Synopsis by Mark Deming
Four friends struggle to find themselves in the decade that brought us disco, platform shoes, and those smiley-face buttons in this miniseries, which first aired in April of 2000 on NBC. Byron Shaw (Brad Rowe), his girlfriend Eileen (Vinessa Shaw), and his sister Christie (Amy Smart) are all at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, when National Guardsmen open fire on students protesting the war in Vietnam, leaving four people dead. Byron's high-school buddy Dexter Johnson (Guy Torry) is also there -- but as a Guardsman rather than a student. Dexter quits the Guard in disgust and moves to Watts, where he opens a movie theater and becomes a key figure in the Black Power movement. Byron quits law school and takes a job with Richard Nixon's re-election campaign -- just as the Watergate scandal begins to break, Byron becomes an informant to the Justice Department and is nearly killed by a sniper. Eileen embraces the feminist movement and later seeks a career in the advertising industry, where she discovers that women's rights have not advanced terribly far. And Christie becomes a successful model, but fame and fortune do not bring her happiness as she's lured into a religious cult known as "The Path." The 70's soundtrack is loaded with period-appropriate hits, including classic tunes by Stevie Wonder, Jefferson Starship, Marvin Gaye, and Three Dog Night.
assassination, Black-Muslims, Black-Panthers, decade, divorce, family-strife, feminism, pop-culture, social-issues