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Breakdance

   

Synopsis
 
Two street gangs the Silhouettes and the Enforcers decide to have a break dancing competition rather than fight each other. Chris and Michael compete too as both are coaching one of the gangs.
One of the gang members, "Snake" takes a shine to Doris and wants to start dating her.
Coco is offered a part in the pirates theatre road company and makes up her mind to leave school to pursue her dream.  
 

 

My Review
 
For me this episode doesn’t live up to the same standards as the previous 6 episodes. The whole cast is here with the exception of Sherwood but most of them have very little to do and the main story seems to concentrate on Michael. Personally I would have had Chris and Michael swap roles and Chris be the one driving the competition and fighting with the gang leader and Michael coaching the other gang.

I assume that the original script gave more attention to the main story but then when Erica decided to leave the show they had to rewrite it to write her out. To me neither story gets the attention they need to make this a great episode. Also I assume that Michael's role was really written for Gene but he did one of his disappearing acts.
I t’s good for the character that Leroy is mature enough to realise that he shouldn’t get involved with the gangs but it then means Leroy has no further involvement in the episode. Not even to offer Michael advice. 

I knew in advance that Erica was leaving but didn’t know when, so as soon as it came up here I was only really interested in Coco’s story and I wanted to see her deliberate more about leaving and discussing it with different characters and maybe change her mind a couple of times before making her final decision. I also wanted proper goodbye scenes with all the cast but this doesn’t really come and we have to settle for the Bruno and Coco scene, which is absolutely lovely but I wanted more of it. I love the continuity to the first season, with Erica singing “I Still Believe In Me” and Coco and Bruno holding hands at the end. It’s just a really touching scene, however for me there are naturally emotional moments in life and TV shows, that are done well should know how to make the most out of these times instead of forcing drama out of not particularly interesting situations.

For me the break dance competition just got in the way and I found it a little hard to care about these gang members. I also found their initial scenes strutting around the school quite boring. They seem to be poking fun at the dancers in the dance class but they have come to get a choreographer! Do these guys even know what that word means?

I’m very confused about the start of the episode as Danny has out run the gang all the way from the Bronx, which doesn’t seem very realistic. Then he gets Dwight to call out the name of the gangs arch rivals but why does he do this? Straight away he knows it’s going to make the gang members mad and tells Dwight they need to run. Why does he deliberately try to cause more trouble? Still Dwight is funny when he yells “Hall Pass”.

I also have to ask why Morloch calls Lydia out of her class to go to the office to help with Dwight? Why doesn’t he just get the school nurse? Lydia has no special qualifications for her to be the one to help however, if she doesn’t go she has even less to do in this episode. Although it is funny when Morloch is being all macho and says Lydia should stay behind while he and Dwight (The Men) go and sort the gang out.

The only thing that really saves the day with the gang storyline is Snake’s infatuation with Doris and her funny attempts to get rid of him. I love when Doris tells Holly she’s going to ask a friend for help, then grabs her yelling “HELP”! Then her final scene where she tells snake she wants to have his baby is just great. It’s also a nice touch when she pretends she’s won an award for her performance.

I also love Danny’s line when Holly tells him he’s acting like a coward and he replies “No acting involved”.

I’m not really keen on the “Dance, Dance, Dance” song and don’t know who is singing it but I thought it was the weakest song so far this season, which doesn’t help with my enjoyment of this episode.


Bruno’s story seems absolutely pointless and is the weakest idea to get him back in the school. The whole union thing is totally confusing for me as it is totally different to what happens in the U.K. Yes we have unions and people can choose to be a part of them or not but we certainly don’t have jobs that are designated union ones and non union ones.

Also I don’t buy that Shorofsky has the power to decide how to spend school funds on hiring people to do work. Why would the School board pay someone else when they are already employing and paying Louie Bacca to do maintenance at the School? I’m not even sure why Bruno needed to be in the school. Yes we need him for the Coco scene but couldn’t she have just gone to Caruso’s and have that scene there?

Then when Bruno realises he shouldn’t be doing the job, why does he go back to the school to discover the sound system is missing? Obviously somebody needed to but it doesn’t make sense that it’s Bruno apart from give him a bit more to do in the episode.

One thing I did notice, and this highlights how bored I was with Bruno’s story, is that during Bruno’s conversation with Louie which takes place on the auditorium stage. Behind Bruno is a wall with lots of writing on it. To be precise it’s lots of initials. At first I noticed a big G.A.R in the middle and instantly thought Gene Anthony Ray. Then I freeze framed the DVD and could see other initials and quickly put 2 and 2 together:

E.R. Eartha Robinson
M.D. Michael Delorenzo
B.T. Bronwyn Thomas
J.P. Joni Palmer
L.G. Leanne Garrish
A.S. Allysia Sneed
M.P. Marguerite Pomerhn
D.T. Darryl Tribble

It seems like the dancers had been having fun with spray paint and making their mark on the set.

Episode Pictures
 

CREDITS
 
Production number 2765 episode also known as "Breaking Up That Old Gang Of Mine"
Production commenced 18th October 1983
 
Written By Michael McGreevy
Directed by Michael Peters
 
Original U.S. air date 10th December 1983
Original U.K. air date 6th April 1984
 
 
Guest Stars
 
Michael Delorenzo as Michael
David Greenlee as Dwight
Frances Lee Morgan as Liz
Seven Daniells Silva as Silhouette
Thomas Guzman-Sanchez as Tino
Kelly Minter as Angel Rodriguez
Russ Marin as Louie Bacca
William Forsythe as Snake
Ice-T One of the "Enforcers" (uncredited) 
 
 
SONGS
 
"I Still Believe In Me" performed by Erica Gimpel
 Written By Gary Portnoy and Susan Sheridan.
 
"Dance"  
 Written By  Barry Fasman and Sue Sheridan.




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