May 6, 2009
Singing James, James, James…
Before there was Felicity or Angela, there was James.
I was too young to watch "James at 15" when it first aired on NBC back in 1977, but I somehow managed to catch the show in repeats on cable years later. I was immediately hooked.
The series starred Lance Kerwin as a sensitive young man coming of age in the "Swingtown" era. Creator Dan Wakefield was almost Norman Lear-like in his determination to tackle tough issues, including teen sex. More importantly, the show wasn't afraid to be honest about growing up: Instead of the shiny happy facade of "Happy Days," this show presented adolescence as the hell it so often is.
"James" lasted just one season (though it changed its name to "James at 16" midway through its run). Like most dramas about teens, including "My So-Called Life" and "Life As We Know It," the series had a tough time finding an audience (something Fox executives have to be quietly nervous about as they prepare to launch the pretty amazing "Glee").
Since "James" isn't currently available on DVD, here's a look at the show's opening credits: