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For Better or for Worse
For Better or for Worse
TV Series
Lynn Johnston hosts this animated adaption of her acclaimed comic strip. The series presents the Patterson's adventures in three different periods of the growing years of the 1980's, the middle years of the early 1990's and contemporary times as we see the family go through the good times and bad while their love for each other is as strong as ever.
Series cast summary:
Lynn Mason Lynn Mason - Elly Patterson 5 episodes
Terrence Scammell Terrence Scammell - John Patterson 5 episodes
Henry Gauthier Henry Gauthier - Michael Patterson (segments 'The Growing Years' and 'The Later Years') 5 episodes
Rylan O'Reilly Rylan O'Reilly - Michael Patterson (segment 'The Early Years') 5 episodes
Lianne Picard-Poirier Lianne Picard-Poirier - Elizabeth Patterson (segment 'The Later Years') 5 episodes
Vanessa Lengies Vanessa Lengies - Elizabeth Patterson (segment 'The Growing Years') 5 episodes
Anna Wedlock Anna Wedlock - Elizabeth Patterson (segment 'The Early Years') 5 episodes
Bryn McAuley Bryn McAuley - April Patterson (segment 'The Later Years') 5 episodes
Jayne Eastwood Jayne Eastwood - Mrs. Dingle 5 episodes
Lynn Johnston Lynn Johnston - Herself 5 episodes
Lynne Adams Lynne Adams - Additional Voices 3 episodes
Sonja Ball Sonja Ball - Additional Voices 3 episodes
Norman Mikeal Berketa Norman Mikeal Berketa - Additional Voices 3 episodes
Sara Cornthwaite Sara Cornthwaite - Additional Voices 3 episodes
Dawn Ford Dawn Ford - Additional Voices 3 episodes
Patrick Fry Patrick Fry - Additional Voices 3 episodes
Alexander Swerdlow Alexander Swerdlow - Additional Voices 3 episodes
Thor Bishopric Thor Bishopric 2 episodes
Kathleen Fee Kathleen Fee - Additional Voices 2 episodes
Abby Hagyard Abby Hagyard 2 episodes
A.J. Henderson A.J. Henderson - Additional Voices 2 episodes
Janyse Jaud Janyse Jaud 2 episodes
Jonathan Koensgen Jonathan Koensgen 2 episodes
Liz MacRae Liz MacRae 2 episodes
Walter Massey Walter Massey 2 episodes
Brady Moffatt Brady Moffatt 2 episodes
Timothy Mooney Timothy Mooney - Weed 2 episodes, 2000
Nancy Neilson Nancy Neilson - Additional Voices 2 episodes
Eleanor Noble Eleanor Noble 2 episodes
James O'Regan James O'Regan 2 episodes
Robert Welch Robert Welch 2 episodes

For Better or for Worse
This animated series is actually produced and drawn here in my hometown of Ottawa, Canada.

Lynn Johnston may be the most underrated cartoonist of the last 30 years. Her creation "For Better or For Worse", based on her family life, is much different than other cartoons. Unlike "Peanuts","Calvin And Hobbes" and all the others where time stands still, the Patterson family actually ages over the years. The adults have more children, the children grow up and leave the nest, and all the friends and family do the same, too. That makes it a truly special cartoon.

Johnston's cartoon isn't laugh out loud funny like "Garfield" or "Calvin and Hobbes", but it intrigues me because of the family structure and situations. It's like an 80's sitcom, which is better than anything that passes as a sitcom in 2002.

Ergo, the series is split into three segments, covering three time periods of the Patterson family. The animation is very good and look better moving, the look at family life refreshing, and the storylines are ones we can relate to. Lynn Johnston herself introduces her segments while drawing in kind of a "pep talk" way. It's not a laugh out loud show, but it's still an intriguing cartoon nonetheless. If I'm staying up until 2 A.M. to see it, it must be good.
What makes For Better or for Worse special is the fact that its realistic. Sure it doesn't rank in the humor of Calvin and Hobbes, but it has a lot of heart. Something you won't see with comic strips (in this case a TV show adaption) is aging in the characters. For Better or for Worse ages its characters and succeeds. It deals with real issues like dates, death of an animal and adjustment to certain things. It's family safe and even if it wasn't i'd still recommend it to kids of all ages. Not only is it enjoyable for the young ones, adults will probably tune in to watch it as well. Watching For Better or for Worse is like watching your own family grow up. You see the good, the bad and the ugly but you mainly see the good. If you can still find it, I recommend it highly.