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!
Ugh. I can’t get the theme song out of my head.
Episode 2.11 “Superman Brodis”
(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on November 16th, 1996)
Teddy’s long-absent father retires from playing professional basketball and moves to Indiana so that he can be close to his son. Because “Superman” Brodis has spent the past 15 years playing across the country and in Europe, he’s been absent from most of Teddy’s life. At first, Teddy can’t stop talking about how excited he is to finally have his father in his life. However, Teddy’s father turns out to be kind of a jerk, constantly telling Teddy that he needs to lose weight and work harder. Teddy says that it doesn’t bother him but, as usual, Josh decides that it is his place to tell everyone else how to live their lives. Josh tells Teddy that he should be angry and soon, Teddy is angrily telling his father to stay out of his life.
(And don’t get me wrong. Teddy’s father deserved to be told off but it still really wasn’t Josh place to get involved.)
Meanwhile, because this season’s writers were incapable of writing the character as being anything other than self-centered and overdramatic, Julie will not shut up about having a toothache. Eventually, things work out on both fronts. Teddy and his father agree to try to build a relationship. Julie goes to Amy’s dentist and, after discovering that she will need a root canal, she blames Amy. Actually, Julie, maybe you should blame yourself for not brushing and flossing. Going to the dentist may be unpleasant but it’s still preferable to dying of blood poisoning.
This episode continues this season’s theme of Josh and Julie being the best players and the worst human beings on the team. While Julie whines and moans about having a toothache, Josh tells Teddy how he should feel about his father. That said, this episode also shows why Anthony Anderson went on to have a successful career after leaving Hang Time. He gives a touching and sincere performance here, especially in the episode’s final scene. There’s a lot of emotional honesty to be found in Anderson’s performance, which isn’t necessarily something that you would expect from an episode of Hang Time.
Episode 2.12 “Green-Eyed Julie”
(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on November 23rd, 1996)
Julie upset when she discovers that there’s a new waitress named Nicole at her favorite after-school hangout and, for once, it’s kind of understandable. Not only Nicole played by a pre-American Pie Shannon Elizabeth but Nicole obviously has a crush on Josh! Josh’s efforts to set Nicole up with Danny fail, largely because Danny is kind of a loser.
Eventually, it’s revealed that Chris Atwater (who was the first season’s version of Josh) cheated on Julie in between the first and second seasons and that’s why they broke up. It’s also why Julie is incapable of trusting anyone. It doesn’t help, of course, that Julie happens to see Nicole kissing Josh. Later, when she finds out that it was Nicole who made the first move and that Josh did not reciprocate, she tells Josh that he’s way better than Chris. I have to wonder how David Hanson, the actor who played Chris during season 1, felt about this episode.
Meanwhile, the school is throwing a disco party! Everyone dresses like they’re from the 70s and breaks out some disco moves. That was cute, silly, and fun and provided a nice (and needed) relief from all of the Julie drama.
Next week, season 2 ends! Will Deering made it into the playoffs? We’ll find out in December.