Good television does not just entertain but make you wonder. This show makes me wonder several things...
* Why did it take another 20 years for executives to find another good series for Ken Howard?
* Why did this show survive only three years while CBS allowed "Alice", "One Day At A Time", "The Jeffersons" and "All In The Family" to die pathetically three years after they stopped being entertaining?
* Who makes these decisions, anyhow?
This was by far one of the best shows ever. Set in an inner city, the directors worked hard to make it realistic. And they did. Jackson got killed. Thorpe and Coolidge got herpes from the same woman. Reese fell victim to an unscrupulous high school coach. Salami had an affair with a teacher. Hayward's cousin died of a drug overdose. Goldstein struggled with his faith. Coach Reeves struggled with the death of a player during practice. Gomez joined a gang. The show's honesty and wonderful direction and script was so good it was even played on public television in some areas.
Coach Reeves mentored the kids, but never patronized them or tried to be "down" with them. His attitude was "Believe it or not, I've been where you are. So I'll offer you my advice. You can take it or not, but you will have to live with the results either way, so choose carefully." And Reeves also learned from the kids and they learned from each other.
It was a show with limitless potential, but was on a network with limited vision. Pity.