Life Goes On (TV series)

Life Goes On (TV series)

infobox television
show_name = Life Goes On

caption = The cast of "Life Goes On".
format = Drama
runtime = 60 Minutes
creator = Michael Braverman
starring = Chris Burke
Kellie Martin
Patti LuPone
Bill Smitrovich

opentheme = A cover of The Beatles' "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", as sung by Patti LuPone and the rest of the cast.
country = USA
network = ABC
first_aired = September 12, 1989
last_aired = May 23, 1993
num_seasons = 4
num_episodes = 83
imdb_id = 0096635
tv_com_id = 356

"Life Goes On" is a television series that aired on ABC from September 12, 1989 to May 23, 1993.


The drama featured the Thacher family, whose son Charles "Corky" Thacher (played by Chris Burke) had Down syndrome, while their daughter Becca (played by Kellie Martin) was gifted but socially awkward with her fellow classmates. Tony Award winning stage actress Patti LuPone played the mother and Bill Smitrovich played the father. Eldest sister Paige Thatcher was played by Monique Lanier during the 1989-1990 seasons and by Tracey Needham during the 1990-1993 seasons. However this character initially had relatively little involvement in the plot of the show and was infrequently seen for the first two seasons. Jerry Berkson (Ray Buktenica) was Patti LuPone's quirky boss.

Executive Producer Michael Braverman first cast Chris Burke in the 1987 television movie "Desperate", based on Braverman's favorite book, "Lord Jim." After seeing Burke's work, ABC executives asked Braverman to create a show around Burke.

The show is set in the Chicago suburb Glenbrook, Illinois, which is named after the high school attended at the time by one of Braverman's children, the name itself a blend of the real suburbs served by the school, Glenview and Northbrook.

In the opening credits of each episode, Arnold, the dog, sits forlornly in the kitchen with his bowl in his mouth, apparently forgotten by the family. The show's producers received a constant trickle of letters each week from viewers who thought this was cruel, so in the final episode's opening credits, a bag of dog food spills out of a nearby cabinet.

Early seasons

During the show's first couple of years, the focus mainly was placed upon Corky. Much of the show examined the challenges of a family whose son had Down Syndrome. The Thachers sought to have Corky interact with regular society after spending years socializing Corky amongst other kids with Down syndrome in "special" classes. Indeed, this need to integrate Corky into "normal" society was the main storyline in Season 1 of the series, as the Thacher family opted to enroll Corky into a regular high school despite the principal's demand that Corky be placed in an alternative program for those with Down syndrome.

In addition, during the early seasons (particularly the first), episodes included Tyler Benchfield (Tommy Puett), Becca's high school crush, who also had a brother with Down syndrome. Eventually, Becca and Tyler would start a relationship.

Corky eventually got a job as an usher at a local movie theater. He later found a girlfriend, who also had Down syndrome, and whom he married by the end of the series.

Later seasons

By the beginning of the second season, the writers had begun to expand the scope of the show beyond Corky, and in the third and fourth seasons the show's focus centered on Becca and a new character named Jesse (played by Chad Lowe). Jesse was a junior and met Becca through the school's theatre department. As the two became friends, Jesse told Becca he was HIV positive as a result of unprotected sex he had with a one-night stand with a prostitute. Tyler became a less prominent figure in Becca's life, and was jealous of Becca's closeness with Jesse. The character of Tyler was soon thereafter written out of the show, but was given a memorable send-off, dying in a car accident with Corky as a passenger.

Becca and Jesse began a relationship, despite his HIV, much to the surprise of those around them. The writers began to explore life with HIV through Jesse's character, and the difficulties the disease causes with romantic relationships. The relationship between Corky and Becca, previously portrayed as close, also was explored as Corky briefly turned his back on his sister for dumping a mutual friend in order to date Jesse.

The first episode of the fourth season, in which a 40-something Becca (played by Pamela Bellwood) tours the house she grew up in while remembering the events of twenty five years earlier, establishes that Jesse would ultimately die from AIDS, and that Becca would move on and marry a man named David. The series itself ended ambiguously, but up-beat, showing Becca five years later, married, and with a son named for her true love, Jesse.

Awards and nominations

The show won two Emmy Awards, one for Chad Lowe ("Jesse") in 1993, and one for Viveca Lindfors in 1990.

DVD release

On May 9, 2006, Warner Home Video released Season 1 of "Life Goes On" on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time. It is unknown if the remaining three seasons will be released at some point. The DVD release of "Life Goes On", Season 1, has a replacement theme song at the beginning of each episode with the exception of the show's pilot. The replacement was due to high licensing costs for the Beatles' song "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da." The new song aptly titled "Life Goes On" was written by composer Marc Jackson of Zoo Street Music and sung by singer/songwriter Tara Johnston. The song was written specifically for the DVD release.


The series was broadcast at least in:
*South Africa, dubbed in Afrikaans, under the title "Môre is Nog 'n Dag (Tomorrow is another day)"
*Latin America, dubbed in Spanish, under the title "La vida sigue su curso / La vida continúa (Life Goes On)"
*Finland, with Finnish subtitles, under the title "Elämä voittaa (Life Goes On)"
*France, dubbed in French, under the title "Corky, un enfant pas comme les autres (Corky, a child unlike the others)"
*Italy, dubbed in Italian, under the title "Una Famiglia Come Tante (A Family Like Many Others)"
*Poland, with Polish lector, under the title "Dzień za dniem (Life Goes On)"
*Germany, dubbed in German, under the title "Alles O.K., Corky (Everything's O.K., Corky)"
*Ireland, under the title "Life Goes On", on the RTÉ channel network
*Netherlands, with Dutch subtitles, under the title "Life Goes On", on the RTL4 network
*Israel, with Hebrew subtitles.

External links

* [ The official DVD page for Life Goes On.]
* [ The Unofficial Life Goes On Page.]
* [ Life Goes On in Jump The Shark]

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