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S01:E01 Pilot


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15 minutes ago, Roaster said:

When pop culture does nostalgia (and it often does), it is often nostalgia from ten to thirty years prior.

In the 70s we had Grease (set in 50s), American Graffiti (1962) and the TV shows Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley (50s and 60s).  The TV show That 70s show aired in 90s and early 2000s and was set in late 1970s.  Stanger Things (2010s) was set in the 1980s, so a thirty year difference.  The original Wonder Years (debuted 1988) was set in the late 60s.

I suspect the writers of these shows lived through the times in question and wrote romanticized versions of their childhoods.  And I suspect many viewers could remember those times with some affection.

The new Wonder Years comes out in 2021 and is set in 1968, 53 years ago.  It's like the original Wonder Years being set in 1935.  Strange, and I doubt the creators were 12 years old in 1968 or that many viewers have clear memories of that time.  Saladin K. Patterson wasn't born in 1968.  Don Cheadle was a little kid.

Having said that, I liked the pilot and will watch again.

Perhaps the target demographic for broadcast TV is changing? I am nearly 60 but can only remember the outside world politics of the later seasons (the 70s) of the original

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5 hours ago, Roaster said:

I suspect the writers of these shows lived through the times in question and wrote romanticized versions of their childhoods.  And I suspect many viewers could remember those times with some affection.

The new Wonder Years comes out in 2021 and is set in 1968, 53 years ago.  It's like the original Wonder Years being set in 1935.  Strange, and I doubt the creators were 12 years old in 1968 or that many viewers have clear memories of that time.

I had similar thoughts while watching this pilot. I think it will be much more difficult for today's audiences to connect with this show as strongly as the original did, with so much more time having passed and so many more shows since then having mined sixties nostalgia multiple times over.

I felt rather neutral - not disliking it, but it didn't resonate with me as I'd hoped. I have a lot of fond memories watching the original as a kid; I didn't really grasp the sixties references back then, but my parents did, and I think that may have helped keep it more relevant for our family to watch together. I don't see that happening as easily with today's families since the average parent won't have any connection to this time period.

Setting it in the early 90's could have maybe been an interesting choice - it's a decade not yet really explored by many shows, and pre-internet those were still simpler times that you could think of as 'wonder years', which families today could have felt nostalgia for in a way similar to the original show.

But okay, the sixties again - I'll withhold much judgement to see where the next few episodes go.

I hope they at least put in a theme song in the next episode - I missed hearing Joe Cocker's voice when the title card came up, it really helped set the tone in the original. This remake could use something similar to give some sentimental feels for the period.

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I'm a 39 year old white foster mom to a black child, so I probably have more opinions on this now than I would have before.  Ultimately, really enjoyed it and am pretty invested in the parents already. 

I have some vauge-ish memories of the original, but I didn't love it the way a lot of people seem to.

I understand the point about the more personal death of Winnie's brother from the original but I think that highly discounts the effect MLKs death had.  Just because it was national news? That just kind of rings false for me. We will potentially see the entire neighborhood deal with the aftermath and grief of that event, and it would be confusing for a kid, but also still very real. I don't need (or want) the show to be facsimile of the original. 

Of all the premises for rebooting a series, this is one of the more interesting takes to me.  Same time period, similar type core cast, completely different perspective. 

I also think the brother will come back from Vietnam with some major issues and that is how they will tackle that. 

 

Edited by gik910
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1 hour ago, bamlouie said:

 

I hope they at least put in a theme song in the next episode - I missed hearing Joe Cocker's voice when the title card came up, it really helped set the tone in the original. This remake could use something similar to give some sentimental feels for the period.

I think that TV executives learned that the music industry can put a big block in the way of future sales. Maybe that accounts for using an alternative artist when A Change is Gonna Come started 

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19 hours ago, Raja said:

I think that TV executives learned that the music industry can put a big block in the way of future sales. Maybe that accounts for using an alternative artist when A Change is Gonna Come started 

I think music is going to be one of the big things that seperates this series from the original. The original was wall to wall pop/rock hits, because the songs were not as expensive as they are now. Today, it would be incredibly expensive to license all of those songs, and you have to pay for more than just broadcast and reruns. You have to pay for broadcast, reruns, DVD/BluRay, and streaming. 

When The Wonder Years first aired, home video/DVD wasn't part of the deal to license the music, so they only had the rights for the original broadcast and reruns. Decades later, when they wanted to put the series on streaming/DVD, they had to go back and pay for the licenses all over again, and it was far more expensive than it had been originally. 

 

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23 hours ago, bamlouie said:

Setting it in the early 90's could have maybe been an interesting choice - it's a decade not yet really explored by many shows, and pre-internet those were still simpler times that you could think of as 'wonder years', which families today could have felt nostalgia for in a way similar to the original show.

 

Wasn't Fresh off the Boat set in the early 90s?  But yeah, the so-called Xennial cohort (basically the last of Gen X and the oldest of Millennials) is a highly ignored demographic.

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On 9/25/2021 at 3:14 PM, Sarah 103 said:

I would love to see that happen. She is supposed to be watching him, and she is keeping on him, just at Black Panther headquarters instead of wherever thier parents expect them to be, like the library or the park/baseball field. It would be a great callback to "Brightwing" in the original series when Kevin starts spending time with Karen and some of her hippie friends. 

If he's 12, I don't think you can have that personal connection. He was born after the Bus Boycott, so he wouldn't have direct memories of that. He would have been 7 when the March on Washington happened, so unless his parents took him, it was an important thing happening on the news and something grown-ups were talking about, but I'm not sure how much of an impression it would have made on him. Unless at some point, his parents took him to hear King speak in person, I'm not sure the personal connection is going to exist for someone 12. 

I'm a younger person so maybe someone older can correct me on this.

There's a huge difference between the death of a national civil rights figure/leader (MLK) and someone the character has known for thier entire life (Brian Cooper). 

 

I'm white and was born in 1975, so well after MLK, Jr.  But I believe it was one of the watershed moments.  And yeah, even as kid (12 or even younger) can feel the tension of the moment and know it's a big deal.  Mine was the loss of Adam Walsh.  I was like 6 or so at the time, but his kidnapping was just huge in my little world.  Other than watching the nightly news, my parents weren't that invested in the disappearance or the aftermath.  But I was quietly absorbing every detail and understandably freaking out.  A few years later, I can remember the exact spot I was in when I watched the Challenger explosion.

Likewise, I have friends whose kids were too little to really understand what was happening around them on 9/11, but they certainly felt the tension the adults were experiencing and new it was a very big deal.  The world just stopped.  I think MLK, Jr. was one of those moments.  Certainly for those who marched and those that supported the marchers (Whites & Blacks), but I can only imagine how pivotal it was in the Black communities because MLK, Jr. was more--a Teacher, a Preacher, a Leader moving the south forward whether it wanted to or not. 

At 12, Dean is at the age where he starts seeing the world beyond his front door.  Which is sorta the point for both versions (Dean, here, and Kevin, then).  The world is bigger than your house and your street.  Also, it being Alabama in the 1960s, I can fully imagine that Dean's parents had probably taken him to hear MLK, Jr. speak.   

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I was definitely not around for the 60s (my nostalgia decades are the late 90s/early 00s) but I do remember watching reruns of the show with my parents, who are also a bit too young to remember this time period, but they really liked the show none the less so I did as well. Its been awhile though, I don't remember if the voice over talked as much about the present day as they did here, maybe they did? It felt like, because the 60s are so distant now they really had to hammer in how relevant what was going on was to now, but that might also just be some pilot awkwardness. I thought this was pretty good, I always enjoy the 60s as a time period and the actors are all really good. If they wanted to do a remake, telling the story of this time period from the perspective of a black family was a good call, its certainly a different lens from which to view the decade as opposed to the original. 

I definitely thought that the brother in Vietnam would die the way Winnie's did in the first episode of the OG show, but the assisination of MLK gives a similar gut punch. Poor Dean, what a terrible day.

Edited by tennisgurl
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Enjoying the conversation here.  My husband and I are both 1960’s-70’s kids, so we enjoyed Version 1.  But we also watched reruns with our kids (born late 80’s and early 90’s) and they still laughed and I think probably related to Kevin as he was a boy and closer to their ages at the time.  Our favorite lines:  Kevin: “Dad what do you do at work?”  Dad:  “I shovel other people’s crap so you can eat!”   😂
 

I see this version as, obviously, the 1960’s-70’s from a black family’s perspective, but also, just history.  IF younger people are watching, they will see (as our kids did) the similarities in how people feel, but they will also learn more about the history of those times.

I was 11 and at a 4-H Club meeting in my mostly white, rural Wisconsin town when I heard about MLK’s death. Close enough to Madison and the University to be aware of war protests.    We went home and watched the news the rest of the night.  It was shocking and scary to me in my little bubble.  But nowhere near what the black community felt.  I look forward to seeing how this series handles these issues.

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On 9/27/2021 at 3:38 PM, PRgal said:

Wasn't Fresh off the Boat set in the early 90s?  But yeah, the so-called Xennial cohort (basically the last of Gen X and the oldest of Millennials) is a highly ignored demographic.

Mixedish, the Goldburgs Fresh off the boat covered that era

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On 9/30/2021 at 8:47 AM, meatball77 said:
On 9/27/2021 at 3:38 PM, PRgal said:

Wasn't Fresh off the Boat set in the early 90s?  But yeah, the so-called Xennial cohort (basically the last of Gen X and the oldest of Millennials) is a highly ignored demographic.

Mixedish, the Goldburgs Fresh off the boat covered that era

 

On 9/30/2021 at 1:47 PM, Sarah 103 said:

Currently, Young Sheldon is set in the 1990s as well. 

Thanks for the reminders on these shows.

I guess we do have Young Sheldon, though it seems less focused on its early 1990s time period if I recall (while The Goldbergs and Mixed-ish play it loose with the eighties) but I don't follow it very closely.

Fresh Off The Boat was more mid-nineties I think, and more broad in humour than what this show seems to be going for. 

I'm not opposed to keeping it in the sixties, esp. given the significance of that decade. So I'm willing to give the show a chance to see if they can put a fresh spin on this premise and time period.

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1 hour ago, bamlouie said:

 

Thanks for the reminders on these shows.

I guess we do have Young Sheldon, though it seems less focused on its early 1990s time period if I recall (while The Goldbergs and Mixed-ish play it loose with the eighties) but I don't follow it very closely.

Fresh Off The Boat was more mid-nineties I think, and more broad in humour than what this show seems to be going for. 

I'm not opposed to keeping it in the sixties, esp. given the significance of that decade. So I'm willing to give the show a chance to see if they can put a fresh spin on this premise and time period.

Honestly, if TWY were to keep the same 20 year difference today as it did with the OG version, then the show should take place in 2001.  Yikes!  A millennial Kevin and Wayne character!!!  The Karen equivalent would be an Xennial, I suppose.  
 

ETA:  I mentioned this earlier, I think in a different thread for this show.  

Edited by PRgal
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1 hour ago, bamlouie said:

I guess we do have Young Sheldon, though it seems less focused on its early 1990s time period if I recall.

You are correct. The series is not constantly hitting the viewer over the head with 90s nostalgia. It is more about subtle passing references, like which show the kids want to watch on television. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

"Your glasses are cute"

<"She just told me I look like Billy Dee Williams!">

Ha.  This was good.  I liked the balance between the aspirational feeling of an upper middle class black family and the little pieces we got that shows they are black, in the 60s and in the south.  Those day to day micro-aggressions because that was probably way more common and touched more people than the big swing in your face vitriolic racism.  The one with the teacher really hit with me because I had one just like her even in the 80s when I was in middle school.  At the time I never realized it, but looking back I remember her talking about 'those of you with potential'

But even more I liked the little bits of Dean's home life that felt immediately recognizable to me.  The in the house before the street lights were on, the 'stay out of grown folks business'  (or if you tried to get into grown folks business one of aunties would be 'girl, sit yo' ass down. That's grown folks business.") and a real favorite "you better not fix your face to be talking like that"

And yes, MLK's death was a gut punch. There is a reason so many black grandmothers have what I call the holy trinity of pictures hanging on the wall (usually in the pristine living rooms nobody sits in that have the plastic on the couches) Black Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr.  and John F. Kennedy.  Although in my grandmother's house, she added Obama as an honorary fourth. But I think the show did a smart thing and while Dean was upset, yes, his seminal memory of that day was more personal, it is where he witnessed a great betrayal in the form of his BFF and his crush

The casting of Don Cheadle as future Dean (even if we never see him) is perfect because that little actor looks like he could be a young Don Cheadle.

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/25/2021 at 9:54 PM, andromeda331 said:

That was one reason why the original hit me. My dad served in the war and came back messed up. Like so many others. And so many didn't come back. Winnie's brother being killed hit home. My dad's cousin was killed. My oldest cousin was named after him. The episode with Wayne's best friend is one of my favorites. Its so well done and so well written. When the couple came up to Dean's parents at the baseball field I really thought we were going to find out that their son had been killed. 

So I'm circling back and finally watching the pilot of this new version of the show. The two episodes in the original show dealing with Wayne's friend Wort (Wart?) first enlisting, and then coming back from Vietnam, are two of my favorite episodes of all time. I liked how he and Wayne tried to enlist on a lark, and in particular how goofy the Wort character was. I thought the actor did such a great job in both episodes showing how much he had changed.

ALL of that to say, I am most excited and intrigued that they went and made one of the main family members a service member. It opens up so many interesting storylines. I only wish we got to know the brother before he enlisted, to kind of get an idea of how he fit into the family dynamic and how his personality was before he went to Vietnam, so we could get an idea of how it affected him upon his return.

Dule Hill is looking GREAT. I love the chemistry between him and Saycon Sengbloh, the wife.

My father served in Vietnam, too.

Edited by EarlGreyTea
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7 hours ago, EarlGreyTea said:

So I'm circling back and finally watching the pilot of this new version of the show. The two episodes in the original show dealing with Wayne's friend Wort (Wart?) first enlisting, and then coming back from Vietnam, are two of my favorite episodes of all time. I liked how he and Wayne tried to enlist on a lark, and in particular how goofy the Wort character was. I thought the actor did such a great job in both episodes showing how much he had changed.

Those are two of my favorite episodes. They did a really good job with them and so did the actors.

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ALL of that to say, I am most excited and intrigued that they went and made one of the main family members a service member. It opens up so many interesting storylines. I only wish we got to know the brother before he enlisted, to kind of get an idea of how he fit into the family dynamic and how his personality was before he went to Vietnam, so we could get an idea of how it affected him upon his return.

Dule Hill is looking GREAT. I love the chemistry between him and Saycon Sengbloh, the wife.

 

I agree with wishing we knew what Bruce was like before he enlisted too. That would have been a good idea. 

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My father served in Vietnam, too.

 

Thank him for his service.

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  • 5 months later...

I wanted to watch this after all the episodes were released. I was intrigued by the first previews last year. I think the series has a lot of potential, I am sure Don will be an excellent narrator.

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