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!
This week, both of the City Guys, those neat guys who smart and street-wise, learn a lesson about relationships and honesty! But before we get to that, how about that theme song?
Episode 2.7 “Dance Fever”
(dir by Frank Bonner, originally aired on October 24th, 1998)
Cassidy is dating Nick Lachey, the leader singer of 98 Degrees, but no one seems to care for some reason. Instead, everyone is more worried about helping Jamal get a date with Amber, a private school girl who keeps stopping by the diner. When Jamal invites Amber to come to a school dance with him, Amber accepts. The only problem is that there isn’t a dance scheduled and Ms. Noble has neither the time nor the resources to arrange one.
Because he’s an idiot, Jamal decided to 1) trick Dawn into giving him the keys to the roof and 2) unlock the roof so that he can throw an unauthorized “underground” dance. This is one of those things that has disaster written all over it so Jamal decides to up the stakes by announcing that Cassidy’s new boyfriend will be performing at the dance.
Needless to see, a huge crowd shows up. (“Some of these people don’t ever go to our school,” Jamal says.) But, when it’s time for the band to arrive, only Nick Lachey shows up. It turns out that their producers wants them to lay down a few new tracks at the studio so they’re going to be late.
Realizing that a riot is going to break out and his date will be ruined if he doesn’t find a way to entertain the crowd, Jamal sends Chris, Al, and L-Train out to perform.
Just as it looks as if a riot is on the verge of breaking out, 98 Degrees shows up and calms the crowd by singing I Do (Cherish You).
The crowd may be satisfied but, because Jamal and Chris broke the rules and defied authority, the Gods of TNBC demand that they be punished. The police show up and put a stop to the illegal dance. While Chris and Jamal technically should have been arrested for breaking and entering (and nearly inciting a riot), they are instead turned over to Ms. Noble. Noble promises to punish them both and, despite Jamal getting freaking 98 Degrees to serenade her, Amber announces that she never wants to see him again.
Oh well! At least Cassidy got to date Nick Lachey before Jessica Simpson broke his heart.
Episode 2.8 “A Guy and a Goth”
(dir by Frank Bonner, originally aired on October 31st, 1998)
Hey, remember how Chris and Jamal are apparently the only two DJs at the school radio station? During their morning show, Chris gets a call from a girl named Zoey. Even though Chris has never seen her before, he likes her voice so he asks to meet her at the diner. Zoey agrees. One scene later and….
Oh my God, Zoey’s a goth!
All of Chris’s friends give him a hard time about dating a goth so he lies to Zooey to get out of taking her to a surprise party that everyone is holding for Ms. Noble. (These students are bizarrely obsessed with hanging out with their principal.) When Zooey discovers the lie, she’s hurt. Chris makes it up to her by dressing up like a goth.
Yeah, this was pretty dumb. Making it even worse is that, in a scene that it totally ripped off from Grease, Zoey shows up at the diner dressed “normal.” Zoey was cool and smart and funny and what she saw in Chris is never really that apparent. That said, this episode was all about the costumes that people wear and it aired on October 31st. That was clever.
Zoey takes back Chris, even though she definitely deserved better. I have a feeling that Zoey will never be mentioned again on this show.