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Recap / Kids Incorporated S 1 E 1 Leader Of The Pack

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We now begin the first official episode of Kids Incorporated, but first a little housecleaning. In the show universe, somewhere between the pilot and this episode; the other band members with Mickey and Gloria have left; with Kid, Stacy and Renee joining at an undetermined period. Also, somewhere along the way the band picked up a quintet of backup musicians/dancers and the performing venue has changed from the Malt Shop (not mentioned again) to the now-restored Palace Theater (following the first "a" burning out; the sign wasn't changed, resulting in the venue being known as "the P*lace").

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Which brings us to this episode's plot. We start with the band on stage, though Mickey appears to be the only one ready to play immediately before the others join for opening number "Jump"; unaware a new kid (who Renee appears to have a Precocious Crush on) has arrived to scout the band. The band is quite pleased with the performance (Kid giving it high marks on his scale running "from Amazing to Zowie"), but for whatever reason Mickey is fixated on micromanaging the band's performance and appearance (ranging from rehearsal scheduling to wondering why Renee didn't cut her hair or why Stacy didn't wear her blue shoes {apparently her pet frog Ziggy was in those shoes}); while away from the argument, backup dancers and musicians Mario and Shanice are discussing headbands when the band declares mutiny.

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As if on cue, the new kidnote  enters the scene; and by sheer coincidence has a band of his own, with instruments, amplifiers and clothes (we find out the new kid is rich; which is almost like magic to the younger members); but Renee and Gloria have one question - can he sing? The performance of "The Heart of Rock 'n Roll" confirms the answer as yes (during which Mario alerts Mickey to what's going on outside). Also confirmed is that the new kid has eyes for Glorianote ; much to Mickey's irritation. However, his bossy nature comes across as an attempt to order his bandmates back with him. Unfortunately, by now it appears the general has lost his troops, setting up a brief face-off (set to "Beat It") before the confrontation ends, just in time for the new kid to pull what seemed to be his ace in the hole: tickets to a nearby concert with the King of Pop; leaving Mickey seemingly defeated ("(Against All Odds) Take a Look at Me Now").

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Mickey finally learns his lesson and apologizes, and just when it seemed he would have to rebuild Kids Incorporated yet again, the others accept his apology and reunite with him, realizing that it's wrong to turn their backs on their friends. As it turns out, the new kid's true nature comes through; pushing his driver - a young man named Riley - around until Riley had decided he had enough; then (upon conveniently seeing a "Now Hiring" sign) decides to quit in order to apply for a job as the P*lace soda jerk. The episode ends with a performance of "Breakin' (There's No Stopping Us)".

Songs performed in this episode:

  • "Jump" (Van Halen cover; lead vocals by Mickey, Gloria, Stacy & Renee)
  • "The Heart of Rock 'n Roll" (Huey Lewis and the News cover; guest vocals by Christian Hoff)
  • "Beat It" (Michael Jackson cover; lead vocals by Kid)note 
  • "(Against All Odds) Take a Look at Me Now" (Phil Collins cover; lead vocals by Mickey)
  • "Breakin' (There's No Stopping Us)" (Ollie & Jerry cover; lead vocals by Gloria, Mickey & Kid)

Tropes associated with this episode:

  • Bribe Backfire: The new kid attempts to secure getting the rest of the band to side with him by promising tickets to an upcoming Michael Jackson concert. Ultimately, it doesn't work.
  • Dance Party Ending: The second half of "Breakin' (There's No Stopping Us)" shifts from a concert endingnote  to one showing much of the cast showing their dance skills (including Mario doing the robot and Stacy doing flips).
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Notice the sign over the stage reads "Asbestos". Not long after the series premiered; it was discovered that asbestos exposure was the main cause of a particular type of lung cancer called mesothelioma. By Season 2 the sign would be changed to read "Fire Curtain", which remained for the rest of the series' run.
    • Dancer Andrea Paige Wilson is shown with brunette hair. Starting with the next episode; she is depicted as a blonde.
    • No soda jerk is seen at the counter until Riley is hired at the end of the episode.
  • No Name Given: We never get the new kid's actual name.
  • The Mutiny: Mickey is nearly abandoned by the rest of the band due to his bossy ways.
  • The Unseen: Stacy's pet frog Ziggy - while never seen - is mentioned on occasion during the first two seasons; only to be forgotten by the time Disney Channel picked the series up in 1986.

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