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Fame- Season 1
on 24 June 2007
"Fame" the TV series based on the 1980 Alan Parker film was a smash hit in the 80s,particularly in the UK,its fans helping to bring it back from its axing after two series.
Viewers tuned in,each week to watch the "School of The Arts" drama and dance students of New York,deal with a show problem or a personal one,usually ending in a big production at the end of the episode.
Lee Curreri recreated his film role as Bruno Martelli,the musical genius playing away on his synthesiser while his cabby father tries to pay for all the expensive equipment.
After having only a tiny part in the "Fame" movie,Debbie Allen had a very large role as dance teacher Lydia,the feisty but caring dance teacher,Miss Allen also the dancing boss,behind the scenes too.
The late Albert Hague was great as Professor Shrofosky and his scenes with Bruno were some of the special ones in the show.
The real star of the TV series as in the film,was the late,great Gene Anthony Ray as Leroy Johnson,the street kid with a fantastic dancing ability,whose problems with his other school work,caused him to be at loggerheads with English teacher,Miss Sherwood,a very strong performance from Carol Mayo Jenkins.
Valerie Landsburg was very funny and endearing as the plump Doris,always fighting the weight problem but very funny too,one of the highlights of season 1 is Miss Landsberg belting out "High Fidelity" in a music shop,the song becoming a big hit in the UK,as indeed,did the whole "Kids From Fame" album,leading to several "Fame"tours in Europe but usually without Miss Landsberg.
Strangely Montgommery,gay in the movie,was suddenly straight in the TV series,actor P.R.Paul not really making much of an impression and he didn't return in the 2nd season.
Erica Gimpel took the very important role of Coco(played by Irene Cara in the movie)and although her singing isn't a patch on Irene Cara's,her acting held up and she caught Coco's hunger for fame ,to a tea,indeed Erica Gimpel is still performing away,to this day.
Lori Singer is "goody two shoes" Julie,the one we meet in the pilot,one of the best episodes is when Julie falls in love with a temp teacher,who turns out to be a rat and Julie sings "It's Gonna Be a Long Night",a lovely song but Lori Singer isn't the greatest of singers but it all works somehow.
Carlo Imperato is wisecracking Danny and he is a very likeable character and one episode,deals with his awkwardness with his father and Danny's drug problem,very well written and acted.
So get your leg warmers on and sit and enjoy this great show!