Fast Times

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Fast Times
Also known asFast Times at Ridgemont High
Based onFast Times at Ridgemont High
Developed byAllen Rucker
Directed byAmy Heckerling
Creative directorCameron Crowe
Opening theme"Fast Times" performed by Oingo Boingo
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes7
ProducersAmy Heckerling
Jonathan Roberts
Production locationGlendale, California
EditorDebra Chiate
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production companyUniversal Television
DistributorNBCUniversal Syndication Studios
Original networkCBS
Picture format35 mm
Audio formatMono
Original releaseMarch 5 (1986-03-05) –
April 23, 1986 (1986-04-23)
Preceded byFast Times at Ridgemont High

Fast Times is an American sitcom based on the 1982 movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High that was produced by Amy Heckerling, who directed the original film. It ran for 7 episodes on CBS from March 3 until April 23, 1986. Cameron Crowe, who wrote the original Fast Times novel and film screenplay, served as creative consultant. Moon Unit Zappa participated as a technical consultant. She was hired in order to research slang terms and mannerisms of teenagers, as she had just graduated from high school at the time and had a much better grasp of then-current high school behavior than the writers. Oingo Boingo provided the theme song.

Ray Walston and Vincent Schiavelli were the only actors from the movie to reprise their roles for the TV series.



Title Directed by: Written by: Air date
1"The Last Laugh"Amy HeckerlingAmy Heckerling,
Dennis Rinsler,
Marc Warren
March 5, 1986 (1986-03-05)
Mark and Mike devise a plan to get Stacey to date Mark. Brad is having problems staying awake at work. Some of the guys challenge Spicoli to see if Mr. Hand can actually laugh.
2"Pilot"Amy HeckerlingAmy Heckerling,
Dennis Rinsler,
Jonathan Roberts,
Marc Warren
March 12, 1986 (1986-03-12)
Linda, who as a rule doesn't date high-school boys, agrees to go out with Brad, but only if no one finds out. Meanwhile, Mr. Hand is betting Spicoli will screw up his class presentation.
3"The Engagement"Daniel AttiasDavid Steven Cohen & Roger S.H. SchulmanMarch 19, 1986 (1986-03-19)
Linda promises that everyone will get to meet her mysterious fiance from Chicago at her birthday party. Meanwhile, Spicoli starts a rumor that Mr. Hand lost an eye fighting in World War II.
4"What Is Life?"Amy HeckerlingAmy Heckerling,
Dennis Rinsler,
Marc Warren
March 26, 1986 (1986-03-26)
A fast-food entrepreneur dies unexpectedly, leaving one of his employees — Brad — too preoccupied with matters of life and death to perform a lip-sync number in the school talent show.
5"My Brother, the Car"Neal IsraelDennis Rinsler & Marc WarrenApril 2, 1986 (1986-04-02)
Brad thinks life has dealt him a cruel blow when Linda asks him out and he has no wheels because his driver's license has been suspended. Meanwhile, Ms. Melon wants to analyze one of Stacy's minor personal problems in class.
6"My New Best Friend"Neal IsraelJonathan Roberts & Allen RuckerApril 9, 1986 (1986-04-09)
Stacy feels left out when Linda starts spending more time with a new friend. Mr. Hand gets promoted to vice headmaster, which he accepts with a mixture of concern and humor.
7"Secret Romance"Claudia WeillMyles Berkowitz & Kevin ParentApril 23, 1986 (1986-04-23)
Stacy disappears on a date with "the perfect guy," someone she just met, and doesn't tell anybody where she's going. Meanwhile, Mr. Vargas loses his zest for teaching and resigns.


Jeff Borden of The Charlotte Observer observed the series' biggest downfall: "The challenge 'Fast Times' faces is emphasizing the comedic elements from the R-rated film while soft-pedaling the teen lust aspects that were a major part of the movie. Comic characters like spaced-out surfer Jeff Spicoli fare well, while subtle characters like fast-food king and would-be ladies man Brad Hamilton are sanitized into blandness."[1]

Christopher Cornell, writing in The Philadelphia Inquirer, echoed the sentiment: "People who liked the movie (read: teenagers) will tune in expecting something like what they saw in the theater. But the network is going to have to completely eliminate the movie's cheerfully rampant drug use and tone down the lusty sexual content, so that parents won't be uncomfortable."

However, Borden calls Fast Times "the hippest look at high school life since the late, lamented Square Pegs few seasons back, yet it treats the teachers with compassion and respect. An "us vs. them" mentality is avoided." Mike Duffy of the Detroit Press disagreed entirely, saying "With 'Fast Times,' we have 'Dull Pegs'."

Mark Dawidziak of the Akron Beacon Journal was far less than kind to the sitcom: "Just when you thought the CBS Wednesday schedule couldn't get any worse, along comes these two lethal stinkers (Fast Times and another series that preceded it, Tough Cookies). It would be better if the network programmers turned the hour over to repeated tests by the Emergency Broadcast System. It would be better, and considerably more entertaining, if they devoted the hour to a reading of the Newark Yellow Pages. It would be better, and far more merciful, if they just went dark. Just about anything would be kinder than subjecting even a few stray viewers to this video swill. Indeed, Tough Cookies and Fast Times make Stir Crazy look like television's answer to Ulysses."


  1. ^ Fast Times at Ridgement High, The Info Archive Archived 2006-02-20 at the Wayback Machine

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