New York Magazine

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

"The Beach Boys: An American Family"

ShareThis

Why The Beach Boys: An American Family (Sunday and Monday, February 27 and 28; 9 to 11 p.m.; ABC)? Haven't we already seen several cut-rate documentaries and another TV movie on the same subject, Summer Dreams: The Story of the Beach Boys (1990)? Are they trying to cash in on the critical success of Topsy-Turvy, with Mike Love as Gilbert and Brian as Sullivan? When even Nancy Reagan is on record as approving of this music, shouldn't the rest of us query our own nostalgia? The mini-series resemblances -- of Matt Letscher to Mike, Frederick Weller to Brian, Nick Stabile to Dennis, etc. -- are indeed eerie but also prescient and presentimental, as if by ghostly morphing we see the zombie under the tan; as if David Lee Roth had so corrupted our very memory of "California Girls" that all we recall is a leer. So they had Oedipal issues. Who doesn't? So their wives couldn't stand the groupies and the hangers-on, the drug-numbed "Drainers" who, like, fed like vampire bats on their bankroll and celebrity. Wives are like that. So Brian, on hearing the Beatles, pulled the covers over his head. He needed Samuel Beckett to write a play about him. It ended badly. It always does.


Related:

Advertising
Current Issue
Subscribe to New York
Subscribe

Give a Gift

Advertising