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Season 1 episodes (24)
Lawrence, the prodigal eldest Cleary son, returns home from the seminary and breaks the news to his family that he's dropping out for good. Meanwhile, Timmy decides he wants to audition for a children's theatre production but when Peggy finds out where it's being held she forbids him from participating. Elsewhere, Eddie tries to keep his girlfriend a secret after Frank finds out and tries to blackmail him.
2 Timmy's Poem
Timmy decides to enter a poetry contest to win the money he needs to repair his ventriloquist dummy. Stumped, he decides to plagiarize a poem and soon realizes he's not the only one who passed it off as his own. Meanwhile, Mike and Lawrence continue to butt heads when Lawrence complains that there are no fresh vegetables in the family's diet.
After Mike proudly introduces a new microwave to the Cleary household, Peggy immediately rejects it. Meanwhile, eager to see "everything" exposed for the first time, Joey and Timmy go to extremes to see Barbara Eden's wardrobe malfunction on a Bob Hope TV special. Elsewhere, Lawrence attempts to apply lessons from a psych class at school to psychoanalyze Mike and Peggy.
4 Peggy's Day Out
To hide a mess Eddie made, his girlfriend, Wendi, tries to distract Peggy by insisting she take a day off with a fun day out while they take care of the housework. To everyone's surprise, Peggy accepts the offer and requests Wendi tag along, with the ulterior motive of teaching her a lesson. Meanwhile, Eddie enlists the help of his brothers to clean up and keep Mike out of the house while Wendi and Peggy are out.
Frank announces he has decided to compete in the church boxing tournament. When Frank can't cut it, Timmy steps in and takes up boxing in order to bond with his dad and get his approval. Elsewhere, feeling rusty after being at the seminary for so long, Lawrence asks Eddie to help prepare him for a date by taking him on a "practice date."
6 Behind the Counter
Mike comes to the conclusion that Eddie is being sexually active and takes it upon himself to give him enough advice to work things out. Later, Peggy disagrees with how Mike handled the situation and they argue over how much they should interfere in their children's lives. Elsewhere, Joey and Timmy attempt to disrupt Frank's plan to do free yardwork so that they can go back to getting paid.
7 Little Cyst
Mike and Peggy think they might be expecting again, but later Peggy is diagnosed with having a cyst instead. Meanwhile, the kids spy on Mike and Peggy to try to figure out what their unusual behavior is about. When Pat overhears that they are going to have a little sister, the Cleary kids decide to dig deeper.
8 Christmas 1972
When Peggy's successful brother, Tom, drops in for Christmas, Mike immediately oozes with jealousy. After Tom gives the Clearys an extravagant Christmas gift, pride prevents Mike from taking it. Meanwhile, Timmy mistakenly receives $100 from his great-aunt for Christmas. Elsewhere, Eddie forgets to get Wendi a Christmas present and panic sets in.
9 The Love List
The Cleary boys beg Peggy to tell them she loves them, so Peggy posts a ranked list of their names on the fridge in the hopes that someone will divulge who broke the dining room light fixture. Timmy incriminates his brother but feels so guilty that he gets a horrible stomachache and heads to the hospital. Back at home, Mike invites Grover, a co-worker, disguised as an amateur detective to their home to help compel a confession out of the guilty Cleary child.
10 Show Boat
Against Peggy's wishes, Frank secretly helps design a set for a musical in which Timmy is performing. Feeling jealous of all the positive attention Frank is getting for his work, Timmy devises a plan which forces Frank to admit his involvement on set. Meanwhile, Mike grows increasingly concerned that Joey is heading down a shady moral path with all his wheeling and dealing.
Eddie becomes distraught when Wendi breaks up with him over disagreements on how they want to handle their future. Meanwhile, Mike struggles to address Eddie's heartbreak, and Peggy contemplates whether she has to break up with Wendi too. To complicate things further, Joey convinces Frank to send Wendi a love letter, pleading his case as to why she should be his girlfriend.
The Clearys are conflicted when Lawrence and Eddie are drafted to serve in the Vietnam War. Although Eddie and Lawrence try to avoid going, they come to terms with their fate. Though they are both proud, Mike and Peggy take matters into their own hands and try to derail Lawrence and Eddie's decision to serve their country.
13 Valentine's Day
Peggy tries to trick Timmy into taking better care of his personal hygiene; Mike fears that Peggy's meddling is causing Timmy to develop insecurities; Timmy receives a Valentine's Day card from a secret admirer and becomes unnerved.
14 Happy Cecil
Mike and Peggy are stunned when they learn that Father Dunne has a girlfriend; Frank loses the church keys entrusted to him and must find them before anyone else does.
15 Nine Birthdays
Peggy's talent for reusing wax from old birthday candles to create new ones leads her to pursue candle-making work; Timmy is determined to get audience tickets for a taping of ``Boxcar Billy's Hobo Jamboree.''
16 Wendi's House
Mike and Peggy are sympathetic when Wendi's parents split up until Peggy realizes that Wendi's parents left her in the house alone, leaving her and Eddie unsupervised; Joey goes under cover.
17 Low Expectations
Timmy enters a contest to appear on a TV show and takes matters into his own hands when he doesn't hear back; Peggy takes a driving test to get her license.
18 Peggy Drives Away
When Peggy storms out of the house without explanation after a mishap at the grocery store, Mike enlists Wendi to help find her.
19 Mass For Shut-ins
Peggy manipulates William into joining the church choir to keep him engaged in Catholicism; Eddie and Joey are determined to get a hold of Led Zeppelin tickets.
20 Timmy's New Hobby
Peggy discovers that Timmy has a newfound and inappropriate hobby and urges Mike to talk to him about it; Mike tries to talk to Timmy about the topic and enlists Lawrence's help in the matter; Frank is determined to catch Joey in a lie.
21 Mike's Award
Peggy's competitive side kicks in and she decides to get Mike into the limelight; Joey acts as Timmy's manager to make sure he performs his magic act at the Pioneer Day Carnival; Eddie is determined to prove that the carnival games aren't all rigged.
After learning that donations are down at her church, Peggy grows concerned that the cutbacks will affect the nursing home where she is secretly housing a close relative; Mike and Peggy blame the low donations on Father Abdi.
23 Irish Goodbye
Peggy struggles with Lawrence's decision to move out of the house; Timmy can't find his ventriloquist dummy, Knuckles, and learns that Joey took him without asking.
101 The Kids are Alright Behind the Scenes
Set in the 1970s, this ensemble comedy follows a traditional Irish-Catholic family, the Clearys, as they navigate changes big and small during one of America’s most turbulent decades. In a working-class neighborhood outside Los Angeles, Mike (Michael Cudlitz) and Peggy (Mary McCormack) raise eight boisterous boys who live out their days with little supervision. The household is turned upside down when oldest son, Lawrence, returns home and announces he’s quitting the seminary to go off and “save the world.”
About this show
Set in the 1970s, this ensemble comedy follows a traditional Irish-Catholic family, the Clearys, as they navigate big and small changes during one of America’s most turbulent decades. In a working-class neighborhood outside Los Angeles, Mike and Peggy raise eight boisterous boys who live out their days with little supervision. The household is turned upside down as the times are changing and this family will never be the same. There are 10 people, three bedrooms, one bathroom and everyone in it for themselves.
Ratings and reviews
May 18, 2019
I am so sad that this show got cancelled! I really enjoyed it and thought that there was a lot of room for character development. The personalities of the boys and the parents were all really entertaining. I can't understand why all the funny half-hour comedies are getting canceled when cop dramas and murder mysteries just keep proliferating. The world needs to laugh more, not dwell on death.
August 4, 2020
This is a great show. Its reminiscent of The Wonder Years but for my generation. I was a bit younger than the kids in TWY but TKAA was my generation, the 70s. It's such a blast seeing all the chronotopes of the of the years. Parenting sure has changed over the years. 🤣
Stephanie O (StephDuran)
Show review history
November 7, 2020
You don't have to be Catholic or come from a big family to love this show. I'm neither & what drew me in was being a child of the 70s & 80s - the set designers, script, casting & acting - this show was a gift & it's a damn shame it was canelled.