Independence May Not Bring Glory to All American Spinoff
- All American: Homecoming. The CW. Monday, July 5, 8 p.m.
- Cat People. Available Wednesday, July 5, on Netflix.
- Dogs. Available Wednesday, July 5, on Netflix.
Back in 2002, ABC had a sitcom called, believe it or not, Wednesday 9:30 (8:30 Central), set at a catastrophically failing network not unlike ABC itself at the time. After firing most its programmers, the network finally started letting a chimpanzee assemble its fall schedule by drawing names out of a box. I should clarify—the fictional network did this. ABC itself hired a TV critic (yes, I, too, shook my head) as its programming boss, who wound up making the chimpanzee look pretty smart. Her career lasted about as long as the run of Wednesday 9:30 (8:30 Central), which was tossed overboard with half its episodes unaired.
Anyway, I thought of Wednesday 9:30 (8:30 Central) as I watched All American: Homecoming, The CW’s new teen soap. Homecoming, a spinoff of another teen soap called All American, won’t actually join The CW schedule until 2022. Airing the first episode six months before you can watch the second one seems like the sort of programming move that a chimpanzee might make—if he’d had a couple of martinis for lunch and was also blindfolded.
Another possibility is that all the episodes will be scheduled six months apart, in hopes that viewers will forget how mind-numbingly, ossifyingly dull they are. The original show, All American, was a mediocre descendant of millennial teen melodramas like The O.C. and Gossip Girl. Homecoming is sort of a third-generation photocopy, smudgy and worn.
All American, scheduled to start its fourth season this fall, used a boinking-as-class-struggle formula that goes back at least to 1959’s A Summer Place—poor pretty kids mixing it up with rich pretty kids, with a dash of sleazy parental flirtation to
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