Oh we spend our days like bright and shiny new dimes,
If we're ever puzzled by the changing times.
There's a plate of homemade wishes on the kitchen window sill,
And eight is enought to fill our lives with love.
If that's the sort of thing that appeals to you, you probably got all warm and gushy on Wednesday nights during the late 1970s watching Eight is Enough (1977-81). If you wondered just how much of a day a dime could buy, or your gag reflex set in at the very thought of plates of homemade wishes on the window sill, you turned the channel to Good Times, Busting Loose, The Jeffersons, or Real People.
In case you never managed to sit through an episode, you should know that Tom Bradford (Dick Van Patten) was a conservative newspaper columnist who liked to give anti-abortion speeches to captive audiences in elevators. His tv wife died tragically during the first season, so he courted and married Abby (Betty Buckley). There were no gay characters -- though butch daughter Mary (Lani O'Grady) was certainly gay-coded, and some gay kids might have been interested in the three boys in his Walton-sized brood:
Willie Aames), a brooding, sullen bodybuilder-musician. He went on to fame in Paradise and Charles in Charge (with Scott Baio) before being beset-upon by financial and career problems.
By the way, Dick Van Patten belongs to a show biz dynasty, including siblings Joan and Tim, and children Vince, Jimmy, and Nels.