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From the time it was first announced to recent Richard
interviews, the beat on Everybody
is that it is the “spiritual sequel” to the early-‘90s Gen X
hit, Dazed and Confused.
hosts a large ensemble filled
with both boys and girls going through the growing pains of moving from middle
school ‘big kids’ to high school peons, juniors becoming the senior kings and
queens, Everybody Wants Some!!
smaller tale of what happens when one of the ‘cool’ rising freshman dudes
eventually ships off to college in 1980 and becomes a peon all over again with
his assigned group of buds, his college baseball team.
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If viewed through the warm lens most people have for Dazed and Confused, Everybody Wants Some!!
feel slow and exclusive. We’re pretty much only seeing the world as the jocks
view it; life is what you do to kill time between games and practice. Linklater
nails this empty time in a significant way, which is less about growing out of
high school and into college, and more about the separate journey college athletes
experience. It’s not a “spiritual sequel” to Dazed
as much as it is a spiritual prequel to another Gen X
favorite, Major League.
Jake -- our surrogate ‘aw, shucks’ freshman Mitch from Dazed
played by Blake Jenner
into his assigned team house and barely has time to drop his crate of vinyl
before being harassed by senior studs for being a pitcher, is pulled into a
discussion about sex on a waterbed and handed a copy of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos
. It might be a group of aspiring
major leaguers, playboys, hippies, hicks and weirdos, but it’s Jake’s group of
aspiring major leaguers, playboys, hippies, hicks and weirdos and he needs to
find out where his second team all-state pitching arm fits in with the rest of
them without upsetting the balance of what is considered one of the best college baseball teams in the country. The team only functions at high
level if their pack can find peace and camaraderie with each other, even if
individually they’re competing against each other along the way. Girls, ping
pong, drinking, and a cringeworthy game of knuckles; no one wants to lose and
each incoming freshman again has to prove they can handle whatever cruel
punishments are going to be thrown their way.
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This is where Everybody
sings. Jake might have been the hot ace in high school, but
now he has to find peace with the team’s captain, Glen McReynolds (Tyler
), who you can easily imagine as Keith Hernandez partying (and winning)
with the 1980s Mets. Jenner and Hoechlin nail the power dynamic between great
hitters and pitchers having to share the same field. It’s a chess match and
sometimes you have to know when to surrender your queen. There are fights over
dominance, there are awkward apologies, there are single butt pats that mean
“I’m sorry” with nods that reply “We’re cool.”