Video Review: The Heights "How Do You Talk To An Angel"

In black-and-white, a young man rides his bike across the street in a blue-collar Heights neighborhood. The apartment building changes to color. J.T. (Shawn David Thompson), wearing his USA jacket, walks to his motorcycle. Alex (Jamie Walters) records a song in a recording studio.

Returning to black-and-white, Alex and Rita (Cheryl Pollak) talk on the sidewalk. Hope (Charlotte Ross) and J.T. argue on a rooftop. In color, Alex and Rita kiss while Hope leans against a wall, wearing her sunglasses. Hope, J.T. and Rita perform on the rooftop.

In black-and-white, Stan (Alex Désert) walks across the street. Lenny (Zachary Throne) and Anthur (Ken Garito) play their instruments as they walk on the sidewalk. Hope smiles. Jodie (Tasia Valenza) and Alex stand in the shadows. Back in color, Hope listens as J.T. plays her a song he started to write.

Anthur and J.T. stand against some street in black-and-white. Rita leans against someone’s knee. Rita and Alex have a serious conversation in the studio. Stan looks up from his notebook. In color, Rita stands against a baby blue painted wall, her fingers on her saxophone. J.T. opens the trunk of car. Hope rides on the back of J.T.’s bike.

Back to black-and-white, J.T. leaps off a parking garage. Hope and Rita hang out by the convenience store. In color, J.T. records his vocals in the studio. Anthur throws a basketball to Stan while Rita laughs in a parking lot.

In black-and-white, Rita laughs while she lies on the floor. She plays the saxophone with the band in the studio. Back in color, Rita hugs Alex. Rotating to black-and-white, each band member plays their instrument in the warehouse. Stan snaps a photo.

In color, Jodie gives Alex a kiss on the cheek. Continuing in black-and-white, J.T. swings Hope around. J.T. sings into the microphone. Hope plays with her hair. Stan grabs J.T. from behind. J.T. waves goodbye to Hope and Rita. Lenny and Anthur play their instruments in the corner of a building.

Back in color, Alex carries his guitar case behind the building. The group walks together on the sidewalk.

Rating: 1/5

Fox has cancelled some shows quickly without giving them a chance, as fans of Firefly and Moonlight know all too well. The Heights was only given 12 episodes which seems generous in comparison. A single hit song resulted from it but not the cult following needed to keep the show going.

From the clips, Rita and Alex are the show’s main couple. J.T. is the bad boy who may have a thing with Hope. Anthur and Lenny provide the comic relief while Stan is the thoughtful one. Jodie is seen but not given much to do.

Aside from being a blue-collar Beverly Hills 90210, the characters seem to resent where they live, believing The Heights is holding them back from true success. Upon a quick rewatch, J.T. is an arrogant sleaze, controlling the band with his demands and flirtation with any girl, even underage. Rita is levelheaded and stands up to J.T. Hope is Heights’ Kelly Taylor with unnoticed talent. Alex is the hardworking new friend who humbles J.T. while Stan and Jodie are nonentities.

It was a show that didn’t realize its strengths: J.T. may be unlikable but his push-and-pull relationship with Hope redeems him. Stan is the eyes and ears for the audience but doesn’t get to comment. However, there are too many problems: Alex and Rita get are rushed, Anthur, Lenny and Jodie could be written out and the parents’ involvement seems to be restrictive given the characters’ ages.

Director: N/A Year: 1992

 

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