This is their generation! American Dreams, the fan-favorite drama starring Brittany Snow in her breakout role — alongside Vanessa Lengies, Will Estes, Sarah Ramos and more — may have been canceled in 2005, but its legacy lives on.
The NBC series, which ran for three seasons and aired more than 60 episodes, was set in 1960s Philadelphia and centered around the traditional Pryor family as the cultural landscape quickly shifted around them. Rock n’ roll and pop music ruled the scene amid a backdrop of ever-increasing racial tensions and the Vietnam war, all of which deeply impacted the family of six: dad Jack (Tom Verica), mom Helen (Gail O’Grady), sons J.J. (Estes) and Will (Ethan Dampf) and daughters Meg (Snow) and Patty (Ramos).
As Snow’s main character and her best friend, Roxanne (Lengies), danced on the live music show American Bandstand, they simultaneously dealt with romance woes, Meg’s increasing involvement in social justice causes and her brother J.J.’s draft to Vietnam — a war she vehemently opposed.
In 2013, more than 10 years after the premiere of American Dreams, the cast reunited at ATX Television at a panel that delved into their memories of filming — and where their characters would be today. An alternate ending to the series was even screened for the attendees, one that saw (spoiler!) Meg and her family reunite three years after she left Philly for California in the series finale.
Taking place in the summer of 1969, the alternate conclusion reveals that Meg is still close to Sam (Arlen Escarpeta) and the two are on their way to Woodstock together. Roxanne and her boyfriend, Luke (Jamie Elman), are still going strong and living in New York. Patty headed off to college at the prestigious Radcliffe, and Meg sees her nephew — J.J.’s son with his wife, Beth (Rachel Boston) — who recognizes her from photos. After years of estrangement from her parents, they reconcile with their daughter as the episode draws to a close.
Snow, Lengies and Ramos have kept in touch through the years, occasionally sharing reunion photos and funny skits via Instagram. In September 2021, Ramos and Snow reenacted a scene from Sweet Home Alabama, in which the John Tucker Must Die star portrayed Reese Witherspoon‘s character, Melanie, and the Parenthood alum starred as Melanie Lynskey‘s character, Lurlyn.
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