Tread Perilously’s “Too Many Kids!” month continues with the pilot episode of Eight is Enough — also known as “Never Try Eating Nectarines Since Juice May Dispense.”
Tom Bradford is an editor at a Sacramento, California newspaper. He is also the father of eight children. Oldest son David (Mark Hamill!) wants to move out of the house while youngest daughter Elizabeth gets busted for possession and obstruction. Youngest son Nicholas is getting ready for a tonsillectomy while Tom tries to figure out how he’s going to pay for all his unexpected expenses. It’s the sort of thing that happens when you have too many kids.
Justin hates the fact he now knows about the mneomic device Tom uses the remember his kids’ names. He also points out the tendency for “Too Many Kids!” shows to offer the oldest son a break-out role. It leads to a discussion of Family Ties and properly regulated businesses. Erik recalls entirely too much of Eight is Enough and equates Aaron Sorkin to Christopher Marlowe. The presence of Mark Hamill proves to be a major distraction, especially as David Bradford and Luke Skywalker are experiencing the same emotional journey in 1977. Performances get rated, Willie Aames gets mentioned, and the pair pitch Jessica Chastain as the director of a Mara Jade trilogy.