August 9, 2000
By Kevin V. Johnson
Rock musicians often act like children, as anyone who watches rock biographies on television knows.
Do they ever mature? On MTV's series about a fictional supergroup embarking on a reunion tour, the answer is: not really. Members of the Jackson Decker band still act like children, but now they have adult supervision: their grown kids.
That's the setup of Live Through This (premiering tonight, 10 ET/PT), the music channel's first original drama, which follows the band's four families on the tour.
Two characters stand out in the opening episode: Chase Rooney (Tom Lock), 23, the band's manager and son of moody, self-centered guitarist Keith Rooney (David Nerman); and Tallulah "Lu" Baker (Sarah Manninen), 22, daughter of the band's fragile lead singer, Annie Baker (Jennifer Dale).
The show, which features music written by such stars as Graham Nash and Pat Benatar, "appeals to the basic fantastical nature of being a rock star," says MTV programming chief Brian Graden.
It also shows that it's sometimes trying to be around such stars. For instance, Lu has to coax her mother out of her shell when she suffers an attack of stage fright. And Chase has to soothe his edgy father and ride herd on his rebellious 19-year-old sister, Olivia (Jessica Welch).
The double duty should speak to baby boomers taking care of both their children and their own aging parents.
"We are the children of these rock stars," explains Lock, but "even though there's a really intriguing, wonderful, exotic aspect to that, there's a lot of responsibility that comes along with it. And each of us kids has a certain responsibility because our parents are really kids."
Between bouts of parenting their parents, Chase and Lu explore their past romantic connection.
Graden says, "We noticed that aside from the WB, nobody was doing dramas for a younger audience. Live is about music and how music changes people's lives."