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Recap / Kids Incorporated S 2 E 23 Material Girl

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The previous episode, “A Lad and His Lamp”, dealt with Kid having to face up to his struggles with greed. This time, it’s Gloria’s turn to learn said lesson.

We already see when the episode begins that this is going to be an issue with the opening song being “Money (That’s What I Want)”; complete with Gloria wearing a denim jacket with play money glued on and later the stage being covered with play money). The plot then kicks off with Riley attending to a toaster when the kids arrive at the counter (and Ryan thanking Gloria for her help on preparing for his history test). Renee then mentions a raffle ticket contest.for charity where the winner gets $500 in cash and prizes. Turning back to Riley, he had apparently invented a voice-activated toasternote ; trying words such as “screwdriver” and “salt and pepper” before the toast pops up upon the utterance of “Rumpelstiltskin”. The others then give it a try (with Gloria repeating “Boys! Boys! Boys!”; Kid — suffering from a bout of Aesop Amnesia in light of the previous episode — yelling “Fame” and “Wealth” before Stacy gets it to work by saying “Billy the Gweeb”).


Returning to the raffle; Riley buys two tickets (Ryan — having bought several tickets earlier — declines; Kid, sure of a big win, says he can’t close his wallet); and when Gloria asks if the boys have everything they need, Kid responds in the affirmative before adding he could use a little more. When Ryan notes she bought a ticket, Gloria explains the reason she did was only to support a good cause much like that night’s benefit concert, setting up “Gambler”note . When Riley turns the radio on in time to catch the Tom and Gary Show. The first numbers called are “6” and “4” (which everyone had); “3” (eliminating everyone except Gloria) and “0” - which matches Gloria’s ticket, making a stunned Gloria the winner. Unfortunately, Gloria then blows off rehearsal to claim her winnings, while Riley’s attempts to fix the toaster fail when saying “Make toast” cause the toaster to expel smoke and shoot sparks.


By the time Gloria returns, she’s sporting a white dress, shades and a (based on her saying she doesn’t wear furs in ‘'The Abominable Show-Man’’; presumably faux-) fur coat that were among the prizes. Gloria is also 30 minutes late, something Ryan is quick to point out (“Was one of your prizes a watch?”); only to exit again for a press conference, complete with photographers and cameras (which perked Kid up until Gloria mentions it’s only for her); setting up “I’m Coming Out”note . The others then continue the rehearsal when Gloria returns wanting to catch up to the photographers and reporters (who, as Ryan notes, had left to do other interviews) only for Gloria to announce she had a TV interview...that night around the time the benefit concert was scheduled; creating a dilemma of whether to disappoint the viewers or her friends (and by extension those coming to the concert). Gloria then takes off, much to the amazement of the others as her ego trip proves too much for even the Kid, who remarks “That girl has lost it.” Ryan, meanwhile, seems to be betting on Gloria returning to normal before the concert…or so he hopes - leading to “Possession Obsession” (done here as almost a hybrid of a Solo Duet and Counterpoint Duet; with an image of Gloria {presumably her conscience}).


When Renee and Stacy arrive in the break room, Gloria shows off her new cassette tape deck; leaving Stacy in awe before being elbowed by Renee, then pretending to dismiss it as “greatly overrated compared to the state of the art compact disc playernote . Renee then drops hints about the concert before confronting Gloria, only for Gloria to skip the concert entirely for the interview. With showtime nearing and Gloria a no-show (Stacy jokes that she won a trip to France; Kid - less jokingly - says she’s going to win a trip to the moon if she doesn’t show).

However, Renee then emerges saying she caught part of the interview (up to this point; it was implied the interview was airing live) shortly before Gloria - now back wearing her regular clothes - walks back in the P*lace, where Ryan again confronts her (“How nice of you to show up, Miss Rockefeller”) before Gloria eventually apologizes - and as it turns out Gloria was able to get the interview taped in advance, spent the interview promoting the benefit concert and, to complete the sign of contrition, gave away all her prizes (shocking Kid). As for Riley, his last tweak to the voice-automated toaster worked a little too well, causing it to make toast whenever anything was said; with a storeroom full of toast (some of which he dumps on the counter) before closing song “No More Words”.

Songs performed in this episode:

  • “Money (That’s What I Want)” (Barrett Strong covernote ; lead vocals by Gloria)
  • “Gambler” (Madonna cover; lead vocals by Renee)note 
  • “I’m Coming Out” (Diana Ross cover; lead vocals by Gloria and Kid)
  • “Possession Obsession” (Daryl Hall & John Oates cover; lead vocals by Gloria)note 
  • “No More Words” (Berlin cover; lead vocals by Gloria)

Tropes associated with this episode:

  • The Atoner: Gloria becomes this at the end, using the interview to promote the benefit concert and giving her prizes away; even managing to get the interview pre-recorded.
  • Greed: Second straight episode where one of the kids (the Kid in the previous episode; Gloria this time) falls victim to this vice.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Gloria’s repeated exclamations of “Boys! Boys! Boys!” in an attempt to get the voice-activated toaster to work seem to hint at this.
  • Imagine Spot: “I’m Coming Out” has Gloria and Kid battling for the spotlight while the other band members and the dancers are dressed as reporters; while “Possession Obsession” features Gloria alone in the break room while also appearing on a TV screen.
  • Money Song: With a title such as “Money (That’s What I Want)”; it can’t get much more blunt that that.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Gloria shifts to an egotist who blows the others off upon winning the raffle and later showing up late for both a rehearsal and nearly the benefit concert that night.
    Ryan (after Gloria arrived late for rehearsal): “Was one of your prizes a watch?”
  • Radio Contest: The plot is kicked off by a radio raffle ticket contest.
  • Shout-Out: In addition to the names on the “Tom and Gary Show” being a reference to producers Thomas Lynch (who incidentally co-wrote this episode, as well) and Gary Biller, the radio show’s name is also a play on the Tom and Jerry cartoon shorts originally produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (which incidentally co-produced this series).
  • Solo Duet/Counterpoint Duet: “Possession Obsession” is done as this.
  • The Television Talks Back: Used to reflect Gloria’s conscience during “Possession Obsession”.

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