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All American: Pilot Review

The Teen Drama I Have Missed

It’s like Friday Night Lights and The OC had a child. But it’s a brilliant child.  A revamped child. A child that we love.

The series premiere of The CW’s new teen drama All American was a solid pilot indeed. It was probably one of the best pilots I’ve seen in a while.

Inspired by the true story of ex- NFL player Spencer Paysinger, All American takes us into the life of Spencer James, a talented football player and brilliant student who is living in Crenshaw with the hopes of making it big in the NFL, while also wanting to provide a better life for his mother and little brother. When Coach Baker approaches him with the opportunity to attend an elite high school in Beverly Hills with a full ride and the opportunity to play football for the school, he’s left with a decision that could change his life. He can’t say no.

It’s not ALL about football as you can see when other characters come into play. Spencer has trouble getting acquainted with his new teammates, especially when he has to deal with the likes of Asher, who plays the same position as Spencer and becomes quite jealous of him. When Coach Baker asks his son, Jordan, who is the quarterback of the school’s football team, to show Spencer around, you can sense his wariness. We also meet Jordan’s sister, Olivia, who is already beginning to fancy Spencer. Her past is also mentioned in the premiere, which makes you curious about her character and what’s to come.

Something about All American just instantly pulls you in. Although it’s just been one episode, this show feels like it will take you on a ride;  a different kind of ride compared to Friday Night Lights and The OC, which are two shows I hold dear to my heart. This one feels refreshing yet long overdue at the same time. We have an African-American as the main lead, who’s narrative is clearly defined, but we also get introduced to characters who clearly have stories of their own, which makes the show that much more intriguing.

Daniel Ezra’s portrayal of Spencer is already captivating in and of itself. I’m excited to see the journey the show will take us on in further episodes to come as he navigates towards something new and better for himself.

It’s also great to see The CW give us a new teen drama that doesn’t have to do with supernatural powers and superheroes. Let’s face it, at this point the network has capped its limit. We don’t need anymore.

Overall, I’m already loving this show and this was just the premiere. Can’t wait for the next episode!

Other thoughts:

  • THAT. FREAKING. TWIST. A part of me feels like there is more to the story than just going to the obvious assumption of Coach Baker ACTUALLY being Spencer’s father. Because if that is the case… WHOAAAA.
  • Is it just me or is Cody Christian always getting cast in the douchebag/ignorant bad boy role? I can’t help but laugh and realize I can’t seem to stand any of the roles he takes.
  • Nice to see Taye Diggs back on the screen again. Coach Baker is no Coach Taylor or Peter Gallagher, but we can’t jump to assumptions too quickly. It looks like he, too, has a story of his own.

What did you think of the series premiere of All American? Share your thoughts with us!

All American airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.

Written by Shadia Omer

Shadia is a total nerd and a lover of all things pop culture. She watches way too much TV for her own good. She has a passion for writing about entertainment and when she's not writing or trying to figure out her plans in life, you can find her on twitter talking about her faves, one tweet at a time at @shadiawrites.

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