- 29 Dec - 04 Jan, 2019
- 03 Nov - 09 Nov, 2018
- TV TIME
All American zeroes in on Crenshaw High’s star football player Spencer James (Daniel Ezra), who’s given an opportunity to join Beverly Hills’ football team by its coach Billy Baker (Taye Diggs). Baker sees him as an opportunity to win this season’s game after a series of losses. The series works quickly, sending Spencer off to Beverly where a conflict rises against the football team’s previous star player Ash (Cody Christian) and Baker’s son Jordan (Michael Evans). He’s also forced to leave his hardworking mother Grace (Karimah Westbrook), who fought tooth and nail to feed her son and Spencer’s brother Dillon (Jalyn Hall), and best friend Coop (Bre-Z), his ever supportive buddy in life.
Beverly Hills is not free from the stereotypes assigned to it in the form of rich, buff guys and gaudy accessories. The need of comic relief is evident since there’s way too much unnecessary drama in this one school. On the contrary, Spencer’s neighbourhood is portrayed splendidly. There are no stereotypes that are apparent, to me at least. In fact, I think that Bre-Z’s act as a bold lesbian – who gets into some bad business – is pretty unique.
The series is doing pretty well in showing racial discrimination and the suspicious universe of school sports. However, All American’s greatness falters once the fiery tension between Asher and Spencer thickens because of Asher’s father who is – surprise, surprise – a rich bastard, also racist and probably more so than his own son. Thing is, it did not need to be thickened. The conflict is stupid as it is; Asher being the stereotypical rude-wannabe-bad-boy-jock by engaging into useless arguments with Spencer over the. Change. Of. A. Position. Talk about mature.
Compared to this, Jordan’s concern about his father spending all of his time with Spencer and giving him his undivided attention is more credible.
I honestly do want to keep watching this show but I’m afraid the only thing keeping me going is Ezra.
A remake of the series of the same name, Charmed delves into the life of three sisters; Maggie (Sarah Jeffery), Macy (Madeleine Mantock) and Mel (Melonie Diaz). Maggie is the youngest, bubblier than the other two with a more positive outlook on life. On the other hand, Mel (the middle one) is more aggressive and in a relationship with Niko (Ellen Tamaki), a detective. Macy is described to be a nerd, an introvert and doesn’t appear in the show until a while later.
The two sisters (Mel and Maggie) were unaware of the fact that Macy was in fact their half-sister until they’re brought together by the unpropitious and skeptical death of their mother. However, things take a severe turn when they start displaying superpowers of some sort. It doesn’t help when the sisters’ guardian angel Harry (Rupert Evans) reveals to them that they are the “Charmed Ones” (AKA witches who’ll have to save the world using their mighty magic or whatever.)
Firstly, the plot is nicely constructed when it comes to exuding feminism, waving off the modern use of witch hunting and demonstrating the true essence of sisterhood (it’s sweetly described by the sisters’ mother who says, “You’re better together. Your differences are your strengths and nothing is stronger than your sisterhood.”) However, I’m unable to see the actual supernatural buzz. It also leans slightly towards being a stereotype with the fog and black crows. We’ve seen enough of that in The Vampire Diaries (which evidently did better than this series at the props).
Macy has the power of telekinesis, Mel has the ability to freeze time and Maggie can read thoughts. I’d really appreciate it if Charmed would stay with the text they had instead of drawing outside of the margin and put the girls’ ability to actual use.
Camping has made one of the most fun activities seem like a nuisance. Starring the show is Jennifer Garner as Kathryn, an overprotective control freak who plans a camping trip for her husband’s 45th birthday. Her husband, Walt (David Tennant) is a resigned, perturbed man who just goes along with his wife’s plan. Not only is Kathryn incognisant of others’ feelings, but she’s also mean and extremely self-absorbed. You’d think that this would maybe add some humour, but no, it doesn’t.
She wishes for her sister Carleen (lone Skye) to go back once she sees that the latter had brought with her, her husband and his child from his previous marriage. Kathryn berates her endlessly, reminding her that children weren’t allowed, her son, of course, was an exception. If Orvis (Duncan Joiner, her son) disappears for less than a second, she’ll freak the hell out and ruin everyone’s time. The poor child is monitored 24/7! Adding to her annoying personality, she’s even infatuated with Instagram!
Enter Jandice (Juliette Lewis), the only person who’s brave enough to get under Kathryn’s skin purposely. Jandice did not care for her rules, and this is shown especially when she chooses to go for skinny dipping followed by everyone from the gang, leaving Kathryn on the sidelines screaming her lungs out about how there might be diseases in the water.
Honestly, Jennifer Garner is not to be blamed for the vexing personality of Kathryn, the character was just written like that. I feel as though Jennifer wasn’t cut out for Camping with the reputation she’s built over the years by acting in movies like The Kingdom, etc. Plus, I’m assuming that the creators were attempting to make the sitcom slightly more humorous by adding these characteristics but it just fueled my annoyance.