Launched in 2018 in the United States, “All American” is finally landing in France on the SALTO platform. A teen series starring Daniel Ezra, Taye Diggs, and Cody Christian that should appeal to fans of “Newport Beach”, “Beverly Hills”, and “Friday Night Lights”.
What is it about ?
Spencer James, a young athlete from the difficult neighborhoods of the Los Angeles suburbs, is recruited by the prestigious Beverly Hills High, to join the high school American football team. While trying to adapt to this new very easy environment, in which he is not necessarily welcome, Spencer then begins a new life, which will lead him little by little, but not without pitfalls, towards his dream: to become professional footballer.
Football, betrayals, and romances in sunny Beverly Hills
Broadcast since 2018 in the United States on The CW, All American, created by April Blair (Hart of Dixie, Reign), finally arrives in France thanks to the SALTO streaming platform, which offers its subscribers the entire first season (on the two produced to date) since November 1st. And lovers of teen series at Newport Beach or Beverly Hills, as well as fans nostalgic for Friday Night Lights, might well want to indulge themselves in this guilty pleasure addictive, inspired by the life of American football player Spencer Paysinger (All American was originally to be called Spencer). And which skillfully combines diving behind the scenes of the inter-high school championship and opposition between the more than modest origins of the hero and the new bling-bling environment in which he will now have to evolve to realize his dream of becoming a future star of the NFL.
Deeper and more intelligent than it may seem, All American tackles many very strong societal themes over the course of its episodes (violence, drug problems, racism, homophobia, class struggle). But she does not neglect her more soap / teen drama aspect either and multiplies the twists and turns on the romantic, family, or school level. Because obviously, Spencer is not going to make only friends in his new posh high school. And if, like Newport Beach or Gossip Girl, teenage intrigues do not always shine with their realism, the characters gradually manage to be more than archetypes and quickly become endearing. Once again proof of the know-how of Greg Berlanti, the producer at the helm of the series, to whom we owe among others Arrow, Riverdale, You, or Titans, and who knows a lot about teen dramas since he started out as a screenwriter on Dawson and is also the originator of Everwood, Jack & Bobby, and the movie Love, Simon. Just that.
Casting side, apart from Taye Diggs (Private Practice, First Murder), who plays Billy Baker, Spencer’s new trainer, the production of All American has mainly appealed to young actors who are slowly starting to talk about them. Starting with Cody Christian (Pretty Little Liars, Teen Wolf), Samantha Logan (13 Reasons Why), and Bre-Z (Freda Gatz in Empire), who plays here “Coop”, the hero’s best lesbian friend. And speaking of Spencer, after months of research, it is finally the Briton Daniel Ezra (Prey, Undercover), relatively unknown until now, who landed the role and proves convincing in the skin of this high school student destined for a bright future. Which is so much more than the mix between Ryan Atwood and Tim Riggins that it appears to be on paper. A good surprise, like the series itself, which is confirmed over the episodes. And that’s good because All American is already renewed for a season 3, which will begin in January across the Atlantic.