Friday, April 10, 2009

American Dreams

I was just thinking about this show this morning, and it was positively one of my favorites that ever aired on TV. I started thinking about it, in kind of a crazy way, because we're watching Apocalypse Now (about the Vietnam War, after reading Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad) and I was trying to remember the TV show I watched every Sunday that dealt with the Vietnam War. I am so disappointed that it ever stopped. This is a clip of Stacie Orrico performing on American Bandstand, the show the Meg Pryor the show's main character, danced on:

It was such a great show because it incorporated all kinds of new acts/singers into the show. And it featured clips of both Dick Clark as well as the original performers FROM THE REAL BANDSTAND. Stacie Orrico, a popular singer at the time of the show's airing, was singing "My Boyfriend's Back" when clearly she is not the original singer. I looked up to see the availability of the seasons on DVD, and only season 1 is available. The "American Dreams" Fan Club is petitioning NBC to release the other 2 seasons (2 and 3) for purchase. Only the CD of the first season is out, and I'm probably going to buy it from NBC soon. It has all the "current" singers performing the oldies tunes that they were portraying on the show. Plus it had a great opening song.

The basic idea of the show was about the Pryor family: Mr., Mrs., JJ, Meg (Brittany Snow- and now she's FAMOUS!), Patty, and the little brother who's name is escaping me. Mr. Pryor was a former-enlisted Navy man and TV salesmen and Mrs. Pryor was a travel agent, I think. JJ was the star football player at East Catholic High who then was drafted to go to Vietnam (and dies or goes MIA or they think he dies or something, sorry plot spolier- I remember bawling my eyes out in that episode), despite all his efforts to not go. (He had many conflicts with this decision as the family was Catholic, he wanted to go to Lehigh to play football, and he didn't want to leave his girlfriend Beth). Meg was a high school girl at East Catholic with her best friend Roxanne who got in trouble 24/7. Both girls danced on American Bandstand afterschool. Meg was a super anti-war protestor and in one episode managed to turn Shakespeare's Henry V (I think that was the play) into a war protest. Patty was the annoying smart Pryor who didn't have many friends and the little brother was the youngest and he had Polio (his name is Will, I had to look it up!) so always walked with braces.

Among the Vietnam War and Bandstand, the show also shows the Philadelphia race riots (that's where the show was located), and one of Meg's best friends (who she TOTALLY should have dated) was a black classmate named Sam. Sam's brother managed to use his religion to get him out of serving in Vietnam, and it comes back to haunt him. Kelly Clarkson, Hilary Duff, Fefe Dobson, Blake Shelton, and Gavin DeGraw were all some of the performers who were on the show.

Thought I'd share because I know most people liked (or I do) this show! If anyone knows if its still airing on some other non-NBC channel, tell me!!



Kate said...

Love this show! So sad it went off the air

KK said...

I loved that show and was so bummed when it was cancelled!!