Retro Television Review: Hang Time 4.11 “Restless Mary Beth” and 4.12 “Shoot Out”

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!

When last we checked in with Hang Time, the Tornadoes were in San Antonio and the show was doing an absolutely terrible job of portraying Texas.  Wow, I hope that’s over with!  Let’s find out.

Episode 4.11 “Restless Mary Beth”

(Dir by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on October 17th, 1998)

Hey, we’re back in Indiana!  I guess that stupid and insulting Texas storyline is over with.  Yay!

Freaking out because she’s worried that she doesn’t have enough extra-curricular activities to get into the college of her choice, Mary Beth starts taking on every activity that she can.  She joins the band.  She rejoins the cheerleaders.  She joins the Speech and Debate club.  When she finds out that a special election is being held to select a new student council president, she decides to run.  Julie, Hammer, and Kristy warn her that she’s taking on too much but Mary Beth laughs them off.  One scene later and Mary Beth is having a nervous breakdown and sobbing in the locker room because she’s working herself to exhaustion.

No worries!  Mary Beth ends up falling asleep and she has a dream where she’s competing against Kristy in a shopping spree.  Mary Beth has more stuff in her cart but Kristy still wins because, as Hammer explains, Mary Beth didn’t make it to graduation because she tried to take on too much.  So, I guess the implication is that Mary Beth is going to die if she takes on too many extra-curriculars?  Wow, that’s dark!

That said, I could relate to this episode.  I tend to take on too much as well.  Despite a rather stupid B-plot about the team losing the Coach’s championship ring while lounging in the new hot tub, this was a pretty good episode and it made a good point about taking time to rest.  Plus, it returned the action to Indiana, where it belongs.

Episode 4.12 “Shoot Out”

(Dir by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on October 17th, 1998)

The Tornadoes are in San Antonio for the Tri-state Tournament….

WAIT A MINUTE, THEY’RE BACK IN TEXAS!?  They were just in Indiana, how are they back in Texas!?

The obvious answer is that NBC showed these episodes out-of-order.  NBC tended to do that to all of their Sunday morning shows so it shouldn’t come as a shock that they would do it to Hang Time.  Still, it always surprises me how blatant NBC was in its utter disregard for the three or four people who were actually paying attention to continuity back in the 90s.

Anyway, the team is back in San Antonio and, as always, they are just one game away from winning not only the tournament but also a trip to New York.  Coach K is excited to learn that their next game will be against a team coached by his protegee, Rick.  However, when the Coach discovers that 1) Rick is now in a wheelchair and 2) Rick might get an NBA job but only if his team wins, Coach K finds himself feeling a bit conflicted.  The Tornadoes interpret this as Coach wanting them to throw the game!  Fortunately, after a terrible first half, Coach K tells them that he doesn’t want them to throw the game and that deliberately losing is an insult to the other team.  Just as with every other game they’ve ever played, the Tornadoes come back in the second half and win by one point.  They win a trip to New York and Rick gets his NBA position regardless.  Does the NBA regularly hire high school coaches?

While this is going on, Antonio (Jay Hernandez) begs Kristy to forgive him for not telling her that he could speak English.  He eventually wins Kristy over, mostly because he’s totally adorable and, since this show was filmed in the 90s, no one mentions how messed up it was that Kristy automatically assumed that Antonio and his friends couldn’t speak English to begin with.

Ugh.  This episode did a slightly better job of presenting Texas than the previous San Antonio episode did but there were still way too many people walking around wearing cowboy hats.  Not everyone in Texas is a cowboy.

Anyway, I guess the team is going to New York now!  If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere …. well, you know the rest.

2 responses to “Retro Television Review: Hang Time 4.11 “Restless Mary Beth” and 4.12 “Shoot Out”

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 4/16/23 — 4/22/23 | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 4/17/23 — 4/23/23 | Through the Shattered Lens

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