High Point University

“All American” Season 2 Comes To Netflix

Promotional picture of the cast from “All American.” Photo by TheCW.

By Elise Coby 

Staff Writer

One of the CW’s most-watched shows, “All American,” has released its second season on Netflix. It debuted on March 17. Inspired by the true story of NFL Superbowl Champion Spencer Paysinger, “All American” focuses on aspects of family drama, high school football culture and the collision of the two separate lifestyles of protagonist Spencer James.

Through season one, viewers learn how James’s life is split between two households; his mother and brother in South Central LA and the Bakers of Beverly Hills after his transfer to Beverly High. Although split, these two families and their contrasting lifestyles are drawn together by a deeper connection amidst their differences. This season also focuses on establishing dynamics between family, friends and rivals. 

In season two, those dynamics address serious issues in today’s society, such as racism and mental illness. Episode nine, “One of Them Nights,” depicts racism as a part of Spencer’s community. Tension begins to stir when Spencer, his younger brother and their friends enter a frozen yogurt shop and encounter a hostile woman working at the establishment.

She asks the group to leave suddenly without reason. When the community police show up to the scene, the characters are faced with the issue of white supremacy and little can be done to diffuse the situation. 

“All American” has garnered attention for bringing attention to issues its viewers feel strongly about. A Twitter user, @ur_upgrade, wrote, “I just hate shows where the disadvantaged black youth is supposed to suck up racism for his big shot at sports. #allamerican.” 

A tweet written by @kensley_, reads “Stop all the racism and racial profiling! It’s 2020 People! Everybody deserves to feel free in their own skin! I don’t care what anyone says, there is bad and good in EVERY race! I’m Native American and I’ve experienced this. We all bleed red! #AllAmerican.”

While the issue of racism is addressed frequently on the show, “All American” makes other social commentaries as well. Through the character Layla Faisal (Greta Onieogou), depression is approached as a serious issue. Viewers watch her deteriorate at an alarming rate while struggling to accept help and isolating herself. 

The topic of depression was particularly attention-grabbing because of the character used to portray depression. Layla is a popular high school girl who represents the student population in the student council. What she doesn’t show at school is the absence of her father along with other issues such as the pain of being alone in her house during a burglary.

The show depicts the harmful ways she chose to cope with her depression and how it led her to a dark place. It was unexpected yet eye-opening and showed that all people are susceptible to mental health issues regardless of who they are and who they are perceived as. The show also did a great job displaying how people with similar issues can seek help through Layla’s admittance to a mental health center.   

Season two of “All American” is currently ranked third in Netflix’s top 10 most-watched titles. “All American” has been approved for a third season, which will be released to Netflix on Oct. 5, 2020.