot Maxwell, and his secretary, Donna. They even mentioned the mother, Joan, and we got to see a few photos of her. Little touches like this make a big difference.
My biggest problem was replacing Betty Buckley with Mary Frann as Abby. Mary Frann was a good actress and she was physically right for the role, but they changed the character so much. Abby originally was a slightly aloof intellectual. She got her doctorate in education and wound up working as a guidance counselor at one of the tougher high schools in the area. In the reunion, Abby was suddenly much more motherly, and was doing publicity for a supper club! The old Abby would never have given up her career in education, which was so important to her.
Still, the rest of the reunion was good, and the final scene on the front lawn, as Tom toasted the family, was a nice wrap-up for the series. The first movie got good ratings, and they couldn't resist temptation and did another movie. No minor characters appeared this time, and even Susan's husband Merle was recast. The Tommy-is-a-jerk-who-finally-finds-redemption plot was already done in the first movie, so why did it need to be done again? The Abby recast was even worse this time -- a young blonde actress who looked young enough to be Tom's daughter played the role this time. The synthesized music was terrible! And who wanted to see David end up with that other woman, anyway? We all wanted to see him back with the lovely Janet, which was hinted at in the first movie.
08-02-2012, 12:28 PM
Tommy may have had some problems later in the series ( didn't he get a girl pregnant ? )
I think you're referring to an episode where Tommy made friends with a girl whose boyfriend was away at college . She did get pregnant, but her boyfriend was responsible . She told her boyfriend about the pregnancy, and he sent her a check to pay for an abortion . Tommy wanted to marry her . Tom thought it was too much responsibility for Tommy to take on . When the episode ended, the girl basically said "I got myself into this, and I'll deal with it !" .
I looked for more information about this episode on the Internet . It was episode # 56 from the third season, "Best Of Friends" . The summary said "Tommy offers to marry a pregnant friend even though he's not the father of her baby . The Bradfords rally to support Tommy's taking of responsibility ." The girl was Lori West, played by Roseanna Arquette .
08-02-2012, 12:46 PM
For the first reunion movie, the official explanation given for Betty Buckley's absence was that she was in Europe filming a Roman Polanski film with Harrison Ford called Frantic. In actuality, the producers negotiated with Buckley to do the movie, and she was open to it. But the negotiations dragged on and on, so the producers got fed up and walked away from the table, hiring Mary Frann.
For the second reunion film, they didn't even think about offering Betty the part.
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