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Recap / Kids Incorporated S 0 E 1 The Beginning

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And so, we begin. When the pilot begins, we meet a kid known as…well, the Kid (“That’s not my real name, but that’s what everyone calls me”); as he explains what happened when he first moved to the neighborhood. The actual plot kicks off with Gloria practicing piano lessons when Renee sneaks in and suggests Renee follow her to the Malt Shop for band auditions (during which the “Men at Work” and “The Police” medleys are performed); leaving Gloria less than enthused (particular on Renee suggesting Gloria sing with Mickey’s band, “Kids Incorporated”). After a couple of additional medleys (a girl named Jennifer singing a medley of Olivia Newton-John songs; followed by Danny - going with Jennifer; unfortunately for Gloria, who apparently liked him - moving from accompanying Jennifer to singing a medley of songs by Daryl Hall and John Oates). Renee’s sister Stacy joins and agrees to tell the other girls where Mickey is…provided she gets to tag along.

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Mickey quickly decides “ixnay” on letting the girls join before his band sneak into the boarded up Palace (“Defunkitize”); exiting just as the girls arrive to confront him while taunting another band member before walking to the Coco Club (“Elvis Presley medley”) before the girls start arguing again, leading to “Gloria”. The girls then find the band; performing a brief Stray Cats medley before Renee confronts Mickey with…”Mickey”, followed by “Kids in America”. Mickey then takes a diplomatic approach (claiming it was so close to tryouts no one could be added); while another member, Chris, throws in “Especially girls”. Meanwhile, Kid laments on his shyness (“You’re So Shy”); while the Kids - at the Garage owned by Mickey’s father - rehearse with a medley of The Beatles.

While the Kid remained indecisive; Mike tries to “help” Gloria by outright rigging the results and then attempting to bribe her with a date; both of which fail. Meanwhile, another kid named T.J. performs a Michael Jackson medley before Kids Incorporated takes the stage at the last minute singing a planned medley of Rick Springfield songs before Gloria joins in abruptly with a medley of Pat Benatar songs. The gambit somehow works (of course); as Kids Inc. (with Gloria) are declared the winners - leading to the Kids Incorporated themenote  before Gloria realizes the tape recorder in still playing and Gloria’s mom thinks she’s still practicing.

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Back to the present; Kid laments that his shyness cost him a shot at winning and joining the band, with Gloria walking up as Kid sings “Holding Out for a Hero”; explaining there was an opening due to some of the guys having since moved away. He accepts; and the video ends with a montage of Season 1 clips.

Suffice to say; a lot changed between the production of the pilot (completed September 7, 1983) and the series being picked up. First, at an unidentified point after production, Thomas W. Lynch and Gary P. Biller (co-creators of the TBS music video series ‘’Night Tracks’’) joined as producers and attempted to shop the series to a network. No network picked it up; but Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer decided to produce and distribute the series for First-Run Syndication in conjunction with K-Tel Entertainment and Lynch/Biller Productions. The scenes with Rahsaan Patterson as the Kid were shot at some point in 1985 and the pilot was re-edited with the new scenes and released on home video.

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Songs performed in this episode:

  • Men at Work Medley ("Be Good Johnny"; "Who Can It Be Now"; "Down Under"; "Overkill")
  • The Police Medley ("Do Do Do Do, De Da Da Da"; "Don't Stand So Close to Me"; "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic")
  • Olivia Newton-John Medley ("Heart Attack"; "You're the One That I Want"; "Physical"; lead vocals by Jenn)
  • Hall & Oates Medley ("Kiss On My List"; "You Make My Dreams Come True"; "Private Eyes"; lead vocals by Danny)
  • "Defunkitize" (Kids Incorporated original; lead vocals by Mickey)
  • Elvis Presley Medley ("Blue Suede Shoes"; "Hound Dog"; "Don't Be Cruel"; "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear"; "Return to Sender")
  • "Gloria" (Umberto Tuzzi cover; also recorded by Laura Branigan; lead vocals by Stacy)
  • The Stray Cats Medley ("Stray Cat Strut"; "Rock This Town"; lead vocals by Mickey)
  • "Mickey" (Toni Basil cover; lead vocals by Renee)
  • "Kids in America" (Kim Wilde cover)
  • "He's So Shy" (The Pointer Sisters cover; as "You're So Shy"; lead vocals by Kid)
  • The Beatles Medley ("I Want to Hold Your Hand"; "She Loves You"; "Can't Buy Me Love"; lead vocals by Mickey)
  • Michael Jackson/The Jacksons Medley ("Beat It"; "Rock with You"; "Off the Wall"; "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)"; lead vocals by T.J.)
  • Rick Springfield/Pat Benatar Medley ("Jessie's Girl"; "Heartbreaker"; "I've Done Everything for You"; "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"; "Don't Talk to Strangers"; lead vocals by Mickey and Gloria)
  • Kids Incorporated Theme (Kids Incorporated original; lead vocals by Mickey and Gloria)

Tropes associated with this episode:

  • Boy Band: The band Kids Incorporated starts off effectively as this.
  • Bribe Backfire: Mike’s attempt to bribe Gloria with a date in exchange for Mike helping rig the results for her. Gloria didn’t give the offer the dignity of a response.
  • Brick Joke: Renee brings Gloria a tape recorder to convince Gloria to let it play to pretend she was practicing the piano. When the last scene of the actual pilot (as opposed to the scenes added when Rahsaan Patterson was cast) ends; Gloria’s mom thinks Gloria is still practicing.
  • Characterization Marches On: The Kid is introduced here as being so shy he nearly missed his opportunity to join Kids Incorporated. Kid would soon develop into a youngster who knew he was talented and would tell you so at first opportunity.
  • The Ditherer: Kid in this episode.
  • Duet of Differences: Mickey and Gloria’s “Rick Springfield/Pat Benatar” medley.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: For starters…
    • The main hangout is a Malt Shop called “The Malt Shop”; while the Palace is boarded up. By the time of the series; the Malt Shop is more or less forgotten while the Palace (now the P*lace) becomes the main hangout.
    • Mike is the Malt Shop soda jerk; though by the end of the first official episode, Riley becomes soda jerk for the P*lace.
    • Most of the songs are either performed by actors that did not appear in the series proper or group numbers. Also, a number of songs are medleys.
    • Behind the scenes; the producers for the series proper, Thomas W. Lynch and Gary P. Biller, joined after Kids Incorporated was picked up for a series.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Lampshaded by the Kid. Indeed, it would not be until late in Season 4 that we found out his real first name.
  • Mr. Exposition: Kid’s role in the video
  • Pilot
  • Recap Episode: This episode uses the original pilot (without Rahsaan Patterson) footage as a flashback sequence.
  • Tagalong Kid: Stacy
  • The Cover Changes the Gender: Partially averted with Rahsaan Patterson's performance of "Holding Out for a Hero" (as in "The Bully" early in Season 1). Inverted Trope with Patterson's rendition of "He's So Shy"; which changes the lyrics to third-person to fit the sub-plot of Kid's indecisiveness.
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