Never Judge a Show By its Cover

Gloria Guerrero, Writer

Quarantine has me doing things I never thought I’d be doing. Watching Netflix for 12 hours straight is one of those things. For months the show “All American” was lingering in my Netflix recommendations and after reading the short summary Netflix provides, I just wasn’t interested.

One day, out of absolute boredom, I decided to bite the bullet and give the show a try. Within the first two episodes, I was already hooked. In the pilot episode, South Crenshaw high football player Spencer James is one of the top football players in his area when Beverly Hills High football recruiter Billy Baker approaches him to join his team.

At first, Spencer is iffy about leaving his home, family, and friends. Despite those worries and concerns his mother Grace and best friend Coop convince him that this is an opportunity that he would greatly benefit from if he wanted a future in football.

After moving in with Coach Baker and his family to be eligible to play for Beverly High, Spencer James is faced to deal with privileged football players who think he is out to steal their spotlight.

 A bond that is very well developed is the bond between Coach Baker’s son Jordan, and Spencer. Majority of the first season the two are struggling to blend both diverse worlds. Jordan comes from a wealthy family in Beverly Hills whereas the area Spencer comes from is considered the dangerous, violent neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles where gun violence doesn’t seem to end. As the season progresses Jordan puts his jealousy and judgment behind him and decides to explore Spencer’s world in order to better understand him.

When the two take a trip down to Crenshaw they are stopped by two white policemen and questioned about the vehicle they are driving. The situation got ugly very quickly and despite the two innocent kids doing absolutely nothing wrong they were both arrested. Coach baker later called this the “ugly side of being a black man in America.”

At the end of the day the old saying “Never judge a book by its cover” remains an important message we should all follow just as “All American” did when addressing cultural stereotypes.