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"Fame" had some of the most talented young people of the 1980s. Gene Anthony Ray and Debbie Allen are two of the most gifted dancers I have ever seen. The show, while not totally realistic, was always entertaining, heartwarming, and just fun to watch. I recently watched the movie "Fame" which inspired the TV show, and I wonder where those talented actors are today. "Fame" was one of the best shows on TV and I wish that there were more like it today.
This is a TV series that raised the dreams and hopes of a whole generation. Everything was so well arranged, and the story was well written that you just had to watch the next episode. The soundtrack included excellent songs performed by the cast and on occasions the series hosted famous guest stars. Maybe the actors were not Brando Dean and Monroe but they all gave that little bit of pure artistic glamour. The show was really taken Europe by storm and for a long time it was a must to know what was going on. Something like the '90201' of the nineties. The School of Arts in New York was set to make stars and stars it made. The '80s would have never been complete without this. If you do have a chance to see the early years of the show don't miss it. 10/10
There has never been, nor will there ever be an awesome production like,
"FAME". Many shows have tried to duplicate it's success, with story lines
that feature a spectacular production number but they could never really
capture the magic that "Fame" brought to me each week.
I loved the characters and their struggle to be famous and I especially loved "Dusty Tyler". She replaced Janet Jackson (who played Cleo) and what a wonderful gift God gave her. All she wants is a place to belong and when she sings about it, your heart reaches out to her. Your eyes fill with tears and your arms long to comfort her. She's so beautiful and sweet and deserves her chance to shine. They all do. And thanks to the wonderful production company, you get to see the cast do just that! I really miss the show and wish they would re-run it more often. I'd even like to see a "cable station" devoted to productions like "Fame". If great singing and dances lifts your spirits the way it lifts mine, then "Fame" is what you want to reach for... each and every day!
...I can officially say it doesn't disappoint.
Purchasing FAME ends a 23-year mystery for me. I watched the original show back in 1982, and was always blown away by the first season (the only season of the 5-year show on network television) more than any of the subsequent seasons. But when the show went into local syndication, Season 1 seemed to disappear into a vault. And I've been scratching my head since the 80's, wondering if it was really the magical thing I remembered in the first place.
FAME was an improvement on television because it was able to develop its ensemble of characters more fully (over a season at a time), and not denigrate them into stereotypes (the overachiever, the plain-Jane ingénue, the angry hood with a heart of gold, etc.), and do so without resorting to the 'R' factor of swearing dialog and partial nudity. I suspect that the people complaining about the series are missing all the dirty stuff that was in the film, but for a prime-time TV show broadcast in the family hour, the controversial stuff was highly unnecessary. The series wasn't perfect; some of the casting choices were less than inspiring, but once in a while there would be a fine song or an even finer dance sequence. Now I must admit that my bias is showing here because I was an actual art school student- though not in New York (and I was not a performer). I am, however, a fan of musicals from way back, and I think FAME appealed to me because it was something of a ground breaker in network television- the first ever musical series. There were musical variety shows on TV, and musical films done over the last 30 years- but FAME successfully integrated both genres, applying music to a dramatic series whose stars are student performers. Quite a brilliant idea. And some of FAME's individual episodes- a teacher's strike (how do unemployed art teachers make a living?), a promising dancer living with MS, a pianist living with stage fright, a competition for a role ruined by backstage politics- were some of the smartest and most imaginative scripts ever created for television.
Finally, FAME introduced some top-notch young performers. It's easy to mock and tease them and the concept 20 years later (we're an entire race of cynics nowadays), but the fact is many of these kids were not much older than the teens they were supposed to be playing, and they had boundless energy. I was especially pleased to see that the show allowed them to craft their individual strengths over time. Though the show was more than a bit biased towards the dance students (and dancing was probably FAME's most visually appealing art), I was always glad to see emerging dramatists (P.R. Paul, Valerie Landsburg), and especially glad to see Lori Singer- at the beginning of her acting career- as the beautiful cellist from the Midwest. My main reason for watching the series though will always be Debbie Allen. Allen- a relatively tiny thing- proved to be a contradiction in terms with her drill sergeant-like dance instructor, but when she was allowed to dance herself, she was a gorgeous force of nature. If you've any doubt of this, check out the very last scene in 'Passing Grade' (where Allen and fellow dancer Erica Gimpel both lose out on an audition) and watch an improvisation between teacher and student emerge into a stunning pas-de-deux that you would only see in a movie musical. It's still one of the series' most impressive moments.
I am a forty year old man and have just finished watching the first season of Fame - i did not even know it was available on DVD as i was just browsing in HMV. What a brilliant - brilliant show - i re - lived my early 80's watching - i remember how massive it was (Even though they wanted to can it in the States) but u can see why this show won it's Emmy's and golden globes - I still play the soundtrack today - i was lucky enough even to see the tour at the Playhouse in Edinburgh (although Coco was missing (My fave!!). Only disappointment was no extra's on the DVD - they could have showed the re-union show that was on TV last year - are they releasing the other seasons. I wanna break out all my Vinyl (If someone will sell me a record player LOL) and and just lap it all up - Debbie Allen was a Star and Leroy was an amazing dancer (Is there a Biography about him?? So sad he died so young). Fame - i want it to last forever - again!!!! I'll pay in sweat anytime!!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Fame was the hit 1982 series from the Alan Paker film of 1980. Set at the School of the Arts in New York,it dealt with the lives of the students and staff. As in the film,the star was the late Gene Anthony Ray as streetwise,talented dancer,Leroy Johnson,gifted at dancing but constantly at loggerheads with English teacher.Miss Sherwood,Carol Mayo Jenkins. Lee Curreri recreated his film role as Bruno Martelli,playing away on his expensive synthesiser while his cabby father,tries to pay it all. The late Albert Hague was excellent as the grumpy but caring Professor Shorofsky,he and Bruno had some great scenes. My favourite character was Valerie Landsberg's Doris Schwartz,she was very funny and her singing "High Fidelity" was one of the highlights of the show. Erica Gimpel took on the Irene Cara film role of Coco,the highly motivated dancer/singer and although not in the same league vocally as Irene Cara,her acting certainly held up. A pre Footlose Lori Singer was sweet Julie Miller,very endearing and it lost something when Lori singer,left after the first two seasons. Debbie Allen was outstanding as dance teacher Lydia Grant,her dancing acting first rate,Miss Allen was the dancing Mistress behind the scenes too. Carlo IMperato is likable as wanna be comic Danny,all in all a great series,give it a go if you haven't seen it yet!
Great show! I just love it. I own the first season & watch it over & over....also watch it with my grandchildren. It lights up ones dreams, and gives you the feeling to "Go For It"; and it just makes you want to sing & dance! Release all seasons, please! More kids need to be introduced to the arts, and this show does that and more. This show allows one to see feelings expressed through a song, and moved through dance. It shows personalities and emotions, and allows the students to grow, as their talent grows and as they work with their fellow students. It also teaches them to appreciate the talents of others, and what the other students go through to explore their talent. The students learn to work hard at their craft, feel excited to perform, and also to accept the fact that they must compete, and that sometimes, someone else is better in that particular situation. The kids in the show also learn to learn, about themselves, about their teachers, their teachers ambitions, about why they must learn other subjects, and grow with education, as well as their talent. The show has heart, it has a way of touching the viewers, especially ones who dream of being a performer. It isn't one of those shows where you have to send the kids out of the room during certain scenes, which is cool. The show offers us enlightenment about so many things, and I believe that is important too. You have a show with some very talented people..... young & old. The guests on the show are some of the greatest entertainers we have. The actors are young kids, doing a television show, but they are also real people with real talent that have gone on in life and been a successful performer in the real world. The story plots are good, they are believable to the viewers, and they reach our kids. The talent in this show is fantastic and you find yourself connecting to the students and to the teachers. Kids of today should be able to see this show! I want to see this show!
In addition to the original movie, "Fame," the TV series is still vibrant and compelling. The music is for the most part still fresh, and the choreography and dance performances are ageless. The characters as well as the dancing and singing give the show an energy that is contagious and leaves you smiling. Of course the series is not for the literal-minded--what musical is?--so if you are bothered by people "spontaneously" bursting into fully-scored singing and fully- choreographed dancing, skip it. If you like music and dance and would enjoy explorations of the dreams and problems of young people by them and the equally-interesting adult faculty of the "Fame" school, you'll love this series. It's particularly good viewing for kids, too.
Of course, Fame the TV show is not patch on the classic Fame movie, but this show is still really good. With the same plot as the movie, the show follows the stories of the students and faculty at New York City's High School for the Performing Arts. If you enjoyed the brilliant movie and the just as brilliant West-End musical production of Fame, then I'm sure you'll enjoy the TV show of Fame It's great.
I had been waiting anxiously for Fame to be released on DVD because it
was one of my favorite shows growing up.
My 15 yr old daughter & I just finished watching the last episode, and now she too is hooked. Every episode is full of great dancing, fun music and a moral or two thrown in. The characters are so engaging. My daughter loves Leroy as much as I used too.
I hope they'll release the remaining seasons so that I can have the full set to watch again. I would love to have the music from the show on CD as well.
This was as terrific as I'd remembered! :)
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