Film / Fame

"I'm gonna live forever, I'm gonna learn how to fly (High!)
I feel it coming together, people will see me and cry.
I'm gonna make it to heaven, light up the sky like a flame.
I'm gonna live forever, baby remember my name!"

A musical film in 1980 that later became a stage musical and then was remade in 2009, Fame is the story of some students of the New York High School of Performing Arts, a very exclusive school (which has since been merged with the High School of Music & Art to become the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts). The students find themselves cooperating amongst themselves and with the faculty, even as they compete for chances in the real world to make their dreams of stardom come true, and the obstacles that stand in their way on a personal level.

Fame is an interesting example in that, along with the silver screen and the stage, it's also been presented as a musical television series, several times. The last attempt, in 2003, took the form of a Reality Show similar to American Idol.

The original film received two Academy Awards: one for the score in general, and one for the title track.

The film inspired also a 1982 TV series of the same name with much of the film's cast reprising their roles, and another series in 1997-98 titled Fame L.A..

The movies provide examples of:

The TV series provides examples of:

  • Bowdlerize: TV!Montgomery is not that obviously gay, compared to the movie version of him.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Season 2 episode 12, "Tough Act to Follow", opens with Danny having a dream where he is in the elevator of the apartment building that Mr. Crandall lives in. The elevator malfunctions with Danny still inside, and he is left screaming, "Crandall!" Danny then wakes up right at the stroke of 2:36 AM. At school that day, he finds out that Mr. Crandall died of a heart attack early in the morning, and asks Mrs. Berg what time Crandall died. She says she doesn't know, and after a replay of the scene where Danny wakes up, he says "I know".
  • Christmas Episode: "All I Want For Christmas" and "Ebenezer Morloch".
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: While many cast members got fond farewells, others vanished without warning (i.e. Doris). Subverted in that many of them come Back for the Finale.
  • Dance Party Ending: The finale - and yes, it was to the title song.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Miss Grant comes the closest.
    Lydia Grant: You've got big dreams, you want fame. Well fame costs, and right here is where you start paying; in sweat.
  • Emergency Impersonation: The 1985 episode "His Majesty Donlon" sees Chris having to trade places with Prince Frederic of Vatonia to allow the prince to experience normal life for a period (though unknown to Chris until a near-miss; the Prince is also the target of an assassination plot).
  • First Run Syndication: After NBC canned the show after 2 seasons, the rest of the show ran in syndication.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise: See Dance Party Ending for the video.
  • Local Hangout: Lou's Lanes becomes this during the latter part of the series' run.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: The Season 5 finale "The Incident" (focusing on an accident that left Jesse Velazquez unconscious). In fact it came a little too close to plagiarismnote 
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The Season 2 "Episodes" had its main plot (Leroy losing a role in the school's play after being tardy when he decided to try out for a dance troupe) based on Gene Anthony Ray (who played Leroy) being constantly late for tapings and rehearsals. Apparently, the message didn't sink in at the time for Ray; who ended up being suspended for 5 episodes in Season 3.
    • The decision to have Nicole Chapman killed off towards the end was the result of two eerie coincidences - the writers were planning on doing a drunk driving episode around the time Nia Peeples planned on leaving the show. Rather than put Nicole on a bus, they killed her off entirely (and later regretted doing so).
  • Rearrange the Song: For the first few seasons, the theme was arranged in a similar manner as the film version. By the last season, however, the song received a more synthpop sounding arrangement.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The song "That Dream", featured in the season 3 episode "A Way of Winning", later appeared in the Kids Incorporated episode "You've Got The Wrong Date". A given, since both shows were made by MGM and featured original songs by Michael Cruz.
    • The song "That's Dancin'" was also shared by both shows, appearing in the Fame episode "The Rivalry" and the Kids Incorporated episode "The Wallflower".
  • Say My Name: See Catapult Nightmare.
  • Very Special Episode: Many, including "Help From My Friends" and "Go Softly Into the Morning".
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: Naturally, "Ebenezer Morloch".


The musical version provides examples of:


Alternative Title(s): Fame LA