It's entirely possible that sending the audience out feeling lousy was intentional
Like the great film, it's made with a great deal of visible affection both in front of and behind the camera.
The best films of this genre always show a path and provide a takeaway for being a better person.
All of these films share one commonality, that being a kind of emotional center that humanizes a cast of monsters.
I was watching Nia Peeples on Perry mason and remembered her from Fame.ah, Fame.Based on the movie (which was better), I recalled the TV show. It began Thursday night, followed by Cheers, Night Court and Hill Street Blues.This was supposed to be a ratings block, which bombed incredibly. Fame was cancelled and went into syndication, which made it even worse.Gimme A Break and Family Ties replaced Fame in the thursday night lineup, with Cosby eventually replacing Gimme A Break, giving NBC its true Thursday night block (possibly eventually replacing Hill Street with LA Law).But Fame. What Fame. Changing the world with dance and music, I guess.From Mr. Shorofsky trying to equate pop music with Mozart and Beethoven (a better comparison for our fickle tastes in music would be comparing them to the minstrel musicians of old, Alan-a-dale types) to Danny, Leroy, Chris and Jesse having attitude in tight pants, this show was a horrendous nightmare.One of the worst moments was truly when Nia Peeples left the show so her character, Nicole, was killed off by a kid drinking and driving. Danny would also be in the car.The entire episode then gave way to Jesse, without a doubt one of the worst characters ever to appear on the show, saying and doing what he pleased and no one would say anything to him as he was grieving. Let him set the school on fire (oh, if only), we mustn't stop him, he's in mourning.Now Jesse is permitted to even beat up the kid in his grief, but then enter Danny. What about me, Jesse? I was in the car too! What about me? Jesse and Danny grieve, leaving the poor kid who drove the car, standing all alone in the snow. Truly horrible message.Then there was its nauseating soap opera approach with the characters.Miss Sherwood had to romantically be paired up with Ken Swofford, the principal, but when he left and was replaced with Graham jarvis, now she had to be infatuated with him?? The show had a difficult time thinking the characters had to have a life outside of the school! But I could also never forget an episode with Nicole (again!). She got a two-bit walk-on part on a Broadway show, in which she comes in at the end, says "where did everybody go?" and the play was over. This was said to be the scene-stealer line in the play, followed by thunderous laughter and applause.Unfortunately, the deal with the school was, if you got a job on Broadway, then you had to leave the school.What I kept pondering was how a character, not seen for the entire play, could enter with the audience not knowing who she was, having not seen her, and she could say 'where did everybody go?' and it be so hilariously funny? Ironically enough, at this time, I was studying how bit characters would appear on WKRP, Gimme A Break, Family Ties, Mary Tyler Moore, Frnak's Place and the like, and how they could get all the laughs. There was no way an unseen character, unattached and with a detached line, could get the laughs and notice, wasn't happening.I would watch this oddball show just to see how odd it was, how closed off and isolated it's outlook on life was.
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!
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.
The 1980 film about the students and faculty of the New York City High School for The Performing Arts was quite good very good in fact.But its' TV namesake was anything but.The movie was fresh,fast paced,and interesting while the TV show had all the qualities you find in a situation comedy-drama it was stale and predictable.Hey why did the show have so many goofy skits and musical numbers on it?It sort of reminded you of an old Elvis Presley movie where Elvis would break into a musical number during a scene it never made sense,the kids too would break into some non-sensical music and dance number at any time.The emphasis on education,something the filmmakers did not forget,was lost on and forgotten by the makers of the TV show.The stars of "Fame" the TV show were also not up to par with the actors in the film.Carlo Impernato was the greatest no-talent to ever disgrace national TV with his presence.He couldn't really sing,dance,or act but he got plenty of lines on the show.Billy Hufsey was a decent dancer but he was bit insufferable considering all the airtime he got.He wasn't much of an actor either.The Fame TV show did some live concerts around the country when it was popular(one was shown by NBC)and it stayed around for a few years but the charm and exuberance of the movie of the same name was not apparent when watching it.It was a show that was all mass and no appeal.