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Series / Lincoln Heights

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Lincoln Heights is an American drama television series that aired for four seasons (2007–09) on ABC Family.

It's about Eddie Sutton (Russell Hornsby), a Mission Vista police officer who moves with his family — wife Jenn (Nicki Micheaux), daughters Cassie (Erica Hubbard) and Lizzie (Rhyon Nicole Brown), and son Tay (Mishon Ratliff) — back to where he grew up in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, to start a new life and make a difference in his old neighborhood. It is a dangerous place to raise a family, and through the many trials the family goes through, they soon learn that settling in is not as easy as it seems. While Officer Sutton struggles to cope with every day life as a street cop in Los Angeles, his kids try to fit in at their new schools and with their new neighbors.

Tropes in Lincoln Heights include:

  • Affably Evil:
    • Bishop. A baptist minister. The drug money is classified as church donations...
    • Also Rev. John Kingston.
  • Arch-Enemy: Bishop to Eddie Sutton. To a lesser extent Dana to Jenn.
    • Charles and his stepfather Mac.
  • Ascended Extra: Charles. From season 2 onwards he becomes a major part of the story. The Suttons kids also get more screen time instead of their primarily supporting roles of the first few episodes.
  • Badass Family: The Suttons. They live in Lincoln Heights. Enough said. They are also somehow able to maintain some semblance of a normal family despite weekly episodes of life-threatening situations.
  • Big Damn Heroes: You can always count on one of the Sutton kids or some random person getting in a life-threatening situation with Eddie coming in to save them just in time.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • All of the Sutton Kids experience this, but Lizzie is the worst case.
    • Most of the kids in Lincoln Heights experience this to some degree.
    • Sage becoming comatose after a car accident.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Cassie.
  • Break the Haughty: Anyone stupid enough to join a gang in Lincoln Heights.
  • Broken Bird: Sage
  • Character Development: Everyone, most noticeably the Sutton kids.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Rev. John Kingston turns out to be one...
  • Cool Big Sis: Cassie. Lizzie may count, but she's less than a year older than Tay.
  • Darker and Edgier: For a show on a network known for soft-hearted family, teen shows it was pretty dark and gritty in the beginning. The first two seasons alone had robberies, kidnapping of minors, gang violence, prostitution, incest, racial tension, and drug use. Although by season 4 the show had mellowed out considerably and seemed to become more like a typical ABC Family show, it still remains the darkest show the network has aired.
  • Demoted to Extra: Sage in season 4.
  • Disappeared Dad: Charles's farther. Hell, anyone who is not named Eddie Sutton.
  • Distressed Damsel: Lizzie in Season 1. Cassie at various times...
  • Mr. Fanservice: Charles. The Undercover Cop from season one as well.
  • Evil Counterpart: Sage to Cassie. A bit of a subversion since Sage isn't evil, but is the bad girl to Cassie's good girl.
  • Faux Action Girl: Cassie.
  • Fish out of Water: The Sutton kids are very much out of their element upon moving to the overwhelmingly black Lincoln Heights area, having lived in a primarily white suburb their entire lives. They adjust quickly though.
  • Freudian Excuse: Sage. Alcoholic, negligent father, and a whorish, druggie mom.
  • I Got Bigger: Tay and Lizzie. Especially Tay, who went from being shorter than Lizzie to the same height as Eddie.
  • I Know Karate: In season 2 Cassie demonstrates her new self-defense skills to a would be attacker during the race riots episode. After Lizzie's kidnapping Eddie decides the whole family needs to learn defensive tactics.
    Charles: Remind me never to mess with you.
    Cassie: I will do no such thing.
  • Kids Are Cruel: When Lizzie gets a basketball scholarship to an upper class boarding school the students initially appear to be welcoming, but it later turns out that they are racist, manipulative, elitists who couldn't care less about her as a person and only care about her basketball skills. Basically, they expect her to act like "a girl from the hood". And the adults aren't much better.
  • Left Hanging: The series is abruptly canceled after the Cassie and Charles wedding rehearsal.
  • Meet Cute: Cassie and Charles. And Lizzie and Andrew fit here perfectly.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Lizzie, although she's typically portrayed as the child with the least amount of issues. Tay seems to fit this role better despite actually being the youngest.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Sage wears very skimpy outfits in nearly every episode she's seen. Lizzie has as well. You wouldn't think so until you realize that by season 3 her "tomboy" character had been abandoned and nearly every episode she either wore a mini skirt or short shorts.
  • Papa Wolf: Eddie Sutton. You do NOT want to mess with his kids.
  • Put on a Bus: Lund after season 3. Charles's mom in general seems to alway be on a Long Bus Trip.
  • Scary Black Man: Eddie. Although while he can be intimidating he is generally a nice guy. Whenever you put his family in danger though...
  • Shrinking Violet: Tay, although he begins to stand up for himself and his friends as he grows up.
  • Tagalong Kid: Mostly Tay, although any of the Sutton kids qualify at various times.
  • Uncle Tom Foolery: Averted. Middle class black family in which NONE of those members fit any black stereotypes. Well Lizzie plays basketball and Tay's an R&B singer, but hey.