let me first say that i am biased. i had just arrived in los angeles to pursue my career in acting in july 2002 when i realized that being an extra would be a good, easy way to get my first taste of the biz. i was disheartened to find that extras are treated like dirt on most tv shows. even more depressing was that the overall environment of even the most successful shows (like ER) is filled with stress and unhappiness.
when i started working on 'that was then', it restored my faith in showbiz. all the actors and crew had such great time working together. there was so much pride and optimism in everyone's work. they really thought this show could be the next big thing...
i watched the first two episodes. i thought they were both great. well acted all around. they had the poignancy and humor of cameron crowe and john hughes. james bulliard and tyler lablane were both fantastic (and, i might add, wonderfully friendly people on the set). kiele sanchez was mesmerizingly beautiful (and a very sweet girl in person as well). once i saw the show, i realized why the actors and crew were always so nice and happy. they were making a very good show.
and then my heart sank when i found out that the show was cancelled. i was actually working on the show the day before abc canned it. and by then, everyone knew that the ratings were bad, so the atmosphere was a little less optimistic and happy. but everyone was still nice, got along well, and worked hard. the next day, they were all unemployed again. abc said that it was a good show in a bad timeslot and they were looking to put it somewhere else. seems that those plans have been scrapped. it is months later and i still wish i could thank the actors on this show for being the ONLY actors i ever encountered who would take the time to talk to the extras and even eat with them during lunch. i wish them all the best of luck.
i could tell that this show was a post 9/11 attempt at converting our national solidarity into nielsen ratings. i could also tell that it was dick clark's love sonnet to himself. but it took my actual viewing of the show itself to see how awful the young brittany snow is. she is really the actress who this show is advertised around, and boy are they in trouble. yes, she is cute, innocent, and adorably aryan. but there aint much to her beyond that. i would like to think that girls growing up now- not to mention those who grew up in that era- would be insulted at such a one-dimensional portrayal.
p.s. i met brittany snow once and trust me, she aint exactly a method actor or anything. rather than talking about immersing herself, day after day, into the most exciting and tumultous decade of the 20th century, she chirped about how her favorite moment of being on the show was meeing nick carter, the former backstreet boy. girls like her are the reason for all those awful blonde jokes.
this movie is so bad it is good. if you are looking for the hokiest, cheesiest, bestest 80s horror/xmas movie that you were always never dreaming of, this might be by god the movie for you!!!! some of the worst performances of all time are included in this monumental embarrassment. of course, will hare who plays the character of 'grampa' really takes bad acting to a new level. he receives help in his perfection of dumb acting by one of the worst scripts that there ever did was. god, this is bad, bad, bad stuff. it is hilarious. see it now. or else next x-mas, you might hear the terrible words PUNISHMENT IS NECESSARY... IT IS GOOD!!!!