The excitement. The anxiety at Alan Shephard’s welfare. The knowledge that history was being made. Those feelings are rekindled in me for an hour each week as I go back in time with new ABC show, The Astronaut Wives Club. I enjoy it so much they should make me an honorary member of the club.
I love the hyper-real candy colors, the fun retro fashions. While the hair styles have a modern flair, they’re largely true to the era. The little touches, like women wearing curlers, are right. The women are depicted as quite superficial at times but also had steel backbones. It’s true that the show is a bit on the frothy side, heavy on romance, scandal and anxiety. But it makes me nostalgic and helps me remember that we were once a more innocent nation.
Before you say it, I’ll say it: Yes, those were innocent times only for white Americans, usually male, in the middle class or above. It’s true and for some reason it’s always necessary to say that, because we are supposed to feel a little guilty, I guess, when we look back. But my experience can only be my experience and for me, it was an innocent time. I knew nothing of the horrors of war, of terrorists or beheading, of the killing of civil rights workers. I only knew that we were going to the moon, the MOON! And these brave astronauts were part of history.
Jaded, that’s how we seem today. Jaded and fearful. So it’s no wonder that I love programs that take me back to those carefree times of my youth. A few have hit it just right, too, so right that they feel like a time machine. Do you remember a show set in Philadelphia called American Dreams? It lasted a few seasons –2002-2005– before it disappeared, but it depicted the 60s so perfectly that I felt like I had gone back in time. China Beach was a similarly well-done show set in that era.
Disappearing for an hour into the fantasy of the past is how I take refuge from the terrible things going on today, things that I can not escape as an adult who must live in these times.
Tell me: what’s your safe haven from the horrors all around us?