Monday, May 31, 2010

Homebody Film Series: Fame

I got bored a couple weeks ago and wanted to watch something old and fun. I'd never watched Fame but I knew I loved the theme song as performed by Irene Cara. The entire show is available on Netflix's Instant Play [hurry; it might not be there forever!]. I didn't get past the first episode but that episode alone was full of surprises.

The biggest surprise was how terrible a lot of the acting is. I can only imagine that the main character of the first episode, Julie, was tapped for the role because she's a great cellist in real life and pretty enough to be on TV. Her delivery was laughably bad...but after about a half hour, it wasn't so funny any more.

Most surprising, though, was the nameless student sitting behind Julie in her English class, the not-yet-famous Jazmine Guy.

And imagine my surprise when I saw a much younger, much less nasal Fran Drescher parade across the screen in tights. (I watch The Nanny almost every night.)
Even with those two little surprises, I couldn't get too into the show, mostly because of one of the show's most iconic characters. I hated the character of Leroy Johnson. From his stereotypical name to his fourth grade reading level and habit of selling gold chains outside the school, Leroy is everything that's embarrassing and wrong about portrayals of black people on TV. It's also kind of confusing how he wants to be a tough guy (he's a dancer but refuses to wear tights) and yet he dances like this:

Is it me or is this the gayest thing you've ever seen? He's making a joke of the audition at first but still, what's going on? And yes, his shorts are this short for the entire first episode and, from what I understand, the whole show. I don't know if I'm going to be able to make it even to the end of season 1, but I'll keep watching. For people who watched Fame when it first came out, what did you love most about the show?
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