Retro Television Review: City Guys 3.1 “Greece Is The Word” and 3.2 “Mr. Baseball”


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!

Season 3 of City Guys begins with a new school year!  Interestingly enough, everyone was either a junior or a senior when this show began so you really do have to wonder why they’re all still going to Manny High.  I mean, L-Train was investigating colleges just a few episodes ago!

It’s almost as if TNBC just didn’t care….

Episode 3.1 “Greece Is The Word”

(Directed by Frank Bonner, originally aired on September 11th, 1999)

Oh, Christ.  Let’s get into this….

A new school year has begun!  Al and L-Train are looking forward to hazing freshmen.  Dawn has sworn that she is not going to spread herself too thin this semester.  Jamal shows up on campus and all of the students applaud.  Chris shows up and explains that he spent his summer in Greece and had a romance with a girl named Ariana.  Chris and Jamal do not do their stupid radio program so maybe that’s something that the show has finally abandoned.

Anyway, Ms. Nobel thinks that a school dance will be the perfect way to start the year.  Cassidy and Chris immediately volunteer to organize the dance.  It can be a 50s dance, they decide.  Everyone can wear leather jackets and poodle skirts and they can have a hula hoop contest!  Is there some reason why these schools can never have a normal dance?  

In order to research the 50s, Chris and Cassidy go to an arthouse theater that is showing …. you’ve already guessed, I’m sure …. GREASE!  Chris and Cassidy end up making out while watching the movie so they are now officially dating.  Except …. uh-oh, what’s Ariana doing in New York!?  Her father is in New York on business so Ariana decided to come with him so she could see Chris.  It turns out that she still thinks that she’s dating Chris.  It also turns out that Ariana delivers all of her lines in heavily accented broken English and the audience thinks it’s hilarious.

What’s dumb is that Cassidy already knows that Chris had a romance in Greece.  He told her about at the movie.  So, it’s not like she doesn’t know who Ariana is.  Cassidy got into a relationship with Chris fully aware that he had feelings for Ariana just a few weeks previously.  But, instead of telling Cassidy that Ariana is in town, Chris decided to lie to both of them.  He tells Ariana that he doesn’t have a New York girlfriend and he doesn’t tell Cassidy a thing.  Chris thinks that he can pull it off because Ariana is only going to be in town for a day but what if Ariana decides to stop by the dance before she leaves the country?

And yes, that’s exactly what happens.  Ariana gets upset and yells in broken English, which the audience finds hilarious.  Chris, who is dressed up like Elvis, apologizes to Cassidy.  Cassidy says that they’re going to have to take their relationship slowly.  So, I guess that means the writers still hadn’t decided whether they really wanted to commit to Cassidy and Chris as a couple.  We’ll see if this is another one of those storylines that gets abandoned or not.

This was the type of episode that drives me crazy, in that all of the conflict could have been avoided by people not being stupid.  It’s certainly not a good start to everyone’s second senior year at Manny High.  Hopefully, things will get better in our next episode….  

Episode 3.2 “Mr. Baseball”

(Directed by Frank Bonner, originally aired on September 11th, 1999)

After spending the previous two seasons as an unathletic goofball, Jamal is suddenly revealed to a star baseball player in this episode.  In fact, Jamal is so good that he has never been struck out and there’s also a scout coming to the game to check him out.  Of course, Jamal lets the fame go to his head.  And, of course, Jamal strikes out with the scout watching.  Jamal’s immediate reaction is to announce that he’s quitting baseball and then to get into a fight with a random Paul Rudd look-alike on the roof.  Ms. Nobel, however, gives him a good talking to and Jamal decides to keep playing.

Meanwhile, it turns out that Chris and Jamal do still have their radio show but, with Jamal devoting all of his time to baseball, L-Train takes over as Chris’s co-host.  While the whole radio station thing has never made much sense to me, I do have to give credit where credit is due.  In the role of L-Train, Steven Daniel was often this show’s secret weapon and he shows it here, managing to get laughs from even  the lamest of jokes.  L-Train often got the worst lines but Daniel always delivered them with such sincerity that it was impossible not to smile.

Meanwhile, Dawn is upset that the Manny High’s mascot is a hunter.  She wants to change the mascot to a big apple.  Everyone laughs at her until she mentions that the Big Apple will always be accompanied by cheerleaders.  Did the Manny High Hunter not have cheerleaders?

Anyway, this wasn’t a bad episode at all, even if it was all a bit predictable.  Wesley Jonathan was not the most convincing athlete that I’ve ever seen but he did do a good job of portraying both Jamal’s anger and his shame after he struck out.  Even Cassidy gets a decent storyline, one which sees her getting thrown out of the game for excessive trash talk.  You go, Cassidy!

Maybe season 3 won’t be so bad after all….

(We’ll find out next week!)

2 responses to “Retro Television Review: City Guys 3.1 “Greece Is The Word” and 3.2 “Mr. Baseball”

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 11/27/22 — 12/3/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 11/28/22 — 12/4/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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