Show me that smile again. (Show me that smile)
Don’t waste another minute on your cryin’.
We’re nowhere near the end (nowhere near)
The best is ready to begin.
Oooohhh. As long as we got each other
We got the world spinnin’ right in our hands.
Baby you and me, we gotta be
The luckiest dreamers who never quit dreamin’.
As long as we keep on givin’
we can take anything that comes our way
Baby, rain or shine, all the time
We got each other Sharin’ the laughter and love
The ’80s was a great time for family sitcoms. We had Diff’rent Strokes, Happy Days, The Cosby Show, Who’s the Boss, and Family Ties, just to name a few. Growing Pains was always one of my favorites.
Growing Pains ran on ABC from September 1985 to April 1992. When the show started, it was about a family of five, the Seavers, who lived on Long Island, New York. Jason Seaver was the father, a psychiatrist, who had his practice at home.
Maggie, his wife, was a journalist who worked for the Long Island newspaper in the first three seasons of the sitcom. She got a job as the news anchor for channel 19 news and worked there through the middle of the 5th season when she decided to stay at home. Jason moved his practice out of the house to an office. During the last seasons, she worked at home writing a consumer awareness column for the local newspaper.
Maggie and Jason raised four children:
The oldest was troublemaker/smartass, yet charming Mike. Mike played by Kirk Cameron. He helped the ratings for Growing Pains shoot sky high, and became a regular face on the cover of teen magazines.
The second oldest was Carol. She was basically the opposite of Mike – a straight “A” student who was socially awkard at school. She was played by Tracey Gold, who is sisters with Benson’s Missy Gold.
Next was Ben, played by Jeremy Miller. In the beginning of the show’s run, Ben was quite the con artist. As the show went on, he was more naive – but still a smartass like his older brother.
The youngest, Chrissy, wasn’t born until the 4th season and suddenly “grew up” from being a toddler to a five year old between the 5th and 6th seasons. The older Chrissy was played by Ashley Johnson.
And if “jumping the shark” wasn’t enough by adding Chrissy to the family, the show jumped over a pool of sharks in its final season by having the Seavers take in a homeless boy – Luke Brower. Well, if they were going to take the show down, they were going to try to do it in style. Luke was played by future movie superstar Leonardo DiCaprio.
The Theme Song
Before the 2000’s many television shows had great theme songs. Some theme songs were better than the shows themselves. The Growing Pains theme was always one of my favorites. The name of the song is “As Long as We’ve Got Each Other,” and was written by John Bettis and Steve Dorff. There were different versions of the song through the years.
For season 1, B.J. Thomas sang the theme solo. Most of the opening song featured various works of art (similar to the opening of Cheers), closing with a shot of the cast, which goes from black-and-white to color.
For season 2,3 and 5, Jennifer Warnes joined B.J. Thomas to make the song a duet. Season 4 featured Dusty Springfield instead of Warnes. Instead of artwork, scenes from some of the episodes were shown along with pictures of each cast member growing up:
For season 6, the song was sung a cappella by the group Rockapella (Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego?). The photos of the cast members were still shown. But instead of show clips, a current photo of the cast member was shown.
And for the 7th (and final) season, it is no longer a cappella, and Leonardo DiCaprio is now in the credits.
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