The White Shadow

Season 3 Episode 7

Vanity Fare

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Jan 06, 1981 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Episode Spotlight: Vanity Fare, Episode 7, Season 3 (46th episode aired)

    The team tries to capitalize on their shower singing by getting a recording contract, and Reeves gets an offer to capitalize on his NBA "stardom" by doing a local TV commercial.

    The third season of TWS, while it has its moments, was a largely disappointing effort for a lot of hardcore fans of the show. Seasons 1 and 2 were hard-hitting and gritty, taking a deep look into Coach Reeves and the trials of coaching at an inner city LA high school. What made the show so appealing was that it very rarely cut corners when dealing with relevant issues, gave believable storylines, and helped you sympathize with Reeves and the young men in their plights.

    Season 3 started out promising with the look into Reeves' relationship with his dying father, but afterwards I got the sense that the show had lost its way and was trying to figure out what it wanted to be, a still-edgy drama or an hour-long comedy laugh fest. "Vanity Fare" is an example of this misguided direction.

    Both storylines in the episode are just plain silly. The first involving the music attempts to further an element that made Seasons 1 and 2 enjoyable, the occasional shower singing. However, those seasons had two exceptional singers, Reese (Nathan Cook) and Jackson (Erik Kilpatrick). Now, Salami does a pretty decent job with "Teenager In Love" (if that is indeed him singing). Why didn't they use that song for the demo, instead of what sounded like a cheap knockoff of "Under the Boardwalk" with Mitchell, who quite frankly doesn't remind anybody of Ben E. King on even his best day? And, "Shower of Power"? Seriously?

    The trek the boys go through to sell their song has its funny moments, like going back to the studio and finding out the scammers have packed up and left, hijacking the school's intercom only to be thwarted by Sybil Buchanan, and the last-ditch effort to get the Fraze (Frazer Smith, a LA radio legend) to hawk the record over the airwaves.

    And, there's Reeves and that silly commercial. Back in 1980, $1000 would have been enough to get his old paunchy body back in his Bulls warmup and in a bull mask that doesn't fit. There's the obligatory out-takes and the director's "CUT" frustrations that go along with any scene like it. Some funny moments here, but nothing we haven't already seen.

    But, like I alluded to earlier, TWS doesn't appeal to me because of its comedy. This episode along with other silly Season 3 episodes made the whole third season a disappointment.

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