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Airing on Disney Channel before its Network Decay, The Famous Jett Jackson stars Jett Jackson, who is famous. Specifically, he's the star actor in the Spy Fiction Show Within a Show Silverstone. The premise, as explained in the Opening Narration, is that he was lonely in Hollywood and got the production of the show moved to his hometown, Wilsted, North Carolina, where he can lead a more normal life. As a Disney Channel main character, Jett is inevitably part of a Three Amigos, with his male best friend J.B. and his female best friend Kayla.
Most episodes deal with Jett's everyday life, and a B-Plot playing out an episode of Silverstone. The series lasted from October, 1998 to June 2001. A total of 65 episodes in three seasons. After the series reached its 65-episode limit, Disney Channel made a Disney Channel Original Movie to conclude the series.
Notable among Disney Channel shows for being set in the South and for having unusually sophisticated episodes about race, dealing with subjects like Jett's relative privilege compared to the average black American and Kayla's identity issues about being mixed-race.
This show provides examples of:
- Cool Old Guy: Artemis, to Silverstone
- Cool Old Lady: Miz Coretta
- A Day in the Limelight: Notably, the episode where Jett is bitten by a snake and J.B. has to be the 'action hero' to save him.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Jett thinks he'll be a better role model if he keeps them off the show.
- Disguised in Drag: J.B. when he competed in the Miss Pork Princess pageant to win a computer.
- Failing a Taxi: This is how Jett comes to realize his privileged life is not that typical for a black teenager.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Jett is extremely displeased when Kayla takes an interest in his cocky stunt double.
- Groundhog Day Loop: One episode has Jett having a really bad day, then waking up to do the same day over and over, learning from the mistakes in the previous loops. The loops turn out to be All Just a Dream, but everything from the first bad day eventually works out.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Tuxedo Mask is a TV agent?
- I See Dead People: Jett, weirdly enough. He speaks to the ghost of his dead great-great grandfather without realizing he's talking to a ghost until Kayla shows him pictures of him talking to himself in the park. He also sees the ghost of deceased local baseball player standing next to his widow.
- Long-Distance Relationship: Of the non-romantic sort. Jett's mother primarily only appears on the show when talking to her son over the computer.
- Mass Hypnosis: In Silverstone
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: One the biggest villains in Silverstone, Rat, is played by a man who's great with kids and spoke out when he thought the show was getting too violent.
- Mood Whiplash: This show has quite a few Very Special Episodes, including one which is surprisingly cynical for Disney. The Aesop of that episode is basically, "Life SUCKS if you're black! Unless you're a movie star."
- Parents Know Their Children: Leads to The Reveal in the movie.
- Picked Last: In a casual basketball game, J.B. gave up and left when a kid with a broken arm was picked ahead of him.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: J.B.
- Record Needle Scratch: Occurs when Kayla asks the guys if they see her as black or white while Jett is using his turntable.
- Retroactive Recognition: Rachel McAdams appears as Riley's bulimic sister in a season 3 episode.
- Rogues Gallery: For Silverstone
- Romantic False Lead: Used in the last couple of episodes.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: "Kayla and I are just friends!"
- Sliding Scale of Law Enforcement: Positive. Jett's dad is a very good cop and a devoted (if slightly stern) father.
- Spot the Imposter: A rather complicated example of this in the movie.
- Snow Means Love: It's revealed that it never snows in Wilsted, until Miz Corretta makes amends with a childhood sweetheart.
- Token Trio: Mixed up a bit as the black guy's the main character and the girl is a mixed-race.
- Trapped in TV Land: In The Movie
- Two for One Show