Season 5, Episode 14: “The Fashion Man”

We open with the band singing a tune we haven’t heard since season two.

During it, Sly tries to get with several girls and is summarily rejected because he registers on all their piece-o-shit meters. Now, you may be asking yourself why Sly’s suddenly hitting on girls again after he’s been with Lorena the last few episodes. You may answer this is an out of order episode, and you’d technically be right. But then you’ll notice that Jake and Tiffani & Tony and Sam don’t appear to be dating this episode, and the band sings a song we haven’t seen since season two.

Yes, my friends, this is an out of season episode from way back in season three, because I guess they needed to burn through it before the series finale. It’s pretty awkward, and I wonder how viewers felt about it at the time after having Sly and Lorena shoved down their throats three episodes in a row.

I’m also curious why there’s a concert going on in the loft. Wouldn’t that wake up Lorena’s parents, or do they just not give a shit at this point?

Anyway, Sly moans to Lorena about how nobody appreciates him and loves the band and Lorena is all, “That’s because you’re a moron who I would never date unless the writers planned a contrived last-minute romance for us two seasons from now.”

And the abuse continues at school when a girl wants Sly to give Jake her number and shit, because we need to establish that Sly has it so bad, at least for this episode.

Meanwhile, the girls, but especially Sam, gush over some Fabio rip-off model named Samson. Yes, seriously, Samson. I was hoping at some point a woman would cut off his hair and pluck out his eyes because that would have been a lot more exciting. Sly hears the band talk about how much money Samson makes without any real talent or effort, and decides that must be the work for him. He sees an ad for a modeling academy that trained Samson, and decides he’s going to be the next big thing, which elicits fits of laughter from the entire band. Man, you know you’re doing pathetic when even Mark is laughing at your chances.

At Sharkey’s, Sly meets Amber Dubois, the proprietor of the modeling academy, and she assures him he could be the next Samson.

Then she butters up the rest of the band, using every racial stereotype available to convince them they also have what it takes to become models. She even tells Mark he could be a successful model, and I’m calling it now: this is a scam. Nobody thinks Mark has the potential to be a model.

Amber steps aside to take a call and, AHA! I called it right! The writers are going ahead and telling us that she’s a con artist seeking to bilk the band out of their money! See, they didn’t even need to show me that! I knew the minute Mark was assured he was attractive enough for people to want to buy stuff based upon him!

So the entire band go down to take a fitness test after Amber lures them with promises they could get paid $500 an hour.

This test involves shit like balancing a book on your head, and other assorted stereotypes about how models are trained. Yep, real model material right there, Tony.

There’s also the opportunity for the band to make stupid faces and completely convince me they can’t act to save their lives. In the end, though, Amber wants them all to pay her money for courses and shit, so everyone drops out, realizing how mind-numbingly stupid the last few minutes have been.

Amber tells Sly that he scored the highest on the test so she’s super-di-duper sure that he’s the next Samson now…

…and he proceeds to have a fantasy sequence involving girls wanting to touch his winkey-dink, and he immediately signs up.

At school the next day, Sly comes in all full of himself, telling everyone he’s already paid Amber more money for an advanced course. After he’s gone, Jake, being the only one on this show with an ounce of god damned sense, realizes something’s up, but Mark doesn’t think Sly’s stupid enough to fall for a scam.

A fat kid nearby who Amber also pegged as the next Samson convinces the rest that any contrivance is possible on this show, and they decide they have to do something to end this plot.

For some reason, Sly’s having an underwear photo shoot in the middle of Sharkey’s because shut up, and the band try to convince him he’s being scammed. He dismisses them as ust being jealous, though, because that’s how the script is writing it.

Amber comes in and tells Sly she wants him to be in a fashion show but needs him to pay for expenses. He’s out of money, though, and decides to sell his car to pay her, which the band care about for some reason.

So what do they do?

Why, get Mark to infiltrate Amber’s office using a really bad disguise that instantly fools adults in the Engel-verse because they have no common god damned sense. Amber does, once again, assure Mark he has what it takes to be a model. Oh, get off it, lady. You are so full of shit it hurts!

The rest of the band come in looking for evidence that Amber is a fraud, and Jake finds lots of empty file folders where records of her clients should be because…I’m not sure what the point of keeping empty file folders is if nobody’s supposed to look at them anyway, but it’s the direction this episode is going so shut up! Then someone calls on the phone and leaves a message on the answering machine basically saying, “Hi, we’re the villains and we’re scamming Sly out of money!” Tony tries to take the tape, but Sam’s obsession over Samson’s painting causes him to jump and somehow tear the tape out of the cassette. Don’t worry, though, for Jake has a plan to wrap this shit show up!

The band hurry over to Sharkey’s and try to convince Sly not to go through with the show, but he continues insisting they’re just jealous and shit, so they decide they need to stall until Jake gets there. They decide the best way to do so is to put superglue on the runway and play the music fast because…hell if I know. It doesn’t even look like it’s doing much other than mildly inconveniencing Amber.

She figures out what’s going on and prepares to spank them all…

…but then Jake comes in with Nitro from American Gladiators, who’s apparently playing Samson this episode because it’s the early nineties and people loved American Gladiators. Samson clears all this up by saying Amber’s a fraud and doesn’t have permission to use his name, and he serves her with papers for a lawsuit because they’re that easy to file in the Engel-verse.

Anyway, Sly feels stupid for falling for Amber, Nitro assures him everything’s going to be okay…

And our episode ends with Sam ready to rip Nitro’s clothes off and find out what what other talents he has since acting is definitely not one of them. Seriously, Nitro couldn’t act worth shit in this episode. Tony from The New Class was more convincing than him. I guess you really don’t need talent to beat the crap out of people on television, just like the band said. Also, I’m wondering why this episode was held back so long. I’ve seen much worse in the course of reviewing this show. It just seems odd that this one, of all the terrible episodes I’ve watched the last five seasons, is the one they decided they weren’t ready to show.

Song
“Handle It With Care”
Sam singing

A repeat song from way back in season two, I have to admit, it’s not a bad sounding song. It may be my favorite from Sam even though, like usual, it sounds like the writers have absolutely no idea what rock music sounds like. At this point, I’m just glad it’s something listenable and not yet another repeat of “He’s So Funky,” so I’m not going to push this point too far and just count my blessings.

4 thoughts on “Season 5, Episode 14: “The Fashion Man”

  1. I remember thinking it was awesome that Nitro from American Gladiators was on this show. Honestly I thought this episode was alright and way better than the New Classes attempt at doing the same thing in Season 3.

    As for why it was held back so long? Good questions. I would say it maybe had to do with Sly wearing a swimsuit without being on the beach and the censors saying no, but he already did that in season 3. So who knows?

  2. I have to say I liked the episode. So it is strange to why it didn’t air in the 3rd season. I guess NBC told them the show was set at this many episodes that season.

    I don’t know why they always portrait Sly as being bad with girls. In HS how many guys did you know that looked like Sly that had a hard time getting dates?

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