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Knockout


Synopsis
 
An old boxing buddy of Chris' who blames Chris for his failing boxing career challenges Chris to a boxing re-match. Chris doesn't want to go back into the boxing world and refuses. However when Dwight is beaten up Chris accepts the challenge. 
 
Meanwhile Miss Sherwood is struggling to understand the way Billy Hall talks and asks Leroy to teach her street language. Leroy is also coaching Billy to be the lead in the new school production.

 

My Review
 
I only found out recently that Billy had been a boxer before a performer so I guess the writers as usual borrowed a little from an actors real life for the storyline for this episode.

There’s lots of things I like about this episode but I’m not particularly interested in the boxing scenes and the Keach Howard character just seems a little over the top to me. I don’t think the guy playing him is the best actor but I assumed he got the part because he could box.

However, it’s a little confusing as Chris says the original fight was 2 years ago and the implication is that Chris and Keach haven’t seen each other since. Now Chris has just started at the school so how would Keach know that Chris even attends the school, and to get Danny to say hello?

Sadly there’s no Doris or Shorofsky in this episodes but Leroy teaching Sherwood to speak street talk is really good fun and yet again they have the interesting storyline and role reversal of a student teaching a teacher. Carol is really funny in this episode and Sherwood’s comments on Regan are good.

I do have some confusion over Billy Hall, it seems that as this is the start of the season he is a new student to the school which is why Sherwood doesn’t understand how he talks however Derrick Brice who plays him has been a dancer on the show since season one. Billy also knows that Leroy dances the lead in a lot of shows so doesn’t want to perform the combination in dance class but he could only really know this if he’d been around for awhile. If he has been around for awhile why is it only now that Miss Sherwood is having the problem understanding him? How do the other teachers understand him? Morloch does make mention that he can’t understand him but we never see any evidence of this.

Funny thing is whenever we see Billy talking, apart from the scene in Miss Sherwood’s class he speaks perfectly normally, with not even a hint of street talk. Also Derrick Brice comes over as a really soft spoken nice almost shy guy and seems a little out of place playing this supposedly angry guy from the streets.

Still it’s nice to see one of the other dancers take a lead in a school show for once as it’s unrealistic that Leroy would always be the lead. Leroy acts as mentor for the second time in just a few episodes, which is such nice development for his character. However, I’m not convinced that Leroy has enough influence to get someone a place at the school.

Yet another great Fame anthem in the shape of “I Know I Can”, which is a great song for Gene’s voice.

At first I wasn’t sure about the acapella song “Can’t Stand Up Alone” but it has a great message and I always like the songs where lots of cast members sing together and some of the dancers are given a chance to sing too. Billy’s solo reprise of the song at the end of the show is also very fitting.

I don’t understand why Caruso doesn’t like Bruno’s friends coming round all the time because it seems to me that the place would be empty without them. So at least they are giving him some business. Plus why have a stage full of instruments if you don't want entertainment. Most business owners would be happy that they didn't have to pay for the entertainment! 

Episode Pictures
 

CREDITS
 
Production number 2767
 
Written By William Blinn
Directed by William F Claxton
 
Original U.S. air date 12th November 1983
Original U.K. air date 14th March 1984
 
 
Guest Stars
 
Randy Shields as Keoch Howard
Ann Nelson as Mrs Berg
David Greenlee as Dwight Mendenhall
Derrick Bryce as Billy Hall
Bronwyn Thomas as Michelle
Dave Shelley as Caruso
Warren Vanders as Gordie
Darryl Tribble as Singer
Margaret Williams as Singer
Earth D Robinson as Singer
Gilbert B Combs as Opponent
 
   
SONGS
 
"You Can't Stand Up Alone" performed by Lee Curreri, Carlo Imperato, Gerne Anthony Ray, Billy Hufsey, Erica Gimpel, Cynthia Gibb, Eartha D Robinson, Darryl Tribble & Margaret Williams.    Written by Martha Carson
 
"Waiting For Caroline" performed by Eartha Robinson, Margaret Williams and Darryl Tribble
 Written by Unknown.

"I Know I Can"  performed by Gene Anthony Ray 
 Written by Barry Fasman & Sue Sheridan. 
 
"You can't stand Up Alone" reprise performed by Billy Hufsey.
 Written by Martha Carson. 


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