Finally we've reached the Number One spot on my Count down of the things I love about the show. At number one is Equality!
To me, one of the most important messages that the show put out was “We’re all the same”. We had many episodes dealing with prejudice of various kinds whether it be on the grounds of race, colour, disability etc and the show gave a clear message that it was wrong.
This was a message that was constantly reinforced though out the 6 seasons the show ran for but not just in the stories but in real life too. It was important to me that the show had a strong mix of main characters of different cultures, ages and races. At the time American shows would often have a token black cast member, who in terms of air time and storylines were often neglected and were only there to support the white characters. Fame was different; right from the start virtually a 3rd of the cast was not white. These main characters were backed by the numerous black dancers too.
The important thing with “Fame” was that the black characters were all so strongly written and were equally leading the show along with the white characters. For me it was the first time that people of all races and backgrounds were given an equal chance to shine.
Although some of the episodes on disability aren’t my favourites, the stories on racial discrimination are amongst the best Fame episode made. I always remember the scenes in season 2’s “Beginnings” as the characters stood up in protest against the racist ballet teacher and I wanted to be stood up with them too.
With people like Debbie Allen such a strong guiding force behind the cameras too it felt that the messages that the show was giving were how the cast and crew really felt.
It was important to me that one of my very favourite things, not only had a thinking and belief system that was similar but also helped me develop further my own thinking on certain topics too.
Although at the time the show was originally broadcast I hadn’t come to terms with my own sexuality I felt that I would be accepted by the people on the show. Even though I knew I was different, I felt sure those differences wouldn’t matter with these people and characters who felt like family to me.
The lyrics to the season 3 song “We’re all the same, in so many different ways..” just say it all for me.
All of my top ten items added together made Fame a totally unique show to watch and be a part of and I feel my life has been some much richer because of that.