Recap: Ms. Grant is presiding over her dance class as the students leap and twirl to Russian inspired music. Mr. Reardon enters the dance gym and asks Ms. Grant if she has a minute to talk, and she snaps, "No!" then apologizes and tells him she's too busy overseeing the rehearsal for the upcoming UN Week festivities. He tells her it can wait until lunch, then leans in and kisses her cheek and says he's looking forward to seeing her later. The students are all, "Mmm hmm.." and start tittering about the odd teacher-on-teacher PDA they just witnessed.
Mr. Cannon, a teacher from Edison High School, smugly tells Mr. Shorofsky that his students focus primarily on academics and do performing arts related stuff on the side - which is the polar opposite of how the School of the Arts flunkies spend their time. Mr. Shorofsky says that that's an insult to the Fame kids and manages to keep a straight face when he insists that they're all receiving an excellent, well-rounded education. Mrs. Berg pops into the office and announces that the Edison students are beginning to arrive.
The well dressed, smart looking Edison students stream inside the school in an orderly fashion. Mrs. Berg gives them an official welcome, then instructs them to head over to the cafeteria to receive their national assignments. Doris walks behind a group of Edison students and, like the moronic tool she is, mimics one of the girl's hand gestures...and the Edison girl flails her arm as she talks to her friend and accidentally smacks Danny. He sarcastically tells her he's super fascinated with her story about "yachting with papá", and she snaps back that he's probably just excited to listen to a young person who's capable of stringing several coherent sentences together. Haha! Coco gets in on that action and demands to know whassup with her sassy 'tude. Danny gets all in the sassy gal's face and says if she were a guy he'd deck her for ridiculing his brazen idiocy, and she smirkingly replies, "I bet you would have" then saunters off.
To kick off UN Week, all of the students pick country names out of a hat. Leroy gets Russia, Doris gets India, and Danny gets Italy. Danny's thrilled to represent his ancestral homeland - but is bummed when he learns that the other Italian delegate is Alicia, the girl he just snarked at in the hall.
Danny puffs up his little chest and proudly informs Alicia that his grandfather is Italian. She asks him if he's ever been to Italy or knows how to speak Italian...and when he's like, "No and no", she boasts that she spent the last three summers in Italy and can speak a bit of the language. She chides him for behaving, in general, like an insecure douchewad and says she heard that the School of the Arts kids are flakes who will likely act out 'cause of how intimated they'd be by an event like UN Week. Miss Sherwood suddenly interjects and informs the two that they've been assigned to act as co-chairs for the faux UN Assembly. Danny does not look thrilled.
Over in a diner, Mr. Reardon tells Ms. Grant he's auditioning for a musical...and that he's terrified about all the singing and dancing it's going to entail. Ms. Grant assures him he'll be fine, then takes that back when she realizes she's never actually seen him perform on stage and offers to teach him a few simple dance steps. Miss Sherwood appears and joins their table, and wryly tells them that UN Week is not going so well partly 'cause Mr. Shorofsky and Mr. Cannon are constantly at each other's throats. Cue Mr. Shorofsky, who lumbers over looking grim. When his colleagues ask him how things are going, he responds by mutely throwing several darts and getting them all in the bulls-eye part of the dart board...then quietly lumbers back out. Hee!
In the dance gym, Ms. Grant is helping Mr. Reardon rehearse lines for the audition. He holds her hand while he acts out what looks to be a tender love scene...and at that moment, Doris happens to walk by, peers at them through the window, and understandably misinterprets what she's looking at.
Dwight is playing the sousaphone in one of the music rooms when he notices a female version of himself - a She-Dwight from Edison High School - staring at him through the window. He likes what he sees and invites her in, and she flirtily compliments his sousaphoning. He tells her he's been tasked with providing the entertainment for the assembly recess, and she asks him if he'd like to do it as a duet with her, then says she also plays the sousaphone. Dwight is giddy with delight at the implausible coincidence, and eagerly gives her his music sheets so that the two of them can practice together.
Mrs. Berg gushes to Mr. Shorofsky about how there's always something wonderful and mature in the air during UN Week...but then, a few seconds later, they step into the cafeteria and find the students throwing paper airplanes at each other while Alicia desperate tries to restore order. Womp womp! Danny gives up on the chaos and stomps out of the room.
Coco and Julie are hanging in the dressing room, sharing their philosophies of taking on roles...blah blah. Danny bursts in and snarks that he doesn't want to talk about anything related to UN Week...but then a few seconds later, Alicia enters the room and explains that Bruno told her that this is where students like to hide when trying to avoid participating in pointless shit like UN Week. Danny says he has no desire to go back to the UN Assembly 'cause it's boring and harps on mind-numbing stuff like trade agreements. Alicia mulls that over and suggests that they bring up a quasi-interesting human rights issue - like, for example, the sad plight of Ilsa, the East German ballerina who's currently trying to defect to the United States. When no one points out that it's not actually part of the UN's mandate to weigh in on an individual's emigration situation, Coco perks up and says she'd loooove to play the part of Ilsa, then gaily scampers out of the room to seize the role for herself.
Mr. Reardon demonstrates for Ms. Grant the dance steps he's been practicing. Danny walks by the dance gym at that moment, sees him twirl Ms. Grant around, and - like Doris before him - understandably misinterprets what he's looking at.
At the faux UN Assembly, Coco (who's playing the role of Ilsa) is being grilled by the UN delegates. Some accuse her of being unpatriotic or seeking to get rich in the West, while Bruno (The Netherlands) bloviates about how borders are meaningless to artists like Ilsa, and that she should be able to live wherever she wants. Well d'yuh, but then so should everyone living under a shitty, totalitarian regime. She-Dwight, who's supposed to be taking notes during the Assembly, has left a tape player on and ditched her post in order to practice the sousaphone for the upcoming duet. Dwight tells her she plays very well, and that she could totally get into the School of the Arts if she auditioned. Considering that Danny somehow got accepted, I'm sure he's right 'bout that. She-Dwight says she'd love to attend school with him, and the two dorks stare into each other's eyes and lean in and kiss...and then kiss again. Soak it up, Dwight.
Miss Sherwood bursts into the teachers' lounge and rails about how annoying Mr. Cannon is for constantly making fun of how badly the academics at the School of the Arts suck. When Mr. Reardon tells her to not be so insecure, she smugly tells him that Mr. Cannon also made a comment about him hitting the sheets with Ms. Grant. Mr. Reardon and Ms. Grant are all, "Wha-a?!" so Miss Sherwood says that tales of their togetherness are all over school. Ms. Grant explains that she's been helping Mr. Reardon prepare for a musical audition...and, I noticed, leaves out the part where he tenderly kissed her cheek in full view of Ms. Grant's dance class for no logical reason. Mr. Shorofsky advises them to have a fake fight to end their fake affair, and the two mull that over and decide that that idea might just be crazy enough to work!
Miss Sherwood asks her English class students what they think of UN Week so far. Julie says that running the world isn't as easy as it looks, and Coco says the UN is all about taking risks, which is probably something that will help her in her showbiz career after she graduates. Danny, however, grumbles that the dumb thing should be called off 'cause they're just [twenty-something] kids who shouldn't be burdened with adult problems. He also thinks that the Fame kids are way too inept to host an event like UN Week and suggests that the snooty brainiacs from Edison High School host it from now on. I second that. Miss Sherwood sternly retorts that she works just as hard at teaching English as any teacher from Edison, and that a passing grade in her class means something...and by something she means not a hell of a lot, 'cause based on the bits of her curriculum I've seen thus far, there's nothing about her English class that screams high standards.
Ms. Grant is dancing along with her students to some boring muzak when Mr. Reardon storms into the dance gym. He fake yells at her about how he's never been so humiliated, and she implores him to not air their dirty laundry in front of the class. The two idiots continue to bicker in front of the students, and Ms. Grant tries not to laugh as he "breaks up" with her via a dramatic goodbye. Well done, you two. Very convincing.
Danny tells Alicia that Coco (Ilsa) is taking a figurative beating from the fake UN delegates. Alicia breezily says, "She's fine" - but Danny disagrees and says that students at the School of the Arts care for each other, even while they're engaged in implausible UN type role playing.
Coco is weeping in the dressing room when Danny enters. He snaps, "That's it!" and says that for the sake of her mental health, she needs to stop portraying Ilsa. Coco sniffles, insists on carrying on, and says she's learning a lot from this faux role. Danny tells her she's paying too high a price, and sniffling far too much about her fictional plight...so much so that her friends are starting to worry about her. A defiant Coco responds by tying a scarf around her head (I'm guessing to look more East German, ballerina-like...or both) and slips back into character.
Mr. Reardon and Ms. Grant cackle to each other in the hall about how hilarious their inappropriate faux argument in front of the class was. She then informs him that he's been cast in the upcoming school production, and that the casting director he plans to audition for is welcome to stop by and get a feel for what he can do...'cause, yeah, that really sounds like the type of the thing a busy New York casting director would be interested in doing.
Mr. Reardon is on stage, performing some sort of period piece with backup dancers that goes on for a loooong fuuuuuuucking time. The casting director, who somehow found time in his busy schedule to attend, asks Mr. Reardon if the backup dancers are part of the package. He's like, "Uh. No" so then the casting director sternly replies, "We've got a problem" then leaves without explaining exactly what he meant by that.
Coco is mentally psyching herself up for her final statement to the fake UN Assembly. Mr. Shorofsky happens to pass by at that moment and advises her to think about what she wants, then stand up for herself by asking for it. She stares contemplatively into space as she mulls that over.
Kelly (China) argues that East Germany put in the time and resources to develop Ilsa into the superb ballerina she is today - but Coco (Ilsa) interjects and says she's not just an artist, she's a person. She argues that she shouldn't be forced to live where she doesn't want to, and shouldn't suffer because of a border on a map. After begging to be allowed to remain in the United States, the UN delegates solemnly cast their votes.
Ms. Grant and Mr. Reardon are hanging out at the diner again when Miss Sherwood arrives with Mr. Cannon. She explains that they declared a truce...then breaks the sad news that the real life Ilsa was sent back to East Germany this morning. [Chin up, Ilsa! Five years from now, East Germany will be absorbed into West Germany and you can do your ballerina-ing wherever you wish.] A few seconds later, Mr. Shorofsky arrives to deliver the faux UN decision on the matter: Coco (Ilsa) has been given asylum in the United States. Woo hoo! Miss Sherwood wryly says, "Too bad Ilsa didn't go to the School of the Arts" while Mr. Cannon haughtily says that the kids got it ass-backwards wrong. Mr. Shorofsky argues that they're just trying to run things a different way, i.e. caring about the world and each other. Miss Sherwood raises her class and toasts the empathy of the fake UN delegates.
And that's a wrap for Season 2! And an end to the recappable Fame episodes on DVD. :(
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Recap: Ms. Grant is barking at her dance class to perform and hold various ballet moves and positions - plié! tendu! arabesque! - while a couple of music students beat drums to maintain the rapid tempo. When Mrs. Berg knocks on the door, Ms. Grant tells the class to take five, then barks at Leroy and Danny to come out into the hall with her. She says they should be ashamed of the job they did with the props during last night's play, and grumbles about how filthy the wine glasses were. Danny's all, "Wuh?" and assures her he washed the glasses, but she's like, "Oh no you diin't!" Leroy says he wasn't even there 'cause he was sick with the flu last night, and she snaps, "No excuses!" and threatens to pull them both out of the Alumni Day festivities - egads! - to teach them a lesson. A few seconds later, she pretends to rethink that and murmurs, "Maybe there's another way.." and pulls a piece of paper out of her legging and says it contains the name and address of a School of the Arts alumnus who desperately needs help with something important. She says if they're helpful to her friend, she'll allow them to take part in Alumni Day. Leroy and Danny agree to give it a whirl and amble off down the hall...and once they're safely out of hearing range, Mrs. Berg frowns in disapproval and tells Ms. Grant she was a total dick to them just now. Ms. Grant agrees, then gleefully exclaims, "That was part of the plan!" and Mrs. Berg looks intrigued and agrees that treating students shittily is A-OK as long as it's part of a long-range plan that they're being kept totally in the dark about.
Leroy checks out the address on the piece of paper Ms. Grant gave them and warns Danny that it's in a sketchy neighborhood, and that the dude they're meeting with is someone named Brother Timothy.
Brother Timothy, an old friend of Ms. Grant's from her Broadway dancing days, greets Leroy and Danny when they arrive at his church and tells them how thrilled he is that they've agreed to help him out. As they stare back at him blankly, he explains that a group of prepubescent boys who sing in his church choir are also enrolled in the church athletic league...and they're in desperate need of a basketball coach. He tells them that Ms. Grant volunteered their services to whip the boys into shape, and Leroy and Danny are all, "Basketball? Wuh?" and look less than thrilled.
A confused looking man ambles around the School of the Arts, then spots Dwight and explains that he works for Johnny Wilcox and needs to discuss the alumni event with whoever's in charge. Dwight lights up and shrieks, "The Johnny Wilcox?! Mr. Entertainment?! Greatest entertainer ever to be lured onto a stage?!" then gushes about what a big fan he is, and that Johnny Wilcox is one of the reasons he came to this school. The guy's like, "That's nice, I don't give a shit" and asks who he should speak to regarding the alumni event, and Dwight points him in the direction of the main office and says to ask for Mrs. Berg. Dwight scampers happily down the hall...and somehow ends up crashing into a freshly painted banner that Julie and Kelly were working on. While covered in paint, he excitedly bellows, "Johnny Wilcox is coming to Alumni Day!" and the gals are all, "Johnny Wilcox! Woo hoo!"
Danny and Leroy try to convince Brother Timothy that they're much too busy studying biology to coach basketball - a game neither of them has any experience with or basic knowledge of - and he's like, "Fair enough" but insists that they be the ones to deliver this devastating news to the boys. He leads them into a back room, where the boys (one of whom is a young Malcolm-Jamal Warner) are having their choir practice. When they finish their song, Brother Timothy acknowledges to them that he promised to find basketball coaches, then introduces Danny and Leroy. After the kids clap enthusiastically, Brother Timothy says that Leroy has an announcement to make. Leroy steps forward and tells the kids he knows nothing about basketball and even less about words...which is why he's going to let Danny make the actual announcement. LOL. Danny steps forward and remarks that it's clear how important the basketball game is to all of them, and one kid nods and explains that last year they got creamed by the other team, who then rubbed their noses in it...so all they need is a little help to not get creamed again. Danny says they deserve the best coaches - something he and Leroy are most certainly not - then loses his nerve and promises that they'll coach them to the best of their ability. As the kids applaud, Brother Timothy beams with smug satisfaction, while Leroy scowls and looks dismayed.
Back in the dance gym, Leroy snarls at Danny that he has no intention of coaching basketball and doesn't give a rat's ass about having to sit out the Alumni Day production, 'cause there's always going to be another show he can gyrate in. LOL - right?! Danny refuses to believe he's serious and says he fully expects to see him at the first practice. Ms. Grant breezes into the dance gym and says she has an announcement to make regarding the Alumni Day show, then barks, "You need to think fierce fierce fierce!" and explains that on Alumni Day, they're going to be performing alongside the legendary Johnny Wilcox. Leroy perks up at that news, and a smug Danny reminds him of the time/address of the first basketball practice.
Leroy and Danny are in the church gymnasium, attempting to coach the boys. Leroy, who's decked out in a yellow knitted muscle shirt, doesn't attempt to hide the fact that he's unaware of the basic rules of basketball and is reading aloud from a book titled The Basics of Basketball. After a few painful minutes of that, Danny gets things rolling by telling the kids to practice their hoop shooting. While they're doing that, some guy enters the gym, introduces himself as the coach of the opposing team, and asks them when they'll be done their practice. He dickishly brags about how his team beat their sorry little team last year, and that beating them again is going to be even more fun than it was last year. It remains unclear why this almost fully grown man gets such devilish delight over defeating a team of hapless eleven year olds. Coach Dickish accidentally drops the book he's holding...and when Leroy asks what it is, he explains that it's the team's playbook. He snidely advises them to drop out of the church athletic league while they can, then reminds them that he has the court booked for 4:30pm. After he swaggers off, Leroy tells Danny that what they need is their own playbook...and as he mulls that over, a ridiculous idea takes root inside his tiny brain.
In the next scene, Doris is snapping, "You are insane! That is a crazy idea!" in response to Leroy's suggestion that she steal Coach Dickish's playbook. Leroy urges her to enlist Julie to distract him so she can slip into the locker room and steal the playbook...and Doris rethinks her original position and agrees to involve herself in this nonsensical caper.
Mrs. Berg drops by the dance gym to inform Ms. Grant that Johnny Wilcox won't be able to make the Alumni Day rehearsals, but that he does plan to participate in the production number on show night. Not sure how well that will work, but OK. Ms. Grant asks Leroy if he would be Johnny's stand-in for the rehearsals - and Leroy scrunches his face in disappointment, but ultimately agrees. Julie and Kelly, meanwhile, tell Danny that Operation Steal Coach Dickish's Playbook is underway. Kelly gushes about how convincing Julie was when she told Dickish that she's a reporter for the school paper and wants to publish an interview with New York's most awesome basketball coach for eleven year olds.
Mr. Reardon asks Danny if he and Leroy need any help coaching the basketball team, and offers his services. He then needlessly demonstrates his athletic prowess by leaping around the lobby and pretending to shoot imaginary hoops...and an impressed Danny agrees to accept his help. I wonder why Ms. Grant didn't just ask Mr. Reardon to do her this favor in the first place.
Doris slips inside the church's locker room, easily locates the playbook, and puts it in her bag before quickly exiting the room. For some reason, she then enters the confession booth, tells the priest she's in big trouble, but then abruptly flees. She returns to the locker room and returns the playbook...and when she encounters Coach Dickish on her way out, he asks her whassup. She shrieks, "Don't ask!" and races out of the church in her weird, flail-y manner. What a nutcase.
Doris fibs to Leroy and Danny and tells them she was unable to find the playbook, and a pissed off Danny storms out of the dressing room. Julie asks Leroy why this basketball game is such a big deal, so Leroy explains that the kids really got to them and they really really want them to do well when they play on Friday. Doris and Julie mull that over and offer to gather together lots of people to cheer the kids on during the game.
Mr. Reardon is teaching the boys some basic basketball moves, but when it's clear how hopeless they are, he throws in the towel and tells them to take a break. He walks over to where Leroy and Danny are dejectedly sitting and remarks on how horribly the kids stink, and theorizes that their biggest problem is that they're overthinking in a game that's all about split-second reactions. Oh well. They're eleven. And this is a church sponsored athletic league, not the NBA.
The Fame extras perform a superfluous basketball-themed performance in the school lobby...at the same time Leroy is in the church gym, gyrating while holding a basketball. Not sure how this is, in any way, supposed to help the kids play better...but nonetheless, they do look utterly dazzled. Miss Sherwood enters the school lobby and asks Mrs. Berg what the kids are celebrating, and Mrs. Berg grins and says, "Themselves." Heh.
One of the kids tells Danny he really really wants to win the game 'cause it'll be his friend Lucas' last year on the team. He asks Danny if he's ever had a buddy he wanted to do stuff for, and Danny stares contemplatively into space for a few seconds before replying, "Sorta."
Ms. Grant informs Leroy that Johnny Wilcox is bailing on the Alumni Day production after all, which means he's now the lead dancer. Shocker. Why give a different male dancer the chance to shine? She orders him to head down to the dressing room to get fitted for his costume for Friday's dress rehearsal, and he's like, "Woo hoo!" and happily skips out of the dance gym. A few seconds later, however, his expression goes from glad to sad and he turns around and shuffles back to the dance gym to tell Ms. Grant that the dress rehearsal is on the same night as the kids' basketball game. Ms. Grant credits the great job he did for Brother Timothy - but since he's the only one who knows the lead's dance steps in the production, she needs him at the rehearsal. Leroy nods sadly and heads to the dressing room. Ms. Grant calls Danny over and informs him that he's been appointed stage manager for the Alumni Day production, but he too looks troubled and cries, "But somebody has to coach the basketball team!"
Brother Timothy tells the kids that since Danny and Leroy have ditched them in favor of pursuing their own hopes and dreams, he'll be their coach now. They all look bummed out.
After English class, Leroy tells Miss Sherwood that he won't be able to complete his Dickens paper on time, so she can go ahead and kick him out of the alumni show. She tells him that the paper isn't due until well after the show and refuses to pre-emptively punish him. Puzzled, she asks him why he would want her to help him weasel out of the show, so he tells her he needs to be at the kids' basketball game - not rehearsing the show. Miss Sherwood nods approvingly and murmurs, "Well, finally.." then says she's been wondering when he was going to finally realize that not everything in life is about shaking his naughties on stage while wearing hot pants. Of course, she was hoping he'd learn that lesson through literature or history, but is OK with the fact that a kids' basketball game ended up being the thing that got through to him.
Game night! As the boys warm up with some hoop shooting, a group of Fame kids arrive to cheer them on and lend them moral support.
Leroy tells Danny that if the dress rehearsal goes off without a hitch, maybe they'll be released early and can make the basketball game after all.
Show time! Leroy - who's dressed in hot blue tights and a yellow muscle shirt [OMFG] - gyrates, twirls, and flips his way through the dress rehearsal along with a large group of backup dancers. Ms. Grant and Mr. Reardon bob their heads to the beat and look pleased by what they see. After performing the number [in its fucking entirety, I might add], Leroy declares how perfect that was, and Ms. Grant agrees it was totes awesome and dismisses the cast for the night. Unfortunately, however, by the time Leroy and Danny arrive at the church gymnasium, the basketball game is long over...and the Fame kids are hanging with a few of the boys, who are happily shooting hoops. Leroy asks what happened, and one of the kids tells him they lost the game - but that it's A-OK 'cause at least the other team didn't totally cream them like last year. Apparently, that's good enough for them. Kelly suggests they all go to a nearby diner and indulge in greasy chili-dogs, and the kids are all, "Hooray!" and happy scamper toward the exit.
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Recap: The Fame kids are rehearsing for an upcoming show (before classes start) in a very cold dance gym. Ms. Grant turns the music on, and the kids start leaping and twirling about...but it's clear that they can't stop shivering. One of them, Kelly Hayden (played by Connie Needham, who played a totally different character in the To Soar and Never Falter episode) looks befuddled by all the confusing steps and can't seem to keep up. Ms. Grant interrupts the rehearsal and asks Doris and Leroy to run downstairs and tell the custodian to turn the heat on, then chides Kelly for her shittastic dancing and snarks at her to try moving with the music.
Leroy and Doris scamper down the hall and run into a fellow student we've never seen before named Timmy Ellis. He sadly tells them he's handing around a petition to get the show in which he starred as a child actor, Here's Mikey, from being pulled off the air. Well...based on the title alone, I highly doubt it's standing up to the test of time and probably shouldn't ever have re-aired in the first place. Leroy and Doris are like, "Sure, whatevs" and sign the petition, then continue scampering down the hall. They burst through a set of double doors, then abruptly stop and widen their eyes in shock and horror.
Doris races back to the dance gym and tells Ms. Grant there's something she urgently needs to see...and in the next scene, the students and faculty are slowly wading through a hall that has been scarily vandalized. Miss Sherwood glances at all the graffiti, trash, and locker contents strewn about and mutters, "Who would do this?" Ms. Grant tells the students to return to the dance gym to resume their rehearsal, and Doris comforts a distraught looking Kelly then urges her to go back to class with her. Dwight, meanwhile, sifts through the wreckage and comes across a disturbing letter. He goes, "Oh wow!" then rushes it over to Miss Sherwood and tells her it must have come from one of the lockers. Miss Sherwood reads it over and puts on her extra serious face.
We get a montage of Mr. Reardon, Ms. Grant, and Miss Sherwood telling their respective classes that something highly disturbing was found in the vandalized hall - but don't actually spell out what it is. Dwight blurts out, "Is this about the suicide note?" - LOL - and the camera cuts to an assembly featuring a woman named Janet Hammond, who has been rushed over to the School of the Arts from New York's Suicide Prevention Center to counsel the students and faculty. Janet asks the group how many of them have ever thought about killing themselves, and a few people tentatively raise their hands [Doris understandably]...and when she asks how many of them know someone who has attempted suicide, a few hands stay up. Janet assures them that it's not all that weird to have suicidal thoughts, 'cause a lot of people hurt on the inside, then adds that if anyone is currently hurting they need to know they're not alone and have lots of people who care about them. She implores whoever wrote the suicide note to talk to someone with whom they feel safe and comfortable. After the assembly, Doris tells Julie and Coco she once knew someone who contemplated suicide - but no one did anything...and two weeks later she died in a car accident. Or was it? I guess we'll never know.
Doris tells Danny and Coco she has some ideas on how they can figure out who the writer of the note is. Danny says he has zero interest in that, is far too busy, then rattles off a list of all the stuff he's currently got going on. After he flees, Coco starts babbling about how suicide goes against everything she believes about the universe...and that fate gives them their own "individual dance", so she's reluctant to "interfere with the power of fate". Whatever, Coco...just say no. After she flounces off, Doris looks bummed by the lack of support from her friends...but then suddenly beams as another ill-fated idea pops into her tiny brain.
Doris bursts into the dance gym and tries to enlist Leroy in whatever plan she's concocting, but he's not interested either and tells her to go pee up a rope.
Doris's last stop is Bruno, who's playing his usual craptastic music on a synthesizer in the music room. She begs him to help her figure out who needs potential saving from suicide and says he's her last hope, but he tells her they should probably leave suicide-related stuff to the professionals 'cause they might make things worse...and he really doesn't want to take the responsibility for causing someone to be even more determined to jump off a building. Doris says she fully intends to prevent her yet unnamed classmate from killing her/himself and won't risk sitting by and doing nothing. She sanctimoniously snaps, "I don't want responsibility for that."
Miss Sherwood shows Janet Hammond the list she made of all the kids whose lockers were broken into. For some reason she tells Janet all about Leroy, who leads a miserable existence without parents and lives in a decrepit shitbox in Harlem. Janet concernedly says he's just the sort who could be "at risk" (a new-fangled term for those most vulnerable), but Miss Sherwood insists that it can't possibly be Leroy. Ms. Grant enters the room, quickly concurs, and says she suspects Kelly Hayden of being the suicidal one - based on her erratic state and her consistently shittastic performances in the dance gym. She tells Janet she was just about to recommend that Kelly be booted out of the dance program altogether - but an alarmed looking Janet urges her to hold off on that for now.
Doris is in the library, reading up on suicide prevention, when Coco comes over and nonsensically babbles about fate, the universe, and cosmic forces. She tells Doris she now wants to help solve The Case of the Suicidal Student, and Doris shares with her a list of the students whose lockers were broken into, along with some pre-suicide warning signs to look out for:
In drama class, Julie is doing a scene with Timmy...and it's going so badly that Julie goes out of character and wearily says, "This isn't working." Mr. Reardon agrees and gets on Timmy's case about his complete inability to demonstrate emotion while acting out a scene. When Timmy reminds him that he used to be a child actor, Mr. Reardon snaps, "Then you should probably learn the right way to play a scene." Ouch. Looks like Mr. Reardon didn't get the memo that he's supposed to be extra nice to the kids for awhile so that he doesn't unwittingly push a potential suicide victim over the edge.
At lunch time, Timmy gets a tray of food, then sits at a table with Doris. He laments how awful the ratings of Here's Mikey are, and is now contemplating asking his school mates to sign letters in support of keeping the dumb show on the air. Doris asks why he's being so intense about something that's so clearly past its prime, then suggests he move on. Timmy miserably says he's too fugly, not special enough, and far too terrible at acting to have anything to move towards ever again. Plus he's a total downer all the damn time. Doris tries to pump him up by pronouncing, "You're Timmy Ellis, and that's something special!" but Timmy sadly retorts, "For a lot of people, Timmy is Mikey...and time is running out!" As he storms off, Doris looks alarmed by the finality of Timmy's words...but not alarmed enough to do anything beyond staring worriedly into space.
Kelly dances horribly again, and Ms. Grant is about to give her one of her sassy put-downs, but remembers Janet's warning and chirps, "It's really coming along!" - LOL - and urges Kelly to try to put a tad more rhythm into her moves.
Timmy goes downstairs to the maintenance office, where apparently he and the custodian like to watch reruns of Here's Mikey together. Yeesh...that custodian must really be hard up for entertainment. Timmy watches the rerun, this time by himself, and stares sadly at the TV set.
Danny, Doris, Coco, and Bruno convene in the library and talk about their theories on who the suicide note writer is - but start bickering when they can't agree on a single culprit.
Ms. Grant is presiding over ballet class, grimly watching Kelly struggle with her arabesques and pliés. When the bell rings, Ms. Grant asks Kelly to stay behind so they can have a chat...and then the camera cuts to the teachers' lounge, where Kelly is seated at a table with Ms. Grant, Miss Sherwood, and Janet Hammond, who are all staring at her concernedly. Kelly tells Janet she felt so much better after the anti-suicide assembly, especially the part about not being alone and that lots of people care. She babbles about how her family puts a lot of pressure on her to be successful, and is terrified that she's not a good enough dancer to stay at the School of the Arts. Which she's clearly not - though somehow Doris, who has no discernible talent in anything performance arts related, manages to stay enrolled. Janet asks her what she'd do if, hypothetically, she got dropped from the dance program...and Kelly thinks that over and says at one point she probably would have killed herself. She tearfully says that the worse her dancing has gotten, the more alone she's felt. Janet assures her that she's not alone anymore and that a lot of people care, blah blah. Kelly appeals to Ms. Grant for her help and patience in dance class, and Ms. Grant clutches her hand from across the table and says, "You got it, baby." Janet asks Kelly, now that they've all had a heart-to-heart, if they could please forget about her suicide note...and Kelly stares at her blankly and goes, "Note..? I didn't write a note." Ms. Grant and Miss Sherwood are all, "Wha-a?" and an exasperated Miss Sherwood grumbles about how they're back where they started - LOL, damn that Kelly and her faux suicidal warning signs - but Janet reaches for Kelly's hand and happily says, "Oh no, we're not."
Timmy enters the dressing room looking despondent. He pulls a gun out of his knapsack, points it at the mirror and growls, "Bye bye, Mikey" then pretends to fire and says, "Bye bye, Timmy." I really think that if this guy decides to stay alive and grow into adulthood, he should consider going by Tim.
Miss Sherwood asks Janet, "What now?" and Janet says they should pore over that student list again. She once again suspects Leroy of wanting to blow his brains out, and then - ack! - Leroy suddenly enters the lounge and bitches about how he just got a D- on his latest history test. Miss Sherwood tells him she can't speak for the history teacher, and he bitches about the need to take history at all. He then notices Janet standing in the room, quietly studying him, and goes, "Yo, whaddup?" and then swaggers out...and when Miss Sherwood informs her that that was Leroy, Janet chuckles and agrees that he's probably not on the verge of killing himself.
Doris enters the dressing room and tells Timmy she just heard that his grisly TV show got cancelled, and that she's very sorry. He tells her the sad story about how his success as a child actor broke up his parent's marriage 'cause his dad was always pissed off that he never made it in showbiz, but his mom really wanted to have an actor for a son. He then takes off his necklace and tells Doris he wants her to have this "friendship gift" and heads toward the exit - Ding ding ding! Pre-suicide warning sign alert! - and Doris just goes, "Hey, thanks" ... but then remembers the stuff she read in the library's suicide prevention books and runs out after him. She chases him down the hall and says she knows he's about to do something stupid, and he shrugs and goes, "I'm just on my to drama class." Doris follows him there, since I guess she too is in the class, and tells Mr. Reardon she'd like to do an improv with Timmy: in a scenario where he's on the ledge about to jump and she's a cop, trying to talk him down. Subtle, Doris. Mr. Reardon says it sounds like a marvellous idea...but when Timmy says he really really doesn't want to do it, Mr. Reardon suggests that Timmy play the role of the cop and Doris be the suicidal nut. Timmy agrees, then half-heartedly mumbles to Doris that suicide doesn't solve anything, and urges her to think about the people she's leaving behind. Mr. Reardon whispers something to Coco and Julie, and they amble over to the stage and start taunting Doris by yelling, "Jump! Jump!" [Haha! Oh...if only Doris were on an actual ledge while suffering from low self esteem.] Doris whines about how much it hurts to be a frizzy haired loser with no looks or talent, then repeatedly screeches, "I just want to get rid of the painnnnnn!" After some tedious back and forth about how suicide is/isn't the answer to life's problems, Timmy eventually breaks down and cries, "I'm there! I've been there for so long and it hurts sooooo bad!" In his befuddled state, he refers to Doris as Timmy, then collapses onto the floor, moaning, "I don't want to die." Doris breaks character and sits next to him and cradles him, while the rest of class stares at each other in confusion. I wonder if maybe they weren't all at Janet's anti-suicide assembly. Doris quietly assures a sobbing Timmy, "We hear you and we care" and the camera pans out as she continues to cradle him.
Later, while a choir performs on stage in the theater, Doris hands Timmy his necklace back...and he smiles at her and puts it back around his neck. Phew! I guess that's that for his pre-suicidal tendencies.
Incidentally, we never do find out who vandalized the school. Bastards!
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Recap: This episode is prefaced with an announcement that the opening scenes were filmed in black and white...and then we get the same "dedicated to the young at heart" preamble as is in The Wizard of Oz, which is the first clue that we're in for a superfluous, episode-long dream sequence (fuuuuuuuuuuck). Doris arrives at school carrying a wiggly bundle and enters the dance gym, where a student we've never seen before, Darlene, is rehearsing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Doris interrupts and snarks that she's supposed to be the one singing this song in the upcoming show - but Miss Sherwood sternly tells her she's out 'cause she failed to turn in her midterm essay. Doris cries, "That's not fair!" and insists she did turn in the essay. She looks pleadingly at Ms. Grant, who just shakes her head and says she has zero desire to lift a finger to help her...and when she turns to Mr. Shorofsky for help, he shrugs disinterestedly and says, "Sorry, Cookie." Doris glares at Miss Sherwood and snaps, "Don't be such a witch!" [yep - foreshadowing alert], and everyone gasps and flees the room. Doris sarcastically thanks Bruno, Leroy, and Danny for their help, and they're just like, "Sucks to be you" and say there's not much they can do if she fails to turn in her work and/or show up to rehearsal on time. Doris opens up the bundle she's been carrying around...and when a cute little terrier pops out, she explains that it's her aunt's dog, Toto, who she's dog-sitting for a week. As Toto scampers about, Doris gets worried he'll be seen by one of the teachers, so she chases after him...and in the process trips over her bag, hits her head, and passes out.
When she regains consciousness, the dance gym is empty - except for Toto. She looks around perplexedly and tells Toto, "I don't think we're in the School of the Arts anymore", then opens the doors and enters a colorized world constructed of paper flowers, silver streamer thingys hanging from the ceiling, and AstroTurf on the floor. She and Toto venture into the hall to explore and are startled by the sound of incessant giggling. A white light suddenly appears in the hall, and Ms. Grant appears, decked out in a white halter dress and a fugly white wig with a tiara on top. She introduces herself to Doris as the Good Witch, then urges the gigglers to show themselves. A dozen or so Fame extras emerge from she shadows, crawling around on their knees, and Good Witch explains to Doris that these faux little people are called punchkins. One of the punchkins shrieks and points to the horrifying sight of stuffed socks with orange sneakers sticking out of the bottom of one of the lockers. Good Witch opens the locker, gasps at what she sees inside, and announces that the Wicked Witch is dead...which then segue ways into a performance of Ding Dong the Witch is Dead. Have I mentioned how much I hate it when TV shows do dream sequence-type episodes??
A puff of smoke suddenly filters in, and a green, witchy version of Miss Sherwood appears. She demands to know what happened to her witch sister, then asks Doris if she did this, and Doris is like, "I don't think so. I just want to be in the show." Witchy Sherwood pronounces that she's never going to be in any show ever (woo hoo!), then eyes the orange sneakers. Good Witch waves her wand, which magically transfers the shoes from the stuffed socks to Doris' feet - and Witchy Sherwood once again vows to prevent Doris from being cast in any of the school's upcoming shows. Good Witch is like, "Oh no you diiin't!" and threatens to splash her with water, and Witchy Sherwood backs away fearfully, then disappears in a green puff of smoke. Poor Toto gets so freaked out by all the weirdness surrounding him that he topples over in a faint. Good Witch advises Doris to consult with the Wizard of Shorofsky in the Auditorium...er Kingdom, 'cause he may be able to pull some strings and get her cast in the next show. Doris likes the sound of that, and she and Toto stumble upon a yellow brick road to guide her "journey" ... and - ugh - she breaks into song while skipping on her way.
Doris runs into the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion [aka Bruno, Leroy, and Danny], who are cuddled on a bench together, napping. Doris scrunches her face in confusion and remarks that they're supposed to be introduced to her separately, and Tin Man just kind of shrugs and explains that they wanted to meet the wizard asap, so they decided to "cut out the middle man". Doris is good with that, declares that they're off to see the wizard, and the three skip along the yellow brick road, singing in their wretchedly off-tune voices.
A ratty-haired Julie, who's apparently been the witch's prisoner for the last eight hundred years, is playing an imaginary cello, while monkey-boy Dwight rubs an old TV set for Witchy Sherwood. He squeals, "It's starting to come in!" so Witchy Sherwood rushes over and watches footage of Doris and her three new friends ambling down the hall. She cackles maniacally and says that what these four need is a "field of poison" [I couldn't agree more], then starts shriek-laughing.
Doris and her friends come upon a dark hall...and Lion says he's too scared to continue and turns to flee. Doris urges them to keep moving forward and reminds them that they have no choice but to see this stupid dream sequence episode through. Suddenly, a light in one of the classrooms comes on, and Lion finds a sudden burst of courage and rushes over to explore, then gushes about what a beautiful sight it is. The rest of the group follows, and they all stand in the doorway and look awestruck. Eventually they step inside, intrigued by the simulated poppy field: flowy red and pink sheets being flapped about. The witch watches them on the TV and cackles to her minions about how these fools just fell prey to her poison poppies.
Everyone but Tin Man passes out, and he stares around in bewilderment and moans, "Where's a good witch when you need one?" Good Witch magically appears and conjures up snow flurries to reverse the effects of the poison...and the gang wakes up refreshed and scampers back to the makeshift yellow brick road. When Witchy Sherwood suddenly appears on a bicycle, shrieking at them maniacally, they flee to a room called the Fast Food Jungle - which is filled with chocolate and junk food as far as the eye can see. The managed to resist gobbling down the treats, then encounter monsters cloaked in brown...and after wrestling with them for several minutes, they escape back to the yellow brick road and finally reach the auditorium. Phew!
Mr. Reardon opens the top half of a half door to see who's knocking, and Doris announces that she and her friends need to see the wizard. After some tedious back and forth, he lets the group inside. Witchy Sherwood is enraged at this latest development and vows to keep Doris out of any upcoming shows (hurray!), then laughs maniacally again.
The Wizard of Shorofsky is pretending to play a large piano that automatically plays songs via a coin dispenser. When Doris asks whassup with him fake playing the instrument, he says it's easier than actually knowing how to play, but assures her that he is, in fact, capable of performing miracles. He asks what he can do for them, so Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion dance around, singing about the stuff they each want: heart, brain, courage, decent singing voices.
The wizard consults with Mr. Reardon and says he's not sure he really wants to help this band of idiots. Doris says she doesn't need a brain, heart, or courage - only to be in the upcoming show. The wizard asks her why she wants that so badly...and Doris stares at him blankly, then shrugs and says, "Everybody likes to be in the show" and the wizard and Mr. Reardon retort, "We don't."
Witchy Sherwood is beating Dwight for asking too many pesky questions, which is awesome.
Doris takes the stage in the auditorium and explains in painful detail why she loooooves being cast in shows, blahdy blah..
Witchy Sherwood arrives in the lobby with Julie and Dwight in tow to launch her nefarious revenge plot against Doris.
Doris is bowing and blowing kisses to an imaginary audience, explaining to the wizard how great it feels to be adored by people - but the wizard looks unimpressed and tells her to go pee up a rope. Haha! Suck on it, Doris.
Julie starts playing an imaginary cello - the purpose being to cast a nasty spell on Doris. I guess I can buy that.
Toto hears the fake cello music and scampers into the hall to investigate...and Doris gets alarmed and chases after him. She finds him, picks him up and cuddles him...then stares up fearfully as Witchy Sherwood looms over her and growls, "Hello, dearie." Eeeek!
Toto has been placed in a tiny cage, while Doris sits next to Darlene, who's dressed like she's one of the witch's guards. The witch orders Doris to take off the orange sneakers, and when Doris refuses, the witch summons her guards...and their arrival degenerates into a dance number, in which Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion secretly perform. The witch tells Doris that her guards are cruel and sadistic, and that she has exactly ten seconds to hand over the shoes. Scarecrow, meanwhile, urges Julie to make a run for it while the witch isn't looking...and she wisely takes his advice and flees. Lion warns the witch not to hurt Doris...and his outburst prompts her to set fire to Scarecrow. Tin Man grabs the nearest fire extinguisher and sprays him down and accidentally gets some of it on the witch...and as she starts shrieking, everyone watches in fascinated horror as she melts into a smoldering pile of ashes. Darlene cheers, "We're free at last!" and everyone else woots happily.
The Wizard of Shorofsky tells Doris she did good, then awards medallions to Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion as the punchkins cheer. Good Witch appears out of nowhere and tells Doris she never actually needed anyone's help trying to figure out why she liked being cast in shows so much...and Doris says it eventually dawned on her that she should probably want to perform in shows for the audience's enjoyment, not just her own. After that, the two start singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
The wizard asks Doris if she's ready to go back to black and white world...and when Doris says she is, he instructs her to close her eyes and click her heels together three times.
In the next scene, Doris is getting her temperature taken by Mrs. Berg, and Mr. Reardon is assuring her that she'll be OK. Doris looks around in bewilderment, then says hey to the students and faculty who are all standing around gaping at her. Miss Sherwood apologizes for being such a witch to her earlier - and Doris assures her that all is forgiven, and that she had to sort out some personal truths. She leaps up, hugs Bruno, Leroy, and Danny, then scampers out the hall, gushing to everyone about how happy she is to be back. She screeches, "I loooove this place!" then picks up Toto and cuddles him while everyone around her beams.
Recap: The teachers remind the Fame kids that Friendship Day is fast approaching, then explain (for the viewers' benefit) that it's the one day of the year when the students are encouraged to come to school dressed up as a famous friend or as someone they'd like to be friends with (kind of like Halloween without the ghouls). It's intended to be a day of fun, spirit, and camaraderie...and later in the evening there will be a Sadie Hawkins type Friendship Dance.
During the committee meeting, which Doris chairs, Bruno is playing a bland, low energy piece of music he intends to play during the Friendship Dance. Doris nods approvingly and tells him it has just the right amount of pizazz (seriously?)...but that she has a few suggestions to get rid of the glitches. She then barks at the other committee members to carry out the tasks they've been assigned in a quick and efficient manner so she won't feel compelled to follow them around and continually admonish them for being lazy asses. It really is a miracle that she has a single friend at this school.
Mama Miller (Julie's mom) and Papa Martelli are checking in with Mrs. Berg to get their parental assignments for the Friendship Dance. Mrs. Berg tells Mrs. Miller she'll be in charge of security, then tells Papa Martelli he'll be taking care of refreshments. Papa Martelli grumbles that refreshments are women's work and that he'd much rather be in charge of security, but Mama Miller says she's sick of making cookies and punch and welcomes the chance to do something different.
Mr. Reardon tells Miss Sherwood he's been trying his hand at writing poetry and would love it if she looked over his work and offered her honest opinion. She agrees, takes his notebook, and heads off to class.
Bruno and Julie debrief after the committee meeting and discuss Doris' annoying, desperate need to always be liked by everyone all the time...which makes the bitchitude she just displayed toward committee members all the more puzzling. Julie suggests they do something special for the nitwit as a show of their appreciation for her being the chief planner of Friendship Day, and Bruno half-heartedly nods and says it's probably a good idea.
During the next committee meeting (held in the cafeteria), Leroy is giving Danny gyrating lessons so he'll become a sexy hot dancer and inspire Michelle to invite him to take her to the Friendship Dance. Doris bustles into the room and barks at everyone to get their work done, like pronto, then turns her rabid attention onto Michael and snarls that just 'cause they're going to the dance together, it doesn't give him license to slack off. Michael haughtily tells her he just finished putting up all the decorations and therefore did complete his assigned task - but Doris goes postal when she realizes that he put up the posters before she got a chance to approve them. Michael gets fed up with her micromanaging assholery and rescinds his agreement to be her date for the dance - which, d'yuh...but I can't even fathom why he would have agreed to that unique form of torture in the first place.
Mama Miller is in her apartment, doing aerobics (braless, I might add), in front of the television. Yikes. When Bruno phones, Julie takes the phone into another room and breathlessly spouts a bunch of easy-to-misunderstand phrases:
"I want it to be perfect!"
"No - I've never done anything quite like this before."
"Of course I trust you."
"Does your dad suspect anything?"
"It's starting to look very exciting!"
Mama Miller, who's shamefully eavesdropping on the call, assumes that the two are planning a sexual rendezvous and gasps in horror. When Julie wraps up the call, Mama Miller hastily gets back to her braless workout and pretends as though she didn't just violate her daughter's privacy.
Mama Miller gets together for lunch with Papa Martelli to report that she overheard a conversation between their kids that she strongly suspects was sexual in nature. Papa Martelli blurts out, "Sexual?!", then chuckles and says it's prolly not a big deal if their middle-aged kids have sex. When Mama Miller glares at him, clearly not amused by his permissive attitude, he promises to talk to Bruno about the birds and the bees and will do his best to find out what's going on.
Doris interrupts music class to order Mr. Shorofsky to take Dwight off performance probation 'cause she needs him in attendance at the Friendship Day dance. She nonsensically explains that Dwight won't go anywhere without his sousaphone - including a dance, apparently - and I'm guessing that it's a violation of performance probation to walk around school carrying a sousaphone. Well...OK, but there's also a rule against students auditioning for shows, but since no faculty member has ever enforced it, I really can't see anyone clamping down on such minor performance probation violations. Mr. Shorofsky stares at her with a mixture of bewilderment, pity, and amusement and asks her if it's really so all-important for her to have a date for the dance, and she hangs her head shamefully and squeaks, "Yes."
Bruno is in the basement, playing on his synthesizer when Papa Martelli asks him about his day, and if he has anything sex-related to report. Bruno just shrugs and says that the only remotely interesting thing going on in his life is that he's currently trying to convince a stubborn girl to make a life change. Papa Martelli's like, "Ack!" and reminds him about the importance of having a parent who's a good listener, and says that the two of them should be able to talk about anything...but Bruno's too engrossed in his shittastic music to pay any attention to his father's gabbling.
Mama Miller is trying to have a similar discussion with Julie, but - like Bruno - Julie's too engrossed in whatever thing she's working on to pay close attention.
Mama Miller calls Papa Martelli to ask him if he learned anything, and he says he's been reading between the lines and has concluded that it's definitely possible that Bruno and Julie are headed for the sack.
Miss Sherwood tells Mr. Reardon that she read his poems, and that her professional opinion is that his poetry writing abilities suck huge rhinoceros dick. Mr. Reardon's all, "Wha-a?!" and angrily says it took him a long time to work up the courage to ask her to critique his writing...then storms out of the teachers' lounge.
Bruno is playing on the synthesizer in one of the music rooms and bobbing his head to the beat as he starts singing...and I have no idea why we're being subjected to this superfluous one-man show. Just as he's wrapping it up, Julie enters the room and tells him they should do something to cheer Doris up, e.g. get her a small present or a gift certificate for Ray's Pizza. Bruno nixes the last thing on account of Doris' habit of porking out whenever she's stressed out, and thinks it would be better to get her something "official".
Ms. Grant is leading her "body movement" class, reminding the students that since this is an elective for non-dance majors, not much is expected of them. For some disturbing, incomprehensible reason, Dwight has decked himself out in a skin tight grey body suit with matching leggings - a grisly ensemble that embarrassingly showcases his body's jiggly parts. Ms. Grant barks at him to loosen up his limbs while he walks, then leads the class in a brisk stroll around the dance gym. Danny asks Smokey (some random extra) to put in a good word for him with Michelle so she'll ask him to the dance, then gets more gyrating lessons from Leroy. A few seconds later Michelle walks by, but she just scowls in Danny's direction and does not look impressed by his dance moves.
Mama Miller is teaching Papa Martelli how to make cookies so he can provide homemade treats for the Friendship Dance. Considering how clearly inept he is at baking, I don't know why he doesn't just go to the nearest supermarket and buy a bag of Oreos.
Miss Sherwood finds Doris moping in the theater. She tells the nitwit she should probably praise her committee underlings once in awhile so they feel valued and appreciated...and Doris wails, "They hate me!" but Miss Sherwood retorts, "No. They're mad at you." Doris asks her what she should do 'bout that, and Miss Sherwood says, "You probably already know" [mmm, no...I really don't think she does, Miss Sherwood] and Doris pretends to mull that over and scampers out of the room in her weird, flail-y way.
Friendship Dance! Doris despondently watches a group of Fame kids talking animatedly and assumes they're talking shit about her, which they probably are and would have every reason to. I'm pretty sure I'd be regularly doing that if I attended the School of the Arts. So suck on it, Doris.
Dwight arrives at the dance dressed as an angel with wings...which is a weird choice, considering that the mandate of Friendship Day was to dress up as a famous friend or someone you wanted to be friends with. Not sure how an angel costume fits into this theme unless he's a friendly admirer of Gabriel.
Miss Sherwood tells Ms. Grant that Mr. Reardon is still verrrrry pissed off at her for mocking his craptastic poetry. She tells her she could have been a lot more diplomatic, and Miss Sherwood mulls that over and agrees that she has some serious fence-mending to do.
The Fame kids have gathered in the cafeteria, and they're jigging and gyrating to the beat. Julie is wearing a Greek get-up, while Bruno didn't bother going through the trouble of putting on a costume 'cause he's far too world weary and over it.
Miss Sherwood tells Mr. Reardon that she didn't expect him to take her criticism of his poetry so badly, and he sullenly says he really put himself on the line when he wrote his schlock and then asked her to critique it. He asks if he could read her poetry...and when she's all, "Wha-a?!" he insists that since he showed her his, she should show him hers. Mrs. Berg, who's eavesdropping at the door, gasps when she assumes that something sexual is going on. Oh how I wish. At the very least, it would break up the monotony of all these Three's Company-esque misunderstandings.
Mama Miller asks Papa Martelli to dance, and he agrees and the two awkwardly amble over to the dance floor. Bruno and Julie watch them in fascination and compare notes about how their parents have been trying very hard to have serious talks with them all week, and now wonder if they were trying to tell them about their disturbing new love match. Or something like that. I kind of zoned out during this scene.
Doris arrives at the dance dressed up as an angel, which I assume is supposed to match Dwight's nonsensical costume.
Mama Miller comes right out and asks Julie what she and Bruno have planned for later, and Julie chirps, "It's a surprise!" Suddenly, there's cheering and applause, and Julie finally reveals the big secret she's been carefully guarding all week: she and Bruno are handing out thank-you plaques for the planners of Friendship Day. Get the fuck out of here, writers. Considering Julie's/Bruno's earlier phone conversation...
"I want it to be perfect!"
"No - I've never done anything quite like this before."
"Of course I trust you."
"Does your dad suspect anything?"
"It's starting to look very exciting!"
...that's, at best, a ridiculously lame-ass explanation.
Bruno and Julie go onstage and begin the thanking. Papa Martelli gets a plaque, which he hugs proudly - LOL - and then Danny gets in the game and announces, "And for the kid who put all this together..." and just as Doris is dejectedly ambling off, he exclaims, "Doris Schwartz!" Doris does a quick u-turn, accepts her plaque gratefully, and breaks into song about happy she is that not everyone hates her anymore [deep down I'm sure they all still do], and how this award is so much better than a gift certificate to Ray's Pizza (not). Everyone then joins in and starts dancing along to the beat...including Mrs. Berg and Mr. Shorofsky.
Recap: Miss Sherwood, who's suddenly doubling as a math teacher, is admonishing the class for being unmotivated, lazy fuckwits. As she tries to get them to do some calculations in their heads, Dwight shouts out the answers, then proudly tells her he's able to do the math so fast 'cause his watch is also a calculator. Miss Sherwood starts railing about their over-reliance on machines, and bitches about how it's reaching the point to where they can't think on their own anymore. She snarks that if it were up to her, they'd throw every calculator and computer into the river. Bruno chuckles and tells her she's being naive...while he, in contrast, often enjoys the aid of a synthesizer to help him generate his craptastic music - a practice Mr. Shorofsky openly abhors. He adds that her attitude about technology has a lot to do with age, and pronounces that adults typically regard computers as a threat, whereas young people view them as an opportunity. Miss Sherwood looks aghast at that notion, then polls the students as to how many of them agree with that...and pretty much everyone raises their hands. She then shoots Bruno the stink-eye and smugly decrees, "I'm about to make you an offer you can't refuse."
The students are gyrating in the school's lobby to a loud drum beat when two deliverymen wheel in two large boxes. Dwight excitedly tells Danny it must be the S21 computer, then dreamily tells him it has data re-conversion, DMA, and bit-slice capabilities. Sounds very impressive. He breathlessly adds, "It's the future" but Danny just shrugs disinterestedly and ambles off to bop to the gyrating.
Miss Sherwood is in the office, snarking on the phone to someone at the phone company about how her home phone service service got accidentally cancelled because of a computer glitch...and as that's happening, Mrs. Berg takes possession of the new computer from the deliverymen. Miss Sherwood finishes her call, grimly eyes the new computer, and asks Mrs. Berg whassup with this hunk o' junk. Mrs. Berg informs her that the board of education sent it over to help with her record keeping.
Ms. Grant asks Mrs. Berg if she's seen Mr. Reardon, and Mrs. Berg tells her that he left a message saying he'll meet her in the dance gym before class. She then asks Ms. Grant if Mr. Reardon is feeling OK, and explains that he's not looking so hot.
An exhausted looking Mr. Reardon tells Ms. Grant he'd like to watch the dance number she's been working on with her class so he can see where it fits into the upcoming show. Ms. Grant directs her students to begin dancing...and it's an extremely low energy number with a lot of bending, toe pointing, and swaying. Mr. Reardon props his head against the wall and falls asleep.
As Mrs. Berg does her best to immerse herself in the computer manual, she remarks to Mr. Shorofsky that the S21 keeps track of all kinds of student information. Mr. Shorofsky's like, "Meh", makes it clear he's totally unimpressed, and says it sounds like the computer wants to take over her job. He tells her that she's the one who keeps the school running smoothly - something a machine could never do. Mrs. Berg chides him for dumping on the poor computer and insists it's only here to help her with her daily tasks...but Mr. Shorofsky insists that thing is not to be trusted, and that he worries computers will soon take over the world. Heh. What a wise, prophetic old sage you were, Mr. Shorofsky.
Ms. Grant tells Mr. Reardon how miffed she is that he fell asleep during her class's low energy dance performance. He tells her there's a perfectly good explanation for his exhaustion: he's spending his nights rehearsing for an off off Broadway show.
Mrs. Berg is in the cafeteria, still immersed in the computer manual...and Miss Sherwood tells her how impressed she is that she's trying to make sense of all that techno-gobbly-goop. Mrs. Berg tells her that Mr. Shorofsky thinks the computer is out to get her job - but she's confident that the board of education halfwits would never do anything as awful as replace her with a machine. She earnestly adds, "The school is my whole world. I give the teachers and students everything" and Miss Sherwood smilingly nods in agreement and replies, "Anybody could see that."
Bruno glumly tells the Fame kids that Miss Sherwood challenged him to create "a production without people". Everyone tells him that that's an impossible feat, but Bruno chides them for having no faith and declares, "I have a secret weapon." The camera then cuts to him telling his pop that he now regrets shooting his mouth off about having a secret weapon...when the truth is: he has absolutely no idea how he's going to complete this assignment. Bruno says that Miss Sherwood promised to bump up the class average if he pulls it off, which seems nonsensical and unfair to both him and the entire class. He then suddenly looks as though he just got a brilliant idea, exclaims, "Secret weapon!" then gets on the phone and calls Dwight.
The next day, Dwight is hanging in the music room with Bruno as the two discuss Miss Sherwood's assignment. He tells Bruno it's not actually possible to create a production with zero human input, 'cause the computer is merely a tool that humans program to make it do what they want. I'm glad at least one person at the School of the Arts understands the concept of a computer. Dwight then says that if he could get access to the computer that's currently in the office, along with some rockin' AV equipment, the two of them could put together an awesome show. Oh joy.
Miss Sherwood is on the phone again, continuing to sort out her problems with the phone company. Bruno enters the office and asks Mrs. Berg if he can switch study hall to third period so he can work on a project with Dwight, but Mrs. Berg informs him that third period is being cancelled for an impromptu special event in the theater that all students are required to attend.
Ms. Grant introduces stage, film, and TV actress Brenda Vaccaro to the Fame kids, and says she's here for a Q&A session that will, in no way, be connected to the episode's main storyline. I wonder if Brenda Vaccaro just happened to be available for filming that day, and since they had room for some filler, they stuck this scene in. The kids applaud as the lovely Brenda Vaccaro invites questions from the audience...and stupid Doris leaps up and asks her if she's ever had to change her physical appearance for a role. Brenda [refrains from strongly recommending to Doris that she get a top-to-bottom makeover and] diplomatically says, "Always be proud of who you are". Coco asks her if it's reasonable to drop out of school if she's able to get an agent and land acting jobs, and Brenda says that while it's not a bad idea to look for work while she's still a student, she doesn't recommend cutting short her education. Awkward...she must not be aware of the rule against School of the Arts students going on auditions (even though it's never actually enforced). Danny asks her how she handles fame, and if it ever gets annoying to sign autographs and interact with fans. Brenda says it's never a pain to acknowledge fans, and that she's always appreciative and gracious to the people who gush about her performances. After the Q&A, Coco confronts Mr. Reardon about landing a role in the off off Broadway play, then snappishly asks him if that's fair, considering the rule that prevents students from auditioning. He shrugs and goes, "Probably not", but says he's A-OK with taking full advantage of the opportunities he's being given. He then wanks her by telling her that she has more talent than most of the dregs who attend this school, and that that's probably not fair either...but it shouldn't stop her from taking full advantage of it. Coco stares into space, silently mulling over that flawed logic.
Miss Sherwood is in the teachers' lounge, on hold with the phone company and railing to her colleagues about her phone service woes. I wish she'd get her damn phone problems resolved and shut up about it already. When a registered letter arrives, Ms. Grant signs for it, then rips it open, reads it, and looks aghast. She hangs up on Miss Sherwood's call...and when Miss Sherwood is all, "Wha-a?!" Ms. Grant informs her colleagues that the board is planning to fire Mrs. Berg. Mr. Shorofsky snaps, "WHAT??!" and a bewildered Miss Sherwood asks who the board thinks is going to run the office. Ms. Grant says, according to the letter, the computer is going to run the office. Interesting personnel decision. I hope the faculty remembers to always keep it plugged in. Miss Sherwood points out that someone is going to have to break the news to Mrs. Berg...and when everyone just stares at each other in mute horror, Mr. Shorofsky steps up and volunteers.
After dance class, Bruno tells Leroy he needs a favor. Leroy moans and bitches about how he has no time for no favors...but then gives in when Bruno tells him that all he needs to do to fulfill the favor is gyrate on stage.
Dwight is using the computer in the office to create an animation of a stick person dancing...and Leroy, Bruno, and Mrs. Berg look on in awed fascination. Mrs. Berg then scrunches her face in confusion and says she has no idea how this machine is supposed to help her with her attendance records. A few seconds later, a Mrs. Kylie from the board of education arrives to show Mrs. Berg how to set up the computer. Mrs. Berg proudly tells her that she read the entire instruction manual, then admits she didn't understand a single word.
Doris tells the Fame kids about the rumor that's been circulating around the school: Mrs. Berg is being replaced by a computer. Bruno feels bad about being so enthusiastic about technology, and Leroy suggests they just snatch the computer and dump it in a river. Bruno's all, "Wha-a? It costs thousands of dollars!" and Leroy shoots back, "And how much is Mrs. Berg worth?!"
The next morning, Mrs. Berg arrives at work and notices that the computer is missing from her desk. Egads! She looks alarmed and mutters, "Oh my.."
Everyone is herded into the theater. Mr. Shorofsky tells them that if the computer doesn't turn up soon, they're going to have to notify the police about the theft. He strongly urges whoever took the dumb thing to return it promptly so that the matter can be swept under the rug. Mrs. Kylie takes the mic and snarks that this dump of a school has a shitty reputation for being cost effective, then bitches about how it took a small miracle for her to get the school onto the "new technology recipients" list. Mr. Shorofsky rolls his eyes and abruptly barks, "Dismissed!" - LOL - and the students file out.
Julie, Coco, and Danny confront Leroy in the hall. Julie solemnly tells him, "This isn't funny anymore" and urges him to return the computer. Leroy says that while he strongly suggested stealing it, he didn't actually carry out the criminal misdeed. When the three just stare back at him suspiciously, he snarkishly insists he didn't take it, and angrily storms off.
Dwight admits to Doris and Bruno that he's the culprit, then hastily adds that he didn't steal the computer so much as move it to the orchestra pit. He explains that he's tired of going through life as a complete dork who's always out-of-step and out-of-style...and hates the fact that he enrolled in a school of rebels only to join the establishment by becoming a dickishly militant hall monitor. (You can quit being a douche anytime, dude.) Doris and Bruno mull over his confessions and decide they should talk to Miss Sherwood about the computer off the record...and then the two exit the music room, leaving Dwight sitting alone and dejectedly staring into space.
Bruno and Doris babble to Miss Sherwood about how her assignment taught them something...but that the something wasn't at all what they thought it would be. Miss Sherwood looks confused and is all, "Wha-a?" so they cut to the chase and tell her that they need her help to put together a command performance.
Showtime! Bruno introduces the "almost people-free" performance by standing next to a giant screen on stage, and then Dwight reveals the presence of the "stolen" computer in the orchestra pit. Everyone gasps in shock, even though the giant computer would have been impossible to miss for anyone who had taken a good look in the direction of the orchestra pit. Leroy takes the stage and starts gyrating in tandem with ghastly looking, low resolution images that appear to mimic his movements on the giant screen, and Bruno sings in a microphone that garbles his voice and makes it sound computer generated. The audience is utterly dazzled by the odd spectacle, which goes on for an interminably loooooong time. When Leroy finally stops gyrating, the audience applauds wildly, Mrs. Sherwood grins appreciatively, and Bruno gives Dwight the thumbs up. Mrs. Kylie, who is not at all impressed with how the computer was just used, storms onto the stage and announces that she expects the computer to be returned to the office asap. Ms. Grant jumps up from her seat and is like, "Noooo chile!" and declares that the computer is now the property of the dance department, and says that since the board of education never specified exactly what the computer was to be used for, they'll just do whatever they like with it. I doubt that any board of education would meekly go along with that, but OK. Ms. Grant sassily reminds Mrs. Kylie that the school is filled with performing artists, and when they find something that can "generate this kind of spectacle, create this kind of vision, and put out this kind of heat"...LOL LOL LOL... She pauses for a seconds before she adamantly declares, "Honey - this belongs in the dance department!" and bids a bewildered Mrs. Kylie a brusque farewell. After Mrs. Kylie storms off in a huff [presumably to urge the chair of the board to begin termination proceedings against Ms. Grant], Ms. Grant urges the students to leap onto the stage and dance along to the horrible '80s graphics on the giant screen.
Mr. Shorofsky, meanwhile, escorts Mrs. Berg to the dance gym, then sits at the piano and says, "Now it's our turn." He starts playing a classical melody, and Mrs. Berg happily dances as though she's in a ballroom, in the arms of a dance partner. Sweet!
Recap: Ms. Grant is barking instructions at her dance class when one of the dancers, Melanie, crashes to the floor, clutches her leg, and moans, "Something popped." Ms. Grant chides her for never warming up properly, then orders another student to bring over an ice pack. As a couple of other students help Melanie hobble out of the dance gym to go see the school nurse, Ms. Grants sympathetically clucks, "She probably pulled a hamstring" then jokingly says she likes the idea of people seeing her students limping out of her class, 'cause then everyone will know what a tough taskmaster she is. That's kind of a dicked up mindset.
Danny is lounging in the hall reading a comic book when - ack! - Jimmy Osmond approaches and stammers, "I don't have a hall pass." Danny tells him he doesn't either, and that he's just trying to blend in and look as though he should be sitting around, wasting his day reading comics. Jimmy Osmond tells him he's meeting up with Julie to get some tutoring for Mr. Shorofsky's class...and a few seconds later, Melanie limps by on her way to the school nurse and explains that she pulled a muscle. Jimmy Osmond jumps to his feet and politely nods...and a befuddled Danny asks him why did that just now, so Jimmy Osmond explains that it's a mark of respect toward the lady. Danny chortles and says he has a lot to learn about the fairer sex, and a glum Jimmy Osmond admits he doesn't have a clue about women 'cause he's never had a girlfriend. Danny says he's doing pretty good, considering how much time he gets to spend with "Julie the Fox" and Jimmy Osmond mulls that over, realizes his good fortune, and grins happily.
Danny encounters Bruno by the lockers and tells him he just gave Jimmy Osmond some boneheaded advice about girls, then shakes his head and says it's a shame that the dimwitted lad can't appreciate how lucky he is to be paired with Julie for his tutoring sessions. He then gives up any semblance of being an empathetic person and adds, "But facts are facts...and he's retarded."
Miss Sherwood runs into Mr. Reardon in the library and tells him he's looking tired and haggard, so he explains that he currently has a house guest who's driving him nuts: his roommate from college. Apparently, the guy has developed a dickish attitude, has had four failed marriages, and is going to be torturing him for the next two days.
Julie is tutoring Jimmy Osmond in the library...but it doesn't look like anything is getting through, 'cause he's just gazing at her like a love-sick puppy. She asks him if she's talking too fast, and he grins and says no...but then admits that his tiny brain can't process so much information all at once. He's about to suggest something, but then stops and says it's too stupid to say out loud - and Julie chides him for calling himself stupid and says that everyone is smart or slow about various things in life. She points out that the two of them compliment each other, meaning she gets a course credit for tutoring him, and he gets the extra help he needs to pass Mr. Shorofsky's class. (I don't think Julie understands what complimenting each other means.) Jimmy Osmond perks up and asks her if she'd be willing to come over to his house and study with him there, and somehow Julie doesn't look horrified by the prospect and chirps, "Super!"
Julie and Jimmy Osmond are studying in his dining room - but studying at his home base doesn't seem to be making a critical difference in helping him learn the material any better. He grumbles that all this music theory stuff won't help him sing better, so Julie points out that it's only meant to help him pass his exam. He's like, "Whatever" and shows her the key that Mr. Shorofsky gave him, which allows him access to the School of the Arts any time he wants. Not sure why that's necessary. Julie says it's a sign that Mr. Shorofsky really trusts him...and a few seconds later, Jimmy Osmond's mom brings over a tray of milk and cookies. Jimmy Osmond announces that it's time to take a break and watch some TV, then pulls his mom aside and beams from ear to ear as he asks, "Isn't Julie wonderful? Truly wonderful?"
Mr. Reardon arrives home and glares in annoyance at the cigar that's still burning in an ashtray, and barks at his house guest, Bernie, to refrain from smoking the stinky things in his apartment. Bernie announces that he's off to Cleveland to cover the funeral of a famous rock star so he can scope out which celebrities show up. Mr. Reardon gets all judgey and accuses him of exploiting the tragedy, but Bernie just shrugs and says, "Yeah, but my pocket book benefits." Mr. Reardon reminds him that he once vowed to be a responsible journalist, and Bernie throws it in his face that he was going to be a great actor and that they all have to make compromises. Mr. Reardon shoots back that at least he's contributing something positive to the world by teaching drama to middle-aged high school students, and Bernie's like, "Yeah, whatever" and asks him if he still has any photos of them from college. Mr. Reardon tells him to check out the box of photos on his bookshelf, and Bernie locates the box, opens it, and discovers photos from their water polo days. He covertly pockets the one that best showcases Mr. Reardon's toned young frame.
Jimmy Osmond and Julie have fallen asleep on the couch, and there's just static coming through on the TV. Jimmy Osmond's mom tiptoes over to the phone and calls Julie's mom to tell her that Julie has fallen asleep, and that it would be a shame to wake her. She promises to drive her home tomorrow after breakfast.
The next day at school, Bruno is playing the synthesizer while Doris belts out a tune, which is weird 'cause usually the performance portions of Fame have some kind of intro or lead-in, but this one started completely without warning or contrived purpose. Bruno sings along...and goddamn that boy still cannot sing worth a shit. When the song comes to a merciful end, Jimmy Osmond enters the music room and announces, "Guess what? I'm in loooove!" Bruno says, "That's terrific!" and Doris asks him if it's anyone they know. Jimmy Osmond beams and replies, "You bet: Julie!" and Doris and Bruno are all, "Wha-a?!" Jimmy Osmond looks crestfallen at their reaction and asks them if it's OK that he's in love with someone as beautiful as Julie. Bruno carefully replies, "It's a free country. And Julie is a terrific girl." Jimmy Osmond babbles about how it's his first time being in love, and after he happily scampers off, a dismayed Bruno shakes his head and mutters, "Damn...he's going to get hurt."
Bruno spots Julie selling tickets for an upcoming chamber music concert and asks her how things are going with her and Jimmy Osmond. She says, "Fine" and tells him they have plans to attend tonight's concert and hopes it'll help him grasp all the music theory stuff she's been trying to teach him. Bruno says, "You're making a mistake" - just as Jimmy Osmond bounds over and smilingly says, "Hi Julie." Bruno pulls him aside and asks whassup, so Jimmy Osmond tells him he's going to the concert with Julie, but isn't sure what he should wear. Bruno rolls his eyes and snaps, "Julie doesn't care what you wear", but when he sees the wounded look on Jimmy Osmond's face, he changes his tone and backpedals by carefully adding, "She'll still feel the same way about you." Jimmy Osmond brightens again and goes, "Really?" and Bruno offers to help him find something flattering to wear in the school's dressing room. Jimmy Osmond thanks him and then exclaims, "You're a good friend!" and rushes off to class.
Mrs. Berg is engrossed in the latest edition of the National Sizzler, and when Doris notices what she's reading, she chides her for wasting her brain cells on that kind of trash. Mrs. Berg pretends she acquired the tabloid purely by accident, then dishes to Doris about how there's a fabulous article about sex with an accompanying photo of a young and buff Mr. Reardon wearing nothing but swim trunks. Doris is all, "Wha-a?!" and snatches the paper away from her so that she too can get an eyeful. She asks Mrs. Berg if she can borrow it for awhile, and Mrs. Berg is OK with that, but cries, "Don't forget to bring it back! I want to frame the photo!" Hmm...I wonder if there's a Mr. Berg, and why he's not better meeting his horny wife's needs.
Doris passes around the National Sizzler to her drama classmates as an oblivous Mr. Reardon teaches. Everyone leers at the risque photo and smirks appreciatively, and Jimmy Osmond outright gasps when he sees the image of Mr. Reardon's scantily clad body. Eventually Mr. Reardon gets wind of what everyone is cackling about, snatches the paper out of Coco's hands, and looks suitably mortified.
Mr. Reardon rushes to the office and hides the paper in his mailbox. Mrs. Berg shoots him a sexy, come hither stare...and when he asks her whassup, she blushes and starts giggling like a schoolgirl. She's a bit of a whackadoo, that Mrs. Berg.
Bruno enters the dressing room, where Danny is outfitting Jimmy Osmond in a letterman jacket and assuring him that Julie will love it. He then tries to bring the kid back down to reality by asking, "She's just your tutor though, right?" but Danny insists that Julie loves him, as evidenced by the breakfast she made for him this morning. He then dishes about how she stayed over at his place last night, and that they slept together! He says he told a bunch of people at the school about it, and they all agreed that it must mean something.
Julie and Jimmy Osmond are sitting side by side at the chamber music concert, and Julie's wearing a ginormous, fugly corsage on her lapel, which Jimmy Osmond excitedly describes as "the biggest one in the whole store!" He inches toward her and tells her her hair smells nice, and she tells him to shut his pie-hole so she can hear the music. Jimmy Osmond notices a man a few rows in front of him put his arm around the woman he's sitting next to, so he does the same thing with Julie...who then stares at the unwanted hand on her shoulder and finally gets a clue as to what's been going on inside the head of her dimwitted tutee.
After the concert, Julie and Jimmy Osmond head over to the cafeteria, and she carefully places the corsage inside the refrigerator to keep it fresh. Jimmy Osmond beams as he declares, "I like you a whole lot" and she says she likes him too and that their platonic friendship means a lot to her. He kisses her hand and coos, "I love you" - just as a crotchety custodian pops his head into the room and growls at them to go do their necking somewhere else. Jimmy Osmond says he has to go catch his bus, and then runs off...and Julie stares after him concernedly and mutters, "Dear God.."
Mr. Reardon is in the teachers' lounge, leaving a snarky phone message for Bernie. When Miss Sherwood enters the room, he tells her he just spent the last forty-five minutes taking down his water polo beefcake photo from the school's various bulletin boards...and Miss Sherwood wryly tells him they're already back up. She tells him to be flattered by all the ogling, but when he asks her if she'd be flattered by the same kind of attention, she admits she probably wouldn't be. A few seconds later, Mrs. Berg enters the room and shoots Mr. Reardon a knowing smirk, says, "Still waters run deep" and then starts cackling. A creeped out Mr Reardon wisely beats a hasty retreat.
Bruno admonishes Julie for not calling him back last night, so she explains that by the time she got his message it was very late. He shakes his head in disapproval and says, "I thought I knew you" and reminds her that she's supposed to be tutoring Jimmy Osmond, not hitting the sheets with him. Julie's all, "Wha-a?!" so Bruno asks her if it's true she slept with the slow-witted lad, and she says they both fell asleep on his mother's couch after snacking on milk and cookies. Bruno breathes a sigh of relief that the two literally just slept in the same room together, then informs her that Jimmy Osmond has been telling everyone who's remotely interested that they slept together...as in slept together. When Jimmy Osmond ambles over a few seconds later with a wide grin plastered on his round pumpkin face, Julie demands to know why he's telling everyone that she spent the night with him. He goes, "You did!" so she explains that he's misleading people about what actually happened. She makes it clear that they're nothing more than friends, then orders him to stop following her around and telling her that he loves her. Jimmy Osmond goes, "For how long?" and she snaps, "Forever!" and says she doesn't feel a shred of romantic affection for him whatsoever. Jimmy Osmond finally has the sense to look heartbroken, and wails, "I'm soooo stupid! And I'll never be anything else!" and awkwardly toddles off.
Mr. Reardon storms into the dressing room to find a place to hide from all the lusty staring...and finds Jimmy Osmond moping. He bitterly tells Mr. Reardon he heard that all the girls are whistling at him, but doesn't see how that's a problem...so Mr. Reardon explains that it makes him super uncomfortable to be objectified by his students. Jimmy Osmond says he'd do anything to be whistled at...but his horrendous haircut, general dorkiness, and mental slowness make it virtually impossible for any girl to ever find him remotely appealing. He whines that everyone has a girlfriend but him, and enviously says, "Danny's got loads" and by loads, he really means none 'cause...come on, this is Danny we're talking about. Mr. Reardon urges him to give it time, and maybe direct his energy toward helping others in need.
The Fame kids are gathered in Bruno's basement dungeon, eating pizza and trying to sort out The Jimmy Osmond Situation. Bruno gets a call from Jimmy's Osmond's mother, telling him he hasn't come home yet, and that he told her he was going to rehearse with him (Bruno) and Melanie. The Fame kids get alarmed and assume that Jimmy Osmond has either gone postal or developed a Play Misty for Me-esque crush on Melanie, so they immediately race over to the School of the Arts to see what sort of carnage awaits them. When they burst into the theater, they find Jimmy Osmond calmly playing the piano while Melanie practices her dance steps on stage. Bruno breathes a sigh of relief and tells Jimmy Osmond that his mom called him and was worried 'cause he hadn't come home yet. Jimmy Osmond explains that Mr. Reardon advised him to get over his lady problems by helping someone with a problem, so he approached Melanie and offered to play piano while she practiced her dance moves. Bruno sits with him at the piano and starts playing a song, and Jimmy Osmond stands up and sings...and before long, Coco joins in for a duet, while Leroy leaps on stage and begins gyrating. Julie, meanwhile, rushes over to the cafeteria to retrieve her ginormous corsage and then pins it on her lapel...which seems like a really mixed message to send to a lovesick boy with mental deficiencies. Jimmy Osmond grins over at her while he sings...and after the performance, Bruno urges him to phone home. Jimmy Osmond suddenly looks alarmed and cries, "My mom!" and scampers off the stage.
Recap: Bruno finds his pop lifting weights in the basement, and when he's all, "Wha-at's going on?", Papa Martelli explains that he's been depressed ever since it recently dawned on him that he's been a cab driver for a quarter of a century. He grumbles, "Twenty five years is a long time", then stares into space looking wistfully disgruntled.
In the dance gym, Bruno plays piano while Ms. Grant barks at her students as they twirl and leap across the room. During a break, Bruno asks to address the class and prefaces what he's about to say by thanking them for always going the extra mile...then asks if they'd be OK with dedicating Friday's dress rehearsal to his pop, who's celebrating twenty-five years of being a cabbie. I don't know why the cab company isn't on the hook for honoring his years of service, but whatever. Bruno tells the dancers that their gyrating brings sunshine into the heart of a man he's proud to call his pop...and actually gets teary-eyed as he's saying that.
Mr. Shorofsky is annoyed at Miss Sherwood for trying to set him up on a blind date with her gal pal, but she insists it's a marvellous idea. After Mr. Shorofsky storms out of the office, Mrs. Berg tells Miss Sherwood not to give up on the love match 'cause of how badly the crotchety old man needs a little romance in his life. Miss Sherwood follows Mr. Shorofsky to the teachers' lounge and continues to bug him about the blind date and urges him to take her friend to an upcoming symphony. He finally agrees and grumpishly says he's only doing it to get her off his back.
Doris is in a foul mood because of her grandmother's imminent move into her family's home. Coco tells her she would have looooved to have lived under the same roof as her beloved grandmother 'cause she was so special and awesome...but Doris just grumbles that old people give her the creeps.
Mr. Shorofsky's blind date turns out to be Betty White (!), and the two go to a restaurant after the symphony. She tells him she had a lovely time, but Mr. Shorofsky just grunts and says he wasn't wild about the conductor, whose style he found "too romantic". Betty White argues that it's impossible to get too romantic when it comes to Wagner, and he mutters, "Typical female point of view." When the wine arrives at the table, Betty White urges him to take a good long chug, 'cause she's about to tell him why they're really out on a date - and it has absolutely nothing to do with bringing romance into either of their lives, which...bummer.
Doris whiningly asks her mother why Aunt Minnie can't take grandma, so her mother explains that Minnie doesn't have the space - whereas they have a spare bedroom. As Doris continues to pout, her mother says that grandma moving in isn't a done deal - but the retirement home she's currently living in is having financial problems, and whoever runs it is desperately trying to raise enough money to keep it open. Doris is all, "Wha-a?" and immediately perks up.
Mr. Shorofsky goes, "A benefit?" and Betty White tells him that the retirement home where she works is in grave danger of being shut down. She tells him they want to put on a benefit to raise funds - and that they need the kind of musical entertainment that only the singing/gyrating students of the School of the Arts can provide. Mr. Shorofsky brightens and says he has a great idea for the show and thinks she'll be quite impressed with him. Mmm..
The next day, Miss Sherwood tells Mr. Shorofsky she'd be glad to help with the benefit any way she can...then gushes about how positively adorbs he and Betty White must be together (which they totally are, by the way).
Ms. Grant gyratingly leads her dance class in a practice performance while Bruno provides the musical accompaniment...and it goes on for an interminably looooong time. Mr. Shorofsky interrupts to ask the class a favor...and by favor he means an awesome opportunity for all of them. He tells them about the fundraising benefit that's being put on to hopefully prevent a bunch of old people from being thrown out onto the street...and Bruno excitedly chirps, "I'm in!" but then reverts to his usual mopey self when Mr. Shorofsky tells him that the benefit is scheduled for Friday night - the same night as his pop's cabbie-palooza. Bruno stubbornly insists that this dumb celebration can't possibly be rescheduled, and Mr. Shorofsky graciously concedes, and apologizes to everyone for asking the favor at the last minute. He then discreetly confesses to Ms. Grant that he was trying to impress a girl. Awwww!
Doris bursts into the music room to bark at Bruno to change the date of the cabbie-palooza, but Bruno explains it's impossible 'cause all the other cabbies adjusted their schedules to attend, blah blah.. Doris looks peeved, then bitches again about how much she's dreading the arrival of her grandmother - who, I'm guessing, lives in the retirement home that's in danger of having to shut its doors. She then has a brief moment of self reflection when she acknowledges she must be a terrible person for feeling this way, which...duh.
Mr. Shorofsky drops in on Betty White at the retirement home and pulls her aside to break the bad news that the Fame kids aren't available on Friday night to perform at the benefit.
In the school's dressing room, Danny rambles nonsensically to Bruno and Leroy about how Mr. Shorofsky should use better modes of publicity to promote the retirement home benefit. He then pronounces that he knows all about getting the right people to attend, which...whatever, Danny.
Betty White makes the sad announcement to the retirement home residents that, due to cutbacks, the home will have to close its doors next month. She was hoping for a miracle - in the form of money being raised during a benefit that was to feature Fame kids singing and gyrating - but since Bruno's being an inflexibly selfish prick, it is not to be. As the seniors all stand around and look bummed, Mr. Shorofsky invites Betty White to drop by the School of the Arts sometime.
Doris' grandmother arrives at Casa Schwartz - and Doris, being the rude little snot she is, does bitchy impersonations of her voice behind her back. When grandma breezes into the living room, looking impossibly fresh and youthful, Doris is all, "Wha-a?" and is even more impressed when grandma insists they all go to a Knick's game and then party hard into the night.
Papa Martelli tells Bruno he went to a singles' bar, met a stewardess named Courtney, and made a date with her for Friday night. Bruno's all, "Wha-a?" and poutishly says he thought they'd be spending Friday night celebrating his twenty-five years of being a cabbie - but Papa Martelli gets irked and says he has no desire to celebrate that depressing milestone. He then grumbles about getting old, and lumbers up the stairs with Bruno staring after him in annoyance.
Doris gushes to Danny about how awesome her grandmother is, and tells that she, her mom, and grandma all went to a Knick's game last night. She decides she also needs to bore Coco with this news, and drags Danny along as she searches the halls for her.
Bruno whines to Mr. Shorofsky about how his pop doesn't want anything to do with celebrating his twenty-five years of cab driving - and Mr. Shorofsky perks up and goes, "That's great!" and says he can now use the dress rehearsal as entertainment for the retirement home benefit. He then dials back his delight to pretend to care about Bruno's plight and tells him his father is just going through a phase, and that he'll eventually get over it Or not...whatever. He rushes off to call Betty White with the good news.
Danny is on a pay phone, trying to arrange publicity for the benefit. He fibs to whoever he's talking to and says he expects a lot of celebrities to be in attendance.
Rehearsal! For some reason, it looks like Danny is the lead singer/dancer of the upcoming show. How the hell did that happen? Ms. Grant, Mr. Shorofsky, and Betty White all look impressed as they watch the rehearsal, then clap enthusiastically when comes to a merciful end. Betty White happily declares to Mr. Shorofsky, "My people are going to love your people!"
Papa Martelli arrives at the School of the Arts to have a mopish father-son chat with Bruno. Mrs. Berg sees him in the hall and excitedly says, "See you later! It's going to be oodles of fun!" and he scrunches his face in confusion and is all, "Huh? Ah, whatever."
Papa Martelli finds Bruno glumly playing the synthesizer and grumbles about how Courtney is definitely too young for him. Apparently, when he mentioned Martin and Lewis at dinner, she had no idea who he was talking about...and he was so dismayed he wasn't even able to finish out the date. He sheepishly admits he's been acting like a dope lately, and Bruno shrugs and says that sometimes people act like dopes, but assures him he still loves him. He then perks up and says he has a special treat for him.
The seniors start filling up the retirement home's auditorium in eager anticipation of the Fame kids' dress rehearsal. Doris tells her grandma she's had a change of heart and no longer wants to hurl at the thought of her moving in with them...but grandma says, if possible, she wants to stay put at the retirement home 'cause she was only pretending to be youthful and active the other night, and is still exhausted from the Knick's game. Doris puts her sad face on and squeaks, "Can we still love each other?" and grandma assures her they absolutely can, and the two share a hug.
It looks like Mrs. Berg didn't get the memo that the location of the dress rehearsal got changed - which means that none of the show's costumes or supplies made it to the proper venue. Mr. Shorofsky glumly declares, "The show can't go on" and apologizes to the seniors for the totally preventable fuckup. Doris' grandma insists on getting a show regardless and says she would like to hear her granddaughter sing (shut up, grandma), and recruits one of her retirement home friends to play "You Are My Sunshine" on the piano. Grandma starts singing, and she's actually a much better singer than Danny or Bruno - not that that's saying much - and soon everyone is singing along and dancing ballroom style.
A little while later, the media arrives to film the benefit 'cause it must really be a slow news night in Manhattan.
Mrs. Berg, meanwhile, is at the wrong venue with all the costumes and supplies, sitting alone with her party hat on and glumly staring into space. She bitterly mutters, "I suppose this is somebody's idea of a joke." Nope, just really bad internal communication at the School of the Arts.
Recap: Ms. Grant has temporarily put Leroy in charge of dance class, and he lets the power go to his head and chides Coco for being late. Coco asks him why he's busting her chops, so he says he wanted to know what it was like to be on the other side of the lecture that he so frequently gets from Ms. Grant...and the class heartily chuckles.
A young boy sneaks into the School of the Arts and skulks around the halls, peeking into various classrooms. He comes upon the dance gym, and watches in fascination as Leroy gyratingly leads the class in a warm-up exercise.
Ms. Grant is in the office, talking to an actor named Cliff Armbruster. He asks her if the school would be willing to participate in the upcoming Actors' Fund Benefit, and she says yes and says she'll do her best to free up the theater. Mrs. Berg, who's eavesdropping as per usual, asks Cliff if he's Mr. Hurry Scurry...and if so, could he perform his funny schtick? He indulges her and performs his lines from the coffee commercial he's best known for, and Mrs. Berg giggles like a schoolgirl and asks for his autograph.
When class lets out, the young boy continues to roam the halls...and Miss Sherwood thinks she spots him, but when he suddenly disappears she doubts herself. She runs into Leroy and asks him if he just saw a small boy, and he scrunches his face in confusion and says no. She then reminds him that he hasn't yet turned in his term paper, and orders him to come by her classroom after school so she can continue to berate him about it.
Ms. Grant introduces Mr. Reardon to Cliff...and Mr. Reardon lights up and says, "I know who you are!" and runs through his resume of performing arts work: child actor on radio, Broadway shows, a few films, and (most recently) commercials for Pittman's Coffee. When Cliff stares back at him in puzzlement, he explains that he's a TV trivia buff. He then asks Cliff if he would consider coming to his drama class and give his students a pep talk about how to succeed in the industry, and Cliff mulls that over and agrees.
The wandering boy sneaks into the empty theater, then gets on stage and tap dances and leaps around until Leroy enters. When the boy sees him, he races backstage and hides in the dressing room, but Leroy easily finds him. He asks him what he's doing here, and he says he's trying to pick up some new dance steps. He then tries to bolt, but Leroy catches him and him puts him over his knee...and for a minute I thought he was going to spank him, but he ends up searching his pockets and finds a knife.
Mr. Reardon brings Cliff to his drama class...and Danny perks up and says he recognizes him from the coffee commercial, then does a horrible sounding impersonation. Cliff pretends to look impressed and tells Danny he's very good, and Danny smugly calls himself "the star of tomorrow", which...LOL, shut up, Danny. When the rest of the class laughs, Cliff tut tuts them and says they actually need to start thinking of themselves that way. When he's asked to talk about his career, he tells the class that ever since he hired a commercial agent, he's worked steadily for six years. Coco makes a blech face and says that the School of the Arts is teaching them how to be "fine actors", then haughtily declares that commercials don't challenge an actor. Cliff says he doesn't disagree with that, then wryly adds, "But they offer a lot of money" and warns them about all the "fine actors" in the country who are currently unemployed. So suck on that, Coco.
The young boy tells Leroy his name is Lewis Washington, and that he bought the knife 'cause he needs a way to protect himself from street thugs. When Leroy asks him about his dancing aspirations, Lewis says he already knows how to dance, then does a little jig to demonstrate his tap dancing abilities. He says he'd like to expand his repertoire to other types of dance (e.g. the kind of gyrating boogie that Leroy favors) so his dad will be proud of him, then explains that his dad - Samuel Washington - used to be a famous tap dancer. Sadly, however, he now spends his time slothing around the house watching TV. Leroy says he has no time to give him dance lessons, then dismissively tells him he should be in school. Well d'yuh.
In one of the music rooms, Doris is playing guitar and humming for Bruno. He shrugs in his usual I'm-soooo-world-weary manner and says it's good, but needs work. Doris takes that as a giant compliment and says she'd like for him to write the lyrics, but he grumbles, "I don't write lyrics for other people." She argues that this would "stretch" him and that he should, for some reason, be proud to do this for her...then leaves him with her music sheets before beating a hasty retreat.
Miss Sherwood informs Leroy that he's pretty close to being thrown out of school for not turning in his English term paper...and he tries to make a break for it, but she barks at him to sit his ass down. He whines, "I've tried, damn it!" and she tells him he's the only person in the class (nay, school) who hasn't handed in his work - and without it, he'll get an incomplete for the class. Leroy grumbles that he doesn't know what to write about, and that whenever he looks at a piece of blank paper, he "gets so mad". For added emphasis, he strikes the blackboard with a piece of chalk then stares down at the floor despondently. Miss Sherwood urges him not to give up, and he glares at her and snarls, "Do you have a better idea?" She suggests he tackle the totally doable task by writing about someone he likes, and that he start by writing one page at a time. He sneers and says, "You make it sound easy" and she counters, "And you make it sound so impossible. It isn't." Argggggg...just shut up and do your damn homework, Leroy.
As Leroy glumly shuffles down the hall, Lewis falls into step behind him. Leroy turns around and glares at him, then tells him he can't give him dance lessons 'cause he has to write an essay - otherwise he'll get kicked out of school. He then asks him if Samuel Washington is really his dad, and Lewis is like, "Yep. He's probably sacked out on the couch right now, watching Magnum P.I." The wheels in Leroy's brain suddenly start turning, and he tells Lewis he's going to have to "give something to get something".
Lewis brings Leroy home to the apartment he shares with his dad. Leroy sits next to the la-z-boy chair Samuel Washington is lounging on, pulls out his notebook, and starts peppering the aged dancer with questions. Samuel wistfully reminisces about all the clubs he used to dance in, and that he once danced in a chorus at the Apollo Theater. He then suddenly pulls a 180 and tells Leroy that dancing is a dead end street and snarks, "They lied to me. A dream that never was" and says that by the time he realized he was living a dead end life, it was too late for him. He tells Leroy it's not too late for him or Lewis, then storms off to his bedroom. As Leroy stares at the floor despondently, Lewis earnestly argues, "It ain't true. You know it ain't true." (Mmm...it's probably true.)
Mr. Shorofsky is gabbling to his music class about classical theory...and he notices that Bruno is ignoring the lecture as he works on the lyrics to Doris' song. An irked Mr. Shorofsky asks him to stand up and share whatever he's working on with everyone, and Bruno reluctantly recites the lyrics of the sad, mopey song about how life isn't always about happy dreams...or some such drivel. Mr. Shorofsky makes a face and gives him his verdict: corny.
During the rehearsal for the Actors' Fund Benefit, Leroy can't concentrate on his gyrating 'cause he's too busy staring over at Lewis, who's watching him from behind the curtain. Ms. Grant barks at him to focus, and reminds him that they all have less than a week to put the number together. She then tells everyone that a lot of pros in the business will be in attendance, and that they deserve the best that the Fame kids have to offer. Cliff, who's observing, interjects and tells everyone they're doing great...then admonishes Ms. Grant for bitchily putting them down all the time. Haha!
During lunch, Bruno grumbles to Doris about how torturous it is to have to write the lyrics to her music, which is completely nonsensical 'cause isn't songwriting supposed to be one of his greatest passions in life? Doris decides he needs more feedback, then invites herself to his house later so they can collaborate and "really blitz this thing". Ugh...I sense a performance looming.
Cliff joins the Fame kids at their lunch table and chats with them about showbiz. He says it's important to have connections, so Danny takes that advice to heart and brazenly asks Cliff to help him get an acting gig. Coco, on the other hand, looks appalled and accuses Cliff of taking shortcuts and selling himself to the highest bidder, then sanctimoniously declares that commercials aren't real acting. She bitchily asks, "Who are you to give us advice? You're not even a real actor!" and stomps off. Danny waves a hand dismissively in the air and tells Cliff not to listen to anything Coco the Airhead says.
Lewis demonstrates his tap dancing ability to Leroy on the stairs...then taps over to the foyer, and a group of students who happen to be passing by get into it and cheer him on. Leroy joins him and taps/gyrates his way across the floor, then shows Lewis some new moves that involve a lot of twirling and strange looking arm wiggling. Across the foyer, Ms. Grant and Miss Sherwood emerge from the office and look impressed by the synchronized dancing, and Leroy introduces them to Lewis and proudly says, "He's a friend of mine."
Doris is in Bruno's basement, working on the lyrics for her music. Bruno starts playing the music on his synthesizer...and, just as I was dreading, Doris sings along with her new lyrics. (This is where I zoned out until the commercial break.)
Ms. Grant asks Leroy why he hasn't turned in his English term paper yet, then warns him that Miss Sherwood will have no choice but to fail him if he continually refuses to do the absolute bare minimum when it comes to his academics. Leroy nonsensically grumbles, "If Samuel Washington can't make it, what chance do I have?" Ms. Grant assures him that, in theory, a successful career in dance is possible...then asks him if he's going to try or just give up.
Mrs. Berg lures Coco to the theater by telling her that Mr. Reardon wanted to meet with her...but when she gets there, Cliff is standing on the stage. As Coco scrunches her face in confusion and is all, "Wha-at's happening?", Cliff performs a scene from a Shakespearean play to showcase his acting skill, and he's actually not bad. Coco looks impressed and tells him he was pretty good...and he says that the rude shit she blurted out to him in the cafeteria was accurate 'cause, yes, his acting muscle does need work. He says he's well aware he's not Laurence Olivier, but insists he works very hard at what he does. He tells her that his commercial gigs sent two kids to college and also paid the hospital bills when his wife became terminally ill. He says that his "average life" didn't deserve the snarky judgement she gave him...then politely thanks her for listening and heads toward the exit. Coco sheepishly tries to apologize, but Cliff cuts her off and advises, "Leave the door open for doubt and compassion next time, you impertinent, judgemental, snotty nosed brat." (I added the name-calling 'cause I thought Cliff was far too polite.)
Leroy drops by Samuel Washington's apartment to tell the washed up has-been that he still needs a title for his English essay...and says it as if the man could possibly care less. He was going to call the essay Dancer, but isn't so sure anymore. As Samuel broodily drinks his beer, Leroy reminds him he has a son who wants nothing more than to be a dancer - just like his dad - and Samuel scrunches his face sadly and contemplatively stares into space. When no retort looks forthcoming, Leroy throws in the towel and heads out, passing Lewis on the way. He tells him he'll be performing in the benefit tonight, and Lewis wishes him good luck.
Right before the show, the Fame kids are in the dressing room getting ready...and Cliff pokes his head into the room and wishes them all good luck. Danny bursts in and tells Leroy that someone urgently needs to talk to him...and that someone turns out to be Lewis and his dad. Leroy looks touched by their presence on his big night and cheerily tells the old man he's going to have to rewrite his essay. Weird. I thought he just needed to make a final decision on the essay's title. [Dancer sounded fine to me...so just write that word in caps on the top of page one and turn the dumb thing in before Miss Sherwood expels you.]
Cliff introduces the show as "a classic of song and dance", and then Leroy bounds on stage and starts singing "Singing in the Rain". He notices Lewis and Samuel standing backstage and urges Lewis to join him, and Lewis taps onto the stage...and somehow he knows all the moves of the number and dances in perfect unison with Leroy. When they finally wrap up the performance, the audience applauds...and Leroy is so thrilled, he throws Lewis in the air. Yippee!!
Recap: Miss Sherwood is on the hunt for a datable man and has registered with a video dating service. She's sitting on a stage, nervously staring into a camera as she tells prospective mates about herself.
Doris is observing Ms. Grant's dance class from the perspective of a drama major, and her assignment is to critique the acting component of a Romeo and Juliet ballet performance. Her verdict: BO-RING. Bruno concurs and points out that Romeo and Juliet has been soooo overdone, and that there's nothing left about the play that could possibly be groundbreaking. Doris agrees and suggests that the tired old Shakespearean theme could use some pepping up. Ms. Grant mulls that over, then tells them to get busy thinking of a new concept.
After class, Bruno grumbles to Doris that he's too busy to come up with a twist for Romeo and Juliet, and says the story about the ill-fated lovers has been revived with every type of music there is. Leroy struts by at that moment and remarks that it's never been revived with country and western music (NOOOOO!!), and then it's off to honky-tonk we go..
Doris, Bruno, and Leroy check out a country and western bar filled with cowboys and cowgals in frilly western garb, linking arms with one another as they do-si-do. LOL. There's a hot guy on stage - hey, it's BJ and the Bear heartthrob Greg Evigan! - who's playing a banjo while wearing a plaid shirt that's unbuttoned to his navel. He notices Doris' arrival and winks at her, and Doris is all, "Wha-a?" 'cause, yeah...as fucking if Greg Evigan's head would be turned by Doris. Greg Evigan polls the audience to see who the first-timers in the bar are...and when the three Fame kids raise their hands, he promises to take their requests during his next set. Bruno, meanwhile, likes the cut of the hostess' jib and ambles over to talk to her...while Leroy heads over to the jukebox and chats it up with some random woman. Greg Evigan joins Doris at her table, his matted, sweaty chest hair in full view, and asks her whassup. She tells him that she and her friends dropped by the bar 'cause they're working on a project for school...and he jokingly asks her if she attends Redneck Tech. She solemnly assures him they're not here to make fun of anyone, so then he invites her for a spin on the dance floor so he can teach her some basic square dancing steps.
Miss Sherwood gets a call from the video dating service, letting her know that a man who watched her video would like to pursue a possible love match. They pass along the man's name and number, in case she's interested in following up.
Doris is gazing dreamily at Greg Evigan while he performs with his banjo on stage, and Bruno attempts to flirt with the hostess, whose name we eventually learn is Nancy. He tells her she looks familiar, so she explains that she once did a soap commercial and subsequently became known as "the beauty bar girl". Bruno starts nattering about what a failure he usually is with the ladies, then looks hopeful and remarks that her eyes aren't glazing over the way women's eyes are normally glazed over whenever he engages in his inept brand of flirting. Against all odds, Nancy too is smitten and slips Bruno her phone number. She then says, "I'm thirty. Is that going to be a problem?" and Bruno assures her it's not...'cause even though he's playing a teenager who attends a performing arts high school, he's pretty close to being thirty himself.
In English class the next day, Miss Sherwood is discussing the nuances of Romeo and Juliet and asks the class if they can identify some of the obstacles that the ill-fated lovers had to overcome.
Doris tells Julie she needs a favor, namely she wants her to come along to the honky-tonk bar [but doesn't mention that she wants to dangle her in front of Greg Evigan to find out if his interest in her the other night was genuine]. Julie mulls it over and agrees.
Miss Sherwood's date, an uptight looking nerd, arrives at her apartment clutching a bouquet of red flowers. He introduces himself as Dennis Mitchell, then wryly says he's heard all the Dennis the Menace jokes he can handle. He comes clean and tells her he's not an engineer (as he claimed on his video), but rather a "high tech custodian", which I'll translate to mean janitor. He asks Miss Sherwood if she enjoys doing old fashioned, corny things...and when she visibly perks up at the mention of old fashioned and corny, he happily says, "This might just work out!"
That night, Bruno is hanging at the honky-tonk bar, chatting it up with Nancy. They make plans to get together on Saturday...and when she gets busy at the front door, Bruno lets her get back to work and ambles over to where Doris is glumly playing a video game. Doris tells Bruno she brought Julie along to see if Greg Evigan is really, actually, positively interested in her, then motions across the room...and from where they're sitting, it looks like Greg Evigan and Julie, who are jamming together, look like they might really be into each other.
Miss Sherwood arrives at the school the next morning looking very chipper. She tells Ms. Grant her date was "classic"...and when Ms. Grant asks for the deets, Miss Sherwood dreamily recalls that she and Dennis went for a hansom cab ride, then down to the Village for some brandy and jazz.
Julie grabs Doris, who's mopily ambling down the hall, and drags her into a nearby closet. She barks about how pissed she is about being used and lied to, and snarls, "If you have doubts about a guy you like, figure it out!" She spells out to Doris that she did not appreciate being a temptation to test out a guy's honest feelings, especially when the guy, bewildering as it seems, spent the entire evening talking about how much he adores Doris. Doris perks up at that tidbit, then admits that her behavior was deplorable. She raises her chin and bravely says, "Go ahead and hit me" and Julie looks like she's seriously considering the possibility. [Doooooooo it!!!] She clenches her fist in preparation and tells Doris she used to be a tomboy and therefore has no compunction about giving her a much needed punch in the face...but then reconsiders 'cause she doesn't want to risk hurting her cello hand. Fair 'nuff.
Bruno brings Nancy to his basement dungeon to show off his synthesizers. She comes right out and tells him she likes him, and that it's no big deal he's "younger" 'cause he's more mature than a lot of middle aged men. Bruno grumps about how inadequate he feels, being interested in an older woman...and feels kinda like he has a crush on his teacher. Nancy assures him she's not trying to seduce him, then wonders if maybe this whole thing is a bad idea. (Considering Bruno's chronic state of glumness, probably.) Bruno changes the subject and offers to make her some lunch, and the two head upstairs.
Doris and Greg Evigan are hanging in the honky-tonk bar, playing a video game. He confirms that, hard as it may be for viewers to comprehend, he and Julie spent the entire evening talking about her...and Doris looks perplexed (as well she should) and flattered. He says he's been to a lot of places and met a lot of people, and can therefore tell she's "very real". Doris moves around the table to sit next to him, puts an arm around him and stares at him intensely as she asks, "Do we have a relationship?" and Greg Evigan just kind of shrugs and replies, "We're working on one." Doris proposes they form a pact to always be there for each other no matter where they are in the world. It seems a bit soon for pacts when you've only known the guy for three days - but whatever...he'll be dead soon [oops: spoiler].
Bruno and Nancy are back in his dungeon basement, playing music and humming - and fortunately it doesn't escalate into a full-blown song that describes Bruno's angst about dating a "much older" woman. Nancy frowns and reminds Bruno that his pop will be home soon and doubts he'll approve of her. She says she doesn't think they have a future, and that they shouldn't waste another second playing on his synthesizer when they could be in his bedroom getting it on...then takes his hand and leads him up the stairs. Mmm hmm..
Miss Sherwood is laying on her couch with her head in Dennis' lap. She tells him she's daydreaming about the beach...and then the two concur about how much they enjoy spending time together, and indulge in a smooch.
Greg Evigan, whose shirt is once again unbuttoned to showcase his chest hair, is on stage at the honky-tonk bar, serenading Doris...and she dreamily closes her eyes and starts singing along. Miss Sherwood, meanwhile, takes Dennis' hand and steers him toward her bedroom. Mmm hmm..
At school the next day, the Fame kids boogy in the cafeteria, country and western style. Doris pulls Miss Sherwood aside and starts nattering at her about how she just met a hot new guy and doesn't want to fuck it up...and that Julie advised her to play hard to get, but she's not sure that's the best approach. She then mulls over the blather that just came out of her mouth and decides she's going to play it honest and just tell Greg Evigan how she feels. Miss Sherwood concurs and says she shouldn't put up obstacles, and that there's no right answer 'cause romance can be "wonderful but terrible, and delightful but painful". Doris thanks her for helping clear everything up in her muddled brain, then scampers off just as Nancy enters the building. After she wanders around aimlessly for a few seconds, Miss Sherwood stares at her quizzically and asks her if she needs help. Nancy nods and says, "I'm looking for someone" - and, oddly, it's not her faux May-December conquest, Bruno.
Ms. Grant wants to see what her students have prepared as a result of all the honky-tonk groovin' they've immersed themselves in lately. Bruno sits at the piano and starts playing a hillbilly tune, while another student accompanies him on the fiddle. The dancers perform their take on Romeo and Juliet - "Roy and Julie" - with a high energy, pelvic thrusting square dance...and it goes on for what seems like an interminably looooong time. Nancy enters the cafeteria and makes a beeline over to Doris, and breaks the sad news to her about Greg Evigan: he was killed last night when some hooligan tried to steal his guitar. Doris is all, "Oooooh nooooo! The only man on earth who would ever give me a second glance is dead!" and freaks out amid the square dancing going on around her.
That night, Doris is sitting in her bed, writing to her diary about her very special friend who died. She bemoans all the people who won't ever get to hear Greg Evigan's music or see his smile, and tearfully writes about the cowboy who died because he refused to hand over his guitar. When she's done writing her entry, she climbs under the covers and cuddles her stuffed animal while silently weeping.