USA High | USA Network | 1999-2000
Does anyone else remember this show? It’s not the most memorable, but you guys already know that I have questionable taste.
Funny story. I’ve been trying to remember this show for years. YEARS. I’m sure that I’ve come across it and dismissed it during my search because my memory is more photographic than anything. The name USA High meant nothing to me. All I remembered that the headmaster had a daughter at the boarding school and that there was a cafe with some kind of orange/red seating and that there was a token black girl on the show.
If you were around in the 90s, you know that basically sums up every single teen show. It was basically the same dude making them (think Saved By The Bell). I searched high and low anyway because it bugged me that I couldn’t remember and then one day it happened.
The black girl I remembered popped up on a brief scene on The Fresh Prince (which I just happened to be rewatching). I have no idea how I knew it was her, but I was literally just like THAT IS THE GIRL FROM THE SHOW I DON’T REMEMBER!
Her name is Marquita Terry. I looked her up and voila, there it was.
After such a soulful journey, I couldn’t even hate the show. It’s terrible. It’s somewhat skeevy, and it’s full of ridiculous stereotypes about Brooklyn, Germany, British people and you know, black people (she just had to be the aggressive kind that threatens to beat people up a lot), but somehow it still manages to retain its nineties charm.
That being said, I still have some snark.
Let’s take a look at the plot:
Six suitemates at an exclusive American high school in Paris become friends and have the time of their lives.
…so basically this is a show about nothing that just happens to be set in an American high school in Paris.
Paris in this case = mentioning The Louvre, Champs Elysées and Eiffel Tower at any opportunity possible. If they didn’t mention Paris now and then, you’d hardly know where it was based. Hell, they even pay for everything in dollars, lol.
Let’s take a look at the main characters (season 1 only because it’s not the same without Lazz).
Bobby ‘Lazz’ Lazzarini
- He’s from Brooklyn, and so he says ‘Youse’ and other Brooklynisms at any opportunity
- Has a strange obsession with meat
- His parents are… ice clowns
- He’s the short one who never gets any girls… until he does.
- He’s the wheeler dealer of the group and despite the fact that he’s always coming up with money schemes, he seems to be able to order very expensive meat whenever he wants.
- Resident douche – sorry, heartthrob
- Plays guitar, sings cheesy love songs that are at odds with his sketchy exterior
- Is highly sensitive. Literally, every time he has an argument with someone he said, ‘I don’t want anything to do with you!’ which is dramatic because he lives in the same suite. That’s kind of impossible, bro.
- Daddy issues
- Mommy issues
- Surfer bro dating his ex issues
- At one point he had frosted tips. I’m so happy that look died down. It’s horrifying.
Winnie Sue Barnes
- Stereotype City 101 right here
- She’s loud, aggressive, lots of attitude
- She threatens to beat someone up at least once per episode
- Somehow she managed to have a long lasting relationship with Christian that’s partly based on fear.
- Like I said, unfortunate stereotypes.
- That being said, there are some nice scenes with her buried under the steaming pile of stereotypes.
- I particularly like her catchphrase ‘H.O.T.T HOTT’.
- The dimwitted, muscled German
- At the start of the sshow his behaviour was creepy and weird but he ended up being sweet albeit in a really dumb way
- Eye candy x 1000000
- Uh. Well. Clearly he’s one of the more nuanced characters.
- I think he’s secretly snarky but hides behind his dim exterior for reasons unknown. Just go with my theory, dammit.
- The pretty one
- Uh… That’s it really.
- I can’t remember too much and I’ve been watching this shit on a daily basis. Welp.
- I looked the actress up and she seems to be married to some sort of Scientology weirdo. This doesn’t surprise me at all. What’s creepy is that she looks exactly the same.
- Pretty teacher
- Teaches 57 different subjects because this school only has two teachers, a headmaster and a cleaner.
- Has no real purpose on the show apart from every male character leering at her.
- Stuffy headmaster who spends most of his time hitting on Miss Dupree or handing out restrictions (detention)
- Should have been handed at least 59 sexual harassment suits within the first twelve episodes. The teenage characters gawping at Miss Dupree is at least in character… Watching a grown ass man do the same thing isn’t all that funny.
- Even with the British accent. Sorry.
- The actress who played her adopted what has to be the worst English accent of all time. Instead of ‘speshul’, she pronounces special as ‘spessial’. So wrong.
- I guess the writers were going for the barmy Brit stereotype because she’s freaking nuts.
- My favourite Ashley scene is when they’re parachuting out of a plane and she’s extremely excited… only for another character to point out that she’s wearing her backpack and not the parachute.
- NGL, I wouldn’t have minded if they’d killed her off. Her accent is soul destroying.
All in all this show is hopelessly stupid, but hey, the theme song is catchy.