on December 10, 2005
Ken Reeves (Ken Howard) and the basketball team of Carver High School returned for a second season of antics on and off the court. In this season, a lot more personal issues were dealt with, such as Gomez dealing with a father who when he wasn't gambling was physically abusing his family, Thorpe dealing with VD because he and Coolidge were both physically involved with the same girl, and Jackson learning his dropped out ex girlfriend became a prostitute. The series reaches its climax in the end as several team members are about to graduate just after winning the city championship, one will not live to see his cap and gown (I'll be nice and not give any more away). A few changes were made to the cast, Ken's sister and brother in law, the Donahues were slowly moved on. Russell Phillip Robinson joined up as team equipment manager Phil Jeffers, and John Mengatti in the occasional role of Salami's (Tim Van Patten) cousin from New York (and new player) Nick Vitaglia (he will join the opening credits in the final season which will hopefully be out soon after this one). As I said before in my review of season 1, this was a series I grew up with during Junior High (and it helped prepare me for the life of a high school kid). I am looking forward for this set (and when it comes out season 3 as well) to arrive in my DVD library.:-)
on April 4, 2006
I loved The White Shadow when it had its TV run when I was a teenager in the late 70s. The storylines were pretty interesting and the cast, which contained a mix of decent actors (Thomas Carter as Hayward, Kevin Hooks as Thorpe, Ken Howard as Reeves) and lousy actors (pretty much everybody else) but nonetheless had great chemistry together. That's probably why people are so upset over the use of the 3rd season cast as the cover of the 2nd season discs. The cast from Seasons 1 and 2 are the one that fans remember the most. The Season 3 cast ended up bringing the show down in a huge hurry.
But I'll overlook this huge mistake as I believe these 24 episodes from Season 2 were some riveting television. I watched all the episodes in less than a week (if I didn't have a job, I would have probably done it in about 2 to 3 days). There was hardly a clunker in the bunch. Personal favorites are the episodes where Hayward considers avenging the death of a cousin from a drug overdose, the episode where Salami was seduced by his teacher (which seems ahead of its time considering there are a lot more stories about this happening today than way back when this show came out) and the death of Curtis Jackson during the teams prep for the city championship.
The funny thing about watching these episodes in a short amount of time is how out of sequence things are. For example, in the first episode of Season 2 you see the new character "New York" Vitalgia in game action with Coach Reeves yelling at him. A few episodes later, Salami introduces "New York" Vitalgia to Coach Reeves and asks him if he can try out for the team. A couple of episodes later Reeves asks Vitalgia how he pronounces his name. Plus it seemed like Carver played "South" about 4 or 5 times that season.
Extras on the DVD set are a short documentary on Bruce Paltrow, the creator of the show (yes, he was Gwynneth's dad), another documentary on how 3 of the players (Thomas Carter, Kevin Hooks and Tim Van Patten) have become respected directors. Also, most of the players contribue a fun commentary on the episode with the Globetrotters (they give a nice tribute to Nathan Cook, who played Milton Reese, who passed away almost 20 years ago).
I know a lot of folks are going to say they won't buy Season 3 when it comes out on DVD, but it looks like there is going to be a great documentary on the series in this set (according to a preview of it on the disc). My guess is the DVD producers know it probably won't sell well of its own accord, so they need to add a sweetener. I'll be buying it.
on September 23, 2011
A wonderful show and a real time capsule of my high school experience. The makeup of the team and some of the stories mirror my high school team.
Our high school yearbook team photo could be the cover to season one of The White Shadow. Creator Bruce Paltrow had a short walk from the CBS Studios
to the high school for ideas and to watch some good basketball. Clearly, my thoughts on the show are biased. My daughter sometimes would ask me about
my high school experiences, to which I would answer, "go watch a little White Shadow". The basketball scenes are dated and not very good, but the subject
matter of many of the stories are really good. A special mention to Ken Howard as Coach Reeves. A wonderful actor and athletic enough to pull off the ex pro
on March 3, 2012
In the CBS drama "The White Shadow," Ken Reeves (Ken Howard) is a former Chicago Bulls player who retired due to a knee injury. He accepts a basketball coaching job at a predominantly minority high school in Los Angeles where his college friend Jim Willis (Ed Bernard) is the principal.
Coach Reeves turns the team into winners as he gives his players guidance both on and off the court, but the team goes through some difficult times during the school year. Some of the themes explored in the 24 episodes of Season Two include gambling, racism, venereal diseases, illiteracy, prostitution, illicit student-teacher affairs, abuse of both illegal and prescription drugs, and even early death. An episode on visiting Russian players fortuitously aired the Tuesday after the U.S. beat the Soviet Union in the Miracle on Ice.
The actors who comprised the basketball team were for the most part pretty good as well, and had great chemistry on the show. Despite all their troubles, the team had a successful season and the show really portrays the sense of camaraderie that comes with playing high school sports. Basketball fans would love the show, but "The White Shadow" is also about a lot more than basketball.
on June 27, 2007
Another school year at Carver High and while some things have changed much has remained the same. The early episodes of this season still has Coach Reeves attempting to win the complete trust of his players. However, outside forces, such as an embittered and wronged black student,attempt to sabotage the players-coach relationship. Another excellent episode is when a new player suddenly dies during practice shortly after making the team. These are just a couple of examples of how The White Shadow was ahead of its time when it came to television series' about high school. The young generation may think this show is dated but if you grew up watching this show as I did, you'll appreciate and reminisce.
on September 14, 2014
I haven't watched these yet, but this was always one of my favorite series. Having coached and taught math for 48 years, I usually always enjoy sports shows, and The White Shadow has always been at the top of the list. They used a racially mixed team in a minority neighborhood and showed how kids can learn to work together, but also learn to love each other. It is a great series.
on April 3, 2006
I am SO mad! How on earth could the studio do this? I mean, it'd be like the BRADY BUNCH Season Two with "Cousin Oliver" on the cover. This new WHITE SHADOW DVD set for Season 2 has the lousy third season cast on the cover, the cast that killed the show. But the good thing is, Season 2's episodes are intact, and it's the last great season of this three-season TV series. My personal favorite episode is where Hayward (played by Thomas Carter, probably the best actor of the bunch) goes after the drug dealer who sold his cousin some deadly heroin. There are corny episodes during this season, like the Christmas Show, and there are some bores; the one about Jackson's girlfriend being a hooker, and another about Thorpe giving Coolidge's girlfriend V.D., and another about a Russian guy defecting, come to mind. And some depressing ones: the show centering on the fate of Jackson, that seemed written in ten minutes. But to counter these are some fun and laidback episodes, like when the gang goes golfing (which turns not so fun when they learn the course is restricted); or the one where they play the Harlem Globetrotters. All in all, if you are a fan of this awesome series, this is the DVD to get, this and Season 1. Just don't look at the cover... if you're in the know, it'll depress the heck outta ya. Also, I like the character Nick, who is Salami's cousin, aka, New York. The folks on "Jump The Shark" don't like him, but I think he added a lot.
for the first few seasons the white Shadow was unstoppable. the 2nd season is more developed than the first season. the story lines are stronger&the overall chemistry is stronger as well. the Commentary is cool. back in the day the White Shadow was a Prime time Afterschool special in some ways,but it made a whole of lot of sense beyond the school yard. the show is still cool& it's good to have it on DVD.
on January 15, 2012
This was an excellent gift to my boyfriend. We have been watching the series from beginning to end and completely enjoying this video. Blast from the past. :-)The video itself is in great condition. A "heads up" that the episodes are on both sides of the discs.
Great series, even if it was only 2 seasons.
on August 18, 2006
After all these years it was great getting to view my favorite show when I was young! I can remember there was no vhs back in those days and having to record each episode via tape recording. Thanks for finally getting these on dvd. I await the third season.