Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past! On Mondays, I will be reviewing Hang Time, which ran on NBC from 1995 to 2000. The entire show is currently streaming on YouTube!
The season continues!
Episode 2.5 “War of the Roses”
(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on October 5th, 1996)
Mary Beth (Megan Parlen) proves once again that she is the coolest girl at Deering High by painting the boy’s locker room pink without asking them. Vince (Michael Sullivan) freaks out about the pink (actually, it’s salmon) and leaves Mary Beth an angry note. Mary Beth gets angry about the note and hires a muscle-bound dude to threaten Vince in front of his friends. Vince tries to get Mary Beth to eat a poisoned chili dog. Eventually, Mary Beth somehow changes Vince’s grades to make it appear the Vince is ineligible to play basketball while Vince STEALS COACH FULLER’S WALLET and tries to frame Mary Beth.
Like, seriously, what the Hell?
It all leads to a really weird scene in which a mock trial is held to determine whether or not Mary Beth and Vince should be barred from being involved in basketball. Finally, Mary Beth acknowledges that she shouldn’t have repainted the locker room without talking to anyone (how exactly did Mary Beth repaint the locker room without anyone noticing?) and Vince admits that his note was rude. Everything works out.
Meanwhile, in the B-plot, Julie again proves herself to be the world’s worst girlfriend by getting angry at Josh for trying to throw her a surprise birthday party. This whole Julie/Josh subplot felt like it belonged in a first season episode but it did lead to Mary Beth smashing a birthday cake in Julie’s face, which was kind of satisfying considering how whiny Julie was in this episode. (“This is why I hate surprise parties!” Julie yells.)
This was …. well, look, it was pretty dumb. But Megan Parlen was a good enough comedic actress to save her storyline. And personally, I’m on her side as far as the locker room is concerned. That shade of pink really was pretty.
Episode 2.6 “Short Cuts”
(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on October 12th, 1996)
Wow, Vince sure is a screw-up. He spent the previous episode trying to destroy Mary Beth’s life. This episode, he starts taking steroids. Of course, this leads to him getting acne and roid rages but it also helps him win a few basketball games so …. well, let’s just say that everyone is quick to jump on Vince’s back for taking drugs but no one suggests giving back any of their victories.
Vince is using drugs because he wants to attend a basketball clinic with Coach Fuller and a short basketball player named Muggsy. (I went on Wikipedia and discovered that Muggsy actually was a real basketball player, even though he was shorter than me! That’s kind of neat!) At the start of the show, Fuller announces that only Julie and Josh qualify for the clinic because, in the world of Hang Time, Julie and whoever she’s dating at the time are the only people who can actually play well. Once Vince starts taking the steroids and having rages, he qualifies for the clinic but he is just as quickly disqualified because of his drug use. Fortunately, Muggsy is there to tell him to stop being a whiny baby and to stay off the pills.
In the B-plot, Danny directs a really crappy sci-fi film. Unfortunately, he also accidentally films Vince with his dealer so Vince destroys the tape. Damn, Vince!
This episode was a reworking of the episode of California Dreams in which Tiffani got hooked on steroids and the episode of Saved By The Bell where Zach needed to raise money to replace the school’s video camera. It was predictable but the cast did a fairly good job. If nothing else, this episode showed that Reggie Theus improved quite a bit as an actor between seasons 1 and 2. And he didn’t need steroids to do it! Let that be a lesson to all.