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.
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.
Fistfights, a car accident, riots, and some war scenes. Violent topics such as the Kennedy assassination are discussed. A supporting character dies.
Rarely "hell," "piss," and "damn."
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.
Cultural references such as American Bandstand, plus Philadelphia institutions such as Temple University and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Many people smoke, including teens, often doing so inside businesses and even at school. Some drinking, but mostly among adults.