16
Aug
06

All around the nation. We’re the new sensation.

A good friend recently reminded me of a minor source of embarrassment for me. He posted a clip to my MySpace profile from a kids’ show from the ’80s (and, I was surprised to learn, ’90s) called Kids Incorporated.

It’s a rendition of “Over and Over” by Madonna. As it’s her birthday, I thought appropriate to re-post it here:

As I recall, every episode of that show was book-ended with musical numbers. How much you want to bet that “Over and Over” was the last scene of this particular one, and the girl singing it (Renee, I now know, following some Google research) had had some sort of crisis earlier in the show where she felt like a failure but her friends convinced her to keep trying until she succeeded? Those closing numbers were always thematically relevant and oh-so cathartic.

Some quick Googling reveals that the clip is from Season 2, episode 5: “The Big Lie,” in which, according to www.kidsincorporated.us (turn down the volume before clicking!) “Renee’s rumor about Riley blows up into a big lie.”

Riley was the soda jerk, I am ashamed to remember, at the place where the little supa-stars performed. In fact, the place was called The Place, because the first A in “Palace” had burned out on the marquee. (Oh, no. It’s all coming back to me.)

So, not exactly as I thought, but evidently poor Renee had to talk herself out of the doldrums with an obscure Madonna B-side following her brush with Sunday afternoon immorality.

I’m embarrassed to remember how many episodes of that show I watched as a kid. Every Sunday. I’d stand my friends up in order to sit in front of the tube with this silly tripe. Even then I was kind of annoyed by the awful, watered-down, cleaned-up shadows of pop songs I actually liked. But it was infectious. And the show did give us Martika, so who can complain, right?

Incidentally, that show also gave us:
Eric Balfour (Six Feet Under)
Stacy Ferguson (Black Eyed Peas)
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Party of Five)
Mario López (Saved by the Bell)
Scott Wolf (Party of Five)

Image hosting by Photobucket
Teenage dreamboat Ryan Lambert. The chicks on either side of him formed a girl group in the ’90s called Wild Orchid. The one on the right is the hot blonde from Black Eyed Peas
[Kids Inc Photo Home Page]

I had such a crush on the dark-haired white kid, Ryan. He was so cool, with his spiked hair and turned-up collar. I wanted to BE him. He was also in The Monster Squad, in which he was also heart-stoppingly cool. Remember him? I guess he’s the lead singer of a San Francisco band now called elephone. They just put out an album this summer. He’s not nearly as cute as he used to be.

The episodes where he sang were always my favorite. Back then I guess I thought it was envy. In retrospect, I can see it was young puppy-lust. Good lord. I was 9, 10, 11 and 12 during the years he was on that show. How did it take me so long to come out of the closet?

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