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TV Review: The CW's All-American Season 3, Episode 8

Remember where you came from.

All-American is a 2018 sports-drama TV show created by April Blair. The show has aired for forty episodes on The CW. The show stars Daniel Ezra and Bre-Z. It was not nominated for any Primetime Emmys.

"What is a king?" -Spencer James


After Spencer James and Billy Baker both leave Beverly High for South Crenshaw High, tensions rise between friends and family. Jordan feels betrayed by Spencer, Olivia continues to ignore him, and things with him and Layla aren't as clear cut as they should be. Meanwhile, Coop's fears come true when Tyrone's sister comes to town in search of something unknown. As all of this happens, Spencer must deal with his continuous arm injury to play through the season.


Episode 8 "Canceled" Review

These last three episodes have really almost changed my opinion on the season.

It definitely started off with the usual too many plot lines that aren't interesting, but it ended on a very high note. Once again, as it has been throughout the season, the Spencer-Olivia relationship was the best part of the episode. That dynamic just works. Daniel Ezra and Samantha Logan have good chemistry with each other and the payoff of two and a half seasons of build-up to this relationship works nicely. They have been planting the seeds throughout the series, and it finally grew.

Most of the dialogue in this episode is horrendous. Everything is awkwardly stated and doesn't come out of the actors in a normal way. There are concepts and lines that are repeated to and by different characters, and it is really one of the worst scripts from the show...with an exception. Spencer gives an incredible speech near the end that won me over. This is the single best monologue that has happened in All-American. The real world comparisons and deep meaning is very well done, which is saying something, as this show is a relatively bad and overly dramatic CW soap opera.

I liked the stuff with Principal Carter as well as Jabari. I usually don't like one-dimensional characters that are introduced mid-season, but Jabari worked for me. The stuff with him being in juvie was realistic and grounded, which made the viewer feel the emotions of it all more. The reveal of Principal Carter's motivations and hatred toward Billy was a great little plot beat that was hard to swallow. That was definitely a stronger part of the episode.

But I'm still having trouble with the season as a whole. There still isn't an overarching plot line that I can make out. We are now officially halfway through the season and I can't fully describe the plot of it. That's a huge problem and could bring the season down. If there isn't an overarching plot line, then you don't have anything to pay off in the finale. There are mini-arcs over every couple of episodes, but nothing is fleshed out enough to be the main synopsis of the season.

And I still absolutely despise Vanessa. She is just a terrible character and actress. I have soured on Asher, too. He was a villain at the beginning, then became a protagonist, and now he's a whiny brat that I cannot stand. Their relationship is flat and painful to experience. The Asher stuff is some of the worst in the show, and I want to vomit every time it cuts to him.

Also, for some reason, they bring back Kia. She is one of my least favorite characters on the show, and I hate that they brought her into this episode. She hasn't been in the show for a while now, and she serves as an annoyance that doesn't do anything. It's a bad idea executed even worse.

I liked this episode, but I'm still not on board with the season. There are some things that really interest me, like Spencer and Olivia, but then there are wasted plot lines that are halfway mentioned inside of episodes. Like, what happened to Monique? Where is she? Is she just out of the show? These are the things that good writers think of, which is why All-American is still a huge mess that isn't well made. I do want to see what happens with the cliffhanger, though. That interests me a good bit.

Fun Factor: 8/10

Acting: 6/10

Story: 6.5/10

Characters: 7/10

Quality: 6.5/10


Daniel Ezra as Spencer James

Samantha Logan as Olivia Baker

Michael Evans Behling as Jordan Baker

Greta Onieogou as Layla Keating

Cody Christian as Asher Adams

Bre-Z as Tamia "Coop" Cooper

Taye Diggs as Billy Baker

Monet Mazur as Laura Fine-Baker

Karimah Westbrook as Grace James

Hunter Clowdus as JJ Parker

Alondra Delgado as Vanessa Montes

Asjha Cooper as Kia Williams

Jalyn Hall as Dylan James

Lamon Archey as Principal Carter


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