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American Dreams - Season One (Extended Music Edition)
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The series pilot, set just before and on the day of Kennedy's murder, introduces Philadelphia family the Pryors, white, middle-class Catholics whose stern but not undiscerning patriarch, Jack (Tom Verica), gets an earful one night over dinner. Eldest son J.J. (Will Estes), a star running back at high school and candidate for a Notre Dame football scholarship, announces he's leaving the sport, feeling unappreciated for his mind and inspired by Kennedy's outreach to young people. Teenage daughter Meg (Brittany Snow) allows that she'll be dancing on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. Jack's wife, Helen (Gail O'Grady), later lets fly that she's moving on from her boring book club to spend time with a new friend, a feminist academic (Virginia Madsen), and strongly hints that she's done with adding more babies to their brood of four. The times are indeed a-changin' for the Pryors--who have chugged along on WWII vet Jack's fiercely protected vision of picket fences, cooperative kids, and a wife who doesn't upset his equilibrium with needs of her own. But the rest of the country is changing, too, and American Dreams captures--with subtle precision--the erosion of comfortable assumptions at the onset of the Vietnam war, the escalation of the civil rights movement, the British Invasion, reproductive rights for women, and much else.
The series flows, often with stylish splendor, between the Pryors' home, the Bandstand studio set, and Jack's retail television and radio shop, where Jack's sole employee, an African American father, Henry (Jonathan Adams), wonders silently about the options a racist society will offer his talented son, Sam (Arlen Escarpeta). Wordlessness is a hallmark of American Dreams: An exchanged look between Meg and Sam is shattering testimony to the confusion of racial prohibitions among well-meaning kids. Part of every show finds historical reenactments of '60s musical acts appearing on Bandstand, and sometimes these artists are played by contemporary musicians such as Nick Carter (as Jay of Jay and the Americans) and Third Eye Blind (as the Kinks). This boxed set includes real Bandstand clips that are contemporaneous with the series' timeline. --Tom Keogh
Top Customer Reviews
Much of the show was from the viewpoint of Meg Pryor (played by the wonderful Brittany Snow). We first meet Meg as a sweet 15 year old who realizes her lifelong dream of becoming a dancer on "American Bandstand". The two hour pilot episode finds Meg and her wild child best friend Roxanne scheming to be pulled from the daily lineup of hopeful dancers outside the Philadelphia television studio where "Bandstand" is filmed, for a guest appearance on the show. It takes some conniving on the part of the always hilariously outrageous Roxanne, but one day the impossible happens, and both girls make it onto the show. Meg doesn't believe it could possibly get any better - until she catches the eye of one of the show's producers, who offers her a regular spot.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Why OH why can we not get the remaining seasons of this great show on DVD release??? Bad enough it was cancelled and left us hanging, but I would enjoy watching the 3 seasons it... Read morePublished 23 hours ago by Dee
I really enjoyed this show when it debuted on TV. I was bummed when they canceled it half way through the third season. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ali B.
I bought the set for Brittany Snow at first but I discovered an amazing show all over, it's all together heartwarming, funny at times, thought provoking... Read morePublished 3 months ago by syl
I loved this show and was very unhappy it was cancelled. I grew up in Philly and went to a catholic high school very similar to the one portrayed in the series. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I absolutely fell in love with this show when it first aired. I was part of the minority that was completely appalled that they were cancelled. Read morePublished 6 months ago by sundance
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