22nd July is the 35th Anniversary of the U.K. Broadcast of The Sell Out.
Here is a witty recap of the episode from TV of Yore Website
Recap: Miss Sherwood runs into Ms. Grant run in the hall and the two start chatting about how Coco is choreographing the dance class's midterm performance. Ms. Grant says she's impressed with Coco's leadership abilities...but a few seconds later, Leroy storms out of the dance gym and snarks to Coco that he's ready to quit. Coco snarks back that he can't quit, so Leroy complains to Ms. Grant that Coco's way too demanding, the way she orders the dancers to jump higher! faster! better! Hmm...sounds exactly like the way Ms. Grant runs dance class. Coco attempts to explain her methods, but Ms. Grant just shakes her head and barks, "This is your project. Keep me out of it!" and quickly flees. Coco stares beseechingly at Miss Sherwood, but she too shakes her head and goes, "Oh no!" and rushes off down the hall. Leroy shoots Coco the stink-eye and stalks off, and Coco warns him that if he quits, his midterm grade will be zero. He grumbles that he's just going to the bathroom, then tells her not to start the class without him.
Bruno's getting a ride to school in the back of his father's cab. Papa Martelli reminds him that he still has to write a lullaby for his Aunt Beatrice, whose baby is due in a couple of weeks. He stresses the importance of this lullaby, and gushes about how proud the family will be. Bruno's like, "Yeah yeah" and promises to finish the dumb thing by the time his aunt squeezes out her spawn. He then goes, "Ack!" and says he left a hot soldering gun sitting atop his synthesizer. Well that was pretty fucking stupid. Papa Martelli tells him not to worry about it, and promises to rush home and unplug it.
After dropping Bruno off at school, Papa Martelli races back to his hovel and goes down to the basement to unplug the soldering gun. He stares at Bruno's equipment and marvels, "How does he ever remember what's what?" He starts pushing random buttons and switches, then sits down to sing Oh Danny Boy. He suddenly smells something burning, then notices that he didn't actually unplug the soldering gun...and it's on fire, crackling and sparking. In his rush to unplug the tool, he trips over the extension cord and hits his head. When he finally gets the thing unplugged, he mutters that he hopes nothing is amiss with Bruno's equipment, even though it's obviously been badly burned. He shrugs and says, "Five minutes...what could it hurt?"
[sniff sniff] "Did I leave a pie in the oven?"
Julie rushes up to Coco and excitedly chirps, "Reporting for duty!" and Coco's all, "Wuh?" so Julie explains that she's just been chosen to join the band that's providing the music for Coco's midterm dance performance. Leroy's all, "Woo hoo!" but Coco scowls and tells Julie "it's bad casting". Julie looks indignant and tells her that Mr. Shorofsky handpicked her...so Coco says she's going to have a word with him, and Julie snaps, "Talk to me!" Coco glares at her and sassily retorts, "Don't you get loud with me!" Julie asks if her music isn't good enough for her, and Coco says her music has nothing to do with this, then storms off to confront Mr. Shorofsky. Julie asks the others whassup with Coco's nonsensical bitchitude, and Leroy shrugs and tells her that if Coco gets her cut from the band, he's dropping out of the performance. That's...weirdly loyal of him, considering that he generally doesn't seem to give a hoot about anyone but himself.
Papa Martelli approaches Bruno at his locker and says, "Know that I'm OK before you turn around" and Bruno whirls around and notices the bandage on his dad's forehead. He mumbles something about wanting to rehearse at the house later, but Papa Martelli sheepishly replies, "You may not be able to."
In the next scene, Papa Martelli is driving Bruno, Danny, and Doris to a music store to purchase a new synthesizer. Papa Martelli declares, "Money is no object" and Bruno argues that it is, actually, and says he doesn't need the newest, fanciest model. When they arrive at the store, Papa Martelli asks the clerk to point out the most expensive synthesizer, then urges Bruno to try it out. He sits down, looks impressed at the instrument, and starts playing a funky tune. Doris immediately gets in on that action and grabs a microphone and hums into it...and suddenly, a bunch of random customers join in with the impromptu show and play along on various other instruments. Doris starts singing a shit-tastic song called High Fidelity, and now everyone in the store is enthusiastically bopping along. Danny grabs a guitar...but since he has no musical abilities, he just taps on it with his open palm. LOL. Bruno sings along with Doris in his weak, off-key voice...and then a guy who's wearing roller skates, short shorts, and leg warmers (you heard me) starts flailing around in a mystifying break dance sequence. Halfway through this odd spectacle, Papa Martelli goes over to the sales counter to pay for the swanky new synthesizer...and Bruno notices and looks sheepish.
"Let's put on an impromptu show!"
Back at the Martelli hovel, Bruno tells his dad that the new synthesizer is way too expensive, but Papa Martelli refuses to return it and says it's worth every penny. Bruno says he's going to look for a part time job to help pay for the new instrument, but Papa Martelli says he doesn't want him to take time away from his music geniusness. He sternly says, "No part time job! I work. You make the music."
Back at the dance gym, Ms. Grant is staring at herself in the mirror as she leaps and frolics around the room. Coco enters the room and watches her...and when the record player starts skipping, Ms. Grant notices her standing there. Coco tells her she wants to get rid of one of the band members Mr. Shorofsky picked to perform during the dance midterm, but Ms. Grant waves her hands at her dismissively and informs her that Mr. Shorofsky is very protective of his people. She asks Coco why she wants to cut this person, and Coco snarks, "What's the point if I can't do it?" then sheepishly admits that it's probably a dumb reason. Ms. Grant says it doesn't sound as though it's a good reason, and Coco says, "Forget it" and dejectedly shuffles away.
During a rehearsal of the midterm dance performance, Julie messes up a note on the cello and winces...and Coco bitchily snaps, "Can't you do anything right?!" Ms. Grant urges everyone to take it again from the top...but when the music starts up again, Coco trips over something on the floor. She glares over at Julie, who puts up both hands and says, "Hey - I didn't do anything." Leroy wryly tells Coco she tripped over her own feet, but Coco snarks back, "That was not my fault. Can we get it right this time?" and Julie jokingly waves a white hanky in surrender while Coco continues to glare at her.
During lunch, Julie whines to Leroy about Coco's nasty 'tude and says she thought they were allowed to make mistakes during rehearsal. She notes that Coco seems to be coming down hard only on her...and Doris ambles over at that moment and says, "Everyone has a button that can be pushed." Julie asks her if she knows what Coco's "button" could possibly be, so Doris replies, "Astrology" and Julie mulls that over as though it's a reasonable explanation for her sudden shitty behavior. Out in the main corridor, Bruno's searching the bulletin board for part time job listings, and Danny joins him looking ridic in a skimpy muscle shirt. (Dude needs to hit a few of Ms. Grant's dance classes if he wants to wear a shirt like that.) He directs Bruno's attention to an ad for an accordion player, and Bruno grabs it, studies it, then silently shuffles off...and Danny looks miffed and barks, "You're welcome!" Bruno heads straight to the nearest pay phone, calls the number on the ad, and leaves a message.
Bruno heads down to the basement of his hovel to look for his accordion...but then quickly hides it when he hears his father lumbering down the stairs. He's wearing a neck brace and is walking with the aid of a cane...and when Bruno's all, "Wha-at happened?!" he says he nodded off at the wheel of his cab and crashed into something. LOL. Bruno looks distressed and tells him he's working too many long hours, and Papa Martelli says it's worth it (unless he falls asleep at the wheel and kills someone), and that he aspires to be the world's greatest dad.
Bruno arrives at the Maury Goldman Band Agency with his accordion. The old woman running the agency doesn't seem too fussy about who she hires and just asks him what size suit he wears.
The dancers are hanging around the dance gym, impatiently waiting for Coco to appear so they can start their rehearsal. Mr. Shorofsky asks Leroy where she is, and he snarls in his usual snarly way, "I have no idea!" then mutters that a lot of other dancers could have choreographed this midterm...and Ms. Grant chides him for being cold. She then asks Julie what's going on between her and Coco - some kind of prejudice, perhaps? and Julie says, "Not exactly." Ms. Grant glares at the class and yells, "Clean up the trash going on here!" even though she should probably reserve all of her yelling for Coco.
Coco enters Miss Sherwood's classroom for a heart-to-heart chat. She asks Miss Sherwood if she believes in astrology, and Miss Sherwood's like, "Hell no. But I know you do." Coco says she wants to discuss her beliefs without being ridiculed, and Miss Sherwood promises to try not to make fun of her superstitious idiocy.
Miss Sherwood blabs to Ms. Grant and Mr. Shorofsky about Coco's astrology beliefs. Ms. Grant rolls her eyes derisively and says she doesn't want to cater to nonsense (right..?!), but Miss Sherwood insists that it's not nonsense to acknowledge someone's feelings. Unless it involves something as stupid as astrology. Then it is nonsense.
Bruno's decked out in a shiny brown and gold tuxedo and is staring at himself in the mirror. Papa Martelli arrives home, sees the grisly costume, and is all, "Wha-a?!" Bruno confesses that he got a part time gig playing the accordion, and Papa Martelli looks irked that he didn't tell him about it, then says he shouldn't be neglecting his music (the synthesizer kind, I presume). Bruno says he gave his word to the indifferent old woman at the Maury Goldman Band Agency that he'd show up for the gig, and then leaves...and Papa Martelli shakes his head with displeasure and mutters, "Kids.."
"I got a gig as an accordion player!"
In English class, Miss Sherwood lectures her students about dramatists, then forces them to do a silly exercise where they have to write the next line in a play. Julie uses the opportunity to babble about friendship and how friends should work stuff out...and while she's saying this, she's sadly staring over at Coco. After the bell rings, Miss Sherwood presents Coco with a new astrology book, and she's highlighted a paragraph that reads: astrology shouldn't overrule one's better judgement. Well, d'yuh. Miss Sherwood then wanks her by saying she believes in the magic of watching her and her schoolmates when they're on stage performing: when klutzes are graceful, and skinny dancers fill an auditorium. Coco mulls this over and stares contemplatively into space.
Coco introduces the dancers who are performing the midterm dance number...and they assemble and start twirling and leaping as the band plays Mozart. Mr. Shorofsky and Ms. Grant are in attendance, observing and grading the performance. Incidentally, Leroy is wearing white sweat pants instead of white tights like every other male dancer. Oh well...baby steps.
Doris and Danny are boogying in the hall when Papa Martelli suddenly bursts into the school. He asks them where Bruno is, and they tell him he's in the dance gym...and when he rushes upstairs, they chase after him and try to explain that he's in the middle of a performance and can't be interrupted.
The midterm performance has just concluded when Papa Martelli bursts into the room and blurts out, "Bruno! I didn't want you to learn the news from a note!" The dancers are all, "Wha-a?" and stare at him curiously as he announces that Aunt Beatrice just had her baby...and that she'll be in the hospital for a few days, which means Bruno has more time to write the lullaby. The fuck? This couldn't have waited until after school? Papa Martelli glances around the dance gym, suddenly aware that he just interrupted something.
"I sense I may have interrupted something."
Bruno tells his idiot father that he already finished the lullaby, and Papa Martelli insists on hearing the lullaby right now...and, for some reason, Ms. Grant indulges the assclown and says, "Why don't we all hear it?" Sure - why the hell not? It's not like there was just an important midterm performance going on at the moment. Julie asks Coco what the baby's astrological sign is, and Coco replies, "Capricorn" and adds that Capricorns are strong...and the two girls smile at each other to let viewers know that everything on the Coco/Julie friendship front is A-OK. Bruno starts playing the lullaby and sings along (ugh), which makes this the third musical performance we've had to endure this episode. Ms. Grant looks at Bruno's music sheets and sings along, and Julie joins in with her cello. Incidentally, this lullaby doesn't seem to be the sort of catchy song that anyone could possibly remember or sing on their own...and it seems to go on for a really loooong time. When it's finally over, Papa Martelli smiles proudly and gives Bruno a hug.