Video Review: Little Big Town “Happy People”

Using her phone, a woman asks a little boy’s name and where he lives. He answers “Bentley” and “Sweetwater, Tennessee” while he sits on the porch swing. She asks him: “What makes you happy?” He replies that fishing with his dad is his favorite thing to do and that he likes to play in the water.

Against a gray background, a seventysomething man sits on a chair. A little boy in a striped red shirt looks to the left. A thirtysomething woman brushes a blonde strand of hair away from her eyes as she sits down. A fortysomething African-American man in a suit sits down. A twentysomething African-American woman pushes her sunglasses to her nose. An eight-year-old girl smiles at her little brother.

Karen sings.

A six-year-old boy, with his eyes closed, smiles and shakes his head. A tattooed twentysomething woman shifts her legs on the stool. An nine-year-old girl bursts out laughing. A five-year-old boy scrunches his face while he eats a cracker. A fifteen-year-old grins and puts his hands over his face.

Phillip, Kimberly and Jimi sing.

A nine-year-old girl holds her baby sister in her lap. A thirtysomething African-American man laughs. Three little kids dance. A thirtysomething woman dances with her daughter. A fortysomething man beams at his African-American wife. A fortysomething Latina woman holds her two dogs. A sixteen-year-old young woman stares at the floor and smiles.

Phillip raises an eyebrow. Jimi gazes at the floor.

An African-American eight-year-old boy laughs into his mother’s arm. A fortysomething man holds onto his Asian four-year-old daughter. An African-American twentysomething man roller skates. A sixtysomething woman scratches her husband’s chin.

Karen turns to Phillip and they smile at one another. Jimi stands with his hand in his pocket. Kimberly grins and looks to Phillip.

Rating: 3.5/5

In Sweetwater, Tennessee, as of 2016, 91% of its population is white, according to the American Fact Finder. Most of its population works in the food service industry, an office or in construction. The little boy talks about fishing with his father.

However, as Little Big Town, shows, Sweetwater is not representative of the current America. In the southern states, there are twentysomething African-Americans going to college. A Latina woman baby talks to her dogs as she takes them on their walk in the morning. A twentysomething African-American man and white woman meet while hanging out in Nashville.

It’s the little kids growing up who will question their non-diverse town and change the demographics of it. Some will move on and work in a new city or state. Others may stay, helping out their now older Latina neighbor with her mail or babysitting the interracial couple’s children next door.

The senior citizens have lived to see generation after generation take on the same jobs as their parents. They receive their pension payments but are surprised to find out their great-grandchildren do not have benefits and work part-time.

Directors: Reid Long & Becky Fluke Year: 2017

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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