Netflix and The CW are strong bedfellows with many of the best TV shows from the teen-focused network finding their way onto the streaming service, and these shows usually go down pretty well with subscribers.
Case in point, the first season of The CW’s All American: Homecoming is now on Netflix and the sports drama series has jumped straight into the streamer’s top 10 most-watched list. It’s even outpacing popular shows such as The Umbrella Academy and Married at First Sight, and is currently ranked no.3.
It’s not a huge surprise that All American: Homecoming is finding success on Netflix. The show is actually a spin-off from another fan-favorite CW series, All American, which enjoyed its own stint in the Netflix top 10 just last month. Clearly, Netflix viewers cannot get enough of the glossy All American franchise which chronicles the trials and tribulations of young athletes as they strive for sporting glory.
What is All American: Homecoming about?
Like many spin-offs, All American: Homecoming takes a supporting character from the flagship All American show and thrusts them into the spotlight. In this case, it’s Simone Hicks (Geffri Maya), who is the on-and-off girlfriend of the Beverly High quarterback Jordan Baker (Michael Evans Behling) in the original All American series.
In All American: Homecoming Simone leaves Jordan and Los Angeles behind to attend the fictional Bringston University in Atlanta, Georgia. But she’s not come to college to party for four years, she’s come to Bringston in the hopes of pursuing her dreams of becoming a pro tennis player. And also receive much-needed guidance from her aunt, Amara Patterson (Kelly Jenrette), who teaches journalism at the college.
Once there she meets Damon Sims (Peyton Alex Smith), a nationally ranked baseball prodigy, who rejected an MLB draft in order to attend college under the guidance of his trusted coach, Marcus Turner (Cory Hardrict). The duo’s drive to become professional sporting icons is mirrored in each other, and they strike up a fast friendship. Could this develop into something a little more romantic?
What do critics say about All American: Homecoming?
Like its parent series, All American: Homecoming enjoyed strong reviews when it premiered on The CW earlier this year. The sports drama show currently scores a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, which certainly indicates its quality.
Angie Han of The Hollywood Reporter praised the show for being more “down-to-earth” than its predecessor with less over-the-top storylines and a stronger focus on character development. While some sluggish pacing was criticized, the overall warmth of the show was labeled its biggest selling point.
Variety’s Danel D’Addario was equally enthusiastic about All American: Homecoming calling it a “big-hearted worthy spinoff.” They also declared “It’s a strong drama that will likely lure in both franchise fans and new viewers.”
All American: Homecoming also enjoyed a strong reaction from viewers. On Rotten Tomatoes its audience score is at 80%, which is pretty impressive and would suggest that viewers, much like critics, have found plenty to like about this college-set spinoff.
Should you stream All American: Homecoming?
If you’ve watched the original All American — its entire four-season run is currently on Netflix — then giving All American: Homecoming a shot seems like an easy decision to make. While it’s a tad less dramatic, it hits many of the same emotional notes and also features a well-liked cast member at its core.
If All American didn’t quite grab your attention, then Homecoming may still be worth a punt. As noted in the above review from The Hollywood Reporter, the show is a little more grounded and a little less focused on outrageous storylines. Of course, that’s not to say there isn’t still plenty of juicy drama within the walls of Bringston University.
The arrival of All American: Homecoming on Netflix is well timed as the show has already been renewed for a second season that is scheduled to premiere on October 10 on The CW. So, make sure you’re all caught up ahead of Simone and Damon facing another semester of personal and sporting challenges.
The success of the All American franchise on Netflix is another reminder that the best streaming services need to offer a diverse range of content in order to attract subscribers. These shows might not be Netflix Originals, but they are still hugely important additions to the streamer’s library that will no doubt keep some viewers sticking around who might have otherwise canceled.
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Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.