All-American captures audiences’ hearts

Jamie Stern
reviews editor

Spoilers: The best new TV show is finally out. All American has captured hearts.

Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) is a star wide receiver and straight A student at Crenshaw High School in South L.A. The football star is recruited by the Beverly Hills High School Coach, Billy Baker (Taye Diggs). His mom, Grace James (Karimah Westbrook) and brother, Dillion James (Jalyn Hall) encourage him to go to Beverly High to escape gangs and violence. James is torn between his two worlds, his mother and brother who want him to go and his best friend Tamia Cooper “Coop” (Bre Z) who is struggling with gangs.

James is forced to move into his coach’s home to continue playing for Beverley High. This move makes it harder for James to balance his new friends and his old. James doesn’t just move in with his coach, he moves in with the coach’s whole family too. Baker’s daughter, Olivia Baker (Samantha Logan), starts to catch feelings for James after she helps him assimilate into his new school during the day and eats family dinners with him at night.

On his first day at Beverly High, James plays exceptionally well and spooks the boy who plays the same position, Asher Adams (Cody Christian). James also starts getting to know Adam’s girlfriend, Leila Faisal (Greta Onieogou). James and Faisal learn to know that they have nothing in common, except for their age and the color of their skin. James is persistent in getting to know Faisal who is hesitant at first because of her boyfriend.

One of the strong elements in the show is watching James balance his two worlds and make new relationships with people who he has nothing in common with. With the help of Baker’s son, Jordan Baker (Michael Evans Behling), James is easily adapted into the new environment. Baker introduces him to his friends and the football team. “One reason I love watching All American is because it gives us an insight on two different worlds that one high school kid is balancing in L.A. It is also interesting to watch because James has to not only learn how to balance his worlds, but it shows him as a normal high school kid by going to parties, hanging out with his friends and doing homework so it really makes the show seem realistic,” sophomore Kyler Hamlin said.

Beverly High is determined to make it to the state championship this year with their new star player, James. With the whole school on his shoulders, will James rise to the challenge or fail and be an embarrassment to the team, the school and the coach? “All American is a really good show and I love watching the football scenes because James is really good and some of the games are really nail biting,” senior Alec Yassin said.

All American covers James’s challenges and triumphs in his football, school and family worlds. The show is based on a true story about professional football star’s life, Spencer Paysinger. The first season of All American has already been uploaded on Netflix. It premiered on the CW in October of 2018 and was renewed for a second season in April.

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