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"The White Shadow"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"The White Shadow" More at IMDbPro »

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Telling it Like it Is

Author: Brian Washington ( from Los Angeles, California
11 March 2003

This had to be one of the most accurate portrayals of inner city life ever made. This show dealt with it all, drugs, gangs, sex and even death. The second season was to me its peak. You got to see the losers become winners, but not without paying a price. Thorpe infecting Coolige's girlfriend with syphilis (predating the AIDS crisis), a player dying of a brain hemorrhage during practice and the most heartbreaking moment, Jackson getting murdered on the eve of the team winning the city championship. But, the most amazing thing is that this would be the breeding ground for two of the finest directors around, Thomas Carter and Kevin Hooks. Bruce Paltrow not only was a genius director, but he was also a professor and his charges learned well and became great on their own.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A Show Ahead of its Time

Author: ramsfan from United States
7 January 2007

Count me among the many others who loved this show. As an 11 year old kid who ate, drank and slept sports, this show was one of the best things going. As a young adult, I viewed it with the same love but with a much different perspective. The White Shadow featured a racially mixed inner city basketball team coached by a caucasian former pro player named Ken Reeves. At first viewed as an outsider unable to relate to a group of city kids, he gradually wins their trust. The show tackled sensitive issues in an honest, believable manner and dealt with the often grim realities facing both kids and teachers in an inner city setting. The basketball action was also very well done- impressive considering many feature films depicting athletics show actors trying unconvincingly to play or compete.

It is hard to believe this show is nearly 30 years old. The subject matter on The White Shadow could easily be depicted today- things change and yet they stay the same. Sadly, this is yet another show that didn't last long that nonetheless was both entertaining and worthwhile on so many levels.

Today, I am a high school teacher and coach partly because of the influence this show had on me personally. I really wish we could turn back the clock and get shows of this quality and long term impact again.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Great Tv Series

Author: murat erd ( from izmir, Turkey
14 October 2003

White Shadow series appeared on Turkish tv in the begining of 80's. There were hard days in Turkey in economics and politics areas so this series made the youth happy and provided them different point of view. During this period Turkish basketball life jumped to upper level.This improving in basketball has still carried on in these days. White Shadow had a big influence on basketball and Turkish teen life. Therefore this series has an important place in Turkish social life.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The Best Show Ever

Author: Ivan_Drago from Las Vegas, NV
5 July 2003

The White Shadow was not just one of the best sports shows ever, but it was one of the best shows overall. When you tuned in to The White Shadow, you didn't just see some high school kids on a basketball team with an ex-pro as their coach, you saw them deal with real-life problems and situations. Addictions (Jackson). Gangs (Gomez). STDs (Coolidge, Thorpe). Death (Jackson). I will admit, it wasn't the same when the players "graduated", but the new cast wasn't as bad as some think they were. They were just never given the same opportunities. When Goldstein, Hayward, Jackson, Reese, and Gomez were replaced, the storylines then mainly revolved around the returning players, namely, Coolidge, Thorpe, Salami, and Vitaglia. Stone wasn't too bad. Neither was Mitchell. I would love to see this series on DVD some day. Also, does anyone remember Phil ever saying anything?

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Great show

Author: dhyan from Arizona
10 December 1999

This ranks as one of the best tv shows I've ever seen. Timely, even today, and very well-acted. I watched this while it was on TV Land and very much enjoyed it. Not at all cheesy and very honest. The title character was not always nice or good, but believable, and there was always a lesson to be learned.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Great show

Author: F_Jenkins from la
9 November 2005

The only sad thing about this show being so great is that it's bound to be remade as a bad movie by the Hollywood recycling committee that takes every good (or bad) TV show and thinks for some reason it needs to be remade as a theatrical movie.

This was truly a great show with some great young talent. At least three of the principal kids have become prominent directors. Ken Howard was perfectly cast here. I always thought it odd he never became a big star. Sure, there were a couple of bad actors in the bunch (oh man, Go-Go was awful) but the show was so great itself it didn't matter. And not a lot of people know it was created by the father of Gweneth Paltrow.

Great show and really fun to finally see on DVD.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Greatest Series of All-Time

Author: ndimeo from New Jersey
7 March 2000

Some might say the greatest television series of all-time is I Love Lucy, or The Honeymooners but for this recliner critic it has to be The White Shadow. The White Shadow focused on urban problems of high school kids while at the same time teaching the viewer ethics and morals and how to shoot a jump shot. It's sad to see that The White Shadow has fallen out of television's limelight, it is almost impossible to find an episode anymore. I believe if The White Shadow was seen by the kids of today it would be more popular than ever before. The NBA has probably taken over football and baseball as the most popular sport in America so why not let The White Shadow in on some of the exposure. It's a really great show and it will live in this viewer's mind all the way to the boneyard. I also want to answer the lifelong question that this show has posed, Tim Van-Patten(Salami) is actually Dick Van-Patten's brother and not son.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Gripping television at its finest hour

Author: raysond from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
11 July 2003

"The White Shadow",was without a doubt one of the most accurate portrayals of life in the inner city ever produced and it was one of the most intense dramatic shows that ran for three seasons on CBS-TV. The show dealt with some of the most relevant issues of its day and still at the time very controversial as well. The show dealt with drugs,gangs,sex, not to mention pieces of subjects dealing with diseases,family issues, homosexuality,and even death. Ken Howard stars as Coach Reeves,a former NBA professional basketball player who takes over as the new high school basketball coach at fictional Carver High School where he takes over a bunch of kids who needs guidance and understanding under the watchable eyes of the school principal,Mrs. Buchanan,played by Joan Pringle. The shows' first two seasons to me was at the peak of perfection and from there it was here that the show garnerned back-to-back Emmys for his breathtaking direction,courtesy of the show's producer and creator Bruce Paltrow.

In this series,you get to see these losers become winners, and also you get to see the kids go through the motions in there times of crisis,and it comes with a terrible price. The most heartbreaking moment of the series came when Jackson gets killed on the eve of the team winning the city championship. The saddest moment of the series is when Gomez joins a gang and is killed on the eve of his graduation from the school. It's amazing that this series is nowhere to be seen these days,since the last time it was shown was on ESPN's classic sports channel.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Did Ken Reeves play college ball?

Author: richmano321 from United States
14 November 2005

Does anyone know if Ken Howard played beyond high school? He looks like he could play a little. Coolidge had good height too, but he didn't look like he was all that skilled, and the other guys on the team looked like they had no skills at all. But I really loved this show, I have it on DVD, anyone who has played high school ball can relate to the WhiteShadow, and it always seemed like Ken Howard got all the chicks in the show too. This was an old school gym with no glass backboards and no 3-point line, high school adopted the line in 1987. When season 2 comes out I will definitely buy it also. This is a show I highly recommend for all to see.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

my favorite tv show of all-time

Author: nancy welty ( from lawrenceville, ga
19 September 2001

Love this show because it depicts teens and adults as humans with problems and what steps it takes to take care of the problems. I also love basketball and get to see lots of action in most shows. Ken Michelman ("Abner Goldstein") is a super actor, as shown in the show "Little Orphan Abner".

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