It's Your Move
It's Your Move didn't last long (September 26, 1984, to August 10,
1985). Yet for a scrawny boy on the brink of adolescence 13 TV seasons ago,
Jason Bateman's Matthew Burton was a 14-year-old mentor. He wasn't athletic,
studious, or particularly good-looking. But he was smart, and he was funny, and
he could make a complete fool out of anyone. Matt spoke the wiseass thoughts I
kept bottled up; he was the genius con artist I wished I could become. And with
an insincere smile always on his face and a habit of calling adults "sir" and
"ma'am," he got away with everything (well, mostly everything) while his older
sister got punished.
There was nothing morally redeemable about It's Your Move. This
wasn't typical kiddie fare like Diff'rent Strokes, where Kimberly
learned to overcome bulimia, or Silver Spoons, where the Rickster coped
with shooting a deer. It's Your Move was perfect for a kid whose parents
took care of the don't-shoot-innocent-animals department and who turned to TV
for a laugh, not a lesson. This was a show about a snooty, cynical 14-year-old
pulling off scheme after scheme. "Men, tomorrow's the big day. Our fourth
annual term-paper sale is on," Matt announced to his band of toadies as they
prepared to make a bundle by selling papers to classmates. "We've invested a
lot of time and energy in this project. Brian, you lost your girlfriend.
Gregory here had to give up the track team. And me, well, I've lost a lot of
sleep, between track-team practice and dating Brian's old girlfriend."