TBT: Homefront (1991-3)

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Am I the only one who remembers the TV show Homefront? It had an all too brief run in the early 1990s, but the series was remarkable for looking at what happened in the states after World War II soldiers came home and how society began to change after the war. Historical dramas were fairly uncommon at that time on network TV in the U.S., and the series struggled to gain more than a small, devoted fanbase. It was ahead of its time — today, Homefront could have found a strong niche on cable or streaming and lasted four or more seasons. Alas, it’s never been released on VHS or DVD, and there are only snippets found on YouTube.

Set in a fictional small-ish town in Ohio between 1945 and 1947, the stories revolved around several families, the Metcalfs, the Sloans, the Davises, and others. Social issues such as racism, sexism, and capitalism were explored. A decorated war hero comes back to experience discrimination because he’s black. Women who took on higher paying jobs during the war are fired or relegated to minor jobs. Union leaders agitate for better wages. All of these play out realistically without too much of a heavy hand. And the serious matters were all woven around a standard helping of romance and family drama.

Costume designers Chic Gennarelli and Lyn Paolo won two primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Costuming for a Series and Jerry Gugliemotto and Barbara Ronci won an Emmy for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series. At the time, Homefront‘s costumes did seem historically accurate for a TV series, but looking at the photos now, it appears a bit more 1940s by way of the 1980s. But it’s hard to say from just a few stills and poor-quality vids.

 

Homefront (1991-3)

 

Homefront ring any bells?

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About the author

Trystan L. Bass

Twitter Website

A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. When she’s not dressing up in costumes, she can be found traveling the world with her sweetie and, occasionally, Kendra and Sarah. Her costuming and travel adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also maintains a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

31 Responses

  1. ladylavinia1932

    It is one of my favorite television shows of all time. Frankly, I consider it better than the much praised “MAD MEN”. In fact, I feel that it’s one of the best ever.

    Reply
  2. Natalie Ramirez Weyermuller

    Yes!!!!!!! It was one of my favorite shows. I swear i found episodes online a few years ago but I can’t find them now. I was so disappointed when it was cancelled. To my young eyes I remember thinking the costumes were very well done. I’m so curious to see what I would think of them now.

    Reply
    • Trystan L. Bass

      The full episodes were on YouTube a few years ago, but they’ve all been taken down. The clips above (& a few more, but all just clips) are what’s left. It’s so weird that the series hasn’t been released as a DVD box set or on streaming — it’d totally sell. Whoever has the rights is just sitting on it :(

      Reply
  3. revknits

    Yes, I remember this show – thought it was pretty good. Don’t have any images of the costumes though.

    Reply
    • Trystan L. Bass

      I scoured the internet & these are the best images I could find! There were a few more pix but smaller or lower quality. The video clips help show the costumes. There’s just so little of Homefront available now, which is such a pity

      Reply
  4. susan

    loved this series. wanted to share with my girls but never could find it anywhere.

    Reply
    • Cheryl

      I think they couldn’t release it on DVD due to the expense of all the music licensing. They reran it on TV Land back in the late 90s, and I’m pretty sure my mom still has all those tapes!

      Reply
      • Karen K.

        I think that’s not uncommon. Music rights held up the DVD release of WKRP in Cincinnati for aeons. It was finally released a couple of years ago, and I think they were finally able to get most of the original music included.

        Reply
  5. Cheryl

    This show is a beloved memory for my sister and I. We can remember almost every plotline and character, even 20+ years later. Jeff and Ginger remain our standard for the best tv couple ever. And Kyle Chandler will ALWAYS be Jeff Metcalf in my heart.

    Reply
    • Trystan L. Bass

      I’m so glad to find that other ppl remember & enjoyed the show too! For years, I’d think of it & hum “Accentuate the Positive” & mention the show, & ppl would have NO IDEA what I was talking about. And researching this post, I found hardly anything about Homefront online, a few skimpy articles & mentions here & there, but, as I said, very few images & clips.

      Reply
  6. ladylavinia1932

    I think they couldn’t release it on DVD due to the expense of all the music licensing. They reran it on TV Land back in the late 90s, and I’m pretty sure my mom still has all those tapes!

    So, we’re going to be deprived of viewing “HOMEFRONT” via DVD, because the entertainment business is cheap? Great.

    Reply
  7. Lady Hermina De Pagan

    I adored this show! Especially the storyline with the Italian concentration camp survivor and war widow who was in love with Ginger’s ex-fiancé. He was married to a Bitchy English war Bride that was screwing around.

    Reply
  8. Melissa

    This is they show where I fell in love with John Slattery! My friends made fun of me because I had to get home in time to watch it, no matter what else was going on.
    Every once in a while, I search youtube and amazon, one day it’ll magically appear!

    Reply
  9. Mrs. D

    Thank you! You made my day with this post. And, as a high school teacher in May, that was sorely needed! I thought I was the only one who remembered this show. Another good one from the early 90s is “The Young Riders,” which is now on Encore Western. The costumes in that one are terrible, but the show itself still pretty engaging.

    Reply
    • Lady Hermina De Pagan

      Young Riders! I adored that show! My first cosplay was as Lou on the show. Which was just killer as the actress was tiny, dark, olive skinned and short haired. I am 5’6, strawberry blond, greened eyed, pale, and built like a Viking.

      Reply
  10. Karen K.

    I can’t remember if I’ve seen this show when it first came out, but it sounds exactly like the sort of thing I would love! I’ll definitely watch it if it ever comes out on DVD or streaming.

    Reply
  11. ladylavinia1932

    . Another good one from the early 90s is “The Young Riders,” which is now on Encore Western. The costumes in that one are terrible, but the show itself still pretty engaging.

    Yeah, the costumes did suck on “THE YOUNG RIDERS”. But it was a damn good show. I have DVD copies of all three seasons.

    Reply
  12. SarahV

    I’m with Melissa up there. I loved this show for John Slattery in all his dapper, angular handsomeness!

    Reply
  13. KathrynB

    OMFG! I thought I was the only one!! I loved Kyle Chandler drool
    I, too, had heard there were issues with licensing the music. I have a “friend” who found a bootleg copy of the episodes on DVD once, in poor quality or so I’ve heard ;-)

    Reply
  14. Nancy

    OMG, I cannot believe you posted on Homefront! I loved, LOVED that series and was just thinking about it the other day. Serendipitous!

    Reply
  15. rowsella315

    I loved this show. I wish if they cannot release the first, this would be one of the few remakes (only if they remake it with quality) that I could stand behind. Ginger was my favorite!! Remember the happy housewife radio show she did? And the forsythia, I’ll never forget that.

    Reply
  16. Elizabeth Mahon

    So many shows have been held up because of music rights, American Dreams is another one. This show and the AMC show REMEMBER WENN were two of my favorites. Back in the day, when prime-time was crawling with soaps, Soap Opera Digest even recapped it. Probably because of all the former soap actors like Kelly Rutherford and Tammy Lauren.

    Reply

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