All the “Real Housewives” owe a debt of gratitude to the Loud family who paved the way for reality TV back in the 1970’s. In those days PBS called “An >American Family” a documentary series in 12 parts. The Louds of Santa Barbara were the first American family to be the subject of a reality show. It was unscripted and during the run of the series, Pat and Bill Loud separated and divorced, and their openly gay son Lance not only took his mother to a drag show in the second episode, but he move to the Chelsea Hotel in New York and ran with the Warhol crowd. It was riveting television and worth revisiting. HBO’s “Cinema Verite” tells the story of the filming of the documentary and Diane Lane plays mother Pat in awful 70’s glasses, Tim Robbins plays dad Bill, and Thomas Dekker plays young Lance. (We were lucky to know and adore Lance for years.)


  1. What a DUMB idea! Why not just dig out the original shows and PLAY THOSE. Instead of getting actors (as good as they are) to play these real people who are ALREADY on film. DUMB DUMB DUMB! Bring back the “Louds” for real!

  2. their LOUD farts were never duplicated since then……

  3. We never saw this in Canada.
    Only two channels you know.
    Ottawa Roughriders and Saskatchewan Roughriders.

  4. We recently met Pat and Bill at a Christopher Makos opening with Ginger Coyote, They are still amazing!

  5. It is nice for The Loud family to have an HBO movie about them made.
    Lance Loud was the singer of the group The Mumps. He was the nicest fellow I have ever met. I miss him everyday.
    His Mother, Mrs. Loud is an very lovely lady.
    Class all the way.

  6. The real world on MTV was specifically created by Bunnim/Murray with An American Family in mind.

    The real housewives of hoboken, seattle and brokeback mountain is a farce.

    I watched An American Family in it’s entirety when PBS re-aired the show in the early 1990s, it’s truly compelling television viewing unlike the Jersey Sores and all the rest of the rubbish that airs on TV these days.

    After American family, The Louds spoke of how their marriage literally unravalled in front of the cameras and how the cameras changed how their friends and neighbors thought of them.

    There is a memorable moment during the series where Pat Loud lits into her soon to be ex-husband who chose to snigger and laugh off her insults ( she was a drunk and attending a party with her husband)

    I understand Lance Loud later struggled with addiction issues and died of complications from AIDS.

  7. When this show premiered it launched, “The Day the Music Died”..

  8. I never saw the original and wouldn’t want to see a “movie” ABOUT it when the real thing is still memorably on film. Whose brilliant idea was THIS?!

  9. I cannot wait…I saw the original show on PBS and it was riveting and raw.

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