All American: “Pilot” – Review

All American premieres October 10th on The CW.

By Mary Rosalea

The CW is riding high on success and coming in hot again this year, bringing us All American. Based on the true story of NFL player Spencer Paysinger, this show tells the story of Spencer James (Daniel Ezra), a high school football player from Crenshaw that gets recruited to play for Beverly Hills.

Spencer has an almost savant-like ability to read body language in a way that makes him indispensable as a player. However, tensions rise when he also has to move in with his new coach and actually live in Beverly Hills. Also, the game-changing cliffhanger at the end of this episode? Smacks you in the face!

This show has a star-studded line up on and off the screen that almost guarantees its future success. Writers April Blair (Reign) and Greg Berlanti (Arrow) are the dream team that brings this amazing story to life. Spencer Paysinger himself is even on the production team to add his flavor of authenticity. Did I mention that the coach, Billy Baker, is played by Taye Diggs? Who knows, maybe given the subject matter, we might even get a few cameo appearances from certain athletically inclined celebrities throughout the course of this show.

All American has all the necessary factors in a modern teen drama to be a hit. Since it’s a true story, it deals with real issues: drugs, poverty, gang wars, the list goes on. These are all hot topic items right now in real life, and it is vital to showcase in a way that will hopefully get through to kids who can relate enough to the characters on this show to learn from example without having to experience the mistakes themselves. Also like any good show, there are several opportunities for different love triangles just littered across the main characters. This is a story that needs to be told.

Overall, I think this pilot was very promising and hopefully the rest of the season can live up to the standard they have just set for themselves. All American has to potential to be just as well received, if not surpassing, other shows of its kind (i.e., Friday Night Lights). The season will continue to air Wednesdays on The CW. I will definitely be tuning in to see what Spencer’s next play is.

I give All American‘s pilot an A.


[Want to help TV and City? Shoot us an email at]