Spencer James has been working towards college football and the NFL since the first episode of All American. And in “Jump on It,” he gets to play in his first football game, but it’s not all he hoped it would be.
As I read the Twitter comments, some people would have hoped that the writers would have made Spencer (Daniel Ezra) shine playing college football. Instead, I’m happy that his character is struggling. I don’t know much about college football, but I can tell how difficult it is by the last few episodes. Realistically, he’s not going to be the best on day one. Or even week eight. All American is supposed to be based on a true story, so seeing Spencer struggling is probably close to what the Spencer who inspired this story went through.
Coach Kenny Boone (Mustafa Speaks) worked with Spencer to get him to stand out to Coach Ivan Garret (Sean Carrigan), and it worked. Spence made third string! What a moment. One that Spence probably should have celebrated more, but he went right back to feeling sorry for himself. He wanted to get on the field and didn’t think he had accomplished anything until he did.
Like some people on Twitter, Spencer also thinks that he should be further along by now. I get that he thought it would be easier, but did you see those guys in his house? They tower above him. How does that alone not show him that it will take time for him to become the best in this environment?
And Spencer did make it onto the field for his first college football game. I got so nervous when he was called up. This was it. This was a dream come true. He caught the ball and made the first down. He was off to a great start, but each catch was not so great after that. He even fumbled the ball on the last play we saw with him do. He was so devastated and thought he would never play in another game. But both Coach Billy Baker (Taye Diggs) and coach Boone told him it wouldn’t be his last game, and it wouldn’t be his last fumble. Apparently, even Spencer’s dad had a horrible first game. Boone said his dad would have taken Spencer’s first game over his own. I hope that settles Spencer’s fears. He thinks he has to be perfect every second or it’s over. It’s his first game. Of course, he wouldn’t be perfect. And if for some reason he was, he wouldn’t be perfect every game. College football is so more difficult than high school. Spencer still hasn’t gotten that into his head. He’s still earning his spot.
Spencer, Jordan Baker (Michael Evans Behling) and Isaiah Winfield (Zachary S. Williams) are all trying to find their place on the team. Spence is doing it by trying to get the coach to notice him, Isaiah is also working hard to get on the field, too, and Jordan is trying to fit in with the team. Jordan took it to the extreme and paid $200 for each of them for the strippers that the quarterback hired. I know hazing is a thing, but really? Would you hire strippers to someone else’s house? Plus, do you drink the night before your first game of the season? I don’t think I want anything to do with these guys. JJ Parker (Hunter Clowdus) is a party guy too, but at least he has a big heart.
Spencer is not the only one feeling frustrated about not being where they think they belong at this point. Olivia Baker (Samantha Logan) is going through the same thing. She finally got one of her ideas picked up, but another writer wrote them. She was furious. But then her editor, Christel Mattingly (TaiVon McKinney), texted her, complimenting her on her notes and inviting her to the staff meeting. She did it! She got in the door.
I’m glad the writers are making the storyline realistic. None of them are going to be thriving right off the bat. That’s what senior year is for. Right now, they are supposed to be finding their ways and learning. We’re also going to see so much growth from the characters. And, isn’t it more compelling to see them struggle than be the best right away? I like this new college world for the All American characters.
Do you like that the All American writers are making the storyline realistic or would you prefer for your faves to be thriving already? Tweet me @PrimetimeDrama or @MandyTTCarr or comment below.