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American Dreams

2002 NR 1 season

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American Dreams

2002 NR 1 season
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Living in 1960s Philadelphia, the Pryors are a middle-class family with four children -- recent enlistee J.J. (Will Estes), "American Bandstand" dancer Meg (Brittany Snow), know-it-all Patty (Sarah Ramos) and polio-stricken Will (Ethan Dampf) -- and parents Jack (Tom Verica) and Helen (Gail O'Grady). Together, the family struggles to weather the changing times of the era. The show features music stars of today in cameos as "American Bandstand" performers.
SEASON  1
  • SEASON  1

Summary of Season 1 (2002) - 7 discs

Living in 1960s Philadelphia, the Pryors are a middle-class family with four children -- recent enlistee J.J. (Will Estes), "American Bandstand" dancer Meg (Brittany Snow), know-it-all Patty (Sarah Ramos) and polio-stricken Will (Ethan Dampf) -- and parents Jack (Tom Verica) and Helen (Gail O'Grady). Together, the family struggles to weather the changing times of the era. The show features music stars of today in cameos as "American Bandstand" performers.
Format
DVD
Screen
Full Screen 1.33:1
Subtitles
Spanish (Neutral), French
CC
Yes
Audio
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Rating
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 10+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 10+
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Reviews

age 10+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that American Dreams is an evocative drama series set in the 1960s, so there's a lot of behavior that seems inappropriate today but is meant to reflect the era. Most noticeable are instances of racial bigotry -- ranging from rude comments directed at an African-American student in a predominantly white school, to an all-out inner-city riot scene -- and stringent gender roles that stand out in the central family's home. Teens rebel against their parents' rules and defy authority, in some cases engaging in behavior such as smoking and premarital sex. Tense scenes of war, racial conflict, and even family disagreements might concern sensitive viewers. On the other hand, there are powerful themes that celebrate family bonds and illustrate the importance of staying true to your beliefs. This show keeps iffy content to a minimum and explores weighty issues families can discuss in more depth.

Sexual Content

Teens kiss and share some physical moments. Girls are shown in bras. Friends talk about "putting out," "going all the way," and related issues such as birth control. In at least one case, premarital sex results in an unplanned pregnancy.

Violence

Fistfights, a car accident, riots, and some war scenes. Violent topics such as the Kennedy assassination are discussed. A supporting character dies.

Language

Rarely "hell," "piss," and "damn."

Social Behavior

The series deals thoughtfully with evocative topics such as race relations, gender inequality, war, and the generational divide as they relate to historical events in the 1960s. The issues are explored from different angles through the diverse characters, often bringing them in conflict with each other. The fact that gender roles are strictly defined reflects the time, but many characters' views on the subject evolve as the series goes on. Recurring themes of perseverance even in the face of great struggles.

Consumerism

Cultural references such as American Bandstand, plus Philadelphia institutions such as Temple University and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Many people smoke, including teens, often doing so inside businesses and even at school. Some drinking, but mostly among adults.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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