It's hard to believe Aaron Spelling was involved in this show, which ran from 1976-1980, because it's not at all jiggly or exploitative. It felt real, and awesome. You know how Moms on TV today are all thin, hot and gorgeous? Kate was more momlike--she looked and dressed a little like Alice on "The Brady Bunch." She wasn't thrilled about everything--she considered an abortion with Buddy, I think, and was less than happy with Nancy, who divorced her cheating husband.
The show felt real--and I also remember being able to identify with the fact that the kids had large gaps in their ages. Buddy, like me, was a lot younger than Willie and Nancy, and that affects family dynamics, let me tell you. (They later adopted Annie, played by Quinn Cummings -- remember her?)
The first and second seasons of "Family" are now on DVD, hooray! I have the set and my sister also bought it and we were both pulled right back into the life of the Lawrence family.
The very distinctive house in the credits is a real family's house in Pasadena. I may have to drive by it the next time we're in L.A.
Think you don't remember the show? Watch this clip of the opening credits and see if it sparks a memory. The panning over the family photos is especially memorable.