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Episode #66: The Summer My Father Grew Up

Listen to Episode 66 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.

SUMMARY - In The Summer My Father Grew Up, John Ritter plays Paul, a doctor who divorced his first wife and then resettled and remarried across the country. He thinks his son Timmy (played by Matthew Lawrence) is going to visit for the summer, but when Timmy says he’s instead going to stay with his mother, Paul has a tough time dealing with the change in family dynamics.

Screenplay by Sandra Jennings; Directed by Michael Tuchner, and premiered on NBC on March 3, 1991.


Despite what you might hope from the title, it is a not a body-swap movie.

Instead the dad is simply a selfish, emotionally manipulative guy.

He blames the mother and thinks she's poisoning Timmy's mind, when he's also trying to do the same

The level-headed ones are the step-parents.

It's easy to understand Timmy's frustrations but that doesn't make it enjoyable to watch.

They don't paint San Diego in a great light. Expect to see dirt and hills a lot. This adds to the very low-budget vibe the movie gives off.

They do go to the zoo, but most of that segment is on these overhead cars

The title is also misleading because it doesn't seem like anyone grew up. They're still fighting and bickering till the very end.

The movie early on establishes all kinds of things that will be called back on later, like jumping into the pool with the clothes on.

The last 5 minutes was nothing but call-back after call-back and it got exhausting

We missed it on the first pass, but taking screenshots for the movie produced another Game Boy sighting! Step dad Louis was playing it on the plane and then handed it off to Timmy.

Probably the best part of this was the commercials included in the YouTube upload we watched.

Huge nostalgia trip watching some of these.

We can't include all the screenshots here, but keep watching OUR YouTube page and it will be part of our upload there.

Awards Talk: At the Young Artist Awards, Matthew Lawrence was nominated for Best Young Actor Starring in a TV Movie


This week, our true crime segment focuses on Rodney King who was pulled over by the LAPD and whose beating by police was captured on video, sparking widespread national attention and riots in 1992.

There's no way we can do more than just go over very broad points in this movie podcast, so to learn more, here are some great resources for you.

Also, please consider listening to the Slow Burn Podcast as they go into much deeper detail -

On to TV:

We didn't really talk about TV too much, but we did have the TV guide. Here's the silly ad they ran for today's feature.

Playing opposite of this was another TV movie that we hope to cover eventually as well, Lies Before Kisses.

And if you want to see what else was playing, here's the two-page spread.

Lastly, for music, here are the Billboard 100 Bottom 5 as of March 9, 1991

100. What’s it Gonna Be - Jellybean ft. Niki Harris

99. Give it Up - ZZ Top

98. Baby’s Coming Back - Jellyfish

97. Oooh This I Need - Elisa Fiorillo

96. Miles Away - Winger


Nikki 1-5 star scale - 1 out of 5

Jon 0-4 star scale - 1/2 out of 4

Would you watch it again? - The production quality was terrible, and the script handled the subject matter in a frustrating and confusing way. It has a lot of unrealized potential. The acting isn't bad, but just about everything else was. So, no, we would not watch it again. It has been the second worst TV movie we've seen so far.

If you want to watch The Summer My Father Grew Up, as of this recording in May 2022, it’s available on YouTube. Check your local listings.


You can listen to us on all your major podcasting platforms and please consider rating, subscribing, and sharing with your friends.

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Join us next time for Father of the Bride available on Digital Rental, VHS, DVD


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