The Big Contract


When Lou Mackie's estranged brother is back in town and spots Chris performing, he offers him a contract for a record deal, which opens up old wounds for Lou.

Meanwhile to get Dyrenforth of his back Paul agrees to manage the school newspaper, but he didn't count on the editor quitting leaving Maxie and Reggie at odds to become the new editor.

My Review

This is another episode that I'd previously not watched all the way through and for season 6 it's not too bad. However hasn't Chris had this storyline a number of times before; where he gets his big shot and then something goes wrong. We saw it in "Team Work" in Season 4 and "Contacts" in season 5. This time it's his amazing voice that gets him a big record contract. Only thing is I didn't find the song "I'll Find Love" or the performance that amazing! It's pleasant enough but in my opinion not enough to get him an instant record contract.

Then we get Lou's brother as the bad guy, who's connected to the Mob. There's bad blood between Lou and his brother & he's trying to do to Chris what he did to Lou years before. Work their way or blacklist him. Wait a minute did we miss something? Lou's used to be a great singer, who people wanted to give a recording contract to. Really? They seem to think we won't remember that we heard Lou sing on "Scorn" back in Season 4's "The Ol' Ball Game"! He held the tune but he's no Frank Sinatra, which he's compared to in this episode. I guess they were trying the same thing as they did with Mrs Berg in "Alice Doesn't Work Here Anymore" and rewriting the characters past. It works for Mrs Berg but I'm sorry I don't buy it with Lou. 

I'm not sure what the time line is here as the newspaper story just seems to be over a couple of days but no sooner has Chris got a contract, they have already chosen songs and decided on arrangements, booked a studio and musicians and suddenly he's in the middle of recording his album . Then we have a musical number and the next scene the album is finished and is going to be released soon! Things do seem to move quickly in the music industry! Then Chris has to impress Lou's Brother's boss. Wouldn't he need to impress him before they spent all the money on recording the album.  Well after an argument Chris walks out and Lou manages to appeal to his brother's better nature to get Chris out of the contract and not blacklisted!

The rivalry over the School news paper for Maxie and Reggie is fine and at least it's a School based story. Although I'm not really convinced either of them would be that bothered about being the editor. Also this is episode 15 and Dyrenforth is only now trying to get Paul involved in extra curriculum  activities. 

Boys, Birds and Bees again is pleasant but not that memorable in my opinion but Jesse puts in a great performance. 

Episode Pictures

Production number 2955

Written by Melinda Bell
Directed by Harry S Longstreet
Original U.S. air date 16th February 1987
Original U.K. 1993 on the Children's Channel
Guest Stars
Russell Johnson as Duke Mackie
Carolyn J Silas as Laura Mackie
Gary Wood as Jim Grover
Lew Gallo as Rupert Ritzik
Larry Spinak as Duane Doberman
Teri Hafford as Attractive Woman


"I'll Find Love" - performed by Billy Hufsey
 Written by Billy Hufsey, Norman Mamey and Richard Azzara.

"Boys, Birds and Beers" performed by Michael Cerveris, Jesse Borrego and Elisa Heinsohn
   Written by  Bruce Scott and John Hotsetter.

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