Retro Television Reviews: Hang Time 3.3 “First Game Of The Season” and 3.4 “Fighting Words”


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!

We’re part of the team, never alone….

Episode 3.3 “First Game of the Season”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on September 20th, 1997)

I hope this episode isn’t stupid, I thought as First Game of the Season began.

My hopes were dashed immediately as the episode opened with Teddy begging his teammates to sign his underwear for luck.  This was followed by Coach Fuller discovering that the new assistant principal was his ex-fiancée.  (“Whoooooo!” the audience said.)  Then Michael went crazy because the first game of the season was going to be against his former team, Lynwood High.  Michael started pressuring everyone during practice and even encouraged them to skip study hall so that they could practice some more.  That led to the team getting detention.  (Seriously?  It’s freaking study hall.  Everyone skipped study hall when I was in high school.)  The team nearly lost to Lynwood until Michael set his ego aside and blah blah blah,  Anyway, the final score was Deering 57 and Lynwood 56.  Yay!

(As usual, the actors playing the Lynwood team were convincingly athletic, even if they looked more like football players than basketball players.  Why did this show never realize that casting athletic actors as the rival players only highlighted how much the main cast struggled when it came to convincing the viewer that they were basketball stars?)

While all of this was going on, the Lynwood cheerleaders launched a prank war on the Deering cheerleaders.  Mary Beth immediately pressured Kristy into retaliating.  This is why I like Mary Beth.  She is a force of chaos who continually encourages other people to escalate their behavior without ever running the risk of getting in trouble herself.  Anyway, in this case, it leads to Kristy stealing the principal’s dog.  And technically, that’s a crime and it never makes sense that Kristy is allowed to keep the dog a the school but you know what?  The little bulldog was cute and he got to wear a lot of Wishbone-style costumes.  That was fun,

Episode 3.4 “Fighting Words”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on September 20th, 1997)

This episode begins with the Tornadoes playing yet another game.  Danny is struggling on the court and, from the stands, a bully taunts him.  Normally, we would look to Coach Fuller to kick the guy out of his gym but …. OH MY GOD, COACH FULLER’S NOT THERE!  Instead, there’s some short white guy that we’ve never seen before and he’s coaching the Tornadoes!  It turns out that Coach Fuller has the mumps and will not be in this episode.  I assume that means Reggie Theus had better things to do than show up for filming.  I don’t blame him.

Anyway, realizing that he has a bully after him, Danny learns karate.  However, his sensei tells him that karate is not used for fighting.  Karate is used for discipline.  When the bully dares Danny to a fight, Danny refuses to fight and proves that he’s the bigger man.  All the students applaud him.  Yay, Danny!  Of course, in real life, backing down from a fight is a humiliation that would have followed Danny for the rest of his life.

While that’s going on, Kristy dates a cute but dumb boy named Joey.  Joey is played by …. OH MY GOD, IT’S SCOTT WHYTE FROM CITY GUYS!  This episode aired during the first season of City Guys, back when Scott Whyte still had good hair.  There’s not really much to the Kristy/Joey storyline.  Kristy pretends to be dumb to get Joey to like her.  Eventually, she realized she would rather be smart so she dumps Joey.  Joey doesn’t care because he’s cute.  That’s pretty much it.

This was an oddly pointless episode, one that almost felt like it was written by a TNBC AI program of some sort.  Coach Fuller would never have allowed this type of nonsense.

One response to “Retro Television Reviews: Hang Time 3.3 “First Game Of The Season” and 3.4 “Fighting Words”

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 12/19/22 — 12/25/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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