Teach: Tony Danza Episode 3 Recap: Yes, This Is Still A TV Show

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This is a recap of the third episode of A&E’s new television program, Teach: Tony Danza. The only comforting thing about this show existing is how few people actually know it exists. If you know somebody who doesn’t know about it, do not burden them by telling them about it. This should stay on the down low — specifically the down low for terrible things.

What has became clear in the past two episodes is that Tony Danzas biggest struggle so far as a teacher is that he’s makes everything too much about himself. He has good intentions, but he’s used to performing, and that tendency is a hurdle in the way of him keeping the focus on the students. So what happens in this episode is that Tony Danza makes everything about himself more than ever before.  What the F*CK, Tony Danza?! We begin.

The episode starts with Tony Danza singing the National Anthem at a Phillies game.  You know, like teachers do! “I should be home getting ready for my next class, but I’m here with my buddy, Joe, and we’re gonna have a good time at the Phillies game,” says Tony Danza. God DAMN IT, Tony Danza!  Already? It’s the beginning of the third episode and you’re already neglecting your teaching responsibilities to be in the spot light. For shame. Even the Phillie Phanatic can’t bring himself to look at you.

Anyway, Tony Danza does actually nail the National Anthem. He is really good at singing it. And then we smash cut to the all new Teach: Tony Danza intro which consists of Tony Danza explaining what the TV show is while indie music plays in the background. The intro ends with this still frame:

But, really, the intro should end with this still frame:

Tony Danza begins his day by talking to fellow teacher Andy Stern who is a Glasses Jew.

Is that an American Eagle yarmulke? We never find out. That question is not answered in the very boring conversation that ensues in which Mr. Stern asks Tony Danza to be the guest speaker at Senior Pin Night, an even where seniors receive pins from their parents. Tony accepts because, as he explains, he has trouble saying no to people.

Shortly after, Tony Danza begins wrangling kids into his first class of the day. “It’s Crazy Hat Day!” he yells.

Uhhhhh, does Tony Danza think it’s Crazy Hat Day because he just saw a guy in a yarmulke? It would seem so. Crazy Hat Day is never referenced again in the episode. Nor is it ever mentioned that that style hat ranks number 3 as the world’s least crazy kind of hat.

The kids pour into Tony Danza’s class.  One student remarks that she saw him sing the National Anthem at the Phillies game. Tony Danza is flattered even though there was no compliment given. He then mentions that he’s also going to be performing in Atlantic City the next weekend.  The following explanation Tony Danza gives of his Atlantic City show is an absolutely perfect example of his teaching style. “I do my live act. 1,500 seat auditorium, you know, showroom, a ballroom at the Hilton Hotel. I got a band. I sing and I dance.  I tell jokes.  It’s one of those jobs I didn’t want because I had this thing to do, you know… teach.  But they…but somehow we decided to keep this one particular date, and there’s nothing I can do, I gotta do it. Anyway, let’s pass in the homework.” Exact quote. No joke.

Unfortunately, Algernon didn’t do his homework. He’s like, “Psssssssssshhhhht, I didn’t do it.”

Tony Danza is NOT happy about this. Algernon has been slacking off a whole lot lately. And despite the fact that Tony Danza keeps giving him more chances, Algernon just keeps refusing to do his work.  Tony Danza meets with Algernon after class, but Algernon pretty much ignores him.  Tony Danza says he’s really going to have to put some effort into reaching Algernon. Which I’m sure he will do right after he goes to meet with the mayor of Philadelphia.  What?

What the f*ck is this show? Mayor Michael A. Nutter calls Tony Danza into his big Mayor office where he asks Tony Danza to emcee an event for the National Career Academies Coalition which sounds like a totally real organization and not just a bunch of words crammed together. He wants Tony Danza to  get some kids together and put on a whole show. And I’m totally sure this was all the Mayor’s idea, and A&E didn’t have anything to do with setting this up. Because, first of all, it makes the most sense of anything in the world that the mayor of a major city would personally request that TONY GODDAMN DANZA emcee an event.  And second of all, to have a first year teacher who is already doing shows in Atlantic City also try to put on an entire show production would be distracting to everyone and further draw his attention away from actually teaching at the expense of the students. It would be irresponsible and stupid. That’s why I’m sure A&E had no hand in this.  Anyway, Tony Danza accepts because, like he said before, he has trouble saying no to anything that involves him being the center of attention.

While on the phone with his Atlantic City show producer, Walter Painter, Tony Danza asks him to come in a week early to help with the show for the mayor. Walter agrees. He shows up at North East High and immediately begins helping Tony Danza get everything together. He is older than all the students thought he would be.

And beyond being old, some of the students find him to be naggy. But not Ben A.K.A. Kyle and his Mustache A.K.A. Coming Along Nicely.

Ben A.K.A. Kyle and his Mustache A.K.A. Coming Along Nicely think Walter is doing an okay job.  The first rehearsal, however, is not a success. Tony Danza and Walter can’t seem to get control of the kids. Tony Decides he needs to bring in Miss DeNaples.  He for some reason meets her at a nondescript pizzeria like he’s covertly pulling together a bank heist.

He’s got to get the old team back together for one last job. She reluctantly agrees to help. “I’m getting too old for this sh*t.” That’s not a quote from her. That’s just how you feel watching this show.

During an off period the next day, another teacher comes in to have a chat with Tony Danza. His name is Chuck Carr, but everyone calls him Ice Man.

Haha, I’m just kidding. Nobody calls him the Ice Man. Look at him. Mr. Carr sits down with Tony Danza and they have a heart-to-heart. Tony Danza is frustrated that it’s taking him so long to become a good teacher. Mr. Carr explains that it takes years to become a good teacher. He asks Tony Danza if he is actually willing to teach for that long. Tony Danza says he wants to see how this year turns out.  Unimpressed, Mr. Carr goes on to bring up Tony Danza doing a show in Atlantic City and singing the national anthem at the Phillies game. He suggests that perhaps Tony Danza is more interest in acting like a teacher than being a teacher.  “I just sang the national anthem and came home,” Tony Danza responds.  “I’m totally committed.” Mr. Carr is like, you sure ’bout dat?

Later that evening is the big event for the mayor and the International Association for Organization or whatever.  But first Tony Danza goes to the foot ball game because, oh yeah, Tony Danza is still sort of coaching football, too!  Full disclosure: I didn’t mention that early in the episode, Tony Danza convinced a player not to quit the team, and it was kind of touching. But, whatever. It was boring.

So, Tony Danza goes to the football game where the coach gives the first ever football pep talk that is mostly about Tony Danza.

Yeaaaahhhhh!!!! Nothing gets kids more pumped up than praise for Tony Danza. And fueled by that Tony Danza praise, North East High wins the game. Tony Danza then must rush to the even for the mayor where everyone has been waiting on him because he is running late. Everything goes fine, though. The consensus is that it was a very good show.

The next night is his big Atlantic City show. He begins the show with what is meant to be a joke, but he actually makes a very good point. “For those of you who haven’t seen my act before, you probably have a couple of questions on your mind. The big question, the really huge question, is ‘What does he do?’”  Haha, I don’t know, Tony Danza!

The episode ends with Tony Danza back at school. He goes to the football coach and politely explains that he can no longer coach because he should really be focusing on his teaching. That’s a good decision.

So that was it. This was a very good example of how to make the third episode of a show the worst thing I’ve ever seen. There were a few nice moments with students that I didn’t mention, but that was only because they were so heavily overshadowed by instances of Tony Danza being way too Tony Danza.  He does seem to be getting better, though. I’m thinking there’s more to come concerning his relationship with Algernon.  If the show doesn’t get cancelled first. Oh, man, I hope the show gets cancelled first.

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