The distracting thing about “Love American Style” is that it is so very much a product of the ‘Swinging Sixties’, and might set off a veritable tsunami of riotously amused laughter from one’s offspring at the costumes, the haircuts and the sets, to say nothing of a round of cringing at the open and unashamed display of what was once held to be hip, mod, and up to date. The series is a peep into a world that may only seem to us to have been the day before yesterday, but was indisputably almost four decades ago.

For those who do not remember, or have forgotten – “Love American Style” was an hour long serio-comic anthology show, with three or four original short sketches dealing with love in its many aspects. Meeting, dating, marriage, jealousy, love requited and otherwise, sex – complicated and otherwise, flirting, the rules of engagement and attraction… the whole deal, told with varying degrees of pathos, wit and relevance. Was there ever a time when a gentleman host wore a coat, shirt and tie for a dinner tete a tete in his apartment? Yes there was. And there was also apparently a time when a gentleman could wear a paisley patterned shirt and plaid trousers without anyone nearby him wincing painfully at the sight. And the sets are straight out of James Lilek’s Interior Desecrations, in all their harvest gold and avocado green glory.

It’s almost as much fun playing “spot the star” in this series, for there were many and some of them almost recognizable in their early careers – why, there is Harrison Ford in a sketch from 1969, which was broadcast with other sketches featuring Rich Little, Jane Wyatt and Dana Wynter. Other episodes feature stars of an earlier age – Margaret O’Brien, Sid Caesar, Broderick Crawford and Bob Crane, among the generous grab-bag of guest stars. This would make a splendid “spot the face you recognize” challenge for movie and TV trivia fans.

“Love American Style” Season 1 Vol. 1 is available here from from Amazon. and other retail outlets.

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book “To Truckee’s Trail” is available here. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com.

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