A Different World

Season 6 Episode 24

A Rock, a River, a Lena

1
Aired Unknown Jul 08, 1993 on NBC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

8.9
out of 10
Average
18 votes
  • A lovely episode - why show it so late?

    9.1
    I will never understand why this episode aired after the real series finale, when few people were likely to watch it. It features much of what was best about the show ... fun, insight, character exploration, and a commitment to making connections with the Black American Experience (caps required). The tribute to Lena Horne is fabulous (especially the line about Ava Gardner), as is the interaction with Mr. Gaines. Kim's part in the story is especially good and in keeping with her character's personality in every way -- her scenes with Mr. Gaines, Ms. Horne, and Whitley are all "dead on."

    As is sometimes typical of the show and particularly the last season, there are some bits that are "over the top." The Dean Davenport (Dr. "On My List") character makes another tiresome appearance, and much of the material for Whitley -- outside of the Mr. Gaines/Lena Horne interactions -- is tired, such as her interaction with her middle-school students. We also get hit over the head a bit with the demonstrations of Whitley's impatience with Mr. Gaines, though it is in character.
  • The show draws to a close with a tribute to singer and actress Lena Horne.

    10
    Hillman has drawn many august visitors over the years. Some are alumni, others come to the school to pay their respects to its status.

    Even so, perhaps few had expeceted they would be graced by such a luminary as performer Lena Horne.

    The legendary artist arrives at the school to dedicate a scholarship in the name of her grandmother. People on campus are beside themselves, and handle the appearance in different ways.

    Whitley is so floored she wants Horne to see what she considers only the best-- that means none of the old-fashioned cooking favored by Mr. Gaines. Kim does an end run around this strategy.

    It turns out that Horne and Gaines have more than food tastes in common-- they met during WWII. Gilbert is humbled when Horne says she and the cook are old friends.

    And so the cast heads off into the sunset, closing the series on a warm and sentimental note.
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