During the late 1980s, the conservative political atmosphere resurrected the old "I've Got a Secret" sitcom genre of the 1960s (Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Mr. Ed, My Favorite Martian). Nuclear families were harboring a child-robot (Small Wonder, 1985-1989), wisecracking aliens (Alf, 1986-1990), and a Bigfoot (Harry and the Hendersons, 1991-1993). Kids were aliens (Out of this World, 1987-1991), superheroes (My Secret Identity, 1988-91), and spies (The New Adventures of Beans Baxter, 1987-88). Not surprisingly, many of them featured gay subtexts.
Stand by Me (1986), but getting noticeably taller and more muscular before our eyes.
Until by the final season, he had become a teen hunk, ready for shirtless roles in Calendar Girl (1993) and Sliders (1995-2000).
They are inseparable for the remainder of the series, taking jobs together, working on sports and hobbies, breaking up and reconciling. And more than once, Kirk requires rescue, leading to a "my hero" moment.