Remember My Name!

Fame (2009) is a name I’ll forget almost immediately. The 1980 original was just the beginning. It’s success led to a 1982 TV series with some of the original cast, a singing group called The Kids from “Fame,” a 1988 stage musical, another 1997 TV series set in Los Angeles called Fame L.A., a TV movie sequel that was never produced, and a reality competition series inspired by American Idol. I agree that the performing arts concept has many possibilities, but who was asking for a modern remake? Apart from annoying filters and camera techniques, Fame (2009) was ruined the moment it received a PG rating. There’s still a surprising amount of profanity and adult situations, but it’s sanitized in a way that completely misses the point of the R rated original.

Fame (2009) dropped what made the original special just to be a High School Musical clone. Some teen problems carryover, but there’s clearly a line that they don’t cross. I didn’t recognize any of the young cast with the exception of Danielle Panabaker’s lesser known little sister Kay. I did however recognize every actor who played a Drama, Music, or Dancing teacher. Including Debbie Allen who has the distinction of being in every iteration of Fame. There’s also Kelsey Grammer, Charles S. Dutton, Bebe Neuwirth, and Megan Mullally. Students are so bland that I struggled to remember any of them. Characters are either race swapped, gender swapped, or an amalgamation of multiple characters from the original.

Angry rapper Malik is a combination of Montgomery, Ralph, and Leroy. Jenny is like Doris, but she experiences an uncomfortable audition like Coco. Except that a porno shoot is replaced by some jerk failing to seduce her on camera. Marco is like Ralph since he dates Jenny. Kevin is just a male version of Lisa who also fails to commit suicide. Victor is like Bruno for his electronic music and Leroy since he dates dancer Alice who is like Hilary. Joy is mostly her own character who drops out for an acting gig. Niel is also his own character who stupidly gives money away to an obvious filmmaking scam. Though she has the parental stress of Doris, Denise is also like Coco since Naturi Naughton sings “Out Here on My Own” and an overproduced cover of the Oscar winning title song. The rest of the new songs are forgettable. Fame (2009) has no chance of living forever.

Fame 2009

Students dance in the school

Remake of: Fame (1980)

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