Fame - Season 1, Episode 10
Recap: Ms. Grant's dance class is limbo-ing, which is...well, whatever. When it's Leroy's turn, he strips off his shirt and lowers the limbo by a lot...which - ack! - was a tad alarming considering he's wearing his usual short shorts, and they're a bit too flared at the hemlines to be limbo-ing in the gyratey way I know he'll be wanting to limbo. Mercifully, the bell rings, and Leroy abruptly dashes out of the dance gym with his balls still safely tucked inside his shorts. Phew. As the students disperse, Miss Sherwood stomps into the dance gym looking annoyed. She tells Ms. Grant that their colleague, Mr. Crandall, had an accident and will be in traction for the next few weeks...and this is very bad news 'cause he was in charge of the Parents' Night show. Egads! Miss Sherwood tells Ms. Grant that they're going to have to take control of the operation - but it won't be easy because Crandall wrote all of his notes in code. And since he's heavily sedated, he's not available to decipher them. Miss Sherwood grimly declares, "We're in deep, deep trouble." Oh lighten up. The school puts on a show every damn week. I highly doubt that anyone of any importance would notice/care if they totally bombed once in awhile.
Papa Martelli enters the school office to ask Mr. Shorofsky for a favor. He says he has to work on Parent's Night and wants permission to attend the dress rehearsal for the show the night before...then overexplains about how there's a big boxing match in the city that will require every cabbie to be on duty. Ms. Shorofsky says he doesn't mind, but informs him that Miss Sherwood is in charge of the event and suggests leaving a note in her mailbox. A middle-age-ish blonde woman we've never seen enters the office and stands at the counter next to Papa Martelli. He glances over at her and asks her if they've met before, and she flashes him a faux modest smile and says he's probably seen her on the big screen. Papa Martelli makes the connection that she's Melinda MacNeil from the movie Good News...and then Julie, who's been lurking in the office for some reason, blurts out, "You're Montgomery's mom!"
Julie returns to English class, where it looks like everyone's in the middle of writing a test. She passes a note to Montgomery informing him that his mom is in the building...and he reads it, makes a yeech face, then resumes writing his test.
Turns out Melinda MacNeil is the celebrity guest Mr. Crandall invited to headline the Parent's Night show. Melinda self-importantly gabbles to Ms. Grant about how she pushed back her current film project so she could fly to New York and see whassup with her son. Ms. Grant warns her that the Parent's Night show may be crappier than usual 'cause a lot of the prep went out the window when Mr. Crandall became unexpectedly incapacitated. She gushes about how she's always admired her on the big screen, then asks her if she'd be willing to step in as director for the Parent's Night show. Melinda lights up and says she'd be delighted to help, and the two agree to get together at lunch time and discuss it further.
Doris tracks down Montgomery and tells him his famous mom is in the building, but Montgomery just shrugs disinterestedly and glumly says, "I'll run into her when I run into her." Doris says she's most likely in the cafeteria right now, then gets all pushy about wanting to meet her - but Montgomery tells her to lay off 'cause she doesn't know the full history of his dysfunctional relationship with the phony narcissist. Doris whines that she never has an opportunity to get close to celebrities, then accuses him of derailing her chance to hobnob with a bonafide movie star. When she shrilly orders him to introduce her to his mom, he tells her to go pee up a rope and storms upstairs.
Melinda gets in the food line with Miss Sherwood and Ms. Grant...and when she sees Montgomery amble into the crowded cafeteria, she yells out his name and waves at him 'cause that's not totally mortifying for a guy who's already pushing the boundaries of dorkitude. As Montgomery widens his eyes with horror, she sashays over to where he's standing, and the two have a stilted, awkward conversation. She tells him she's going to be in New York for awhile, then proudly informs him that she's just been appointed acting director for the Parent's Night show. He asks her whassup with her film project, and she breezily replies, "This is more important" and asks him what role he's going to have in the show. He tells her he signed up to be a stage hand, and she purses her lips and makes a disappointed hmm face.
In the office, Miss Sherwood asks Mr. Shorofsky if he knows who's directing Parent's Night, and he's like, "I dunno" then catches sight of Melinda sitting across the room. He exclaims, "Hey - I know her!" and tells Miss Sherwood and Ms. Grant that they're old pals who used to perform together at a hotel bar in Ohio: he played piano while she sang. He dreamily stares into space as he reminisces about all the amazing nights he spent in her room...but then doesn't elaborate further, so naturally Miss Sherwood and Ms. Grant make the leap that the two were lovers and are all, "Wha-a?!"
In the cafeteria, Melinda goes over to the table where the gang is sitting and says she's heard so much about each of them from Montgomery. She asks which of them is Mr. Johnson, so Bruno pulls her leg and says he is, and deadpans, "Dancing is my life." She says she can tell that by his taut dancer's body, which prompts everyone to chuckle. She then asks which of them is Bruno, and Danny says he is, so she asks him if he's managed to overcome his sexual confusion. Everyone at the table bursts out laughing at being the butt of her joke, and Bruno nods at Montgomery and gushingly says, "She's good!" but Montgomery winces miserably and rushes off to the library.
Doris follows Montgomery and asks him why he's so bummed out about his mom being around. He wearily explains that he's seen her bullshit act endless times and already knows how badly the Parent's Night show is going to end up. Doris scrunches her face in confusion and goes, "Wasn't she just being nice to us?" so Montgomery explains that his mother only ever pretends to be to nice to people, regardless of whether they're agents, lawyers, or boyfriends. He has no doubt that her stint as the Parent's Night show director is going to end up with her being center stage, while everyone else watches from the wings. He bitterly adds, "I hate being in the wings."
Over in the dance gym, Ms. Grant and Melinda are holding auditions for the Parent's Night show. Leroy is suggestively gyrating with a group of backup dancers while wearing one of his see-through knit shirts...and the performance seems to go on for an unnecessarily looooong time. When they finally wrap it up, Ms. Grant applauds and gushes, "That was terrific!!" but Melinda doesn't look quite as impressed and icily says, "It was really nice." Leroy glares at her and goes, "Wha-a?! Niiiice?" then natters about how his gyrating was much too spectacular to simply be referred to as nice. Ms. Grant looks perplexed and asks Melinda if she doesn't think Leroy's dancing is good enough to be in the show, and Melinda says he's very good at "that kind of dance" then asks how versatile he is (probably not very), and Ms. Grant assures her that he can handle anything they throw at him. Melinda puts a pin in that for now and declares that she wants the show to have a '20s motif...and when Ms. Grant scrunches her face in confusion, Melinda explains that it's imperative the show have a theme. Ms. Grant says that demonstrating to the parents what their kids have been up to at this school for the last few months is the theme, but Melinda argues that that's not actually a theme. She insists that they need a concept to work off of, so Ms. Grant suggests that they try to do both, then compromises and says that perhaps they could do a '20s style jazz number. She starts dancing to demonstrate what she means by '20s style jazz...and then Melinda starts tapping her feet and jigging around the dance gym, and soon the two are brainstorming ideas for the show while trying to outdo each other's dance moves. After the bizarre performance/whatever that was, Melinda concedes that a jazz number might work for the show, then throws Ms. Grant a bone and says, "I'll think about it, dear." Ms. Grant raises her brows in surprise/annoyance/dismay and mutters, "You do that."
Ms. Grant storms into the office and glares in Miss Sherwood's direction, and Miss Sherwood shoots her a knowing return glare and starts bitching about having to take charge of the Parent's Night wardrobe. Ms. Grant bitches about how difficult and demanding Melinda is proving to be, and Miss Sherwood is like, "Right?" and says that the diva gave her a list of agents and producers she wants to invite to the show. She remarks that it looks as though their celebrity guest is using Parent's Night as her own personal audition, which I think is a pretty sad statement about the woman's career.
Doris and Danny are performing a comedy bit that was written in the '20s, and Doris stops halfway through and complains about how terrible and unfunny it is - and the gang agrees. Doris is bitching about the awful writing when Melinda and Montgomery suddenly appear in the doorway...and Melinda chides her for not giving the material a fair chance. She steps in for Doris and performs it with Danny to demonstrate how funny it's supposed to be...but, nope, the jokes sink just as badly when she does it. Melinda asks Julie or Coco if they'd like to try the bit, but they're like, "Hell no" and beat a hasty retreat. As Bruno also tries to make a break for it, Melinda stops him to complain that the musical composition, Carved Smiles, which he put on the show's agenda, doesn't sound very '20s. He says it's not, but he likes playing it and the dancers enjoy performing to it. Melinda insists that the music has to fit into her '20s theme, so Bruno cheekily retorts, "They'll wear striped blazers and straw hats" but Melinda does not look amused and tells him to drop the sarcasm and orders him to select something else. Bruno gets visibly irked and goes, "Or what?" and she stares at him with her cold, dead eyes and replies, "Consider yourself out of the show." During the awkward pause, Montgomery shuts his eyes and cringes with embarrassment. Bruno explains that his father is coming to the show specifically to see him perform, and Melinda bitchily retorts, "Your father is coming to the show. Whether or not he sees you perform remains to be seen." Bruno storms out, and Montgomery tries to explain to his diva mother that she's going about this all wrong, and that her stupid '20s theme is getting in the way of the planning of the show. She haughtily retorts, "Says the stage hand to the director" and he shoots back, "Says the son to his mother."
Mr. Shorofsky runs into Melinda in the office and says good morning...and when it's clear she doesn't remember him, he reminds her that they used to perform together at a hotel in Toledo. She must suddenly remember that, 'cause she instantly lights up and exclaims, "Benjamin!" and gushes about how much he taught her. Miss Sherwood, who's openly eavesdropping, stares wide-eyed as Melinda reminisces about all the special nights they spent together, then says she definitely wants to do it again. Mr. Shorofsky says he'd love to do it, and suggests meeting up at lunch time in the teachers' lounge so they can do it...and Miss Sherwood looks shocked and aghast that Mr. Shorofsky's would plan a naked rendezvous with Montgomery's mom in the teachers' lounge.
Montgomery's in one of the music rooms, dejectedly strumming an electric guitar when Doris bursts in and says she has a problem. She explains that she's bowing out of the act with Danny and needs to find a replacement...and asks him if he knows anyone who'd be interested. Montgomery says he doesn't, but offers to do a performance in place of hers/Danny's unfunny bit.
Melinda's sitting in the dance gym, watching a group of dancers jig to a theme approved '20s song and nodding approvingly. Ms. Grant peers into the room through the door window and scrunches her face with dismay.
Miss Sherwood tells Ms. Grant that Melinda wants Leroy to slick his hair back like they used to in the '20s, and an exasperated Ms. Grant shakes her head and is all, "Something must be done about the woman!" (LOL) and announces that she's off to the teachers' lounge to give her the what for. Miss Sherwood suddenly remembers that Mr. Shorofsky and Melinda were planning to bump uglies in the teachers' lounge during lunch, so she races after Ms. Grant to stop her from barging in on the sexing - but she's too late. Ms. Grant storms into the teacher's lounge...and a few seconds later, she walks out, ashen faced. She murmurs to Miss Sherwood, "She and Mr. Shorofsky are going at it" and when she opens the door for Miss Sherwood to get a peak, we see that the two are engrossed in a game of chess. Womp womp!
That evening, Ms. Grant finds Doris in the dressing room and asks her if she knows where Melinda is, so Doris tells her she's in the star's dressing room. Ms. Grant says, "We don't have a star dressing room" so Doris explains that Melinda has re-purposed the teachers' lounge as her personal pre-show preparation space.
Ms. Grant heads over to the the "star dressing room" and finds Melinda sitting in front of a mirror, primping for the dress rehearsal. She snidely asks, "Have we forgotten who we're putting on this show for?" and Melinda shoots her the stink-eye and says no she hasn't forgotten that it's for the parents of the students. She tells Ms. Grant that eventually the Fame kids will need to learn how to dance to anything a choreographer wants, and Ms. Grant assures her they will learn that; however, this show is designed to show their parents what they've learned so far. And, unfortunately, musical numbers from the '20s are not what they do best - it's what she does best. Melinda snidely retorts that she agreed to help out with this amateur production as a favor to the faculty, and Ms. Grant retorts, "Is that why you invited so many agents?" and then calls her on her bullcack about having a film project in the works that had to be pushed back so she could direct the Parent's Night show. Melinda turns away, looking sheepish and embarrassed. Haha - busted!
Dress rehearsal! The first number is narrated by Danny and performed by Montgomery. He's dressed as a mime, miming that he's planting a seed, watching it grow into a flower, which then turns into an eagle that no longer needed his nurturing and care. But the mime is all good with it 'cause he's content with the miracle he raised. Subtle, Montgomery. As the audience applauds, Montgomery looks sadly over at an empty chair in the front row, so I guess we can assume that his mom pulled a no show.
Mongtomery ambles into the hall and finds his mom on a pay phone, booking a flight to L.A. When he asks her whassup, she brusquely says she needs his help finding a cab so she can get to the airport, fly home, and be on her movie set first thing in the morning. He says he thought he was more important than her movie, so she dismissively says, "You're not even in the show, so it doesn't really matter" [except that he is in the show now, doing his mime routine]. She confesses that she has to leave for L.A. tonight because the producers won't wait for her another day to start filming...and that all she could get was a supporting role as "the mother" - not the lead role she was expecting. She tells him that watching his schoolmates perform all week has made her realize that she's no spring chicken anymore, and that she will have to accept whatever roles producers are willing to give her. Well, d'yuh. She contritely says she realizes she's not much of a mother, and Montgomery says he's not much of a son...and the two bond in their familial ineptitude and hug. When she pulls away, she goes, "Now...about that cab" - LOL - but Montgomery has to beg off 'cause he's in the show's finale. She assures him she'll somehow find her own cab, tells him to break a leg, then sadly leaves the School of the Arts.
Leroy and the rest of the dancers rehearse a '20s inspired jazz number while dressed in awful orange pants, yellow shirts with purple suspenders - yikes, Miss Sherwood really screwed the pooch on these costumes - and the performance goes on for a loooong time before the credits finally roll.
Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying TVofYore's recaps, consider thanking me by buying me a "coffee"!
Leave a Reply.
Recapper: Isabel K. French
Your contributions help keep the site ad-free
Television of Yore
Snide recaps of television's most entertaining classics