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Last Chance High

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Escape Chicago
Cortez's mounting feud with a rival gang forces his family to flee Chicago; Keontay gets an unwelcome visit by DHS; Montreal gets a breath of hope.

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Lost and Found
Former staff reconnect with old Montefiore students who lack the support the school once provided; Cortez tests his luck with the law; Montreal makes strides forward.

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No Way Out
Amid the most violent year in Chicago in 20 years, Keontay adopts a new life on the streets; as he flirts with death, old mentors attempt to persuade him to take another path.

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Last Chance
The fate of Montefiore grows uncertain as CPS threatens to close the school; Coach Williams and Reverend Hood spread holiday cheer; students prepare for a special assembly.

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Dad's Locked Up
With a love for dodgeball and Minnie Mouse, Iriel throws a temper tantrum that the staff can barely contain; Reverend Hood agrees to take Cortez to see his father in prison.

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Scared Speechless
Montreal Spanky Almond, a young student bullied for his crippling speech impediment, finds a mentor; Crystal runs away from home, leaving everyone scared for her life.

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Robin Hood
Reverend Robin Hood, a local school council member, describes the years of systemic oppression and racism that led to the current volatile situation in the city of Chicago.

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Bad Boy School
Doors open at Chicago's last therapeutic school and staff struggle to maintain order; Cortez and Crystal recite their record of violence before starting a fight on the school bus.

Watch Last Chance High Season 1 Episode 1 Now

Last Chance High is a compelling documentary series from Viceland that debuted in 2014. The show takes an unflinching look at the realities faced by a group of troubled youth confined in one of Chicago’s most challenging public schools, also referred to as 'last-chance school.' The school, named Moses Montefiore Academy, serves as a safety net for at-risk students who have been expelled from the city's other schools due to disciplinary problems, poor grades, or other challenges that make mainstream education unattainable for them.

Last Chance High is a candid and non-sensationalist look into America's education system—it is raw, authentic, and heartfelt. The school operates under the belief that each pupil, no matter their circumstances or previous behavior, deserves an opportunity to turn their lives around and succeed. The commitment of the staff—including guidance counselors, coaches, and teachers—at Moses Montefiore Academy to better the lives of these young people is hard to ignore as one of the major draws of the series. They work tirelessly to steer these troubled youths in a positive direction, instilling in them the desire to strive for greater things, no matter the adversity they face.

The show emphasizes that for many students, the problems they face extend far beyond the classroom. Many of the students at Moses Montefiore Academy come from unstable, often traumatic backgrounds where crime, poverty, drugs, and domestic violence are daily realities. In this regard, Last Chance High is much more than just a documentary about a school; it’s an evocative social commentary on urban life, poverty, and race relations in modern America.

Last Chance High shines because of its brutally honest depiction of the staggering obstacles these students face. It doesn't sugarcoat the grave circumstances, but it is threaded with glimmers of hope and resilience. Each episode follows the teachers, counselors, and in particular, the students, drawing a multi-dimensional view of their lives inside and outside of the school. The series smartly avoids focusing on the sensational aspects, leaning more towards a poignant and deeply human look at the students' experiences, successes, and struggles.

The series brings to light the duality that exists among these youth - on one side, their disruptive behavior and rough demeanor; on the other side, the profound vulnerability and potential for positive growth. Last Chance High doesn't romanticize the struggle. It doesn't downplay the severity of these youths' circumstances or the trials they face. Instead, it paints an honest picture of their reality and pushes viewers to expand their understanding and challenge their preconceived notions about troubled youth and the road to redemption.

The documentary demystifies the students, unveiling the complexity and humanity that underlie their rough exteriors. Despite themes of adversity and hopelessness, the show features striking transformative arcs and portrays the resilience of kids who refuse to be defined by their circumstances. Featured are also moments of joy, love, and triumph that illuminate the extraordinary potential of ordinary students given the right guidance and support.

From a visual standpoint, Viceland presents Last Chance High with cinematic grace. The directors use observational footage, in-depth interviews, and stylistic cinematography that offer both social realism and visual poetry. The storytelling is raw, intimate and immersive, drawing audiences into the heart and soul of this unusual school and the lives of those within it. The result is a well-rounded perspective that ignites both empathy and understanding.

Last Chance High does not propose simple solutions to the issues it presents, nor does it pass judgment. Rather, it provides a rare chance for viewers to glimpse into a side of American life that is often overlooked or misunderstood. The narrative is an attempt to humanize and empathize these youth, shedding light on their daily lives and their uphill battles for a brighter future.

In all, Last Chance High is a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching exploration of the American education system's underbelly, a must-watch for anyone interested in understanding the realities that shape the lives of so many young people today. It's a poignant reminder that every child deserves the chance to succeed, regardless of where they come from or what they've done—a narrative that promotes empathy, understanding, and, ultimately, change.

Last Chance High is a series categorized as a currently airing. Spanning 1 seasons with a total of 8 episodes, the show debuted on 2017. The series has earned a mostly positive reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 8.1.

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