Teach: Tony Danza Episode 5 Recap: The Fourth Season of The Wire Episode


This is a recap of the fifth episode of A&E’s new television program, Teach: Tony Danza. This is the episode where A&E gave up on the show. Last Friday, they claimed by way of my DVR guide to air two new episodes. They, however, just aired the same episode twice. Then this week, they aired a new episode, but put a different new episode on iTunes. I’m the only one in the whole universe of Teach: Tony Danza who is doing my part to stay on schedule. I guess what I’m really trying to say is that all the screen captures for this episode will be pictures of my TV taken with my iPhone. This is a real pain in the ass. Thanks ALOT, Tony Danza

Well, this episode was pretty nuts. It’s like somebody took the first four episodes of Teach: Tony Danza and made it have a baby with the fourth season of The Wire. Instead of being all about special education and tap dancing for the mayor, this episode was about steeling iPods, boxing, fighting, crying, tempers and also school uniforms JUST LIKE ON THE WIRE.

The episode begins with a meeting between the principal and some of the teachers about how the following day will see the implementation of new school uniforms. Tony Danza asks, “Is there research on, like, the effect of uniforms?” So immediately, you’re all sarcastic like, “No, Tony Danza, the school administration just did it on a whim without any clue as to if it’s a good idea or not.” But then the principal sort of doesn’t give him an answer and you’re like, “Wait, did the school administration actually just do this on a whim without any clue as to if it’s a good idea or not?” It seems kind of like they did. Actual good question, Tony Danza. Six good question points for you.

Later in his classroom, Howard A.K.A. Frankie tells Tony Danza that… Wait hold on. Let’s discuss this whole A.K.A. thing a little more in deapth before we continue. There are two A.K.A. kids on this show. Howard A.K.A. Frankie:

And Ben A.K.A. Kyle who is A.K.A. the kid who refuses to acknowledge his budding mondo mustache.

Anyway, they always refer to these kids as “Howard Frankie” and “Ben Kyle” respectively. So what’s with the A.K.A.? That makes no sense. A.K.A. usually implies that the people are also known as another name at a different time. Like Dwayne Johnson A.K.A. The Rock. But, let’s say you’re a girl named Betty Sue (Betty Sue? Yes, Betty Sue.). No one calls you Betty A.K.A. Sue. So what the f*ck are these kids doing? The only way using A.K.A. would make sense in this context is if you called them Howard A.K.A. Frankie A.K.A. Howard Frankie or Ben A.K.A. Kyle A.K.A. the kid who refuses to acknowledge his budding mondo mustache A.K.A. Ben Kyle. (Just for the record, Ben A.K.A. Kyle is probably the coolest kid on the show. He just also happens to have that embarrassing mustache we all had in high school. Unfortunately, he has to be on TV with it. Fortunately, I’m the only one in the world watching this show. Unfortunately, I make fun of his mustache in every recap. Fortunately, nobody reads these recaps.) Anyway, LIKE I WAS SAYING…

Howard A.K.A. Frankie tells Tony Danza that his iPod got stolen. Tony Danza doesn’t really respond to this beyond a compulsory acknowledgment that something was said to him. Even Tony Danza has strong enough sense of reality to be like, “Why on earth would you tell Tony Danza about your iPod getting stolen?” But then it turns out that what Howard A.K.A. Frankie was saying was actually a reasonable thing to tell Tony Danza because the iPod was stolen by way of Howard A.K.A. getting jumped in the locker room at the school. It was a school-related iPod theft.

Then, suddenly, we cut to footage of the kids who jumped Howard A.K.A. Frankie running down the hall, and there are police chasing after them, and it turns out Howard A.K.A. Frankie got hit in in the front of his head A.K.A. his face a bunch of times.

And it also turns out that, as the iPod absconders were trying to get away, Matt M. got involved and started trying to punch them in their faces. And this is a bit of a problem for Tony Danza because over the course of the last few weeks, Tony Danza has been teaching Matt M. how to punch people in their faces.

Another teacher expresses concern about Tony Danza teaching Matt M. how to box in light of the fighting. Tony Danza responds by saying. “In my experience, what happens is once you learn how to do it, you do it less.” Totally, Tony Danza. Right on. Kind of like the way you first learned how to put the correct episode of your show on iTunes and now you tend to do that less.

The next day is the first day for the school uniforms. Some students make an honest effort to adjust to the change.

Monte and Laura knock it out of the park. They look great. Some others, though, are more resistant.

Haha, Katerina! Not even close.

All of the students are called into the auditorium where they are told that their incorrect uniforms will be overlooked for the day, but that tomorrow, everything must be to dress code.

Matt P. is especially upset about the uniforms. He thinks they make everyone look like robots. The next day, he decides to challenge the system. Although the dress code dictates that the students wear black shoes, Matt P. wears white shoes and merely brings black shoes in his back pack. He is of course caught by Miss. DeNaples and is forced to change into his back up black shoes. Then, as he passes Miss DeNaples on his way to class, he hands her something.

“Thanks for putting up with my trouble,” he says. But what did he give her?

A dog treat. Matt P. just called Miss. DeNaples a bitch 14 year old prop comic style. Matt P. gets Saturday detention (no duh, Matt P.). He then gives the most classic 14 year old defense I have ever heard. “I didn’t expect her to realize it was a dog treat until after I had already walked away.” Haha, Matt P.!  There is no statute of limitations on giving Miss DeNaples a dog treat.

Next, Tony Danza has to go into a mediation meeting between Howard A.K.A. Frankie and one of the students who jumped him for his iPod. Howard A.K.A. Frankie says that the other kid hit him in the face. The other student says that he didn’t hit Howard A.K.A. Frankie in the face because he’s already been in trouble, and he knows that hitting Howard A.K.A. Frankie in the face would get him suspended. Howard A.K.A. Frankie responds by saying he knows for a fact that the other student hit him in the face from the way he saw the other student punching him in the face. Then, Tony Danza and the mediator are basically like, “Can you guys just pretend to agree to disagree so we can say we did our jobs?” Howard A.K.A. Frankie and the other student pretend to agree to disagree.

Later, word gets back to Tony Danza about the Matt P. dog treat situation. Tony Danza DOES-NOT-GET-IT. Straight up does not understand what that means. He keeps mentioning that he doesn’t get it, but everybody seems to think he means that he doesn’t understand why Matt P. would do such a thing. In reality, Tony Danza just doesn’t get the joke. Finally Miss DeNaples has to explain it very bluntly to him (recorded with my iPhone because this Tony Danza doesn’t know how to work iTunes).

“…like, you’re a bitch.” – Miss Denaples 2010

“Oh, I didn’t put that together.” – Tony Danza 2010

After that, Tony Danza is walking down the hallway when he notices a girl with a black eye.

So, Tony Danza decides to comfort her and give her some grown up advice. You know, just some normal comforting and grown up advice. The same kind of advice you would give this girl if you saw her. He says, “I gotta tell you somethin’. So, the reason I stopped is cause I had this show on TV called Who’s The Boss. And I ended up having to move out of the neighborhood because my daughter came home with a black eye. And I spotted you and it make me think of that, and… so… take it easy, alright?” Great job, Tony Danza! Really great regular grown up advice. Kids love it when you can relate to them by explaining how an 80’s sitcom you used to be in had a future soft core porn actress whose character once was in a situation that may be but probably isn’t similar to the situation they are in. They LOVE it.

Then at the end of the episode, Tony Danza makes Matt P. write an apology letter to Miss DeNaples. That was actually a good idea. Solid role modeling. One hundred un-cynical and genuine points to Tony Danza for that one. It was classy.

So, that was it. I don’t really know what we’re doing here anymore. This show isn’t as Tony-Danza-centric as it once was so it’s just sort of a… regular bad show. Like, it’s not really terrible enough to be extraordinary anymore. If this show doesn’t get extraordinarily terrible again soon, I think these are going to have to stop. I’m sorry, Tony Danza.

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