Retro Television Reviews: Hang Time 4.21 “Phenom Blues” and 4.22 “New York Nick”

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!

Play-offs, baby!

Episode 4.21 “Phenom Blues”

(Dir by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on November 22nd, 1998)

It’s play-off time and, once again, the Tornadoes are at Indiana State University.  Unfortunately, the Tornadoes are having a crisis of confidence because their first game is going to be against a team that has the best player in Indiana.  Despite Julie calling them all a bunch of losers for being afraid and the Coach giving them a lot of game tape to watch, the boys are convinced that they’re going to lose and get sent home.

“This is our last night in Bloomington,” Hammer says at one point, “We should at least have some fun!”

Seriously, how can you not have fun in Bloomington?

Michael, Silk, Rico, and Hammer all go to a cow-themed amusement park.  Unfortunately, due to a malfunctioning hanging gondola, they nearly plunge to their deaths.  A helicopter shows up at the last minute and drops a ladder down to them.  Yay, I guess.  I don’t know, this was actually kind of dumb and it annoyed me that we only saw the ladder and never the helicopter.  I mean, if you’re going to fake an amusement park disaster, spend some money and get a real helicopter!

Julie, meanwhile, spends the night watching game tape and talking to herself about how the other team is good but can be defeated.  Even when she’s talking to herself, Julie is condescending.

Finally, Kristy and Coach K. play in a pool tournament.  Kristy is playing because she wants to win a bike so that the team can give it to Coach K as a thank you present.  Coach K wants to win the bike because his old bike got stolen.  Sounds like a win-win, to be honest.  Fortunately, Coach K has to forfeit the game so he can help rescue the players at the amusement park.  Kristy wins and gives Coach K. the bike that he would have won anyways.  Wow, that was suspenseful.

Anyway, having survived a near-death experience, the team is able to win their playoff game.  Yay!

This was pretty dumb but it did have one funny scene where, while flipping channels on the TV, Julie comes across an old episode of Saved By The Bell and dismisses it by saying, “I’ve seen all of these 50 times already.”  That’s my type of humor right there.

Well, I guess that, in the next episode, we’ll find out if the Tornadoes won that championship or not….

Episode 4.22 “New York Nick”

(Dir by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on November 22nd, 1998)

The Tornadoes are going to New York!

Wait a minute, what?  Aren’t they supposed to be playing for the state championship?  It is true that they won a trip to New York when they were in San Antonio but why are they going now?  It doesn’t make — eh, forget it.  I’m doing trying to justify this show’s messy timeline.  Life’s too short and I’m getting a headache.

In New York, Mary Beth and Kristy can’t wait to go shopping at Bloomingdale’s!  Julie can’t wait to talk down to everyone!  Michael, Silk, and Rico can’t wait to go to a Pacers/Knicks game!  And Hammer can’t wait to see his ex-girlfriend, a supermodel named Cindy!  He asks Mary Beth for permission and Mary Beth is like, “Sure!”  But she doesn’t really mean it.  She’s jealous and annoyed and I would have been as well.  To be honest, she should have just dumped Hammer right there.  I mean, Julie will dump a guy just for having uneven sideburns.  Why is Mary Beth always trapped in these go-nowhere relationships?

While eating lunch with Cindy, Hammer is approached by the editor of Teen Life, who wants to put Cindy and Hammer on the cover of their Coolest Couple Issue!  Mary Beth says that she doesn’t have a problem with it but when Cindy and Hammer are invited to an industry party, it’s time for Mary Beth, Kristy, and Julie to put on some silly wigs and crash the party!  In a fit of jealousy, Mary Beth destroys a cake and loses Hammer the job.  So, now …. oh God, this headache is intensifying …. Mary Beth has to find a way to sneak into the editor’s hotel room and talk her into rehiring Hammer.  In fact, Mary Beth is so persistent that the editor decides to put Mary Beth on the cover instead of Cindy.  File this under things that would never happen in real life.

Meanwhile, at the Knicks/Pacers game, Michael, Rico, and Silk get into a food fight with a Knicks fan who later turns out to be a friend of the coach and …. oh, who cares?  The only thing memorable about the game scene is that it was pretty much recreated word-for-word in a later episode of City Guys.

Who won the championship!?  Maybe we’ll find out next week.

2 responses to “Retro Television Reviews: Hang Time 4.21 “Phenom Blues” and 4.22 “New York Nick”

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 5/21/23 — 5/27/23 | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 5/22/23 — 5/28/23 | Through the Shattered Lens

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