DVD Fame: Season Two (DVD 6288982),
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Fame: Season Two

  • DVD
  • 5 discs
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Though FAME declared "I'm gonna live forever" in its theme song, the NBC musical drama series barely squeaked through its first season. Fortunately, the network decided to renew the show for a second year in response to the enthusiastic support of millions of teenaged fans. The popularity of "The Kids from 'Fame' amongst their peer group was firmly established when several of the series' regulars went on a worldwide tour--especially when the episode telecast March 3, 1983, "The Kids from 'Fame' Live" (excerpted from their appearance in the UK) posted the second season's best ratings. All of the cast members from Season One are back for Season Two, with the exceptions of P.R. Paul as student Montgomery MacNeil, and Michael Thoma, who had played Mr. Crandall, beloved drama teacher at New York's High School of Performing Arts. Actor Thoma died in September of 1982, a fact reflected in the episode "A TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW", in which the students and faculty members must come to grips with Mr. Crandall's sudden and unexpected demise. Morgan Stevens joins the cast this season as Crandall's replacement, David Reardon. The season opens with the episode "AND THE WINNER IS. . .", in which music student Bruno (David Curreri) is placed in the position of auditioning fellow students for one of his own plays--then gets in trouble by casting himself in the lead. In subsequent episodes, neurotic "Renaissance girl" Doris (Valerie Landsburg) finds herself falling in love with Bruno; the kids champion the cause of school secretary Mrs. Berg (Ann Nolan) when she is replaced with a computer; self-involved school diva Coco (Erica Gimpel) comes out of herself when she befriends a student with a learning disability; and dancing student Leroy (Gene Anthony Ray) is tempted to quit school to accept a professional job. And while the series manages to maintain its fairly realistic veneer, the episode "NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE", in which Doris dreams that she and her fellow students have morphed into the characters from "The Wizard of Oz" (with teachers Lydia [Debbie Allen] and Miss Sherwood [Carol Mayo Jenkins] respectively cast as the "Good" and "Bad" witches, serves as a portent for the more exaggerated FAME episodes to come. Among the guest stars showing up this year are Bruno Kirby as Doris' draft-dodging brother, Arte Johnson as a TV commercial actor whom the students accuse of squandering his talent, Jimmy Osmond as a student who (chastely!) sleeps with his tutor Julie (Lori Singer), future COSBY SHOW regular Malcolm-Jamal Warner as a member of an inner-city boys' choir, and Nancy Cartwright now best known as the voice of Bart Simpson, as a student from an "more academically prestigious" school who falls in love with nerdish tuba-playing scholar Dwight (David Greenlee). Although FAME collected its fifth Emmy this season (for Debbie Allen's choreography), the series was toast as far as NBC was concerned, failing to make a dent in the ratings despite the fervent following of millions of teenaged fans. However, the series was a huge hit abroad, and this more than anything else was the motivating factor for MGM to continue production on the series, not for the NBC network but for off-network syndication beginning in the fall of 1983.
  • Credits
    Debbie Allen, Lee Curreri, Erica Gimpel, Carlo Imperato, Valerie Landsburg
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