Meg Pryor's lifelong dream is to dance on the iconic 1960s television series, New American Bandstand 1965 (1952), and along with her adventurous confidante, Roxanne Bojarski, the 15-year-old's persistence pays off when they find themselves on camera, dancing amongst a variety of teen idols. While his younger sister realizes her dreams, J.J. Pryor, questions his own childhood ambitions as he struggles to decide between striving for a Notre Dame football scholarship and making a life-altering change. Family patriarch Jack Pryor, concerned with his children's defiant behavior as well as with his wife ...
Sam deals with the negative reaction by East Catholic's track team. Helen has to make time for school and home. Meg handles Teresa McManus' jealousy and rumors about she and Jimmy Riley being more than dance partners on _"Bandstand" (1952)
J.J.'s wild night with Tommy DeFelice prevents him from meeting a Notre Dame recruiter and Jack is furious with him. Helen deals with the prospects of birth control and Meg has to accept that Jimmy only likes her as a friend.
Meg is angry to hear Luke, the new record shop employee, criticising the music that she is about to buy. Elsewhere, a sudden cancellation of his deal to supply a hotel with all of their new TVs, forces Jack to examine his family's financial outlook and question his own business philosophy. Sam, who is still adapting to life at East Catholic High school, deals with a prank that goes too far while J.J. looks on, unable or unwilling to intervene.
While preparing for the city championships, J.J. discovers some of Philadelphia's police officers have offered his teammates money to throw the game (although Tommy denies it at first), forcing him to question their integrity, as well as that of his police officer uncle Pete, who stops by the house for a sudden strategy session. Meanwhile, Meg, who shows signs of affection for Luke, a record store clerk at the Vinyl Crocodile and Patty's new piano teacher, is upset with Roxanne's sudden interest in him.
As the Christmas season takes place, Meg decides to spend more time with Luke, venturing to the rough streets of North Philly (with Roxanne) to hear him play with a local Church choir. Meanwhile, J.J. catches the eye of a slightly older and more experienced country club employee and sneaks out of the house, just as Meg is sneaking in. Catching on to both of his older children's escapades, Jack implores a slightly uneven standard of discipline, by grounding Meg, but saying virtually nothing to J.J., upsetting the family's growing feminist Helen.
With Christmas a day away, Meg and her dance partner Jimmy Riley are voted one of New American Bandstand 1965 (1952)'s favourite couples landing them a date under the mistletoe for their first kiss, which hurts her budding relationship with Luke. Meanwhile, J.J. receives an early Christmas present with his acceptance into the University of Notre Dame, which prompts him to reconsider his break-up with longtime girlfriend, Beth. Elsewhere, Jack's military expertise is called upon when a local boy serving in Vietnam goes missing and Henry looks for a raise during the store's holiday rush.