American Dreams: Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (29 Sep. 2002)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Drama, Music
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Meg Pryer's lifelong dream is to dance on the iconic 1960s television series, American Bandstand, and along with her adventurous confidante, Roxanne Bojarski, the 15-year-old's persistence ... See full summary »



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Title: Pilot (29 Sep 2002)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Brooks (as Joseph Lawrence)


Meg Pryer's lifelong dream is to dance on the iconic 1960s television series, American Bandstand, and along with her adventurous confidante, Roxanne Bojarski, the 15-year-old's persistence pays off when they find themselves on camera, dancing amongst a variety of teen idols. While his younger sister realizes her dreams, J.J. Pryor, questions his own childhood ambitions as he struggles to decide between striving for a Notre Dame football scholarship and making a life-altering change. Family patriarch Jack Pryor, concerned with his children's defiant behavior as well as with wife Helen's influential new friends, watches his idealistic family buckle under the era's social challenges on the eve of the decade's watershed event. Written by L M D

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Music





Release Date:

29 September 2002 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Beth Mason: Mom says, if Heaven's where you go if you're good while you're on Earth, then Monaco is where you go if you're good while you're in Heaven.
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Recreating The 1960's in another Century
27 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While this pilot was being created, the producers had several challenges. One of them was taking downtown Vancouver, Canada and making it into Philadelphia. In order to do this, the location finding was not easy. You can tell in this pilot that the producers are very careful too set the outdoor scenes so as not to give away anything.

Recreating a 1960's Philadelphia is not easy. At this point with the late 1963 time line to start, it involves recreating the Pryor family and everything connected to them including Catholic High School and American Bandstand. While it was not easy to pull off, this one gets the series into a solid start.

A guilty pleasure of watching this for me is on the DVD you can listen to the creator of American Dreams talking about what has meaning for him and Dick Clark, the man himself talking about the times being created. When you add this to the pilot, it gives the pilot much more meaning.

For those of us who remember the JFK incident, this is accurate in one important way, it has the students in class and announced to them what had happened. That is exactly the way it happened to me. Our school immediately dismissed everyone from school to go home early that day and stayed closed until the next week.

The world in 1963 did not have all the immediate information we have today. That might be a good thing but if today's technology did exist in 1963, we would have gotten a better story and more facts than we did then, perhaps. That would have helped the country cope better then. but the shock of the television age is shown here. So is the magic of American Bandstand.

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