Fast Times

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This article is about the 1986 television mini-series. For the second episode of the 2012 series Continuum, see Fast Times (Continuum).
Fast Times
Also known as Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Genre Comedy
Developed by Moon Unit Zappa
Directed by Amy Heckerling
Creative director(s) Cameron Crowe
Starring
Theme music composer Oingo Boingo
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 7
Production
Producer(s) Amy Heckerling
Jonathan Roberts
Editor(s) Debra Chiate
Location(s) Glendale, California
Running time 30 min
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Picture format 35 mm
Audio format Mono
Original run March 5, 1986 (1986-03-05) – April 23, 1986 (1986-04-23)
Chronology
Preceded by Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Fast Times is a seven-episode 1986 television remake of the 1982 movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High that was produced by Amy Heckerling, who directed the original film. Cameron Crowe, who penned the original Fast Times novel and film screenplay, served as creative consultant. Moon Unit Zappa participated as a technical consultant. She was hired in order to research slang terms and mannerisms of teenagers, as she had just graduated from high school at the time and had a much better grasp of then-current high school behavior than the writers. Oingo Boingo provided the theme song.

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Title Directed by: Written by: Air date
1 "The Last Laugh" Amy Heckerling Amy Heckerling,
Dennis Rinsler,
Marc Warren
March 5, 1986 (1986-03-05)
Mark and Mike devise a plan to get Stacey to date Mark. Brad is having problems staying awake at work. Some of the guys challenge Spicoli to see if Mr. Hand can actually laugh.
2 "Pilot" Amy Heckerling Amy Heckerling,
Dennis Rinsler,
Jonathan Roberts,
Marc Warren
March 12, 1986 (1986-03-12)
Linda, who as a rule doesn't date high-school boys, agrees to go out with Brad, but only if no one finds out. Meanwhile, Mr. Hand is betting Spicoli will screw up his class presentation.
3 "The Engagement" Daniel Attias David Steven Cohen,
Roger S.H. Schulman
March 19, 1986 (1986-03-19)
Linda promises that everyone will get to meet her mysterious fiance from Chicago at her birthday party. Meanwhile, Spicoli starts a rumor that Mr. Hand lost an eye fighting in World War II.
4 "What Is Life?" Amy Heckerling Amy Heckerling,
Dennis Rinsler,
Marc Warren
March 26, 1986 (1986-03-26)
A fast-food entrepreneur dies unexpectedly, leaving one of his employees — Brad — too preoccupied with matters of life and death to perform a lip-sync number in the school talent show.
5 "My Brother, the Car" Neal Israel Dennis Rinsler,
Marc Warren
April 2, 1986 (1986-04-02)
Brad thinks life has dealt him a cruel blow when Linda asks him out and he has no wheels because his driver's license has been suspended. Meanwhile, Ms. Melon wants to analyze one of Stacy's minor personal problems in class.
6 "My New Best Friend" Neal Israel Jonathan Roberts,
Allen Rucker
April 9, 1986 (1986-04-09)
Stacy feels left out when Linda starts spending more time with a new friend. Meanwhile, Mr. Hand accepts a promotion to vice-principal.
7 "Secret Romance" Claudia Weill Myles Berkowitz,
Kevin Parent
April 23, 1986 (1986-04-23)
Stacy disappears on a date with "the perfect guy," someone she just met, and doesn't tell anybody where she's going. Meanwhile, Mr. Vargas loses his zest for teaching and resigns.

Response[edit]

Jeff Borden of the Charlotte Observer observed the series' biggest downfall: "The challenge 'Fast Times' faces is emphasizing the comedic elements from the R-rated film while soft-pedaling the teen lust aspects that were a major part of the movie. Comic characters like spaced-out surfer Jeff Spicoli fare well, while subtle characters like fast-food king and would-be ladies man Brad Hamilton are sanitized into blandness." [1]

Christopher Cornell, writing in The Philadelphia Inquirer, echoed the sentiment: "People who liked the movie (read: teenagers) will tune in expecting something like what they saw in the theater. But the network is going to have to completely eliminate the movie's cheerfully rampant drug use and tone down the lusty sexual content, so that parents won't be uncomfortable."

However, Borden calls Fast Times "the hippest look at high school life since the late, lamented Square Pegs few seasons back, yet it treats the teachers with compassion and respect. An "us vs. them" mentality is avoided." Mike Duffy of the Detroit Press disagreed entirely, saying "With 'Fast Times,' we have 'Dull Pegs'."

Mark Dawidziak of the Akron Beacon Journal was far less than kind to the sitcom: "Just when you thought the CBS Wednesday schedule couldn't get any worse, along comes these two lethal stinkers (Fast Times and another series that preceded it, Tough Cookies). It would be better if the network programmers turned the hour over to repeated tests by the Emergency Broadcast System. It would be better, and considerably more entertaining, if they devoted the hour to a reading of the Newark Yellow Pages. It would be better, and far more merciful, if they just went dark. Just about anything would be kinder than subjecting even a few stray viewers to this video swill. Indeed, Tough Cookies and Fast Times make Stir Crazy look like television's answer to Ulysses."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fast Times at Ridgement High, The Info Archive

External links[edit]