tek's rating: ½

American Dreams, on NBC
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It's set in the early 1960s (JFK was shot at the end of the first episode). Anyway, it's about this teenage girl named Meg Pryor (Brittany Snow) and her Irish-Catholic family, including her father, Jack (Tom Verica), her mother, Helen (Gail O'Grady), her older brother JJ, younger sister Patty (Sarah Ramos), and the youngest brother, Will. Meg and her friend Roxanne Bojarski (Vanessa Lengies) start dancing on American Bandstand. Roxanne's got some trouble with her mother, who's dating a guy Roxanne doesn't like. Helen is just starting to meet new people, take college classes and stuff, broadening her horizons, which Jack isn't entirely comfortable with. JJ is a high school football player and track runner who wants to go to Notre Dame. He has some trouble with his girlfriend, Beth, but they eventually get engaged. Patty is just sort of annoying most of the time, but smart. Will gets polio (though I missed that episode). I dunno, everyone's got stuff going on. Jack owns a small store selling appliances (mostly TVs, it seems to me). There's this African American man named Henry who works for him, and Meg becomes friends with Henry's son Sam. And Sam also runs track at JJ's school.

Of course since the show's set in the 60's, it's about all kinds of social changes and whatnot. There is conflict between Henry and his nephew Nathan, whose views are more radical (Henry's a MLK man, Nathan's a Malcolm man), though Sam sort of looks up to Nathan, which will cause some trouble between Sam and his dad. And in the second season, Henry's wife dies. JJ wants to become an astronaut, but after breaking his leg, he loses his scholarship, so at the end of the first season he joins the Marines. In the second season he'll eventually go to Viet Nam. In the first season, Meg had an on again, off again relationship with Patty's piano teacher, Luke. In the second season she's sort of seeing Drew, a college friend of Beth's. And Roxanne starts seeing a guy in a band. I... should have updated this during season 3, the final season, but... I didn't, and now I don't remember it well. Someday I should consider getting the DVDs and writing a more in-depth review of the series. But anyway... it was a pretty good show.

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