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  • I have to disagree strongly with one parsimonious reviewer who stated there was no reason to watch this show. There are at least two good reasons...

    First, if you were a teenager in the early 1960s, like I was, and looked forward to watching American Bandstand, this weekly TV series is a marvelous, nostalgic reminder of those times. Whether your memories were good or bad, this is the closest we will ever get to "being there" one more time. The film clips from the original Bandstand show add to the realism.

    Second, if you are too young to remember the 1960s, and are curious, the styles of dress, the dialog, the boy-girl infatuations, the racial tension, the religious conflicts over birth control, the "transistor radios" that everyone carried around, the round-screen black and white TVs, all those are very authentic in this TV series.

    "American Dreams" - overall a very fine show, one we've dreamed about for years!
  • The show takes me back to my own senior year, 1963. It is very accurate even to the clothing styles and amazingly, the name of a long since closed amusement park called "Willow Grove Park" was mentioned once. I won't dwell on this, but I was one of the kids back in 1962 on American Bandstand myself. I have a highly treasured snapshot I took one day on the set of Dick Clark interviewing Sandra Dee. The show isn't all carefree of course, but then life has never been without problems. Despite this, it depicts an era of a certain innocence we no longer enjoy.
  • I am a fan of character development, great acting and history. This lovely show has all three. My favorite character is Jack because he represents the people who think they have life figured out. But, life keeps changing; he is classy enough to change with it. And Meg is so much like him and he does not realize it.

    The American Bandstand angle is a pleasant way to remind us of a simplier time in the music world. The show faces hard issues like racism, police brutality, Viet Nam, polio, politics, homosexuality, the riot, life changes and pregnancy outside of marriage realistically. These issues are a part of life and I appreciate the "non over-the-top" way they have been handled.

    You can even watch this with your family and not cringe because of cursing and explicit sexual encounters. This is a fine way to spend one hour on Sunday evenings.
  • I am a 14 year old living in a world where the American Dream is all about the times. The latest fashion, the newest music. My parents were in their early teens during the 60's, living in a world with Vietnam, and the industries. My mom was the oldest of 5 daughters living on the farm. My dad, the youngest of 2 boys living in a military family in the city. But there is one thing that they both could relate to. The American Dream.

    American Dreams brings back that dream with such amazing reality. My parents remember American Bandstand and the artists that performed there. They remember the events happening in the world, and remember what it was like to live during that time. It's like a part of my parent's history, is being brought into my home for me to share with them. I get to understand what their lives were like, and get to know them a little bit better. This show is extremely well written and I will watch this show until it is taken off the air. I watch it with my father, as our Sunday night tradition, milkshake in hand. Sharing memories with my father on these Sunday nights, will become a memory that I will share with my children in the future. A show for the generations to share, American Dreams is helping my parents re-live memories, and helping me form my own.
  • "American Dreams" is my absolute most favourite show of all time. I look forward to Sundays at 8 and if the phone rings, whoever is calling goes into voice mail. I was a child in the 60s having been born in 1959 but it's not just the music or clothes that have made this show my favourite.

    I love the way the Pryor kids bicker. It's so realistic! My fave scenes are at the dinner table. Dad rules and everyone has to obey.

    I'm worried about JJ but the previews for this Sunday say he comes home. I hope it's to stay.

    Meg is heading toward being a hippie and I can't wait to see how her character develops down the road, especially when she starts college.

    I hope NBC has no plans to cancel this for a very long time!
  • I thoroughly enjoy this show. Britney Snow is phenomenal as 16 year old Meg Pryor. I love how everything she is going through in the 60's I myself have or am going through right now. Vanessa Lengies as sassy Roxanne is Amazing. Will Estes...Gorgeous, as the Older brother J.J. Tom Verica is the best father figure on television. Patty and Will are great too. And I love how Helen (Gail O.Grady) is finally doing things without consulting her husband first. Showing that women can make up there own minds in the 60's. The story lines are great. But the best thing about it is how they bring the music from the 60's to life by having artists of today portray the artists of yesterday. Every week you can tune in and see someone new, artists such as: Usher, Vanessa Carlton, Michelle Branch, Leanne Rymes, Brad Paisly, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Monica, Macy Grey, Alisha Keyes, Nick Carter, Kelly Rolland, and many many more. Its great. I hope this show stays on the air for a long long time. Great for family's to watch together!
  • American Dreams is one of the best television shows that is on, it has some great writing and an awesome cast. The show follows one family through the times that changed our nation. Set in Philadelphia, the Pryor family is living the dream that many Americans wanted a perfect family or at least an image of one. The actors have all grown into their characters. This show does not use sex and violence to attract it's audience, it is a great show, a must see! It also has a great soundtrack and some cool guest appearances by some of today's up and comers. It also using some older footage from the real American Bandstand, the way they do that is amazing.I give this show 3.8 stars and an A!
  • jim_buttram30 October 2004
    TV shows with historical premises have been successful in the past, but too often they descent into cornball territory. "The Waltons" had a reputation for schmaltz even when it aired, and "Little Houseon the Prairie" wasn't much better ... in fact, the last few seasons were ridiculous at best.

    "America Dreams" takes a piece of the recent past, the childhood andteen years of the Baby Boomer generation, the time just before X-ers like myself were born. For the Boomers, it's nostalgia, a look at a time of tumultuous change; for the X-ers, well, for me anyway, it's a glimpse of a legendary time that we remember from our parents' anecdotes and the last few chapters of our highschool history textbooks.

    The characters are well-drawn and while they have a stereotypical basis, they aren't restricted to the roles you'd expect; Meg, my favorite character, is pretty and popular, but very socially aware and actively trying to make a difference in the world around her. Reminds me, in an odd way, of Emma from Degrassi TNG in that respect.

    The adults on the show are complex and interesting as well, and I got drawn into the story arc after watching just an episode or two this season. I'd really love to go back and catch the previous season at some point.

    Anyway ... watchable, interesting, intelligently written, good production values. If you haven't seen it yet, it's worth a look.
  • I found that out of all of the shows on television right on, American Dreams is one of the best. It is a very good idea that young kids now a days watch and see what was happening during a time when the country was "out of control". I really enjoy the show. I love everything about it. The music, the plot and must of all the characters. Yo feel as though the character can be someone you know. The problems and the feels that they show are what teenagers and their families actually went through. Every week i sit in front of the t.v. and no one is allowed to speak to me. The music brings such peace.

    The show is the best!!!!!
  • You could, if you wished, spend 8 p.m. Sundays (formerly known as the "family hour") watching the whiny cops of "10-8" solve a grisly murder. Or you could watch the emotionally sterile cops of "Cold Case" solve an old murder. Bah! Why? If I want to see murder, I'll wait till another night when I can spin the network roulette wheel of crime programs and see all the blood I want. No, Sunday nights at 8 are reserved, for me, by the magnificent show known as "American Dreams." American Dreams is not a television show. It is an imposter. It is, in actuality, a verrrrrry long theatrical film that was cut into about 44 parts. I know, because it doesn't behave like a tv show. The characters don't talk like they're on tv. They talk like real people, dealing with real problems and using realistic solutions. They are not cute, they are not cloying. Their issues are not resolved in 42 minutes; they must deal with them over time, painfully and with much thought. And when it happens, it is sometimes done in an undramatic, almost subtle way, that many weaker viewers will not understand. In that, American Dreams is almost the television antithesis of such dreck as "Touched by an Angel." I come away from each episode with my intelligence uninsulted--embarrassment-free, as if I'd done a good thing by spending my precious hour in front of the box. May the show last seven years--long enough for the writers to put the Pryors through the rest of the 60s. I want to see how they deal with it.
  • Wow! A show that doesn't have teenage girls dressed like whores. Parents are still married and actually love each other. They dont spend the whole hour yelling at each other and their children. The children aren't delinquents and don't swear and smoke and drink and sleep around. A show where people aren't being killed left and right. Why would anyone in their right mind want to watch this show right?

    I can't turn on my tv today without seeing some of this. So when I sit down to watch American Dreams, I don't have to see all that stuff. That's how life was in the late 50's early 60's. Quiet and simple. Thats what this show portrays and throws in the awesome music of the 60's at that.

    It's a great show. I love it.
  • My wife and I visit her parents on Sunday evenings and we've made a habit out of watching "American Dreams" together. It is usually the best part of my week. To me this is to TV dramas what M*A*S*H was to sit-coms. It abandons all the cliches that make most shows so predictable. In scenes where others shows would drop in a beating, rape or murder, American Dreams surprises us by sparing us these horrors. I'm relieved that JJ and Sam never came to blows. I'm glad that Meg's biggest problem is that her boyfriend hates her 'Bandstand' music. And so far, the only murder on the show has been Kennedy's. The stories here are designed not to shock, but to ring true. If you want shock value, okay, the producers have done an INSANELY good job at re-creating the 1960s and the characters are DANGEROUSLY well written!
  • This show has been degraded by many critics for just being a "cliff-note" It's a television show, it depicts the best or the worst of era. These writers chose to show both spectrums, very unique. The plot of the show takes place in the 1960's obviously, but those who watch it can truly understand it, since the era of the show, if quite like the present...with the war and all. America divided and America together. The show makes the viewer feel a slew of emotions, something hard to do, and executed very well. The reason why i consider this show to be refreshing, is simple...i despise reality shows (except The Apprentice season one only.) So in essence, we should all thank Dick Clark for THE best show on air, and quite frankly i hope this show lasts as long as Friends. And to the cast...they are all incredible at what they do. And i might as well ad that Brittnay Snow is very cute. And i will also say this...i am and will try very hard to get on that show;legally of course. SO, hopefully i get on and all of you viewers can write about me.
  • All I have to say is I can't wait for Sunday Nights to come so I can see what's going to happen next on this show. I was born in 1970 so this gives me a chance to see what the world was like in the 60's which is when I believe the world changed. I feel so connected to these characters that I find myself sobbing each and every week for the pain that they are going through! Hearing the music of the 60's and seeing the clothes people wore and how different it was from the 1950's and how the innocence of the world had changed.

    I love to watch Meg mature and find herself week after week. She is learning that there is much more to the world than graduating High School and getting married and having babies. I love to see how this family adapts to the changing times, including accepting their son's ex-fiancé into their home while she is carrying his baby! All I have to say is that I hope that JJ is okay and makes it home, because I don't think his mother will be okay if he doesn't come home... Can't wait until Sunday!
  • Of course, it's all about ratings and dollars. For 3 years, every Sunday night I watched "American Dreams" -- it was by far the best show on TV. I am afraid quality like this doesn't come around very often. I wish NBC had stuck with this show. Instead we get more banal sitcoms with stereotypes and insipid reality shows. Like "The Wonder Years", "American Dreams" focused on an American family during a very turbulent time in this nation's history. As Americans go through another war, (Iraq) -- one would think that this would have hit a chord with the American public. Apparently, it did not. "American Dreams" had quality acting, writing and production values. It was a show that the entire family could sit down and enjoy. Sunday nights are definitely not the same. When the show's cancellation was announced last Spring -- I was hoping another network would pick it up. But, unfortunately no.
  • American Dreams is without a doubt the best and most complete show of this century. It was incredibly real. You couldn't help but get sucked into the lives of the Pryor family and feel their happiness and pain along with them. The writing was excellent, and the acting was superb. It was an excellent show. The events that took place were all things that people were really faced with in the 1960's. But unfortunately today people are just not capable of appreciating a quality program. People are more interested in watching people in swimsuits eating insects or marrying millionaires. What Paris Hilton's dog is wearing has become more important than morals and family values. These things could all be very easily acessed in American Dreams.

    However, due to the lack of moral character in this country, and the lack of moral responsibility at NBC, this show has left us too soon. Had American Dreams been on 10-15 years ago along with the likes of "The Wonder Years" or "The Cosby Show", I believe it would have made it at least ten seasons. NBC is obviously more interested in "reality" apparently than quality programming. So this year instead of snuggling up on the couch with your family and watching American Dreams, you can watch Martha Stewart (a convicted felon by the way) hire and fire people. That will be great for your family.
  • This is a great show. It is about a hard-working American family during Vietnam. It is also interesting because there are many other conflicts within the plot. Very well done AS A RESPONSE TO THE FIRST POST For number 1 I can't stand it when people bad mouth the USA the MAIN THING is that you aren't even American. So shut your trap. My father was in Vietnam and fought for this country. and when our vets. came home they were treated like..well never mind. Yes, America is proud of what it does right or wrong. we have to stay together and support our country. Just because I dislike our president doesn't mean i dislike my country.USA
  • This show talks about 2 different families during the 60s, the Pryors, an ordinary white family, and the Walkers, a black family trying to get around in a world that looks at them differently. Both families have their issues, but in the end everything works out!

    Ever since it launch, it has excited me! This series talks about life in the 60s, a time without worries (ok, with worries, but different ones) and a time of peace (untill Vietnam). The show is nicely done, with American Bandstand original features, and Dick Clark is the Executive Producer, so its accurate. The series is also really focused on the music, so thats another +.

    This is my favorite show, so I give it a 5 star! If you experienced the 60s and want to again. or just want to see what the 60s were all about, this series is your place to go!
  • I think aspect of this show that do it, and show the life of the US of the 60s

    1) Social issues (racial segregation, religious contradictions) 2) Cultural issues (the vietnam war, the music, the way of life of the US people) 3) Economical issues (how the TV influences in economical life of the US and the world in general)

    Is one the best shows that have I seen.!!!!!
  • An excellent and intelligent show. Reliving the 60s through the lives of these people is light and reaffirming. I do have one quibble: sometimes the songs they use are not in the proper timeline - - - 1966 songs in 1964 etc - - - but it's a small criticism. The young lead, Brittany Snow, is very good. Glad it has been renewed for the new season! Watch America!
  • American Dreams is one of the best reasons to own a TV set.

    It's "Must See TV" in our house. This is what life was like before the cynical '70's. I can't believe all the negitive comments I have seen here about this show. Brittany Snow shines like a diamond as a girl discovering the world as she tries to find her place in it. So far her character Meg has shown an interest in the inner workings of "Bandstand" so you think maybe one day she will be a TV producer or director. Then you see how she views social injustice, she might take that on as a cause. There is a lot of room for growth here and I hope they get a chance to do it. The rest of the cast is perfect, I wouldn't change a thing. Each character has their own hopes and dreams as they go through their day to day lives. The music is a very big part of the story line and evokes a feeling, especially for those of us who remember the songs the first time around!

    The one scene where everyone is grumping around on their way to midnight mass (hey a show about a CATHOLIC FAMILY WOW!)and then Helen hits Jack with a snowball which breaks the tension and lightens the mood was classic. So simple yet brilliant because it was so believeable.

    I'm really disappointed in the negitive reviews here. Maybe that's why "The Osborns" and so called reality shows are so popular. As long as NBC keeps this show on, I'll be watching. It's one show I'm not embarassed to watch with my daughters.
  • I have yet to miss one episode of this great show. If I'm not gonna be home I TiVo it and watch it later. I love anything that has to do with that era. I enjoy watching today's stars portraying the stars of my mom's era. NBC has yet another winner with American Dreams!
  • digigraphx18 January 2003
    I was 4 1/2 in 1963, early 1964 and although it was almost 40 years ago, I

    remember so much. I still remember seeing JFK's funeral and swear I saw it in color when, like everyone else, we only had a b/w tv and I remember when the

    Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. This show has brought back those memories and

    made them fresh. Right now, I'd have to say American Dreams is my favorite tv program and I look forward to Sunday nights. If this show is eventually released on DVD, I will be one of the first in line to buy it. The characters are fantastic! I love the dinner time chatter - it's so realisitic. The music. The fun. The friendship with Meg & Roxanne. I could go on forever!
  • Did any body catch that the Mom's college prof. is Robby Benson with a mustache? This show is different. This show is slow paced and not ashamed. This show is almost anti-TV. There is no formula. Its issues are all over the map and it often offers no pat answers. I wanna watch the show next week because I don't know what is going to happen next. Its kinda like my life now. I don't know if we are going to wake up to war tommorrow or not. Sometimes the characters don't make the right moves from a perspective of social justice 40 years later, sometimes they agonize over it. Economy, Race, War, Womens Rights, Empathy, Elitism, Communication, Family Roles and Responsibility, this show has decided to tackle quite a bit for a few moments of rerunning 40 year old American Bandstand images. The Jerk gave her a typewriter today when his bussiness is in the tank. I cried. This show is the best thing on TV now and I am proud that I get it.
  • I first heard about this series with the commercials that ran on NBC before the pilot even aired. Frankly, the concept that was presented sounded interesting and fresh (wow! no doctors or lawyers!). Needless to say, the anticipation of this show was killing me, and finally the big day came when I could catch a glimpse as to what this show was about.

    Predictable? Pretty much. Overly cute at times? Yes. A lot of flaws that could have been avoided (i.e. the first several episodes when Patty would repeat every other word spoken and s-p-e-l-l them out)? Definitely. However, this show is a fresh idea amidst all of these old and overdone plots! The time period that the show is set in was full of change, and this is the story of a stereotypical family that was simply along for the ride like everyone else. The involvement of American Bandstand also adds a different flavor to the show, along with some great music and guest appearances by various musicians (Nick Carter, Michelle Branch, Usher, etc).

    I highly recommend this show for families. Adults may recall some of the historical facts and issues that appear in the shows, and teens and children can relate to the situations that many of the characters are presented with. This is certainly not the best show ever created, but I have to admit that I look forward to watching every Sunday to see what will happen next to each of the characters. :)
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