Tag Archives: Donna Reed Show

Throwback Thursday- Pleasantville (1998)

Happy 2015. This will be my first Throwback Thursday blog post of the New Year.

The 1950’s can often be seen through rose colored glasses, especially when viewed through the family sitcoms of the era. Television programs like Father Knows Best and The Donna Reed Show presented the audience with a perfect Caucasian suburban family whose problems were easily solved within a 30 minute time span.

Flash forward to the 1990’s where television story lines and  characters were complex and problems were so easily solved within 30 minutes.

In 1998, Pleasantville,  two 1990’s teens into the world of the perfect 1950’s family sitcom. David, who has little to no social life (Tobey Maguire) is obsessed with the 1950’s television program Pleasantville. His sister, Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon) has a very active social life and looks down on her brother’s obsession.  A strange looking remote transports them into the television program. As they spend more time in Pleasantville, things begin to change and the boat begins to rock.

I like this movie. What I like about this movie is that it brings color to a world that is black and white, literally and figuratively. The special effects are also a nice touch. They add to the movie as needed, without drawing attention away from the plot or the characters.

I recommend it.

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Revolutionary Road-Book And Movie Review

The 1950’s are often viewed with the lenses rose colored glasses. Television programs like the Donna Reed Show and Father Knows Best presented the image of the perfect Caucasian middle class family where the problems were simple and solvable with 30 minutes. Life is never that perfect or that easy.

Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates’s novel about the imperfections beneath the surface, was published in 2000.

Frank and April Wheeler are living what seems to be the perfect suburban middle class life in the 1950’s.  But there are issues bubbling beneath the surface the threaten their marriage, their family and the image that they have cultivated for their friends and neighbors.

In 2008, the book was adapted into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

The book and the movie are both incredible.  Despite it’s glossy image, the 1950’s was a very complicated and dark decade. Like any couple, Frank and April had problems that are not always obvious to the passerby, but upon further inspection, reveals large issues that are unresolved. The end is unflinchingly heart breaking.

I recommend both.

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