Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past! On Thursdays, I will be reviewing City Guys, which ran on NBC from 1997 to 2001. The entire show is currently streaming on YouTube!
Today, we say goodbye to season 4!
Episode 4.26 “Blast From The Past”
(Dir by Frank Bonner, originally aired on February 24th, 2001)
The final episode of season 4 opens with the City Guys still at the Hamptons. (Wow, I guess this must be a really long weekend or something.) Chris is trying to plan “this one month anniversary surprise for Cassidy” and, for some reason, he thinks that it’s a good idea to ask Jamal and L-Train for advice. “Come on, dawg,” the very white Chris says, “a brother needs some advice here.”
“First piece of advice,” Jamal says, “don’t talk like that.”
Jamal tries to argue that anniversaries aren’t a big deal. Cassidy then enters the living room and announces that today is the 17-day anniversary of the first time that she and Chris said the same word at the same time and jinxed each other. She got Chris a card and everything. Anniversaries are very important and not just on this show. I have an entire calendar full of anniversaries and if you want to be a part of my life, you better be prepared to memorize it.
Meanwhile, on the beach, Al and Dawn are hanging out with Ms. Noble and Billy, which makes absolutely no sense. Al and Dawn make fun of Ms. Noble and Billy for being old. “Anything you and Dawn can do, Billy and I can do better!” Ms. Noble indignantly declares.
“Is that a challenge?” Dawn asks.
“Oh, it is on!” Ms. Noble replies.
Uhmm….I’ve said this before but MS. NOBLE IS THE PRINCIPAL! She shouldn’t even be hanging out with her students on the weekend, let alone challenging them on the beach!
Meanwhile, back at the vacation home, Chris has finally decided that he and Dawn will have a romantic dinner on the beach for their anniversary. (There’s nothing more romantic than sand and sea crabs!) The doorbell rings and, when Chris answer it, he’s surprised to see a girl named Nicole. They hug and Nicole announces, “When I heard you were in town, I had to come see you and say hi!”
“When you’re done saying hi,” Jamal announces, “Maybe you can introduce a brother.”
Chris explains that Nicole is his ex-girlfriend. Cassidy then enters the room and is a little less than happy to discover that Nicole is Chris’s ex-girlfriend and that Nicole lives in the Hamptons. Cassidy says she’s from the city. “I always wondered what it’s like to live in the city,” Nicole says, as if this episode is taken place in Appalachia as opposed to the Hamptons.
Somehow, Jamal and L-Train get roped into judging a dumb competition to determine whether Ms. Noble and Billy are a better couple than Dawn and Al. Let’s just ignore the whole principal thing. Billy and Ms. Noble are in their late 40s. They are challenging two seventeen year-olds.
Back at the vacation home, Nicole and Cassidy return from shopping. They’re getting along great until Cassidy asks why Nicole and Chris broke up. “Chris was a cheater,” Nicole says. Cassidy thinks that Nicole is referring to cheating at school. Nicole explains that Chris also cheats on his girlfriends. He’s a double cheater!
(But if Chris was such a cheater, why was Nicole so happy to hear that he was back in the Hamptons?)
Nicole reveals that when she confronted about Chris about being a cheater, Chris called her “the c-word.”
Cassidy gasps and I’ll admit that I gasped a little too.
“Yes,” Nicole says, “Clingy.”
(Interestingly, there’s no laughter or anything of that sort when Nicole says “clingy” so who knows? Maybe that’s what the C-word referred to back in 2000.)
You can probably guess what happens next. Chris is trying to set up the dinner without Cassidy finding out and Cassidy is convinced that Chris is cheating. Jamal and L-Train attempt to help Chris out by announcing that the three of them just want to hang out as guys but, when Cassidy doesn’t get the message, Chris tells her, “This week will go a lot better if you try not to be so …. so …. so …. CLINGY!”
OH MY GOD, HE SAID IT!
While Cassidy worries about whether or not Chris is cheating on her, the dumbass Best Couple Competition continues. Ms. Noble and Billy come over to Chris’s vacation home and they play a game where they try to guess what movie their partner is referring to. Ms. Noble and Billy easily win so I guess it’s time for Al to transfer to another school.
Later, Cassidy tells Dawn that Chris used “the c-word.”
“Oh my God,” Dawn replies, “Clingy!?”
And again, there’s no laughter. Either the joke went over the heads of the studio audience or it wasn’t a joke to begin with.
A deliveryman stops by and drops off some flowers. He explains that Chris paid him money to deliver flowers for “a secret rendezvous on the beach.” Cassidy, who is anniversary-obsessed, does not link this to their upcoming anniversary. Jamal, however, tells Dawn (but for some reason, not Cassidy) that Chris is planning on a diner for Cassidy.
Cassidy confronts Chris about the flowers and breaks up with hi,. Knowing that their friend is in pain, Jamal and L-Train promptly leave so that they can judge a tug-of-war competition between Ms. Noble and Billy and Dawn and Al. Fortunately, Dawn takes a break from pulling on the rope to let Cassidy know about the surprise dinner.
(For the record, Billy and Ms. Noble win the tug-of-war and the title of best couple. I’m not sure what pulling on a rope has to do with being the best couple but whatever. It’s a dumb plot anyway.)
Cassidy meets Chris on the beach and they forgive each other. And season 4 ends. Yay!
The first half of season 4 was fairly weak but the show kind of improved once Chris got his hair cut. Certainly, City Guys was not the best of Peter Engel-produced NBC shows but it wasn’t One World either. The biggest flaws remains the unrealistic depiction of Ms. Noble. The show’s biggest strength, at the end of season 4, is that the actors have finally stopped looking straight at the camera while delivering their lines.
Next week, we begin the final season of City Guys.
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