We weren’t able to meet up for a collaborative show this week, but wanted to throw you loyal listeners a bone with our favorite 4th of July movies, TV shows, and albums that quintessentially American. No sound from me, but scroll down and listen to Bryan’s perspectives. For me, these are some of my top picks across the media spectrum to celebrate your 4th:
- Team America: World Police – Total tongue-in-cheek pick, but still a pretty hilarious exaggeration of American military might and ultra-patriotism gone to plaid. Gave us not one, but TWO new American anthems. No better way to express your stereotypical American-ness.
- Independence Day – What are we supposed to do when the West is emphatically won, we’ve already kicked the crap out of the Nazis in more movies than we can count, and the Cold War is over? That’s right, kick the holy living crap out of BEING FROM OTHER PLANETS. Harry Connick Jr. co-stars as Will Smith’s crazy wingman. Bill Pullman delivers one of the most clichéd speeches in modern cinema, yet at the same time the most dramatic ever featured in a Roland Emmerich film. You want fireworks on the 4th of July? Let’s start with blowing up the White House!
- The Great Outdoors – OK, opposite end of the spectrum here. John Candy and Dan Aykroyd on a John Hughes-romp where the family travels “up north” from Chicago for a little summer R&R. This one hits particularly close to home for me, having grown up in Eagle River, where the real-life Chet Ripleys and Roman Craigs descended without remorse or abandon every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Who could forget the Ol’ 96er or the Bald Bear? If it literally rains on your parade, here’s an 80s classic the whole family can enjoy.
Now before you get all bent out of shape about these records NOT being about extolling the virtues of the American Republic, remember that I’m not necessarily talking about “feel-good” 4th of July tunes–just a couple records that are quintessentially American. Their songs deal with topics surrounding the American condition, our history, and our way of life. Nowhere else would they mean the same thing as they do to us here in the USA.
BryGuy’s picks: Tom Petty – Wildflowers
My only entry here is The Wonder Years series finale. Most TV shows end early in the spring and don’t resume until the fall, so they rarely cover the events of the summertime. Not so for this series finale, which witnesses Kevin Arnold’s summer after high school. We see his final break-up with Winnie Cooper as Kevin realizes his childhood is over and things are never going to be the same again. The show closes on the Arnold family on the 4th of July as narrator Daniel Stern reveals the fates of all the players. Made me weepy when I first saw it. Probably still would today.
Thanks for your interest, enjoy Bryan’s comments, and have a great 4th!