‘All American’: College Begins

It’s always fun to see characters transition into college. It brings them new challenges, and we get to see what they’re made of. And now, the All American characters are getting their shot.

College football is not what Spencer James expected on All American.
College football is not what Spencer James expected. (The CW)

Classes haven’t even started yet, but Spencer James (Daniel Ezra), Jordan Baker (Michael Evans Behling) and JJ Parker (Hunter Clowdus) are already starting up with insane football schedules. So how do these players even have time for college classes with the way these schedules are playing out? Is this just a pre-class thing or is this all season long? Maybe that’s an entirely different conversation. But with college football being a full-time job, how do they have time to get a degree on top of that?

It’s eye-opening to me what college football is like. I’m not much a football fan, but I’ve certainly enjoyed watching these guys work for their dreams. Their schedule reminds me a little of my summer training camp for ice-skating. But that ended in the early afternoon. It was regular ice practice, off-ice training and on-ice endurance training. It was fun but also intense.

Spencer is struggling to keep up while Jordan seems to be enjoying the whole thing, and JJ is not even showing up for everything he’s supposed to do. I’m sure that will come back to bite him. But more on him later.

Olivia and Spencer making time for each other on All American.
Spelivia is making time for each other. (The CW)

It appears this experience is not just eye-opening for me. It’s also for Spencer. As he said, he’s not used to not being the best player on the team. I think Coach Billy Baker (Taye Diggs) said it best when he said Spence is now on a field full of Spencer James’s. It’s true. Every player was the best in their high school. That’s why they’re there.

This is just another challenge Spence has to overcome. It wasn’t easy for him when he got to Beverly. It wasn’t easy when he went back to Crenshaw. And Olivia Baker (Samantha Logan) is learning a similar lesson. Liv thought she would be writing for the LA Times now that she has a staff position, but she has to start at the bottom just like everyone else. That’s what Spencer is doing too.

One of the things I loved about this episode is how passionate everyone is about following their dreams, even if it isn’t exactly what they thought it would be. But both Jordan and Layla Keating (Greta Onieogou) are happy to be doing this solo. Technically, Jordan is not solo, but his girlfriend is in Atlanta, so he’s not making the time during the day to see her like Spence is. Layla also doesn’t want anything serious because she wants to focus on her business and producing. That’s fair on both counts. The first year of college is tough, I can’t imagine how tough it is for a footballer, but I’m starting to get the picture. And Layla is trying to make the most of her gap year.

Olivia Baker, All American
Olivia Baker is learning that she has to start from the bottom. (The CW)

But one size does not fit all. Liv floated the idea of her and Spencer not meeting up during the day, but Spence knocked that down quickly. I like that the writers are depicting different kinds of experiences. Also, other than just choosing not to go to college, I’m not sure any of the shows I’ve watched had someone doing a gap year. So I like that All American is embracing that with Layla, especially when more high school graduates are choosing to do that.

Let’s now get back around to JJ. While the shots in the middle of the day before a scrimmage was not a good idea, him wanting them to sign a year lease on the beach house is a great one. Having all four boys under one roof will help give us scenes with all of them. I’m so down for this.

And I’m glad that Asher Adams (Cody Christian) is giving up working for a bookie. That was never going to end well. And hopefully, we can see him go after coaching in the coming episodes. Finally, I’m glad that he and Jamie (Miya Horcher) made up. I wasn’t done with them yet.

And then there’s Patience (Chelsea Tavares) and Coop (Bre-Z). Patience is thriving, but Coop needs to get her own life asap. It’s good when couples share each other’s lives, but they need their own things too. Patience has music and Coop needs… Does she even have a job? Maybe start there. What is she doing if she does not go to college and does not pursue music? Besides the following Patience around. I also love that while there is a boy’s house, there is a girl’s house too, and that one started first.

How do you think Spencer James will overcome this challenge? Tweet me @PrimetimeDrama or @MandTTCarr or comment below.

Mandy Carr

Editor and Founder, Primetime Addiction

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