Homefront is the greatest show ever. It had quality writing and acting. It won a 1992 People’s Choice Award for Favorite New Dramatic Series and a 1993 Writers Guild of America Award for Original Long Form. Do you recognize the names Kyle Chandler and John Slattery? Chandler won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2011 for Friday Night Lights. Slattery has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Mad Men for four years straight. If you ever watched Homefront, you would know that these talented men deserved those awards back in 1992.
Homefront was a drama that ran on ABC from 1991-1993. It centered on the lives of the rich Sloan family, the working class Metcalf family, and the black Davis family in fictional River Run, Ohio in 1945. The pilot episode featured family members returning home after WWII, some in better condition than others. The show was about WWII, unionization, civil rights, baseball, women’s rights, polio, religion, the holocaust, life, death, and relationships. I was only fifteen when I stumbled across the pilot episode, but I knew this was great television. (And that Kyle Chandler was freaking hot!) No one else I knew watched this show. Which is a shame, and probably why the series had an untimely demise.
Homefront’s beauty was in how the acting, writing, and authentic hairstyles/sets/costumes/cars all melted together to make you feel like you were using a time machine to peak into someone’s window. I liked it when they would have each of the families having the same argument at the same time, all intercut together. It showed we all have beauty and prejudices in us. And that we are all not as different inside as our skin or wallets might show us to be.
Jeff (Kyle Chandler) and Ginger (Tammy Lauren) were my favorite characters on the series. I loved watching them bicker. They got together out of loneliness at Jeff’s brother’s wedding, both having to see the people they loved with someone else. They dated, became engaged, broke up, and got back together during the two seasons of the series. The series finale featured their wedding.
I think part of why Homefront went off the air was because ABC didn’t market it correctly. I am sure some people were scared off by the fact it took place in the 1940’s. ABC needed to push the fact that it was a soap opera with themes that transcended what decade they were taking place in. And they should have played up all the attractive men and women in the cast. ABC did do one thing right. They told the creators that the show would be cancelled enough in advance that they could create a satisfying ending.
If Homefront came on today, I think it could have had three or four seasons at least. Homefront had a small but rabid fan base. The kind of fan base today that can create a big stink and following on the Internet. But in 1993, most people either hadn’t heard of the Internet or didn’t know how to use it. I wouldn’t use it for another year. The sad truth is that Homefront has never been available on VHS/DVD/streaming. I have written many a letter over the years trying to rectify this injustice to no avail (availability, that is). To get a taste of Homefront yourself, you will have to hunt down various clips on YouTube.
Think of the success Mad Men is having now. Others have tried to duplicate it’s vibe of a time in the past, such as Pan-Am and Playboy Club. They both failed. Homefront was the original.
It was a show before it’s time.
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