Saturday, July 2, 2022

YouTube Spotlight: High School USA (1984 version)

I will repeat the disclaimer I gave in yesterday's post: If you haven't seen the 1984 pilot version of the 1983 TV movie of High School USA, at least watch the beginning ASAP. A huge part of the fun is seeing who is in the cast: "Oh, they got the other guy from ___!" "This time, they took ___ from ___!"

So here it is in all its glory:

Now let me add a few comments. This version is nowhere near as effective nor fun as the first one, with the leads a significant notch below Michael J. Fox and Anthony Edwards. There is a HUGE miscalculation made in having the J.J. character pining for a teacher instead of a fellow student. Check out the scene when JJ watches Melody Anderson's Ms. Franklin from the wings. It looks like Adrian Lyne directed it.

Oh, I still think you should watch it, but then again, I think you should watch all kinds of stuff. If you enjoy the 1983 TV movie, watch this.

Here's an odd thing: Books devoted to TV pilots written by both Lee Goldberg and Vincent Terrace refer to the 1983 version as a "pilot," too. How can that be considering Fox and McKeon were already on established sitcoms at that point? Based on Nancy's mullet, it's not like the movie was shot years earlier. So I don't understand. Maybe ours is not to understand the ways of High School USA; ours is but to enjoy the ways of High School USA.

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