Watch Growing Pains
- 7 Seasons
Growing Pains is a beloved family sitcom that aired on ABC from 1985-1992. It follows the Seaver family, led by parents Jason (Alan Thicke) and Maggie (Joanna Kerns), as they navigate the ups and downs of raising their three children: Mike (Kirk Cameron), Carol (Tracey Gold), and Ben (Jeremy Miller). The show begins with Jason, a psychiatrist who works from home, deciding to take on the role of primary caregiver while Maggie returns to her career as a journalist. This switch in roles sets up the dynamic of the show, as the Seavers must navigate the challenges of parenting, marriage, and their respective careers. Mike is the oldest child and the troublemaker of the family. He is a struggling student who often gets into mischief, but his quick wit and charm make him a fan favorite. Carol is the middle child, and she is portrayed as the intellectual and responsible one. She often butts heads with Mike but also serves as a sounding board for her parents. Finally, Ben is the youngest child and is often seen as the innocent and naive one. He looks up to his older siblings and is eager to follow in their footsteps. As the kids grow up, the show tackles issues that were relevant to its time, such as drug abuse, peer pressure, and dating. However, it also balances these serious topics with lighthearted humor and heartwarming family moments. The Seavers are a close-knit family, and the show highlights the importance of communication, trust, and support within a family unit. In later seasons, the show introduces new characters to the mix. Ashley Johnson joins the show as Chrissy Seaver, Jason and Maggie's fourth child, born in season five. The show also introduces Leonardo DiCaprio as Luke Brower, a troubled teenager who befriends the Seavers in later seasons. One of the unique aspects of Growing Pains is its use of meta-humor. The show frequently breaks the fourth wall and acknowledges its own existence as a sitcom. For example, characters will make jokes about the laugh track or reference previous episodes. This adds a self-awareness to the show that sets it apart from other family sitcoms of the time. Throughout its seven-season run, Growing Pains remained a beloved staple of the ABC lineup. It tackled issues that were relatable to families of its time while offering a heartwarming and entertaining viewing experience. The cast chemistry, witty writing, and relatable storylines made it a favorite among viewers of all ages.