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!
Season 2 comes to an end with …. The Best Game of the Season!
Episode 2.13 “The Best Game of the Season”
(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on November 30th, 1996)
The final episode of season 2 begins with Mary Beth screaming, “9-11! Girl in trouble!”
It turns out that Mary Beth was trying to clean the backboard in the gym when the ladder fell over. Now, she’s caught in the net! The team runs into the gym. They’re impressed by Mary Beth’s dedication but then they remember that she just wants to get a car that she’ll apparently receive if the team makes the playoffs. “I thought she had Tornado Fever!” Josh says and the entire team laughs about how the whole school has Tornado Fever. Julie agrees that there is no way that the Tornadoes aren’t going to make it to the playoffs. Fuller yells at everyone for getting cocky and forgetting that they still have to win one more game. Uh, guys …. SOMEONE RESCUE MARY BETH! Eventually, Vince sets up the ladder and climbs up to the backboard to save Mary Beth. But then ladder falls over again and …. ha! …. Vince is trapped as well.
Fuller tells Julie to come talk to him in the locker room after practice. It turns out that there’s a man with a fake Italian accent waiting for the two of them. Coach Fuller explains that the man coaches “the Women’s International Basketball Team in Milan.”
“Really!?” Julie exclaims, “Milan, Italy!?”
No, Julie! MILAN, INDIANA! OF COURSE, IT’S ITALY!
Anyway, Coach Mario wants Julie to come play for him in Europe. Fuller thinks that Julie needs to focus on high school and college before going pro. Fuller explains that graduating from high school and college will make Julie a more mature and better player. Somewhere, LeBron James is laughing. (And that, quite frankly, is the extent of my LeBron James knowledge.) In a rather creepy moment, Mario says that he knows all about Julie, including that Chris cheated on her before going to college. WHAT!? Julie finds nothing strange about this.
“I-a know it-a is-a big decision,” the actor playing Mario says.
Later, in the school hallway, Josh tells Julie that she should take the opportunity but that he would really miss her if she goes. Julie kisses him. “Wooooooo!’ the audience says. Amy suggests that Julie should just go to the tryouts and see what it’s like before making a final decision. Julie says that’s not a bad idea. Danny says, “Plus, you probably won’t make the team anyways.” Julie glares at him but Danny’s only saying what we’re all thinking.
At the mall, everyone listens as Mary Beth and Vince debate whether or not it’s better to get a BMW or an old mustang convertible. But then Julie shows up and tells everyone that she went to the try-outs and she played the best ball of her life. Then Fuller shows up and tells Julie that she made it. Everyone gets excited.
“I made it!” Julie says.
“There’s something else you have to make,” Fuller says, somberly. “A decision …. by this Monday.”
But what about the car!?
The next day, Fuller is frustrated because the team is more interested in talking about Julie’s decision about going to Italy than practicing. Julie announces that she’s going to Italy. The team freaks out. Fortunately, Mary Beth ends the fight by announcing that she washed the scoreboard with soapy water. Sparks fly across the gym. Everyone’s upset about the scoreboard but I’m just happy that Mary Beth didn’t get electrocuted.
At the mall, everyone gathers at The Stadium (I just remembered that’s the name of the crappy restaurant where they all hang out) to say goodbye to Julie. Everyone except for Mary Beth and Vince! Those two try to run a buffer over the gym floor but they accidentally grab a sander instead. The gym floor is destroyed. “Oops!” Vince says.
The next morning, Josh approaches Julie in school and gives her two tickets to a lecture from someone who I assume is a basketball player. I assume this not because I recognized the name but because every guest star on Hang Time was a basketball player. Unfortunately, Julie has just learned that she had to leave for training camp right away. No lecture. No going away party. And no playing in the final game. The Tornadoes are doomed!
Coach Fuller steps into the gym and freaks out when he discover Vince and Mary Beth repairing the floor. Accompanying Fuller is an 10-foot tall woman who I assume is a basketball player. While Fuller yells at Vince and Mary Beth in his office, Julie steps in to the gym and talks to the basketball player. The player and Julie dribble the ball around and Julie is so thoroughly humiliated that she realizes that she’s been way too cocky about going to Italy. The player orders Julie to stay in school and go to college.
At the big game, Julie shows up and announces that she’s not going to Italy and she’s ready to lead the team to the playoffs! Except …. The Tornadoes lose by one point! YOU SHOULD HAVE GONE TO ITALY, JULIE! Julie assures everyone that they just played “the best game of the season.” No, you lost, Julie! Maybe if you had gone to practice instead of spending your time packing for Italy, the team would have gone to the championship! Still, no one is upset at Julie because no one on this show is ever allowed to call out Julie being more than a bit self-absorbed.
And so season 2 ends. Next week, season 3 begins! Will Julie and Josh be able to lead the Tornadoes to another championship? Julie might but Josh won’t because his character didn’t return for season 3. Who will replace him? Tune in next week to find out!