Retro Television Reviews: Hang Time 2.13 “The Best Game of the Season”


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!

Season 2 comes to an end with …. The Best Game of the Season!

Episode 2.13 “The Best Game of the Season”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on November 30th, 1996)

The final episode of season 2 begins with Mary Beth screaming, “9-11!  Girl in trouble!”

It turns out that Mary Beth was trying to clean the backboard in the gym when the ladder fell over.  Now, she’s caught in the net!  The team runs into the gym.  They’re impressed by Mary Beth’s dedication but then they remember that she just wants to get a car that she’ll apparently receive if the team makes the playoffs.  “I thought she had Tornado Fever!” Josh says and the entire team laughs about how the whole school has Tornado Fever.  Julie agrees that there is no way that the Tornadoes aren’t going to make it to the playoffs.  Fuller yells at everyone for getting cocky and forgetting that they still have to win one more game.  Uh, guys …. SOMEONE RESCUE MARY BETH!  Eventually, Vince sets up the ladder and climbs up to the backboard to save Mary Beth.  But then ladder falls over again and …. ha! …. Vince is trapped as well.

Fuller tells Julie to come talk to him in the locker room after practice.  It turns out that there’s a man with a fake Italian accent waiting for the two of them.  Coach Fuller explains that the man coaches “the Women’s International Basketball Team in Milan.”

“Really!?” Julie exclaims, “Milan, Italy!?”

No, Julie!  MILAN, INDIANA!  OF COURSE, IT’S ITALY!

Anyway, Coach Mario wants Julie to come play for him in Europe.  Fuller thinks that Julie needs to focus on high school and college before going pro.  Fuller explains that graduating from high school and college will make Julie a more mature and better player.  Somewhere, LeBron James is laughing.  (And that, quite frankly, is the extent of my LeBron James knowledge.)  In a rather creepy moment, Mario says that he knows all about Julie, including that Chris cheated on her before going to college.  WHAT!?  Julie finds nothing strange about this.

“I-a know it-a is-a big decision,” the actor playing Mario says.

Later, in the school hallway, Josh tells Julie that she should take the opportunity but that he would really miss her if she goes.  Julie kisses him.  “Wooooooo!’ the audience says.  Amy suggests that Julie should just go to the tryouts and see what it’s like before making a final decision.  Julie says that’s not a bad idea.  Danny says, “Plus, you probably won’t make the team anyways.”  Julie glares at him but Danny’s only saying what we’re all thinking.

At the mall, everyone listens as Mary Beth and Vince debate whether or not it’s better to get a BMW or an old mustang convertible.  But then Julie shows up and tells everyone that she went to the try-outs and she played the best ball of her life.  Then Fuller shows up and tells Julie that she made it.  Everyone gets excited.

“I made it!” Julie says.

“There’s something else you have to make,” Fuller says, somberly.  “A decision …. by this Monday.”

But what about the car!?

The next day, Fuller is frustrated because the team is more interested in talking about Julie’s decision about going to Italy than practicing.  Julie announces that she’s going to Italy.  The team freaks out.  Fortunately, Mary Beth ends the fight by announcing that she washed the scoreboard with soapy water.  Sparks fly across the gym.  Everyone’s upset about the scoreboard but I’m just happy that Mary Beth didn’t get electrocuted.

At the mall, everyone gathers at The Stadium (I just remembered that’s the name of the crappy restaurant where they all hang out) to say goodbye to Julie.  Everyone except for Mary Beth and Vince!  Those two try to run a buffer over the gym floor but they accidentally grab a sander instead.  The gym floor is destroyed.  “Oops!” Vince says.

The next morning, Josh approaches Julie in school and gives her two tickets to a lecture from someone who I assume is a basketball player.  I assume this not because I recognized the name but because every guest star on Hang Time was a basketball player.  Unfortunately, Julie has just learned that she had to leave for training camp right away.  No lecture.  No going away party.  And no playing in the final game.  The Tornadoes are doomed!

Coach Fuller steps into the gym and freaks out when he discover Vince and Mary Beth repairing the floor.  Accompanying Fuller is an 10-foot tall woman who I assume is a basketball player.  While Fuller yells at Vince and Mary Beth in his office, Julie steps in to the gym and talks to the basketball player.  The player and Julie dribble the ball around and Julie is so thoroughly humiliated that she realizes that she’s been way too cocky about going to Italy.  The player orders Julie to stay in school and go to college.

At the big game, Julie shows up and announces that she’s not going to Italy and she’s ready to lead the team to the playoffs!  Except …. The Tornadoes lose by one point!  YOU SHOULD HAVE GONE TO ITALY, JULIE!  Julie assures everyone that they just played “the best game of the season.”  No, you lost, Julie!  Maybe if you had gone to practice instead of spending your time packing for Italy, the team would have gone to the championship!  Still, no one is upset at Julie because no one on this show is ever allowed to call out Julie being more than a bit self-absorbed.

And so season 2 ends.  Next week, season 3 begins!  Will Julie and Josh be able to lead the Tornadoes to another championship?  Julie might but Josh won’t because his character didn’t return for season 3.  Who will replace him?  Tune in next week to find out!

Retro Television Review: Hang Time 2.11 “Superman Brodis” and 2.12 “Green-Eyed Julie”


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!

Ugh.  I can’t get the theme song out of my head.

Episode 2.11 “Superman Brodis”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on November 16th, 1996)

Teddy’s long-absent father retires from playing professional basketball and moves to Indiana so that he can be close to his son.  Because “Superman” Brodis has spent the past 15 years playing across the country and in Europe, he’s been absent from most of Teddy’s life.  At first, Teddy can’t stop talking about how excited he is to finally have his father in his life.  However, Teddy’s father turns out to be kind of a jerk, constantly telling Teddy that he needs to lose weight and work harder.  Teddy says that it doesn’t bother him but, as usual, Josh decides that it is his place to tell everyone else how to live their lives.  Josh tells Teddy that he should be angry and soon, Teddy is angrily telling his father to stay out of his life.

(And don’t get me wrong.  Teddy’s father deserved to be told off but it still really wasn’t Josh place to get involved.)

Meanwhile, because this season’s writers were incapable of writing the character as being anything other than self-centered and overdramatic, Julie will not shut up about having a toothache.  Eventually, things work out on both fronts.  Teddy and his father agree to try to build a relationship.  Julie goes to Amy’s dentist and, after discovering that she will need a root canal, she blames Amy.  Actually, Julie, maybe you should blame yourself for not brushing and flossing.  Going to the dentist may be unpleasant but it’s still preferable to dying of blood poisoning.

This episode continues this season’s theme of Josh and Julie being the best players and the worst human beings on the team.  While Julie whines and moans about having a toothache, Josh tells Teddy how he should feel about his father.  That said, this episode also shows why Anthony Anderson went on to have a successful career after leaving Hang Time.  He gives a touching and sincere performance here, especially in the episode’s final scene.  There’s a lot of emotional honesty to be found in Anderson’s performance, which isn’t necessarily something that you would expect from an episode of Hang Time.

Episode 2.12 “Green-Eyed Julie”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on November 23rd, 1996)

Julie upset when she discovers that there’s a new waitress named Nicole at her favorite after-school hangout and, for once, it’s kind of understandable.  Not only Nicole played by a pre-American Pie Shannon Elizabeth but Nicole obviously has a crush on Josh!  Josh’s efforts to set Nicole up with Danny fail, largely because Danny is kind of a loser.

Eventually, it’s revealed that Chris Atwater (who was the first season’s version of Josh) cheated on Julie in between the first and second seasons and that’s why they broke up.  It’s also why Julie is incapable of trusting anyone.  It doesn’t help, of course, that Julie happens to see Nicole kissing Josh.  Later, when she finds out that it was Nicole who made the first move and that Josh did not reciprocate, she tells Josh that he’s way better than Chris.  I have to wonder how David Hanson, the actor who played Chris during season 1, felt about this episode.

Meanwhile, the school is throwing a disco party!  Everyone dresses like they’re from the 70s and breaks out some disco moves.  That was cute, silly, and fun and provided a nice (and needed) relief from all of the Julie drama.

Next week, season 2 ends!  Will Deering made it into the playoffs?  We’ll find out in December.

Retro Television Reviews: Hang Time 2.9 “Style Before Substance” and 2.10 “Son-On-Law”


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!

I’ll always  remember …. me and my friends at Hang Time!

Episode 2.9 “Style Before Substance”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on November 2nd, 1996)

This episode opens with Julie and the basketball team at the diner and getting angry because the football team is in their booth.

“That’s our booth!” Julie says, “We’re the champions!”

Strangely, Josh agrees with her.  Remember how Josh almost walked off the team because he thought they were too obsessed with winning?  Remember how Josh was all about sportsmanship and humility?  I guess that all got tossed out the window once he started dating Julie.  And another thing — when did Julie become so stuck up?  During the first season, Julie was confident but she wasn’t full of herself.  This season, the writers aren’t doing her character any favors.

Needless to say, this all leads to a series of increasingly stupid competitions to decide which team gets to …. sit in the booth, I guess.  I’m not really sure what they were fighting about but then again, I’ve never played team sports.  Occasionally, I play tennis with my sister.  I’ve never won a game but I look good in a tennis skirt so it all works out.

While this is going on, Amy is volunteering for the mayoral campaign of Robert Kent.  Robert Kent is an obviously sleazy politician who says that he cares about the environment.  (To be honest, he reminded me of Beto O’Rourke).  Amy has a crush on Robert and is devastated to discover that he’s lying about being an environmentalist.  It turns out that he supports industrial development.

“Some of the money can be used to clean up the environment,” says Kent.

“But we wouldn’t need to clean it if you didn’t mess it up in the first place!” Amy whines while the audience goes crazy over the most shallow argument possible.

The good thing about this episode is that it portrayed politicians as being sleazy.  That said, I had to laugh at the sight of all the adults listening as Danny and Amy told them how to vote for.  In the end, Danny and Amy’s efforts proved to be futile as Kent won and probably proceeded to personally bulldoze their favorite park.

Episode 2.10 “Son-In-Law”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on November 9th, 1996)

The team is freaking out because they have to win a game against an undefeated team if they have any hopes of making it to the playoffs.  Coach Fuller invites a real basketball player to stiffly deliver some words of encouragement to the team.  Hang Time was big on getting actual basketball players to make cameo appearances and I imagine that was good for the show’s ratings.  But, for the most part, none of the basketball players could actually act so the scene featuring them are often incredibly dull.

Meanwhile, Mary Beth is angry at her father for ignoring her so she dates Vince just to annoy him.  But then she suddenly decide that she actually does like Vince which …. NO!  NO!  NO!  Mary Beth is a thousand times too cool to go out with someone as boring as Vince!  WHAT ARE YOU DOING, HANG TIME!?

Retro Television Review: Hang Time 2.7 “Fake ID-Ology” and 2.8 “When Loss Is Gain”


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!

This week, we have one of Hang Time’s best episodes followed by one of its worse!  Let’s jump into it!

Episode 2.7 “Fake ID-Ology”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on October 19th, 1996)

As the episode begins, Coach Fuller is giving his usual pep talk.  Yes, the other team is big and they’re good but the Tornadoes have been playing solid basketball!  Get out and do your best!  Woo hoo!

Except, what’s this?  A bunch of Tornadoes that we’ve never seen before run out onto the court while Julie, Josh, Vince, Danny, and Teddy sit on the bench!  Mary Beth is sitting in the stands, instead of helping Fuller coach.  Amy is sitting next to her and is not in her cheerleading uniform!  Oh my God, what’s going on!?

As we find out via flashback, the good players (along with Mary Beth and Amy) all got fake IDs so they could go to a 21 Only Club.  (If only they lived in Florida instead of Indiana, they could have gone to Miami’s “hottest under 21 club,” The Warehouse.)   Unfortunately, things didn’t go well at the club.  Vince didn’t have a fake ID so he wasn’t allowed to enter but then he kept calling Danny until Danny went outside and handed over his fake ID.  Vince used that ID to get in the club but, because a new bouncer was on duty, now Danny couldn’t get in.  Meanwhile, Josh won a round of free beers and got drunk.  (He had such a hangover, he tells us,  On a TNBC show, even drinking one beer always leads to the worst hangover ever!)  Mary Beth and Amy attracted the attention of some scuzzy weirdos who demanded that they kiss them in return for the free beers that they sent over to the table.  The resulting brawl led to everyone getting grounded and Fuller benching all of them….

….which is kind of weird since it’s not like their Fuller’s kids.  Teddy is Fuller’s godson so it makes sense that Fuller would punish him but I’m not really sure why he cares what the rest of the team does when they’re not on the court.  As well, it seems like Fuller is actually punishing the other players on the team by revealing how bad they are to the rest of the world.  The Tornadoes lose the game and not by a small margin.  Basically, Fuller just announced, “My team sucks except for Julie and Josh.”

Still, there’s a wonderfully overacted moment in which one of the bad players announces that, “I don’t want to let the team down!” while glaring at the players sitting on the bench.  And there’s a funny gag about the bouncers at the club and their reading materials.  One reads The Gulag Archipelago while the other reads the Collected Works of Shakespeare and complains that Danny is so annoying that he can’t even make it through Hamlet.  This is actually one of the best episodes of Hang Time because of the way it skillfully mixes broad comedy and heavy-handed moralizing.

That said, I still think Coach Fuller should have minded his own business.  The Tornadoes are supposed to win games, not learn lessons!

Episode 2.8 “When Loss Is Gain”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on October 26th, 1996)

Because Coach Fuller is giving up getting angry for charity (?), everyone on the team agrees to give up something that they love for a few days.  Julie gives up basketball.  Josh gives up kissing.  Teddy gives up desert.  Vince gives up flirting.  Amy gives up cheerleading.  Danny gives up caring.  How does any of that help the poor?

Mary Beth is supposed to give up shopping and, when she goes to the mall and shops instead, everyone gets all judgmental.  So, Mary Beth goes down to a homeless camp and starts giving out money, which leads to her getting mugged.  Mary Beth says she’s never going to forgive the people who attacked her.

“I’m sorry you got mugged and I’m glad you’re okay,” Josh announces, “but your attitude stinks!”

You know what, Josh?  Go to Hell, you prick.

Anyway, it turns out that Josh is poor along with being condescending but you know what?  Fuck him and his self-righteous attitude.  Seriously, when Josh first appeared on this show, his whole thing was that he wouldn’t play basketball because he felt the team was too focused on winning.  Now, he’s bitching because Mary Beth is upset over being mugged.  What a jerk.

Bleh!

Retro Television Reviews: Hang Time 2.5 “War of the Roses” and 2.6 “Short Cuts”


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!

The season continues!

Episode 2.5 “War of the Roses” 

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on October 5th, 1996)

Mary Beth (Megan Parlen) proves once again that she is the coolest girl at Deering High by painting the boy’s locker room pink without asking them.  Vince (Michael Sullivan) freaks out about the pink (actually, it’s salmon) and leaves Mary Beth an angry note.  Mary Beth gets angry about the note and hires a muscle-bound dude to threaten Vince in front of his friends.  Vince tries to get Mary Beth to eat a poisoned chili dog.  Eventually, Mary Beth somehow changes Vince’s grades to make it appear the Vince is ineligible to play basketball while Vince STEALS COACH FULLER’S WALLET and tries to frame Mary Beth.

Like, seriously, what the Hell?

It all leads to a really weird scene in which a mock trial is held to determine whether or not Mary Beth and Vince should be barred from being involved in basketball.  Finally, Mary Beth acknowledges that she shouldn’t have repainted the locker room without talking to anyone (how exactly did Mary Beth repaint the locker room without anyone noticing?) and Vince admits that his note was rude.  Everything works out.

Meanwhile, in the B-plot, Julie again proves herself to be the world’s worst girlfriend by getting angry at Josh for trying to throw her a surprise birthday party.  This whole Julie/Josh subplot felt like it belonged in a first season episode but it did lead to Mary Beth smashing a birthday cake in Julie’s face, which was kind of satisfying considering how whiny Julie was in this episode.  (“This is why I hate surprise parties!” Julie yells.)

This was …. well, look, it was pretty dumb.  But Megan Parlen was a good enough comedic actress to save her storyline.  And personally, I’m on her side as far as the locker room is concerned.  That shade of pink really was pretty.

Episode 2.6 “Short Cuts”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on October 12th, 1996)

Wow, Vince sure is a screw-up.  He spent the previous episode trying to destroy Mary Beth’s life.  This episode, he starts taking steroids.  Of course, this leads to him getting acne and roid rages but it also helps him win a few basketball games so …. well, let’s just say that everyone is quick to jump on Vince’s back for taking drugs but no one suggests giving back any of their victories.

Vince is using drugs because he wants to attend a basketball clinic with Coach Fuller and a short basketball player named Muggsy.  (I went on Wikipedia and discovered that Muggsy actually was a real basketball player, even though he was shorter than me!  That’s kind of neat!)  At the start of the show, Fuller announces that only Julie and Josh qualify for the clinic because, in the world of Hang Time, Julie and whoever she’s dating at the time are the only people who can actually play well.  Once Vince starts taking the steroids and having rages, he qualifies for the clinic but he is just as quickly disqualified because of his drug use.  Fortunately, Muggsy is there to tell him to stop being a whiny baby and to stay off the pills.

In the B-plot, Danny directs a really crappy sci-fi film.  Unfortunately, he also accidentally films Vince with his dealer so Vince destroys the tape.  Damn, Vince!

This episode was a reworking of the episode of California Dreams in which Tiffani got hooked on steroids and the episode of Saved By The Bell where Zach needed to raise money to replace the school’s video camera.  It was predictable but the cast did a fairly good job.  If nothing else, this episode showed that Reggie Theus improved quite a bit as an actor between seasons 1 and 2.  And he didn’t need steroids to do it!  Let that be a lesson to all.

Retro Television Reviews: Hang Time 2.3 “Harvest Moon” and 2.4 “The Sure Thing”


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!

Season 2 continues with the search for victory on the court and love off of it!

Episode 2.3 “Harvest Moon”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on September 21st, 1996)

It’s time for the Harvest Moon dance, which I guess is an Indiana thing.  Danny is all excited because Sam is going to be coming home from college so that she can attend the dance with him.  But then Sam sends Danny a letter, telling him that she’s fallen in love with an anthropology student and that they are heading down to Mexico!  Danny gets whiny, which is kind of annoying to watch.  Honestly, why would you want to date someone in high school when you’re in college?

Anyway, Danny gets a rebound date with girl named Veronica.  Veronica has red hair, just like Sam.  Amy even mistakes Veronica for Sam, despite the fact that Amy wasn’t even on the show last season.  Everyone talks about how much Veronica looks like Sam while Veronica is standing right there.  It’s kind of rude.

Meanwhile, Teddy DJ’s the dance while Julie and Josh find excuses to abandon their dates and dance with each other.  Vince and Mary Beth also end up poking fun at each other’s dates and then they end up soulfully staring at each other when Teddy announces the last dance, which leads me to worry that Vince and Mary Beth are going to become a couple.  Don’t do it, Mary Beth!  You deserve better!

Danny steals the team bus and tries to drive it to Chicago.  For some reason, Julie and Josh go with him.  They talk him out of driving to Chicago and then they kiss while Danny drive them back to Indiana.  So, Danny is heart-broken but at least Julie and Josh are happy.

Finally, during the dance, another real-life basketball player drops by to visit with Coach Fuller.  I have no idea who the guy was but the audience went crazy as soon as he showed up.  Fuller, however, kicked him out of the gym for scuffing the floor.

Josh and Julie seems like they’ll be a cute couple and I guess I should accept that the Mary Beth/Vince thing is going to happen because opposites attract.  Danny is now single and kind of whiny so hopefully, that will only last episode or two.  As far as school dance episodes go, this one could have really used either the Zack Attack or the California Dreams.

Episode 2.4 “The Sure Thing”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on September 28th, 1996)

The Tornadoes have lost six straight games so Fuller demands that the members of his team carry basketballs around with them everywhere that they go.  If that doesn’t work, I guess the season’s over and Fuller’s out of a job.

Teddy is more concerned about asking out Tracy, the new cheerleader.  However, as Teddy explains to his new friends, he’s never asked a girl out before because he’s always been “the fat kid who is everybody’s friend” and you know what?  Anthony Anderson totally sells it!  “You don’t know what it’s like to ask someone out and have them laugh and then you have to laugh too!” Anderson says at one point and my heart was totally breaking for him.  Seriously, watching this episode, you fully understand why Anderson went on to have the busiest career of the many actors who appeared on this show.

Vince and Danny decide to help Teddy out by stalking Tracy and discovering everything that she’s interested so that Teddy will feel confident talking to her.  Couldn’t Teddy just mention that, as was established during the first episode of the second season, his father is an NBA superstar and probably has a lot money?  That’d be a good icebreaker.

Meanwhile, Josh and Julie are dating but Josh is tired of the cutesy way Julie talks to him.  I don’t blame him as, up until this point, there’s been absolutely nothing about Julie’s personality that suggests she would talk to her boyfriend in baby talk.  Eventually, Julie reveals that she’s only been talking that way because she thought Josh liked it and she actually hates doing it as much as Josh hates hearing it.

During this week’s game, the Tornadoes are losing but Teddy finally asks out Tracy and gets the confidence he needs to lead the team to a comeback victory.  Yay!  It was kind of sweet.

Retro Television Review: Hang Time 2.1 “Winning Isn’t Everything” and 2.2 “Just One Of The Guys”


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!

Welcome to Season 2 of Hang Time!  Because NBC wasn’t happy with the first season, the 2nd season served as a bit of a reboot for the season.  Half the cast left and the show became a bit more broad in its comedy.  That’s a polite way of saying that things got a little bit more cartoonish.

The show also got a brand new theme song!

Episode 2.1 “Winning Isn’t Everything”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on September 7th, 1996)

The first episode of the 2nd season starts in the school hallway.  “They’re coming!” one kid yells before leading all of his classmates in a chant of “Tornadoes!  Tornadoes!”

Yes, the students at Deering High love their basketball team.  But where is everyone?  We see Julie, Danny, and Mary Beth walking down the hallway.  Where’s Chris?  Where’s Earl?  Where are Michael Maxell and Sam!?  Danny orders the students to chase down the one kid wasn’t cheering and then, as if he can hear our thoughts, he says, “I’m really going to miss Earl, Michael, and Chris.”

It turns out that things have changed!  Julie broke up with Chris over the summer and then he went off to college.  Earl is also at college.  And so is Sam.  All those people were seniors last year?  Why were they so worried about dating a bunch of underclassmen?  Mary Beth mentions that she’s no longer a cheerleader and now she’s equipment manager because her Dad thinks it will teach her responsibility.  Amy (Paige Peterson) is the new head cheerleader.  Everyone acts as if Amy was around last year even though she wasn’t in any of the episodes.

At practice, we meet the new players.  Vince D’Amata (Michael Sullivan) is cocky and determined to be a star.  Everyone makes fun of Vince for being short but he’s still taller than Danny so I’m not really sure that joke is as effective as the rest of the team thinks it is.  Fuller announces that the team has gotten lazy so it’s a good thing that his godson, Teddy Brodis, has transferred to the school.  Fuller used to play with Teddy’s father so Teddy is “probably great.”  On cue, Teddy enters the gym and …. OH MY GOD, IT’S ANTHONY ANDERSON!  Proving that everyone had to start somewhere, future Departed, Law & Order, and Black-Ish star Anthony Anderson did a two season tour as a part of the Hang Time cast.  Anderson was in his mid-20s at the time, making him considerably older than the rest of the cast.  Coach Fuller is upset to see that Teddy is not particularly tall and a little heavy-set.  Hey, Coach, that’s a future Emmy winner you’re talking to!  (And, even though he doesn’t got to do much in his first few episodes, it is obvious from the start that Anderson instinctively knew how to play to the camera.)

“Could we possibly be off to a rockier start?” Fuller says and in comes  Mary Beth with a box of new uniforms, all of which are the wrong color.  Mary Beth explains that they may be wrong but at least they’re “pretty.”

Anyway, the team is looking weak.  Can the team recruit Josh Sanders (Kevin Bell) to play for them!?  Josh is athletic but he refuses to play team sports because he doesn’t like the competitive aspect of the game.  We know that Josh is good and cute because the audience goes, “Woooooo!” whenever he shows up onscreen.  The team tries to recruit him by showing him that they don’t believe that winning is everything.  Honestly, though, if Josh isn’t into competing, why would you want him on your team?  Team sports are about winning!

Josh agrees to try out for the team but then walks out of a practice because of the team arguing with each other.  But then he comes to a game and see Fuller bench Vince because Vince wasn’t playing as a part of the team.  Josh immediately joins the Tornadoes.  I’m getting the feeling that Josh might have issues with impulse control.

Finally, Mary Beth accidentally washes all of the autographs off of one of Fuller’s basketball.  Fuller nearly fires her but then Mary Beth brings in some tall guy to re-sign the ball.  Judging by the way the audience went crazy and the fact that the guy was like 7’3, I’m going to guess he was a basketball player.

Episode 2.2 “Just One Of The Guys”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on September 14th, 1996)

Julie doesn’t understand why Josh doesn’t seem to be attracted to her.  Mary Beth and Amy tells her that she should try to be more feminine.  Later, during practice, Julie gets upset when Vince gives her a high five and says, “Way to go, man!”  “I’m a girl,” Julie replies.  Josh, her crush, says, “Don’t take it personally, you’re just like one of the guys.”

OH MY GOD!  If I was Julie, I would move to a different state at this point.

Anyway, Mary Beth and Amy give Julie a makeover, which basically amounts to Julie wearing high heels, not wearing a bra, and tossing her hair back while talking to Josh.

However, Josh just wants to talk about basketball practice.

Pictures alone cannot communicate how awkward this scene was.

After spending all of last season determined to prove that she can play with the guys, Julie quits the team in order to prove that she’s not one of the guys.  Mary Beth is shocked.  “When I’m upset,” Mary Beth says, “I don’t get a new life.  I get new shoes!”  “Shoes aren’t a substitute,” Julie says and the only person more horrified by that statement than Mary Beth is me.  Mary Beth suggests that Julie try a new look.  “How about Janet Jackson?” Mary Beth says.  Uhmmm …. this is going somewhere dangerous….

Fortunately, Fuller is friends with an Olympic gold medalist, who just happens to drop by the office and gives Julie a pep talk.  Julie rejoins the team and decides to be confident in herself.  Is there nothing that an Olympic gold medalist can’t do?

In the B-plot, Vince, Teddy, and Danny make fun of the cheerleaders so the cheerleaders stop talking to them.  So, Vince, Teddy, and Danny dress up as cheerleaders.  

Anyway, the important thing about this episode is that Daniella Deutscher had more chemistry with Kevin Bell than she with David Hanson and, as such, the Julie/Josh relationship is a lot more entertaining than the Julie/Chris relationship.  Here’s hoping everything works out for them!