All American Season 3 Episode 17 Review: All American: Homecoming

at .

Yes, that certainly will be worth a watch.

The CW's upcoming All American: Homecoming got its back-door pilot on All American Season 3 Episode 17.

Built around Simone, this spinoff is based at the fictitious Bringston University, an HBCU in Atlanta, where Simone's Aunt Amara, a reporter and journalism professor, teaches.

A Campus Visit -- Tall - All American Season 3 Episode 17

Homecoming follows the All American formula, with hot teens on the verge of adulthood and sage but still attractive adults to counsel them. All that's missing are the privileged, whiny white teens, the weakest part of the original series.

Having the action split between schools in Beverly Hills and Crenshaw allows the original to provide different perspectives on current events.

Needs to Get Away - All American Season 3 Episode 17

It has also allowed the haves and have nots to experience how the other half lives.

Homecoming promises to be even more politically vocal than its parent show, with such leaders as Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams coming out of HBCUs.

This pilot largely focused on introducing the characters and, to a lesser degree, the setting. It will be intriguing to see how much social debate becomes a part of the series.

This episode was well set up on All American Season 3 Episode 16 as Simone, Jordan, Spencer, and Olivia sought to escape their personal drama by taking a college tour as many high school seniors do.

Dance Routine - All American Season 3 Episode 17

Of the four, only Spencer really has any direction to his future. At least he has a fallback school that's offering him a full ride, even if it is in Toledo. He can wait for something better to come along with some degree of comfort.

Simone needed a getaway the most of this quartet. She has been under pressure from her status-conscious mother who's planning the wedding of the year, to give some legitimacy to Simone and Jordan's marriage.

Simone doesn't seem to know what her future looks like.

She wants to be near her biological son and near Jordan (who is equally unsure about his future). Bringston was too far away to consider, yet Princeton wasn't. She doesn't know if she can hack tennis at the collegiate level.

Cool Aunt - All American Season 3 Episode 17

It quickly became apparent that this was about journeys to consciousness, both Simone's and Damon's, and the people they met along the way.

Jordan was the offended husband, Olivia the wisecracking friend, and Spencer the dispenser of hard-won wisdom. They were always heading back to Cali.

The only storyline development was the Spencer, and Olivia stopped dancing around their feelings for each other, ironically while dancing.

Still to be determined is what that will mean when they get home. It won't help either to make up with Layla.

Tour Guide - All American Season 3 Episode 17

We discovered there was a lot more depth to Simone than had been on display for her as a recurring character. She is well-read and woke enough to hold her own at an HBCU. She can also be one of the two pillars of a series, with the bonus that her annoying parents will be mostly gone.

Instead, her intriguing Aunt Amara will be substituted. An activist, a journalist, and a teacher, Amara could definitely fill both the Grace role as the adult that all the students come to for advice and the Laura role as the respected professional.

Yes, being with Amara will make Simone a more well-rounded adult than if she stayed at home.

Being on the tennis team with Thea will make Simone a better competitor. She'll have to gain more self-confidence if she is to survive at that level.

Queen Bee - All American Season 3 Episode 17

Thea appeared a queen bitch, but there's got to be a softer side of her which will eventually be unveiled.

Keisha, who seems destined for the knowing best friend role, was the personification of what HBCUs can provide. She was a pre-med major taking a journalism class involved with the dance team and the fashion show, all of which interests Bringston accommodated.

Damon is the opposite of Simone. He's the athlete with a professional-level skill who still opted for the college experience.

From his first meet-cute with Simone, Damon was a young man uncomfortable with the amount of fame that he had already experienced. It turned out he was at Bringston for some degree of normalcy.

Star's Turn - All American Season 3 Episode 17

As too many athletes do, Damon was turning pro to lift a financial burden off of a parent. But his mother was too much of a smother who was overly invested in Damon's success, to his detriment.

Damon was missing his final high-school season so that he didn't risk injury and his draft position. Being back on the field at Bringston reminded him of what the team experience was all about.

Spencer had already been a victim of unwanted publicity, so he could relate. He also could offer Damon the wisdom of his hard-won experience, which probably aided in Damon's decision.

Sure, the academic scandal on the baseball team was cliched. 

Giving Advice - All American Season 3 Episode 17

But it created an opening to model Damon after Spencer, attempting to save a sports team at a troubled institution.

It will be interesting to see how Damon handles being the big man on campus, which has to be less pressure than being the best major-league prospect in the country.

Poor Jordan. He doesn't know it yet, but his relationship with Simone is circling the drain.

Simone and Damon are being set up to be more than friends.

Star's Turn - All American Season 3 Episode 17

To follow Jordan and Simone's relationship, watch All American online.

What did you think of Homecoming?

Will you watch it?

How did you like Damon?

Comment below.

All American: Homecoming Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (114 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

Show Comments
Tags: ,

All American Season 3 Episode 17 Quotes

Simone: I'm not applying here. I'm just visiting my family.
Olivia: More like hiding from family. Simone's mom is, like, a lot.

Amara: Go have some fun. I'll catch you later.
Simone: Are you sure?
Keisha, Girl, don't ask twice.