|Index||4 reviews in total|
Very good choice of music. Songs go well with the different events
during the episode. The Bruce Springsteen songs almost tell the story
itself Especially "Stolen Car" really hits the right mood of the scene,
almost as if it was written for it.
Only thing that didn't really makes sense is the fact that certain songs are used in scenes that took place before the song was written. Although they fit in the scene, it's kind of strange to hear a song that would not have existed at the time
E.g. No Surrender (1984) is used during a scene in 1980,
and Brilliant Disguise (1987) was used during a scene in 1981.
The Bruce Springsteen songs almost tell the story itself
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Bruce Springsteen's music provides an emotional touch to this episode,
songs well chosen for the scenes even if they were released at a later
date than the scene setting. With all its faults, this episode is
especially poignant in this day and age as the heartland manufacturing
jobs that the four main characters would once have likely wound up in
after high school, which would have given them a secure if not
luxurious lower-middle class existence are now all but gone today. As a
result, the four are left with unrealistic dreams of glory in highly
competitive, cutthroat fields of athletics and entertainment or a
desperate turn to shady, illicit activities that nearly always lead to
a bad end, with a few low paying, dead end positions in between as the
Of course there are faults. The music dates we mentioned. But are we really to believe that May drove a stolen car in the open for a dozen years without anyone catching on? Even if she changed the license plate, the VIN number would be detected by DMV's across the country. Speaking of cars, even in 1980 that 1972 Chevelle SS convertible driven by Clem would have been way out of reach price-wise for someone like him; this car in the pristine condition that this one was in was worth about $5-7k in 1980, which was quite a lot of money then; equal to $28,000-$30,000 now, because the car was so rare, especially in convertible form (Chevelle SS convertibles today go for $50k-$100k). Not to mention the fact an 8 year old 1970s car subject to Pennsylvania winters with salted roads would likely be a rust bucket by 1980 and not anywhere near the shape this car was in. A standard Chevelle, Malibu, Challenger, or Cutlass in appropriate rusty condition would have been a better choice and would have emphasized the modest background and lack of opportunity available to these four.
Even so, the episode provides an poignant, reminiscent look at what Heartland America was and what it is now, with the Boss pulling the emotional heartstrings which have an all-too-solid and disconcerting basis in reality in them. It all provides food for interesting thought at the direction America is taking today.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
8 Years reminded me of a quotation in a true crime novel some years
ago. Homicide officers in a major US city were quoted as saying they
didn't feel sorry for most of their murder victims. "They were involved
in activities they shouldn't have been, and it got 'em killed." This
episode of an otherwise excellent series reminded me of this quotation.
It tracks 8 years in the lives of four high school friends; their
academic and professional disappointments; failing marriage (I found
the depersonalization of the baby a turn-off. It is constantly referred
to as 'the baby', not even having an identity as a boy or girl); and
activities that run the gamut from shady to illicit.
The cold case of a man murdered in what was thought to be a carjacking is reopened when the shady May character resurfaces. She had disappeared from the hospital emergency room at the time of the crime. Turns out the deceased Clinton had joined his old chum Petey in a car theft ring, and this activity got both him and the ringleader killed. The exclusively Bruce Springsteen soundtrack was quality, and different than a variety of music from the year '88 would have been, but otherwise the story is a must miss.
A so-so episode which features Bruce Springsteen songs. The vintage
portion is from 1981 and other early 80's dates.
Incomprehensibly "May" (played by Shelly Cole) appears to have green-brown eyes, and the actress playing "her" in 2006 has very light blue eyes. It spoils the illusion and one wonders if the producers couldn't have sprung for some colored contact lenses for the elder actress.
This episode also features Zachery Ty Bryan (Brad Taylor from "Home Improvement".) He is all grown up and proves he can act. David Parker, who plays Zachery's character "Petey" in the current era, looks nothing like him.
Watch the episode for Zach's performance & Springsteen's songs, but otherwise, it's a miss.
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