One of the most inspirational shows of the new fall season.
Spencer James is torn. He’s the football star of his high-school team in the inner-city Crenshaw area in Los Angeles. But when Billy Baker, football coach for Beverly Hills High School, tries to recruit him, Spencer faces a choice: should he give up his family and the neighborhood he knows so well, or stay in Crenshaw and run the risk that he may never achieve his dream of turning pro? After everyone from his mother to his best friend Coop urge him to grasp the opportunity to get out of Crenshaw and make his dreams come true, Spencer makes the move – but his troubles are only beginning at Beverly High, where he’s faced with an unfamiliar world of extreme wealth, contemptuous, status-conscious classmates, and teammates jealous of his talent. Ultimately, Coach Baker invites Spencer to move in with his family, who are none too sure about this move. But beside his desire to win games and “pay forward” his own success, does the coach have another motive?
All American is a joy, an inspirational, extremely well-crafted and well-acted tale of two worlds, and the young man who moves between them, navigating hazards all the way.
The show contains some violence (a drive-by shooting of a teen helps Spencer decide to move to Beverly Hills), language like uses of “ass,” and scenes of teen drinking and drug use at a Beverly Hills party. But the program assiduously avoids making either Beverly Hills or Crenshaw look like a paradise or a prison; life in each is shown to come with its own plusses, pitfalls, and perils, all of which require dedication and strength of character to overcome.
At a time when our nation is increasingly divided and fractious, it is wonderful to see a show committed to demonstrated that rich or poor, black or white, underneath we are all people who need to learn to work together. By depicting a world where that is possible, All American scores.
All American premieres Wednesday, October 10th on the CW.