An American Narrative
An American Culture Project
Our Group Members
The Wonder Years, created by Neal Marlens and Carol Black, is a historical and dramatic sitcom. The Emmy-winning series, produced from 1988 to 1993, describes the problems, wishes and dreams of a boy coming of age in the late 1960's and early 70's.
"In the show, the [much older] Kevin Arnold is the off-screen narrator, reminiscing about growing up in a typical suburban household [during this time]. . .
The people in Kevin's little world include his bespectacled best friend, Paul Pfeiffer; Winnie Cooper, his first love; his uncommunicative father Jack; his bullying older brother Wayne; his older sister Karen, blossoming into adolescent hippie-hood, and his mother Norma, stalwartly in control of maintaining status quo and making sure the Jell-O mold sets on time. . .
In 1968, the youngest members of the TV generation were more concerned with the traumas of grade school or junior high than political upheaval or social reform, watching bemusedly while their older brother or sisters went to Woodstock or got shipped off to Vietnam.
They remember their years in suburbia as a jumble of major world events and minor childhood concerns that somehow seemed equally important.
But Marlen and Black both add that they want The Wonder Years to address the universal experience of childhood, rather than be a statement about an era. . ."
What makes "The Wonder Years" so appealing is that many Americans can identify with what was happening in Kevin's life. Not only could those who lived through the 60's and 70's relate to the historical events, but almost anyone who was a teenager can relate to Kevin's personal adventures. Kevin is the universal American teenager. Most of us get our first kiss, our driver's license, and experience all these other pivotal stages on our trip through puberty and adolescence into adulthood. These times really are wonder years, the time when we learn how the world and it's people work. Indeed, Kevin represents the American teenager that many of us were at one time. If someone from another country were to ask you what it is like to grow up in America, you would have to think no farther than to tell them that they should watch this show. No matter when you grew up (in America), the things that happened to Kevin most likely happened to you. Surely, Kevin's adolescence came at a pivotal period in American history that some of us did not go through, but that makes his experience all the more dramatic.
Let these pages bring back to you all you remember about growing up in America during the 60's, 70's, or whenever. Sit back, scan through these pages, and let Kevin's life......your life.......unfold before you. ENJOY.
This is a graph demonstrating Wonder Years fans' ages.
Links to Related Wonder Years Sites
We hope you have enjoyed your stroll through Kevin's adolescence and 1968-1974. Hopefully, you have been able to remember a little bit about what it was like as an American to feel the pressure of worrying about first kisses, school dances and cafeterias, principals, seemingly impossible math assignments, the cute girl across class, bullies, learning to drive, and graduating from high school-before real problems of college, employment, and marriage hit or hits us. This page is something we had fun making and reminiscing over, we hope you did too.
We would like to thank all of the fans that have put up web sites. The information that you have provided has been essential to our project.
HTML by Katy Pearce