‘All American’: Spencer James, King Crenshaw

Figuring out who you are is never easy. But that’s part of what college is for. But even after college, it’s hard to define who we are. There are so many messages from pop culture that tell us how we’re supposed to be. So, it can be relatable at any age watching characters find themselves. And, I’m totally here for All American’s Spencer James’s brand being King Crenshaw.

Spencer James, King of Crenshaw on All American
King of Crenshaw suits Spencer James. (The CW)

This episode was aptly named “Labels.” Though, the ironic thing is I thought we were supposed to overcome those labels, as Brooke Davis said in One Tree Hill. But, of course, Spencer (Daniel Ezra) wanted to label himself before anyone else. That’s a little bit better. But I still think that we don’t have to be one thing. So many of these characters are one thing at the moment. But that’s because they are chasing their dreams.

I liked how Billy Baker (Taye Diggs) said to Laura Baker (Monet Mazur) that he was trying so hard to be a coach and a principal that he forgot to be a husband. This was great. Great that he was making Laura a priority again after Olivia Baker (Samantha Logan) told him he should have been there for dinner and Preach (Kareem J. Grimes) said he had to focus on the things most important to him and delegate the other stuff. I know Preach has been in jail, but come on, he always has good advice, and he’s such a good influence on the students. But prioritizing is a separate issue, but I like that Billy can be more than one thing.

Spence was trying too hard to figure out his brand. All of those adjectives did describe him, but as Liv said, they represent many other people too. But I get it. Trying to create your brand, especially when you are still finding yourself, is not easy.

Billy Baker in All American
Billy Baker was juggling too many things. He had to prioritize. (The CW)

I loved that this overlapped with Dillon James (Jalyn Hall) feeling lost. At first, I thought he was jealous of his brother leaving for college or upset that his brother had left. But, nothing Spence did got him to open up. It wasn’t until Spence asked Dillon to help him with his brand that the truth came out. It turns out that Dillion’s history teacher told him that he was never leaving Crenshaw and his art didn’t mean anything. That’s just awful. How can any teacher say that to a kid, especially one as talented as Dillon?

Of course, when Spence told Liv what was bothering D, she replied, but everyone from Crenshaw loves it and never wants to leave. Even her father went back. That was all Spencer needed to not only figure out his brand but help his brother see that his art does matter. So, he asked Dillon if he could use his King of Crenshaw drawing as his logo. That was incredible. It makes sense for him since he was trying to save Crenshaw this season. Plus, it gets his brother’s artwork in front of people—such a great tie-in.

And this is also reminiscent of One Tree Hill. Remember when Lucas Scott submitted Peyton Sawyer’s artwork to Thud magazine without her knowing. And he told her that her art mattered. I like that this episode comes full circle with One Tree Hill references.

What do you think of Spencer’s brand King Crenshaw? Tweet me @PrimetimeDrama or @MandyTTCarr or comment below.

Mandy Carr

Editor and Founder, Primetime Addiction

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