Retro Television Review: City Guys 2.5 “The Divorce” and 2.6 “Bully, Bully”

Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past!  On Thursdays, I will be reviewing City Guys, which ran on NBC from 1997 to 2001.  The entire show is currently streaming on Tubi!

As season two of City Guys continues, Chris’s parents finally get a divorce and El-Train is tempted to return his old ways!

It’s all a part of rolling with the city guys….

Episode 2.5 “The Divorce”

(Directed by Frank Bonner, originally aired on October 10th, 1998)

After spending the first season constantly fighting, Chris’s parents are finally getting a divorce.  Chris has a hard time dealing with the divorce, so much so that it starts to interfere with Chris’s ability to work at the radio station.  “Show’s over, people!” Chris snaps at one point, “go play your own music!”  You tell them, Chris!

Last week, I wrote about what a good job Wesley Jonathan did in the “Jamal Got His Gun” episode.  This week, it’s time to praise Scott Whyte, who does a very good job capturing Chris’s emotional turmoil over his parents splitting up.  Both Jonathan and Whyte obviously developed quite a bit as actors before the start of City Guys‘s second season because it’s hard to imagine either one of them giving as good a performance during the first season.

Anyway, this episode was well-done but the main storyline brought back a lot of memories of how I felt when my parents got divorced so let’s talk about the B-storyline, in which Dawn struggled to keep her electronic pet from dying ….. awwwww!  That’s so sad.  Okay, let’s think about the C-storyline, where Al and El-Train both got jobs.  So far, Al has been a good deal less annoying during season 2 than he was during season 1.

Finally, I have to say that I really related to Cassidy in this episode.  When she dropped in to see how Chris was doing, she immediately started cleaning his bedroom.  I would have done the same because there’s no excuse for not picking up after yourself.  While Cassidy is cleaning, Chris makes a joke about all the time that he’s spent watching Judge Judy.  Seriously, Judge Judy has been around forever!

Episode 2.6 “Bully, Bully”

(Directed by Frank Bonner, originally aired on October 17th, 1998)

After the newest school bully steals Al’s basketball, El-Train takes care of the situation by punching out the bully.  El-Train finds himself tempted to return to his old violent ways and that’s not surprising when you consider how the audience cheered when he threw that punch.

Fortunately, Ms. Noble has more sense than the audience and she tells El-Train not to return to his old ways.  She also mentions that El-Train is the class president so at least that season one cliffhanger has finally been resolved.  Anyway, it all leads to a slow motion fight scene and El-Train announcing that he was no longer into senseless violence.

It’s all a bit heavy-handed but Steven Daniel’s performance as El-Train remains as strong as ever.  And how can you not enjoy an episode with this much slow motion?  Slow motion makes everything better!

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