My God. How great of a show was Hang Time? Don’t answer that. It’s rhetorical, but also impossible. Because the greatness of Hang Time simply cannot be conveyed in words. It was that freakin’ awesome.
If you don’t believe me, just watch the Season Three intro. No talking. Just watching. Then we’ll discuss:
Wasn’t that fun? Your day is already better, I can feel it. Let’s talk about what we’ve just seen, shall we? It’s worth a brief dissertation…
Most Awesome Thing About Hang Time No. 1: The Song
That song is infectious. And they’re f**king runnin’ together! How can you not relate to that? No lone wolves here.
Okay, so her character’s name was Julie Connor, but whatever. Daniella Deutscher sounds better, if only because you could easily misconstrue her surname to describe half the guys at your gym. Plus, she’s from Bozeman, Montana. I know, right! Bozeman! Who’d a thunk it? If you’ve never been to Bozeman, you should go. Home to Montana State University and the Museum of the Rockies. Check it.
Then there’s the fact that she’s smokin’ hot and can ball. Dude. She’s like the white guys’ version of Monica from Love & Basketball. Jimmer Fredette deserves her.
Thirdly — and seriously, how did we overlook this throughout the duration of the series — she’s a complete anomaly in the world of Title IX that we currently live in. Shouldn’t Deutscher (Connor) be playing for the girls’ basketball team? This isn’t 1940. What the hell happened here? Do they ever explain why Deutscher (Connor) is running with the guys? And how come no other teams have girls playing with them? What’s up with that?
Regardless, she’s still their best player. I imagine she’s also great for morale in the locker room.
Oh, and to top it all off, Deutscher (Connor) lasted all six seasons of the series. So not only was she the team’s best player, but she was granted two extra years of eligibility. Or simply held back. Twice.
Most Awesome Thing About Hang Time No. 3: The neurotic cheerleader
Never mind the fact that the differences between Deutscher and her cheerleader foil are akin to that of Pluto and Goofy…okay, scratch that, go ahead and mind that fact, it’s worth noting. How do you cast a cheerleader, a female basketball player, and then a third chick who’s your token average girl? It’s almost too perfect. Kind of like a dog with human traits playing alongside a dog with dog traits that happens to be owned by a mouse. What kind of bizarro rainbow unicorn universe are we living in here?
Most Awesome Thing About Hang Time No. 4: Anthony Anderson
Remember Chubby from Teen Wolf? That’s basically Anderson’s role in this entire debacle. Fat guy playing basketball as comic relief. Done.
Oh, and make him the center in spite of the fact that he’s only 5’10”. That should totally fly.
Most Awesome Thing About Hang Time No. 5: Adam Frost
Good looking white guy who happens to be the star of the team.
NO ONE SAW THAT COMING AT ALL.
Most Awesome Thing About Hang Time No. 6: The Made-For-TV Facilities
Tiny church court with eight-and-a-half-foot rims. Yessssssss.
From Season One through Season Three, the head coach of the Deering Tornadoes was Reggie Theus. Yes, THE Reggie Theus. Former Sacramento Kings great.
I know what you’re thinking. Most future NBA head coaches would build their résumés at the college level. Not Theus. He did it at a fictional Indiana high school. That’s ballsy.
But wait, it gets better.
From Season Four through Season Six, the producers elected to replace Theus with…wait for it…Dick Butkus. Yes. Dick Butkus. Hall of Fame linebacker. Why not, right? It totally makes sense. Like casting Michael Jordan as a tennis coach. Or Pacman Jones as a cop.
My guess is that Butkus was looking to broaden his horizons into the world of acting, showed up at the casting call, was immediately recognized amidst all the washed-up bit actors — the Scott Bakulas and Thomas Haden-Churches of the world — and was given the job on the spot.
“Holy crap, it’s Dick Butkus! We gotta cast him!”
“But can he act?”
“Who gives a sh*t?! He was my favorite player growing up!”
I mean…yeah, I’d probably cast him, too. It’s Dick Butkus.