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S01:E09 Home for Christmas

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Dean can’t wait to spend Christmas with his older brother, Bruce, when he returns home from Vietnam. But adjusting to life back in Montgomery comes with unexpected challenges for Bruce, and the rest of the Williams family rely on their favorite holiday traditions to bring cheer.

Original Air Date: December 1, 2021

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Yes, very heart-warming.

I hope they are not setting us up for Bruce to die in Vietnam.  I might cry if that happens.

BTW, this kid who plays Dean is a really good actor.

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15 minutes ago, Roaster said:

Yes, very heart-warming.

I hope they are not setting us up for Bruce to die in Vietnam.  I might cry if that happens.

I was thinking the same thing. Now that we know Bruce, please don't make us mourn him.

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So, if they started this show in April 1968 and it's now Christmas, are they skipping over the Mexico City Olympics? That would be a shame.

I liked this episode, even though it was sad. I hope they don't kill off Bruce- he seems like a great guy, and there are so many interesting storytelling options in having him come back and make a life for himself post-Vietnam.

I haven't watched many Vietnam-themed films, even the super famous ones- was the movie Dean's friends were talking about real? Which one is it?

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8 hours ago, Roaster said:

Yes, very heart-warming.

I hope they are not setting us up for Bruce to die in Vietnam.  I might cry if that happens.

BTW, this kid who plays Dean is a really good actor.

I hate I have a bad feeling about Bruce.  I  hope he doesn't die but I don't think he'll come back in one piece if he returns. TV tropes something always happens when someone enlist again. 

4 hours ago, Cherpumple said:

 

I haven't watched many Vietnam-themed films, even the super famous ones- was the movie Dean's friends were talking about real? Which one is it?

I google but the first films of Vietnam War were made in the 70s after the US pulled out. In Dean's time 1968 they were still making lot of WWII movies. 

Some of the jokes seem post 1968 like the Scrooge joke. I know the character was around then but I don't think he got prominently featured until the DuckTales cartoon from the 1980s. 

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14 hours ago, Cherpumple said:

So, if they started this show in April 1968 and it's now Christmas, are they skipping over the Mexico City Olympics? That would be a shame.

I liked this episode, even though it was sad. I hope they don't kill off Bruce- he seems like a great guy, and there are so many interesting storytelling options in having him come back and make a life for himself post-Vietnam.

I haven't watched many Vietnam-themed films, even the super famous ones- was the movie Dean's friends were talking about real? Which one is it?

I missed the talk with the friends but the only Vietnam War movie which fits timeline wise would be John Wayne's The Green Berets where one soldier was not a special forces specialist in a skill needed in Vietnam but volunteered and got killed in the only war he had enthusiasm.

Edited by Raja · Reason: Not needed makes his death more tragic
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40 minutes ago, Raja said:

I missed the talk with the friends but the only Vietnam War movie which fits timeline wise would be John Wayne's The Green Berets where one soldier was not a special forces specialist in a skill needed in Vietnam but volunteered and got killed in the only war he had enthusiasm.

Damn Google didn't mention this movie 🤣 I read the summary and a few reviews and it doesn't match up to what Dean's friends were describing. 🤷‍♀️

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10 hours ago, Cherpumple said:

So, if they started this show in April 1968 and it's now Christmas, are they skipping over the Mexico City Olympics? That would be a shame.

 

I was thinking the same.  1968 was one of the most turbulent years in US history.  Tet offensive in Feb, LBJ pulls out of reelection in March, MLK assassination in April, RFK assassination in June, protests worldwide and at DNC convention in Chicago, athlete protest at Olympics, close election in November, exciting Apollo space missions during the year.

Not saying they have to go all topical in this show - it's really a show about one family in Alabama, but a little surprising.  At least they did address Vietnam in this episode.
 

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1 hour ago, Roaster said:

1968 was one of the most turbulent years in US history.  Tet offensive in Feb, LBJ pulls out of reelection in March, MLK assassination in April, RFK assassination in June, protests worldwide and at DNC convention in Chicago, athlete protest at Olympics, close election in November, exciting Apollo space missions during the year.

Not saying they have to go all topical in this show - it's really a show about one family in Alabama, but a little surprising.  At least they did address Vietnam in this episode.

I'm glad they aren't really delving into it.  I tend to think unless the episode is going to offer some new take on events, particularly in a way that makes sense for the storyline and characters, it's best to just let it all be background noise. 

I didn't love the episode.  I felt like the brother's storyline was rushed when it didn't need to be.     

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I really hope that this doesn't mean that Bruce is going to die, that would always be really sad but it would be even worse now that we know him. He seems like a really nice guy and he and Dean have such a sweet relationship. I really wanted to explore him a bit more, it seemed like he and his sister might have some tension as she's an anti war activist, but not a lot came of that. 

While I don't really think the "crazy Vietnam vet" architype was really big until the 70s, there were already movies about violent returning Vietnam vets by 1968. I think they made up the movie Dean's friends told him about, but if they wanted to be more historically accurate they could have talked about Targets, a Peter Bogdanovich‎ movie starring Boris Karloff about an unhinged recently returned vet who goes on a shooting spree, which came out in the summer of 1968. 

"What's The Junk?" "I'm not really sure, something that makes your grandma hide her jewelry." 

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On 12/2/2021 at 12:26 AM, Cherpumple said:

I liked this episode, even though it was sad. I hope they don't kill off Bruce- he seems like a great guy, and there are so many interesting storytelling options in having him come back and make a life for himself post-Vietnam.

They had the option of showing what life would be life for a black veteran after he returned from war, and they decided to go in a different direction. I think he's going to be a mostly offscreen character. 

23 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

I'm glad they aren't really delving into it.  I tend to think unless the episode is going to offer some new take on events, particularly in a way that makes sense for the storyline and characters, it's best to just let it all be background noise. 

I didn't love the episode.  I felt like the brother's storyline was rushed when it didn't need to be.     

Even on the original series, major historical events were usually in the background, so I agree with you.  

I agree with you about Bruce. This was a story worth telling, even if they decided they wanted the end point to be Bruce renlisting. The story of the struggles a black veteran faced when returning home from Vietnam is a story worth telling, but needs more than twenty minutes to do well.  

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On 12/1/2021 at 8:59 PM, SoMuchTV said:

Oh my. Way too dusty in here. 

Somebody was cutting onions the whole time.

They BETTER NOT, is all I'm saying.

 

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This show seems to want to put a happy, heartwarming face on everything, and just keep moving. Even the sad stuff is glanced at briefly and then wrapped in a sentimental bow. Sister's a Panther? Only for a second. Mom is treated like crap at work? Yes, but we'll forget about that after showing how much her son respects her. MLK is killed? But it leads to dad and son bonding! Bro is in Vietnam? Yeah, and we send him care packages and see him at Xmas. It's hard to be a Black veteran? Yep, but he can re-enlist and be treated well in the service! Everybody's scared he'll die in Vietman? Yes, but what a lovely Christmas the family has together!

Contrast this with "United States of Al" which has a loving family and astonishingly little of the usual sitcom pettiness, but still manages to take issues seriously and doesn't feel obligated to make sure all issues are totally superficial and immediately resolved with a handwave and a hug.

You can be funny without being superficial and minimizing everything.

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On 12/2/2021 at 4:10 PM, tennisgurl said:

While I don't really think the "crazy Vietnam vet" architype was really big until the 70s, there were already movies about violent returning Vietnam vets by 1968. I think they made up the movie Dean's friends told him about, but if they wanted to be more historically accurate they could have talked about Targets, a Peter Bogdanovich‎ movie starring Boris Karloff about an unhinged recently returned vet who goes on a shooting spree, which came out in the summer of 1968. 

It's possible one of them could have seen the movie during the summer. It is unlikely that they would have seen it on television because I am pretty sure it took longer for movies to go from theatres to TV at that point. Another possibility is that it was a made for TV movie, which did exist in the late 1960s. 

I know pop songs are incredibly expensive which is why this series isn't wall to wall 1960s rock music like the original, but is the same true for TV? I remember Kevin watching more clips of actual TV shows during the original series, and I can't remember a single show that Dean or anyone else has actually watched during this series.

Edited by Sarah 103
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On 12/4/2021 at 3:12 PM, possibilities said:

Mom is treated like crap at work? Yes, but we'll forget about that after showing how much her son respects her.

In 1968, there's very little a Black woman could do about being treated like crap at work. She'd have to get her satisfaction elsewhere, as Lillian does at home. (Shit - 97% of Black knowledge workers polled right now, prefer remote work because offices are so rife with racism. I wasn't polled but I'm definitely part of that group.)

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I'm well aware that she couldn't do anything about her work situation. But the show could show how she feels about it, they could give her more scenes on the show illustrating it, they could give her friends she commiserates with, they could do more than one episode that shows it, and then forget about it and just keep making it invisible.

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On 12/5/2021 at 11:24 PM, possibilities said:

I'm well aware that she couldn't do anything about her work situation. But the show could show how she feels about it, they could give her more scenes on the show illustrating it, they could give her friends she commiserates with, they could do more than one episode that shows it, and then forget about it and just keep making it invisible.

Something the original series did well was showing Jack's unhappiness with his work and his job was a major recurring theme through most of the series. It was not an issue that was dealt with in one episode and never spoken of again. 

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I think she is just very good at compartmentalizing, and when she leaves work, she leaves work at work and doesn't worry about it when she's at home. 

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On 12/2/2021 at 8:57 AM, Roaster said:

I was thinking the same.  1968 was one of the most turbulent years in US history.  Tet offensive in Feb, LBJ pulls out of reelection in March, MLK assassination in April, RFK assassination in June, protests worldwide and at DNC convention in Chicago, athlete protest at Olympics, close election in November, exciting Apollo space missions during the year.

Not saying they have to go all topical in this show - it's really a show about one family in Alabama, but a little surprising.  At least they did address Vietnam in this episode.
 

I really thought that was one of the reasons they picked 1968. Seeing that year from the eyes of twelve year old Dean would have been really interesting. I still find it hard to believe they live in Alabama. It really doesn't feel that way. I really wish they had used more of what what was going on. 

I hope they don't kill off Bruce. I liked him and not knowing where he fit in. His parents talking about him going to college or getting a job although was pretty typical of the time thinking he'll just pick up where he left off and not realize what he's gone through and Bruce hasn't really opened up to them about what's he saw. Both of those reminded me of when my dad returned from Vietnam. I'm not surprised that he re-enlisted. So many did. It was hard to leave knowing that their friends, unit and everyone else was still back there.

I really do love Bill giving Bruce a beer saying if he was old enough to serve he's old enough to drink. My dad was told the same thing when returned home when he went to the bar and when he went to the store to buy beer despite not being old enough.

 

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