thirtysomething turns twentysomething

In 1987, a television show debuted on ABC with a title and premise that so perfectly tapped into the late ’80s zeitgeist that it instantly became part of our cultural lexicon: thirtysomething . This cult-favorite drama, from writing-directing-producing partners Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, centering upon the deliciously angst-ridden lives of baby boomers coping with growing up, is finally getting a DVD release (available 8/25).

Watching the six-DVD box set (with lots of bonus features and commentary) of thirtysomething’s first season is a little like getting inside a time machine. There are the married couples, Hope (Mel Harris) and Michael (Ken Olin), and Elliot (Timothy Busfield) and Nancy (Patricia Wettig); and wacky singles Gary (Peter Horton), Melissa (Melanie Mayron) and Ellyn (Polly Draper), all looking disturbingly young and wearing questionable fashion choices (lots of shoulder pads and bad suspenders). But what still rings true two decades later is the wit and poignancy in watching this close-knit group wrestle with parenthood, fight, cry, split up, make up, mourn and laugh as they teeter into honest-to-goodness adulthood.

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