My Current Obsession: James Dean

By Casey Wilson

With the last day of classes for the spring semester behind us, I’ve been able to turn my full attentions to my seminar papers. One, for Marsha Bryant’s Desperate Domesticity class (which Mariko wrote so brilliantly about a few weeks back), is a reconsideration of James Dean’s legacy through the lens of his television work. We always talk with such sentimental terms about Dean’s short life and career, wondering what he would have done if he had more time. But the thing is, Dean’s career goes beyond the three films in which he had major roles – he was in more than two dozen television series before his death, too.

Thanks to the wonderful archive that is YouTube, many of his television appearances are easily available for our consumption. Looking for Dean as an overworked father? Here you go:

What about Dean as a nerdy lab technician?

In a live production, introduced by Ronald Reagan?

Or even acting opposite Ronald Reagan himself, in a role that seems to reflect the rebel icon to come?

These appearances and more all there for your viewing pleasure, relics of the 1950s recovered by the platforms of the 2000s. Sometimes it’s nice to live in the internet age.

Now excuse me while I get off the internet and back to my quality time with James Dean.

Casey is a PhD student.

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Categories: In the Media

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