All American Season Three Overview: The CW Soccer Drama Nonetheless Scores, However MVP Daniel Ezra Deserves Extra

At the start of All American, the CW drama that followed a black teen (Daniel Ezra) who struggled to reconcile his Compton identity with his promising new life as a Beverly Hills-based soccer star, issues of blackness, of colorism and privileges examines mostly singular coming-of-age stories. Now as that narrative evolves into All American Season 3, we see some of these themes with varying degrees of success and a central figure grappling with the seemingly self-proclaimed responsibility of being everything for everyone.

Identity problems throughout adolescence remain rife, especially in today’s social media world where too often they are subject to court public opinion, and All American filtered this through an intriguing high school sports lens. It started with the question: what happens to Spencer (Ezra) – the young black athlete who deserves a ticket to success in a predominantly white, affluent neighborhood, but also feels obliged to keep his old district going – as well as his single mother ( Karimah Westbrook)) and brother (Jalyn Hall)? Since then, showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll, inspired by real-life soccer player Spencer Paysinger, has expanded the series beyond the locker room to more fully explore both landscapes and the people in them. And it was better for that.

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Coming from the show’s Compton story, there is Spencer’s long-time best friend Coop (Bre-Z), whom he has taken under his wing and kept away from criminal activities so that she can fully realize her dreams as a rapper. Coop’s evolution, fueled by Bre-Z’s endlessly dedicated performance, has moved from supporting character to dominant narrative addressing her career goals, a new dynamic with her now touring singer (Chelsea Tavares), as well as a past that continues to follow her .

Likewise, there are plenty of interesting dramas that come from the Beverly Hills side of the series. Spencer’s entry into Coach Billy Baker’s (Taye Diggs) home, and later from Coach Billy Baker’s home, prompted his entire family to engage in difficult racial conversations for the first time in their remarkably elitist lives. So it should come as no surprise that Carroll and her team have now anchored the characters even further by adding today’s era of the Black Lives Matter movement to their storylines.

Daniel Ezra, all American

Not only do Coach Baker’s family struggle with their own complicity, which has forced his daughter Olivia (Samantha Logan) to create her own wake-up agenda, they all have exciting storylines, too. Billy is still struggling to mend his marriage to his wife (Monet Mazur) after learning of his longstanding affair with Spencer’s mother, while he also struggles to gain the respect of his new Compton football team, his and his reluctant to hug Spencer’s return to the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, Billy’s son Jordan (Michael Evans Behling) struggles with a surprising new coach and learns what’s left of his relationship with Simone (GeffriMaya) after finding out he’s not her baby’s father and now she is forced to make a difficult decision. Oh, and Olivia, like pretty much everyone else on this show, has to grapple with her own share of romantic drama as she rebuilds her relationship with Asher (Cody Christian) just as the new school year brings new obstacles for her.

All of the characters – as well as the actors – bring so much to All American that it should force the writers to come up with a new goal for Spencer that has been reduced to someone who has made commitments far beyond his loyalty to himself Neighborhood or determine your own identity. While his relationship with his mother has become increasingly dependent on the man of the house and less on the son (especially a black mother who doesn’t seem like she will tolerate such nonsense), Spencer’s insistence that he take on paternal responsibilities or There’s no need to advise Billy on how to lead his team.

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Judging only from the first two episodes of the new season made available to the press, the writers seem to have run out of ideas for Spencer, which is hard to imagine when you consider it to be after everything that has already happened , there is still room for self-discovery for him. Although he and his girlfriend Layla (Greta Oniegou) are now on the rise – and she is entangled in the music world with Solitaire at least – this could be a good time to take a closer look at his post-graduate dreams and / or his own fatherly Emptiness, especially since his father’s death. It’s time to really answer the question: who wants to be Spencer? Or maybe a simpler question given his age: How does Spencer feel about who he is right now?

Still, All American is an easy-to-digest series that deals with real-world problems mostly through a teenage lens, even if it has forgotten its original purpose. Ezra, who has always been better at masking his British accent than many veteran actors, remains a dedicated protagonist whose talents will hopefully be used more heavily this season.

TV Guide rating: 3/5

All US season three premieres will be on Monday January 18th on The CW

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