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Fame TV series on DVDFame: The Complete Seasons 1 & 2

Not the same old song and dance

Fox releasing a DVD set of the first and second seasons of the 1980s dramatic series “Fame” was perfect timing from my perspective. This show is a terrific example of good TV shows that closely followed the film on which they were based about which I wrote a few weeks ago.

The new “Fame” film, which is being released on September 25, is an example of a film based on a TV show based on a film. The DVD special feature on this film suggests that it will stay very true to the original film and series.

It seems that dedicated and hard-nosed dance teacher Lydia Grant, played by Debbie Allen, is now the principal of the New York City School of the Arts at which both films and the series are set; a background dancer from the series has taken over Grant’s teaching duties.

The series starred hard-working talented young performers as slightly younger hard-working talented young actors who are training to become professional dancers, actors, musicians, and/or composers. Adding those pressures to the academic and social challenges of high school provided mostly compelling stories but included one or two duds that seemed like “After School Specials.”

The show also had a great mix of characters. I remembered doughy Italian Bronx boy Danny. He was joined by preppy Midwest girl Julie, homeboy Leroy, Jewish girl Doris, Italian dreamboat Bruno, and sassy Coco. These kids and their teachers represented the melting pot of New York City very well.

My first reaction to over-the-top scenes was that they were pretty awful. On second thought, I realized that they depicted the intense emotion of the struggles of the students. I realized too that the show needed young actors with that type of intensity.

Further, I definitely enjoyed the first season more than the second one. I think that that is because the actors and their characters were that much younger and more eager. There seemed to be more spontaneous dancing and overall passion.

I also loved amiable goofy redhead boy Montgomery, who received more screen time in the first season. He was a nice kid and showed a surprising talent for Shakespeare and dance.

The young actors who guest-starred as students added another fun element to the show. I was pleased to see that “The Nanny” star Fran Drescher had not developed as whiny a voice at that stage and liked Osmond family member Jimmy as a mentally disabled student. His natural charm and goofy smile overcame his limited acting, singing, and performing abilities.

I invite the folks who feel more passion about “Fame” to e-mail me at I am curious about what I am missing.

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Review by John Stahl
John Stahl is a freelance legal writer who is also a fan of classic and cult television programs. He can be reached at

The Lucille Ball Specials  on DVDThe Lucille Ball Specials

Product Details
¥ Actors: Gene Anthony Ray, Carlo Imperato, Albert Hague
¥ Format: Box set, Color, DVD, Full Screen, NTSC
¥ Language: English
¥ Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
¥ Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
¥ Number of discs: 7
¥ Rating:
¥ NR (Not Rated)
¥ Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
¥ DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
¥ Run Time: 1829 minutes

Product Description
Episodes-Bonus Features:
Disc 1: **Metamorphosis
**Passing Grade
**Tomorrow's Farewell
**Alone In A Crowd
**To Soar And Never Falter

Disc 2: **The Sell Out
**The Strike
**Street Kid
**But Seriously Folks
**Come One, Come All (This episode has been musically edited)

Disc 3: **The Crazies
**A Musical Bridge
**A Big Finish

Disc 4: **Reunions
**A Special Place

Disc 5 Side A: **And the Winner Is
**Your Own Song
**Class Act

Disc 5 Side B: **Teachers
**Solo Song

Disc 6 Side A: **Words
**Childhood's End
**A Tough Act to Follow

Disc 6 Side A: **Relationships
**Star Quality
**Sunshine Again
**Love is the Question

Disc 7 Side A: **Blood, Sweat and Circuits
**Friendship Day
**Not in Kansas Anymore

Disc 7 Side B: **Help from My Friends
**Ending on a High Note
**U.N. Week

**Featurette - Debbie Allen Piece


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Book About Greensboro



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