“Kate & Allie” — Season One

By Jae-Ha Kim
April 22, 2006

Kate & Allie: Season One introduced a new type of nuclear family to the 1980s: a pair of divorced women living with their children together in a somewhat cramped New York brownstone. A mid-season replacement in 1984, the sitcom starring Susan Saint James as Kate McArdle and Jane Curtin as Allie Lowell was both a critical and commercial success.

The shoulder pads, clunky answering machine, and hairdon’ts give away the decade, but the storylines of grown-up best friends supporting and, at times, sparring with each other during personal and professional crises are timeless. Curtain and Saint James share a wonderful chemistry that makes them easy to watch.

In the first of six episodes, viewers are introduced to Allie’s first post-divorce date, played by a dashing young Kelsey Grammer (Cheers, Frasier). Almost two decades before the gals on Sex and the City began tackling relationships, Kate summed it up best: “Dating’s about finding someone so you never have to date again.”

By the time the series ended production in 1989, Kate and Allie’s relationship had gotten a little hackneyed and it was time for the ladies to move on. But those first few seasons were fast, funny, and full of possibilities.


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