Retro Television Reviews: Hang Time 3.19 “Love on the Rockies” and 3.20 “Fuller’s Camp”

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!

Hang time!  Today, we go from the Rockies to a basketball camp.  Sorry, Deering High, your team has abandoned you.

Episode 3.19 “Love on the Rockies”

(Dir by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on November 15th, 1997)

The team’s rather bizarre ski vacation continues in this episode.  Two episodes ago, it was established that the team was invited to the ski lodge by Mary Beth’s parents so that they could help her celebrate her birthday.  Well, the birthday has been celebrated and Mary Beth’s parents haven’t been seen for a while so why is the team still at the lodge?  And why is Coach Fuller there?

While Coach Fuller takes the boys on the team skiing, Julie and Mary Beth head off to the mall.  However, as they’re walking through the ski lodge, they’re approached by a guy named Paul.  It turns out that, even though he look like he’s about 40, Paul is supposed to be Julie’s ex-boyfriend!  Apparently, Julie and Paul went out over the summer.  Paul wants to have dinner with Julie but Julie explains that she’s up at the lodge with her current boyfriend, Michael.  Paul says okay and walks off and then Julie mentions that Michael is going to be so surprised to hear that she ran into Paul.  Mary Beth tells Julie to not tell Michael about seeing Paul.  That’s actually pretty good advice.  Then again, Julie goes through a dozen boyfriends per season so I’m surprised she can step outside of the house without running into one of them so really, Michael should be used Julie’s ex-boyfriends popping up.  On Hang Time, the only thing that gets passed around more than a basketball is Julie.

Julie attempts to keep Michael from meeting Paul.  Unfortunately, as soon as Michael is away from Julie and hanging out with Vince, Paul walks by, overhears their conversation, and starts to tell them about how he’s been in love with a girl since the summer and he’s determined to win her back.  Michael wishes him the best of luck.  At this point, I’m finding it odd that no one on the team met Paul while he was dating Julie.  I assume that Paul also lives in Indiana and probably in the same general area as Julie.  How big is Deering supposed to be?  Anyway, Paul then reveals that Julie is the girl and Michael freaks out, both because Julie didn’t tell him but also because he thinks she might still like Paul.

After an unsuccessful attempt to befriend Paul and keep him too occupied to flirt with Julie, Michael and Vince end up watching through a hotel room window while Julie and Paul speak.  Julie tells Paul that she loves Michael and Paul apologizes for coming on too strong and he asks if they can still be friends.  Julie hugs Paul.  The audience says, “Awwww!”  Unfortunately, since Michael and Vince can’t hear what’s being said, they just see Julie hugging Paul and they decide…. give me a minute while I scream in frustration …. that Julie actually does like Paul.  This is the type of episode that I hate, where all of the misunderstandings could have been avoided by everyone not being an idiot.

Michael confronts Julie.  Julie breaks up with Michael, angry that he doesn’t trust her despite all of the time that she previously spent lying to him about Paul.  Luckily, there’s a “Snow Ball Dance” at the Lodge so Michael and Julie get back together, despite having next to zero romantic chemistry.

In the B-plot, Danny, Teddy, and Kristy rescue a millionaire who has had a skiing accident.  They think they’re going to get a big reward.  They don’t.

Episode 3.20 “Fuller’s Camp”

(Dir by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on November 15th, 1997)

The ski vacation is over but now, everyone’s working as a camp counselor at Coach Fuller’s Basketball Camp!

Wait, what?

I mean, I guess I can buy that Coach Fuller has a camp.  Supposedly, he was a pro NBA player before he became a coach and he does appear to have some money lying around.  And we’ve already seen that he’s willing to help young kids improve their basketball game.  But why are the Deering Tornadoes the counselors?  Are they getting paid for it or did Fuller tell them they had to do it?  And why are Kristy and Mary Beth working as counselors, despite the fact that neither one of them plays basketball?  It’s confusing.

Anyway, this episode was all about how Julie is the worst person in Indiana.  When she meets the only girl who is enrolled at the camp, Julie puts way too much pressure on her and tries to turn her into a miniature version of Julie. Julie puts so much pressure on Mini-Julie that Mini-Julie nearly quits the camp.  With Michael’s help, Julie sees the error of her ways and Mini-Julie agrees to stick around.

As far as the B-plots go, Danny is jealous of how much the campers love Teddy.  Vince is upset to discover that one of the campers has a crush on Mary Beth.  As for me, I’m just hoping that Coach Fuller’s basketball camp was a one-episode storyline because I really don’t want to have to spend multiple episodes listening to Julie pressure Mini-Julie.  Seriously, why aren’t these people in school!?

I will say that, in theory, Fuller having a basketball camp does make more sense than everyone hanging out in Aspen.  But, this episode really suffers without the high school.  I mean, Hang Time is about a high school basketball team and the knowledge that the members of the team will always treasure their high school memories.  If you take the school out of Hang Time, the show loses its focus.  Hopefully, next week, we’ll be back in Deering.

One response to “Retro Television Reviews: Hang Time 3.19 “Love on the Rockies” and 3.20 “Fuller’s Camp”

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 2/13/23 — 2/19/23 | Through the Shattered Lens

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