Picks and Pans Review: Hometown
A bunch of old friends—well, not too old, they're only 35 or so—are engaging in some hey, man, real heavy reminiscing. Listen for a minute. It doesn't matter which one is saying what; they all sound alike: "It's not so long since we were all walking together through these streets carrying antiwar signs." "And wearing bell-bottoms." "We were so young." "Hey, I'm still young!" "Ben, weren't you starting a novel?" "I never finished it. Anyway, it was one of those angry, antiestablishment things, and somewhere along the line I made those lucky investments and kind of got sucked up into the mainstream." "Let's face it, we all did." Children of the '60s, arise! Return to the barricades! Protest! Network TV has made you into one hoary, hokey, horrible cliché in the form of Hometown, a new series that's nothing but a video version of The Big Chill (which was nothing but a glossy version of The Return of the Secaucus Seven). Hometown's creators insist they came up with their idea long before Chill. Regardless, the formula has lost some things in the translation to the tube—such as intelligence and intentional humor. In Chill the old friends came together for a funeral. In Hometown they reunite for the overdue wedding of two friends who've lived together for 13 years, have two kids and have bought a big house. The old gang sees how times have changed (surprise, surprise). Now these flower children gone to seed include a campus folksinger turned rock idol, a businessman, a fashion-plate divorcée, a presidential adviser ("Yeah," she sighs, "but it's not JFK"), a housewife, an oversexed professor and a gentle cook who named his kid Dylan. Enough! Hometown looks as if it were created by some marketing focus group trying to sell life insurance to people age 30 to 40. Don't buy it.
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