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Eight is Enough: The Complete Fifth Season [DVD]

Release Date:03/11/2014
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Getting a late start due to the 1980 Hollywood actors' strike, the fifth and final season of Eight is Enough makes up for lost time with a frantic 90-minute opening episode, in which Susan Bradford Stockwell (Susan Richardson), one of the eight children of journalist Tom Bradford (Dick Van Patten), delivers the family's first grandchild, named Sandra Sue in honor of Susan's stepmother (Betty Buckley)--who of course prefers the nickname "Abby" to her given name. While the arrival of Sandra Sue is a high point in the lives of Susan and her professional-ballplayer husband Merle (Brian Patrick Clarke, things aren't quite so jubilant later down the line when Merle suffers an injury that injures his career. This is the season that Ralph Macchio joins the cast as Abby's troubled nephew Jeremy, who takes a bit of time adjusting to his new surroundings when he is brought into the Bradford household after his father drops out of sight. Also new to the cast is John Louie as Melvin, the geekish best friend of youngest Bradford son Nicholas (Adam Rich). Major developments this season include the breakup of the marriage between oldest son David Bradford (Grant Goodeve and his wife Janet (Joan Prather), though the couple eventually considers patching things up. Also, Abby lands a job as guidance counselor in a tough inner-city school; daughter Elizabeth (Dianne Kay) moves in with her boyfriend; the Bradfords are forced to economize when Tom is laid off during a newspaper strike; daughter Nancy (Dianne Kay) finds that her chosen career as an actress and model is fraught with professional perils and pitfalls; son Tommy (Willie Aames) and his pal Ernie (Michael Goodrow) return from college with a new "sophisticated" outlook on life; and later on, Tommy proposes to girlfriend Ellen (Tara Nutter) when he learns she is pregnant. The series concludes with a tense battle over legal custody of Jeremy between the Bradfords and Jeremy's irresponsible dad (George Ralph Dicenzo).~Hal Erickson