As other reviewers have pointed out, as soon as Lydia Grant asks "You want Fame?" I was instantly transported to happy Saturday afternoons as an awestruck 5year old who was uterally convinced that the New York School of the Arts was a truthful representation of a southern county Senior School.
Watching it again as a less niave 30+ yr old, I was of course struck by the 80tastic aspect (hair, clothes, music and dance) as well as Bruno's obsession with synths. None of this detracts from the show as it does in many programs from my childhood, but rather sets the show in that particular era.
Storywise, the content surprised me... stories of teen prostitition, drug addiction, inapropriate student/teacher relationships as well as the transitory and tenuous nature of fame are sensibly and subtely dealt with. Music/dance wise the cast may not reach the perfection I remember from my younger days but they put their all into it and with only one or two exceptions (mostly on the part of Julie Miller, and less frequently Danny Amatullo) manage to convincince of their talents in singing and dancing (although to be fair Julie was a celloist and Danny a comedian so outstanding vocals/dancing could be overlooked.)
All in all a welcome reminder of my childhood.