PBS's controversial proto-reality show An American Family (1973) intimately chronicled the day-to-day experiences of The Louds, an issue-ridden clan residing in Santa Barbara, California. The participants included parents Bill and Pat, and children Lance, Kevin, Grant, Delilah and Michele, and filming took place over several months in 1971 - a period colored by such events as Lance's burgeoning sexuality and the separation and divorce of Pat and Bill. The series, of course, was hugely influential, predating the reality craze in early 21st century television by almost 30 years. The original program contained 12 installments; this edited-down version captures many of the most dramatic and pivotal moments, restructured as a two-hour documentary.
by Nathan Southern synopsis