18 April 2009 | sonya90028
Cutting-edge, quality teen series
I loved this show when it came on TV at the end of the 60s. I looked forward to it every Friday night, when it debuted in the fall of '69. I was still in elementary school then. But I really enjoyed this program, about a cool group of high school kids. Walt Whitman High, was a huge HS in Los Angeles. It was a multicultural school, where students of all races attended.
The teachers at Walt Whitman High, were also of various races. Mr. Kauffman, was the dedicated, beleaguered Principal. Pete Dickson, a black man, was the school's American history teacher. He was a caring, patient teacher, who really succeeded in engaging his student's interest in history. Pete Dickson was also someone that the students could come to for advice and assistance, with their personal issues. Ms. McIntyre, the attractive assistant Principal, was also romantically involved with Pete Dickson.
Then there was Alice Johnson, who worked with Pete Dickson as a student teacher. Alice was the often annoying, but well-meaning foil for Pete's self-assured personality. Their classroom featured an interesting menagerie of students. There was Jason, the tough-but-sensitive black kid, with a big 'fro and shades. His friend Ritchie, was the class brain. Helen was the shy, vulnerable girl. Bernie, was the white hippie-type kid, with the red-headed afro hairdo. These students were like real teens, negotiating everyday life in the tumultuous late 60s/early 70s.
The best thing about Room 222, was that it had a fresh, contemporary take on American teens, in an urban high school setting. The values of the show centered on tolerance and diversity, amongst both the students, and the teaching staff. Because of this factor, the series was on the cutting-edge, regarding racial progress in society. The generation gap between the students and their teachers, was also easily bridged due to the open-minded teaching staff.
Yet another thing about this show that was unique, was that it was a drama, yet it also had a laugh-track. It was one of the first shows, that could be categorized as a dramedy. And there was plenty of gentle humor within the show, along with all of the teen angst. Room 222 is on DVD, and can be enjoyed by future generations to come.