My peers would ask me “were there any negative reviews or cons to this show?”
And my answer remains the same by saying no there is no negative review because the show is really talking about my life in my opinion. I won’t give this show a negative review because there is always going to be parts in the episodes that are sad, messed up or even cruel in most cases, but that's just how life goes on in reality. I asked myself a few times before, “how can someone like April Blair come up with a series that's so relatable to me, and she’s not even black nor did she grew up in the same neighborhood as me nor Spencer Paysinger. Well in an interview with TV Guide at the “Television Critics Association summer tour”, she said and I quote' `I'm a middle-aged white lady telling the story of a young black man in America. There's a lot that I can't speak to about that. I don't know what it's like to be afraid of the police. I don't know what it feels like to have my food rations thrown at me.”
April Blair is the creator, writer and producer of “All American” along with Greg Berlanti as a producer and writer. As of right now she no longer works behind the scenes for the show. In the article by “TV Guide”, she mentions that 50% of her writers are African American. Ms. Blair is a wonderful woman who doesn’t understand the culture of black folks but she wants to learn and understand so that she doesn’t do or say anything that can prejudice of racial. She says there’s a real distinct system of checks and balances in the room when it comes to ideas that whites might not think about.
Now enough about the maker of the show let's get into the actual show. All American is about “Dreaming Big and Staying Real”, it covers the life of a high school football star from South Central, LosAngles getting recruited to play for coach Billy Baker (Taye Giggs) at Beverly High School. When this happens Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) will have to make a decision to stay at Crenshaw or go play for Beverly. Just like with another other mom his decision was affected by wanting to give his mom a better life so that she doesn’t have to worry as much. Production companies behind the show are Berlanti Productions, CBS Television Studios, and Warner Bros Television.
This show is dramatic for a reason, season brought different emotions for all viewers. In episode one you have Spencer (Daniel Ezra) moving to Beverly Hills with Billy Baker (Taye Giggs) and his family. In the mix comes a beautiful Queen by the name of Leila Keating ( Greta Onieogou) who begins showing interest in Spencer, the feelings are mutual at this point. Along with Spencer drama, his best friend Coop ( Bre-Z) gets caught up with a neighborhood friend Shawn ( Jay Reeves) and there up to no good. Billy Baker confronts his family for bringing in Spencer unannounced.
In episode two, Spencer’s loyalty is tested while Jordan Baker (Michael Behling) gets a taste of what Crenshaw offers and the reality of being Black in America.
Later on in the show, Coop must be honest with herself about who she is and what she wants, lastly we highlight the drama between Olivia Baker (Samatha Logan) and Lelia Keating. These two have an on and off relationship because of how close they are, they’re best friends in the show. Next we have a crisis at a Beverly Hills Party that brought Asher (Cody Chrisitan) and Spencer closer together as teammates. I can’t really call these two friends just so early right now. Coop goes back to Shawn for help while being in the streets of South Central.
Around this time we get Spencer's birthday and Leila gets him a gift that makes him want to find the truth about what happened to his father and why he hasn’t been around so many years. In the midst of all that, Jordan and Olivia discover history regarding Spencer and their father Billy. Now later on in the show Leila’s father comes back from tour, they call him JP on the show ( Elvis Nolasco). He’s a manager and producer, he brings home an artist/ fiance and Leila wasn’t too happy about it. JP is back in town for this community event with a performance by Coop, but with Shawn being at her side nothing but trouble comes with it. We move back to the field where a rival coach tries to taunt coach Baker.
The rival coach knew more about Spencer than anyone would’ve imagined. Throughout the show there is more relationship drama and gang related involvements. Shawn tries to turn a new leaf with head gangsta Tyrone ( Demetrius Shipp Jr.) but, things don’t always go as they seem, you can’t escape the street life. As we move on past everything we experience tragedy right before Beverly’s homecoming game and it left Spencer with a heavy heart. They got to keep their composure and worry about their tough opponent.
Now Spencer feels like he’s torn between two cities because at some point Beverly is going to have to see Crenshaw in the playoffs, he doesn’t want to feel like he’s taking anything away from Crenshaw or his people. Jordan has a good time with a rival team’s cheerleader and ends up smoking on the beach with her. Outside of football Coop begins having these flashbacks of trauma. To try to stop the violence in the community Spencer plans a anti-violence rally so that they can push the gangs out, but you can only push too hard before shit hits the fan. In the midst of the rally Leila’s high school popularity rep was being tested. Jordan tells his father who is the head football coach that he smoked and he might fail the drug test.
Before the playoffs got started there was a college recruiting showcase and both Beverly and Crenshaw participated. Spencer wasn’t feeling the vibe his old team was bringing and became flustered. She hasn’t been mentioned much but Spencer's mom Grace James ( Karimah Westbrook) decides to pursue her own dreams of bettering the community. During the semi-finals of the playoff game Spencer sees his father in the stands for the first time in over eight years. His father tries to reconnect but at this point he has to face the stubborn side of Spencer.
His biggest heartbreak was his father leaving his life without any goodbye or explanation. Jordan also finds an unexpected ally that helped him during the playoff. Towards the end of the season, the truth comes to the light on Billy Baker and his family. People say you have to have good and bad reviews on things but there is no negative review from me. In this show you experience five different life lessons, which are “Secrets can come back and haunt you”, “Family support is crucial in Personal Career Development”, “Always respect where you came from”, “ You friends may help you succeed or become your source of downfall” and “Everyone faces challenges, but how you handle them is what matters. This show has brought a lot of clarity to the light for myself. I speak very highly of this show, I definitely recommend watching this show if you haven’t started to already. I got my mom hip to the show…. Her eyes have been glued to the T.V ever since.