Episode: 1x01 | Airdate: Sep 20, 1991
It's 1956 Brooklyn, where Jules and Sophie Berger live in the same apartment building as their daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren, who experience meaningful events in this opener: his budding social life separates 14 year-old Alan from his less mature friends, while 9 year-old Nathaniel meets Dodger great Gil Hodges.
Episode: 1x02 | Airdate: Sep 27, 1991
For Sophie, the funeral of her Uncle Ira (whom no one really liked) requires total family attendance—on the Sunday of Alan's Dodger game date with Katie Monahan.
Episode: 1x03 | Airdate: Oct 4, 1991
Alan is asked to be on a television show that showcases young baseball players in a competition at Ebbets Field, winning him the chance to meet Pee Wee Reese of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Depressed after not winning the competition, he goes to visit his father at work while the family worries about his whereabouts.
Episode: 1x04 | Airdate: Oct 18, 1991
During the family gathering for Succoth, a Jewish thanksgiving ceremony, free-spirited Aunt Sylvia, who follows the "beat" movement, announces that she is getting a divorce from her husband. Sophie is horrified when Sylvia says she is stifling in the marriage and desperately tries to talk her out of her decision.
Episode: 1x05 | Airdate: Oct 25, 1991
Katie is so upset that her school science project didn't work out properly that Alan "fixes" the results for her, which only serves to make her more upset; meanwhile, George and Grandpa annoy the women in their lives when they resort to doing a favor for Sid's cousin Morty (the loan shark) to get tickets for a Harry Belafonte concert.
Episode: 1x06 | Airdate: Nov 6, 1991
Neither Katie's parents nor Alan's grandparents think they should be dating out of their faith, so the desperate kids arrange a meeting between the two families. Things go from bad to worse during the uncomfortable dinner when obnoxious Uncle Willy and his wife Miriam turn up at the same Chinese restaurant the families have chosen as neutral ground.
Episode: 1x07 | Airdate: Nov 13, 1991
While their elders are away at a wedding in Boston for the weekend, Alan and Nathaniel are trusted to stay on their own. Then Warren, inspired by an article in Life, comes up with an idea for a "dinner party" with Katie and her friends "the Marys," and Nathaniel is excluded. But the tables are turned on the boys when Nathaniel gets sick and the girls pay more attention to him than to them.
Episode: 1x08 | Airdate: Nov 20, 1991
Nathaniel is upset when Jules and Sophie's cousin Myron, once partners in the hatmaking business, have a falling out at the weekly Friday night poker game and stop speaking to each other. In the meantime, Uncle Joel is helping George and Phyllis get through an income tax audit.
Episode: 1x09 | Airdate: Nov 27, 1991
On a "once in a blue moon" Saturday, George is off work, so Alan and Nathaniel look forward to having some fun with their dad--but the adults decide "Family Chore Day" comes first. Well...that is until Grandpa, George, and the boys end up test driving a beautiful red Buick to Coney Island and Phyllis and Grandma play hookey at the new Danny Kaye movie with a stop for ice cream at Sid's afterward.
Episode: 1x10 | Airdate: Dec 8, 1991
Sid wants to branch out into catering and hires Alan, Warren and Benny to be waiters at his first wedding, but when Benny makes himself sick sampling the food and the three boys begin participating in the entertainment, Sid finally gets fed up. When Alan's dad and grandfather rush to help out, Alan--and finally Warren and Benny--learn a lesson about responsibility.
Episode: 1x11 | Airdate: Dec 11, 1991
The weekly "Cousins Club" meeting may survive the devastating news that Jackie Robinson has been traded to the arch-rival New York Giants (from the Brooklyn Dodgers) until Aunt Miriam chooses that time to reveal that Uncle Willy has cheated on her with a model named Cookie LaBarbera.
Episode: 1x12 | Airdate: Jan 1, 1992
After his beloved fourth-grade teacher Miss McCullough announces at "Open School" that she is getting married and leaving for Japan with her serviceman husband, Nathaniel is not only devastated, but he refuses to adjust to his new teacher--to the point where he is sent to the principal's office. Meanwhile, Benny's conscience bothers him after he forges a note from his mother.
Episode: 1x13 | Airdate: Jan 15, 1992
Benny is too shy to ask a girl out on a date, so to help him out, Alan asks Karen Frankel, a classmate Benny has always liked, to a couples-only party, and asks Katie to go with Benny, then they will "trade" later on. But Benny develops a crush on Katie and Alan learns that Karen has had a crush on him for years. Meanwhile Sophie and Phyllis help organize a rummage sale which honors the fallen son of a neighbor in aid of a veterans' hospital, while George invests in one of the new Polaroid cameras.
Episode: 1x14 | Airdate: Jan 22, 1992
Benny tells Alan that Katie is now his girlfriend and they can't be friends any longer; meanwhile, Karen Frankel further misunderstands her relationship with Alan, and, during preparations for the rummage sale, Aunt Sylvia and Sid seem to be hitting it off.
Episode: 1x15 | Airdate: Jan 29, 1992
Katie finally explains her feelings to Benny and eventually he and Alan resolve their differences--after he makes peace with Karen and Benny has a heart-to-heart with Grandma. Meanwhile, the rummage sale wildly achieves its goal, and Sid invites Aunt Sylvia back to the store for champagne.
Episode: 1x16 | Airdate: Feb 5, 1992
Phyllis and George allow Aunt Sylvia to take Alan into Manhattan to Nero's Coffeehouse to hear Jack Kerouac recite poetry, but when they are late coming home, Grandma and Grandpa follow them, whereupon Sylvia and her beat friends and the older folks discover they aren't so different after all.
Episode: 1x17 | Airdate: Mar 4, 1992
The results of the NY Standardized Aptitude Test rattle the boys, especially Benny, whose career profile turns out to be "forest ranger," but Alan is even more shocked when he's accepted at the Bronx High School of Science. Feelings are mixed from other quarters although the plethora of relatives Phyllis phones are delighted--but the most reluctant of all may be Alan. Meanwhile, the Cousins Club has agreed to finance Sylvia's new poetry magazine, "Sludge"--if Sophie doesn't explode at what looks like Sylvia's growing romance with Sid.
Episode: 1x18 | Airdate: Mar 11, 1992
Alan's reluctance to go to the Bronx High School of Science worries George enough that he has a talk with Mr. Greer about the pros and cons of Alan's attending, but when Alan finally gathers his courage and tells his mother he doesn't want to go, the confrontation hurts both of them--putting George in the middle. In the meantime, Benny seems to be reconciled to being a forest ranger, in a big way.
Episode: 1x19 | Airdate: Apr 13, 1992
On the Sunday they were planning to go to the Statue of Liberty--Nathaniel has been studying it in school--it pours, so George proposes that they hold "Rainy Day Indoor Olympics" in the hall, but Ring-a-Lievio, hallway hockey, and Johnny-On-the-Pony seem tougher on George than they are on the boys; meanwhile, a hurt cousin Bernard awaits news of his fiancee, who was supposed to meet him on the Number 63 bus and never showed up and Phyllis and Jules try to assemble a jigsaw puzzle of the Statue of Liberty.
Episode: 1x20 | Airdate: Apr 20, 1992
During a crucial basketball game between Rigo Park and the Jewish Community House junior league, Alan wins two free throws after one of the opposing players makes a foul. One successful basket will tie the hotly contested game, two will win. But as Alan psyches himself up for the task, his imagination runs wild, first in thoughts of what events led up to the game, then in a series of wild flash fantasies in which he fears that if he blows the shot, he will ruin his whole life.
Episode: 2x01 | Airdate: Sep 13, 1992
The boys' first day at Lafayette High School is momentous in more ways than one (nervous Benny is almost hysterical): gorgeous Melinda Dean, who Warren hears has "done stuff" with some other boys, asks Alan to be her partner for a study project--and invites him to her home to work on it. Meanwhile Aunt Miriam has begun a new career, selling real estate on Long Island, and Grandma tries to steer the Monahans into buying one of her houses.
Episode: 2x02 | Airdate: Sep 19, 1992
On Grandpa's birthday, Phyllis and George give him and Grandma a gift, a romantic weekend at the Plaza Hotel--an excursion the Bergers consider until Nathaniel contracts chicken pox. Sophie takes over his care with such vigor, overruling all of Phyllis' instructions, that Phyllis feels thrust in the background of her own child's care and her anger precipitates a quarrel between her and her mother. Meanwhile, Benny stakes out an apartment building in hopes of seeing his favorite baseball player, Duke Snider.
Episode: 2x03 | Airdate: Sep 26, 1992
Katie's father, already displeased that his eldest daughter Colleen is earning a living as a Rockette (his dream was for her to become a nun), refuses to give her permission to marry her boyfriend Charlie, saying that they are both too young and that Charlie has no job. Nevertheless, Colleen and Charlie elope, and Lt. Monahan refuses to speak to her since she is not married in the eyes of God. Also: The Silvers finally get a telephone.
Episode: 2x04 | Airdate: Oct 3, 1992
Guilt is in the air in Brooklyn: Katie prays to be spared from her history exam, then is devastated when her teacher, the tough Sister Rafael, dies--guilty to the point where she blames Alan and eventually vows to become a nun. In the meantime, both Grandma and Nathaniel make the Silvers feel guilty about shopping at Fairmart, the supermarket that gives trading stamps, rather than at the neighborhood grocery.
Episode: 2x05 | Airdate: Nov 7, 1992
After Glee Club practice, Alan is collared by Jimmy Vinceguera, a Lafayette High School hood who overheard him singing--apparently Bruno Mazzarelli, the lead singer in his rock group, the V-Necks, was arrested, and he wants Alan to act as substitute in a radio contest. But, as Alan practices, he is caught up in the "excitement" of being rebellious, and drawn into the boys' objectionable behavior as well as into their music. In the meantime, Nicholas tells Nathaniel they have to give up playing cowboy if they want to "become" teenagers, but Grandpa nips that in the bud by agreeing to play with them.
Episode: 2x06 | Airdate: Nov 14, 1992
The entire family welcomes Sophie's cousin Jacob, the last of her family to arrive in America to start a new life. Everyone pitches in to show him the treats of living in Brooklyn, with Grandma almost hysterically determined that he be happy. But she refuses to let Alan and Nathaniel know that he lost his wife Anna and two sons Josef, age fifteen, and David, age eleven, to the concentration camps. It turns out Grandma has always felt guilty for somehow not making Jacob and his family leave Poland before the Nazis invaded.
Episode: 2x07 | Airdate: Apr 10, 1993
When the family learns Katie's sister is pregnant and she and her husband are moving to California where he has a good job, they help Katie plan a shower for her, but Lieutenant Monahan is still hurt that Colleen was not married in the Church. But a chat with Cousin Jacob, who has taken a job painting the Monahans' apartment, may convince him of what's really important. In the meantime, Nicholas and Sid teach George and Jules the finer points of betting on the ponies.
Episode: 2x08 | Airdate: Apr 17, 1993
George takes a second job selling encyclopedias with Uncle Willy to make ends meet after the family refrigerator starts failing. After an abortive start, he soon becomes salesman of the month--he even convinces Sid to buy a set!--buying not only a new refrigerator but bicycles for the boys, and finally reducing his hours at the post office so he can sell full time. Then he has second thoughts after he reads one of the contracts closely and discovers the payment conditions seem a bit shady.
Episode: 2x09 | Airdate: Apr 24, 1993
As she leaves Sid's store after arranging to hold Nathaniel's birthday party there, Sophie breaks his front window while tossing a ball to Benny; while she is more than willing to pay for the damage, she wishes to go with the lowest bidder ($85 from Simpson's) instead of a repair made by Sid's uncles ($179). When Sid disagrees, an alarming escalation of hostilities occurs, starting with a rabbinical arbitration and deteriorating to legal action that culminates with Sid refusing to serve the boys and cancelling Nathaniel's party.
Episode: 2x10 | Airdate: Jul 16, 1993
While Alan and his friends prepare for their first high school dance, Nathaniel asks questions about dating and George and Phyllis make arrangements to go to Ben Maksik's Town and Country Club. The night of the dance Sid plans to take out a girl named Flora in a gorgeous brand-new 1957 Edsel borrowed from his sister's husband, but unfortunately neither Flora or Benny's date, Becky Abromowitz, show up, leaving the two to discuss life and love while waiting at the store. Meanwhile, Grandma and Grandma make a "date" to play cards with Nathaniel.
Episode: 2x11 | Airdate: Jul 23, 1993
Phyllis invites an old school friend and her husband to a dinner party at the Silvers', but as the night progresses she and George are left uncomfortable by their constant bickering, while Grandma disapproves because the rest of the family wasn't invited to join them. In the meantime, Nathaniel mourns the loss of The Buccaneers, a favorite Saturday night program that's been replaced by Perry Mason.
Episode: 2x12 | Airdate: Jul 30, 1993
George is upset when his sister Alice arrives for a visit to discuss selling his parents' bungalow at Mountaindale in the Catskills, remembering the good times the family has always had there and fearing they are losing part of their heritage; in the meantime, Phyllis is offered a promotion--but at the expense of Emma Brooks, the office manager who's been her mentor.
Episode: 2x13 | Airdate: Aug 6, 1993
The boys are listening to the World Series when the news comes through that the Russians have launched Sputnik. As the time comes for Sputnik to pass over the United States, everyone's growing fear that the Russian satellite may somehow attack them leads to revelations and confessions.