Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 2: “The Lisa Card”

It’It’s report card day at Bayside High. Boy, this episode really drives home how out of order these episodes really are. Episode two and we’re getting report cards. By episode four, I’m expecting graduation. Zack Morris enters and tells us all about report card day in his monologue. Zack Report CardApparently Jessie got all A’s so her parents bought her flowers. Kelly got all B’s and her parents bought her ice cream. Aren’t these kids in high school? These seem like inane gifts to reward your kids with for good grades, even by Saved by the Bell standards. Lisa made the honor roll so her father gave her his credit card to go buy something nice for herself. Is this really a thing? When I was in retail, we were told to check the name and signature on the card and not allow someone to use it who appeared to not be the cardholder. I really think Lisa’s father could have a case against this store. After all, selling Lisa anything on her father’s card is stupid.

But we still haven’t seen Lisa yet, and everyone’s aching to see what her new outfit, especially Screech, who can barely keep from pleasuring himself right there at the table about what it might look like, although Kelly looks excited over Screech. Screech excitedMax brings the gang their food in his new magic serving cart, which is basically a big box on wheels with a horrible looking curtain. The food comes out without any magic to be seen, and they ask Max what’s so magical about it. Max opens the curtain again and out pops Lisa. Lisa magic cartDo I really have to make any jokes about how creepy it is that Max had Lisa in his magic box? I mean, really, a high school girl popping out of your box. And no one seems to think anything about it. Lisa’s new outfit appears to be a glow in the dark neon yellow three piece that looks like she probably picked it up at Spencer’s on clearance. But, no, when the gang adds up how much she charged to her father’s credit card, it turns out that he’s now in debt $386, including for some “Man-eater Perfume.” I knew this series could get dark but cannibalism, really? Now we know what Lisa did to the guy who quit as her dance partner last week. The others encourage Lisa to keep one thing and take back the rest since they reasonably conclude that Lisa’s father will probably kick her ass when he finds out she’s charged nearly $400 to his credit card. But it turns out that the store wouldn’t let Lisa take back her stuff so she’s planning on running away. I don’t get why the store wouldn’t take it back. After all, most stores have a return policy, but that would complicate the plot.

Zack Morris enters…a room. Seriously, for a minute I thought this was Jessie’s bedroom from last week. It’s the exact same bedroom, only decorated slightly different. The fact that Jessie, Kelly, and Lisa are all there didn’t help matters in figuring it out. But I assume this is Lisa’s room since she’s packing her clothes to run away. Zack Morris, Jessie, and Kelly try to talk Lisa out of running away. Jessie and Kelly encourage Lisa to tell her father the truth, and we get a daydream sequence in which Lisa’s father does some horrible acting that I’m assuming is supposed to make him look enraged. Lisa's father enraged

Lisa's father bug eyesSeriously it doesn’t get any worse than this. I’m sure the writers were trying to go for the effect of Lisa overreacting, but it just comes off horribly and actually kind of detracts from the situation because you already know he’s not going to react like this. Oh, and Screech, for some reason, is dressed as the Grim Reaper in her fantasy, so I guess that means her father killed her with his bad acting. Or he at least kills any sense of her dignity, as she’s dressed as the worst attempt to copy the ’80s punk style I’ve ever seen. It comes off more like she’s dressed as Ragedy Ann. Lisa punk Jessie and Kelly suggest she try to earn the money back, and when Lisa points out she’s never earned a god damned thing on her own in her life, Zack Morris rips open his shirt and says, “This sounds like a job for Zack Man!” The audience goes fucking crazy, except he’s not showing any skin at all. He’s wearing a t-shirt underneath with a giant Z on it. Two things are apparent here: Zack Morris wears a Z t-shirt at all times just in case the time comes where he should need to rip open his shirt, and this is the most easily sexually impressed studio audience in the history of television. I mean, it’s not even a muscle tee that might at least show off what little muscular definition Zack Morris might have. Zack manThe next day at Bayside High we begin to see Zack Morris’s plan unfolding. And what a plan it is. You see, it appears Zack Morris has become a pimp and he is literally whoring out Lisa for money. Yes, the plan for Lisa to earn $400 is to become a prostitute. Except Zack Morris isn’t a very good pimp because he only sells kisses. The johns have to wait for later for the sweet fucking, including Screech, who bought a buttload of tickets.

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce an important character we meet for the first time in this scene. He almost never talks and he’s never given a name, but we’ll see him show up throughout the series. He’s the background character that Billy Superstar refers to as “That Guy.” And That Guy will usually be seen showing the collective reactions of the rest of the student body towards our main characters’ antics. But here his sole purpose is to be the first to molest Lisa. Here’s to you, That Guy. I will be looking forward to seeing more of you in the future.

That Guy

As their oblivious biology teacher teaches about animal sex (and appears to want to participate in it herself), the boys start one by one redeeming their kisses with Lisa, to her horror. I think that’s called sexual harassment. This is as good a time as any to mention that, in the retool from Good Morning, Miss Bliss, it appears that all the school faculty became raving idiots. At least Miss Bliss and Mr. Belding were halfway competent in Good Morning, Miss Bliss. Here we seem to be going for the “all adults are idiots” trope of so many teen comedies. Oh, and the actress playing the teacher is Carol Lawrence, an award-winning musical theater actress, which makes me think this was a low point in her career. Carol Lawrence Zack Morris apparently isn’t even a competent pimp in how much he’s charging. Lisa’s apparently a cheap hoe, going for $1 a kiss. Zack Pimp Total And, at that very moment, Mr. Belding announces there’s going to be an earthquake drill, during which Screech tries to redeem his kisses with Lisa and we get a cartoonish sequence reminiscent of Scooby Doo in which which Lisa and Screech’s heads keep popping up above different tables as Lisa tries to get away from Screech. The editing is horrible on this sequence as well, as it’s quite obvious that it was shot in several different cuts, and one can see Jessie in the foreground under a table not moving at all. She apparently died from the shock of the earthquake siren. Zack Morris’s next idea is to sell Lisa’s clothes, and Screech wires up a system so that he can open and close all the lockers in the hallways simultaneously, complete with Lisa’s clothes inside. The sell goes on forever and one wonders why all the kids aren’t in class. Are the teachers all off smoking weed? The highlights of this scene include Zack Morris selling Lisa’s lingerie to Screech, Slater trying to keep Mr. Belding away from the sell, and Kelly in one of Lisa’s bathing suits. And, yes, the audience goes as fucking nuts over Kelly in a swimsuit as they did Zack ripping his shirt open, which this time they actually have a reason to. Kelly swimsuit

We’re also introduced to two more background characters we’ll see throughout the rest of the series: The Twins. They always dress in matching outfits and do the same things, because conforming to sitcom clichés about twins is the cool thing to do. Here they each buy one of Lisa’s cowboy boots.

Twins Boots

The scene between Slater and Mr. Belding is fucking pointless and adds nothing to the rest of the story, as Mr. Belding discovers the sell anyway, but we do find out a few things: we find out for the first time that Slater is a military brat and has moved around quite a bit, and Mr. Belding went to his high school prom with his sister (yay for Saved by the Bell incest), was in the army during the Vietnam War and apparently made sweet love to a Vietcong woman, and met Mrs. Belding while he was a towel boy on his college women’s swim team. Creepy. Mr. Belding returns to the hallway and discovers the sell in session. Zack Morris admits it’s all Lisa’s stuff and Mr. Belding assumes it’s all being donated to the school charity drive. It’s hard to tell if he’s serious, though, or if it’s a strange sarcastic punishment as the acting is just as bad either way. Lisa’s next attempt to earn money is by getting a job at The Max, which she’s horrible at. She spills three trays and Max isn’t even pissed. I guess it comes with what ever was going on in his magic box earlier. I should also point out that the tray Lisa is carrying has two empty glasses on it. Did the customers order some delicious air to drink? Oh, and he Velcroed the items to the tray so Lisa couldn’t spill it anymore, although I suppose he forgot to Velcro the drinks. Max Lisa tray Lisa is rude with the customers and the others help her take away plates before people can even finish eating with the logic that she can serve more people and earn more tips. No, that’s just idiotic since people aren’t going to tip if they can’t even finish. But no worries: Slater is there to extort the money out of the customers. And Max is in the middle of it all but doesn’t seem to find anything wrong with the gang ruining his business. Lisa’s earned $37 in tips, bringing her total between the kisses, the clothes sell, and her tips to $157, which is way more than I would have expected.

She decides to tell her father the truth, and he wants to take her out to the Sizzler (no joke!). This is the worst characterization of a father I’ve ever seen. Maybe in a future episode she’ll murder Screech and Lisa’s father will take her to Red Lobster to celebrate. Lisa begs her father to punish her but, instead, he tells her she has to keep her job at The Max until she earns enough to pay him back. Zack Morris and Jessie apparently broke into Lisa’s house and they rush into Lisa’s room at that moment to give her another $83. Lisa can’t accept it suddenly because she wants to earn back the money herself. More prostitution and yard sales are in her future I guess. And Zack Morris gives us the moral of the story in monologue: “The Lisa Card: don’t leave home with it!” Thank you Saved by the Bell for imparting this ageless wisdom to me. Maybe next week you’ll have a horrible nonsensical pun to give me on cheating on tests or prostitution. Zack Lisa card

Firsts: Dr. Turtle (Lisa’s father), Lisa’s room, That Guy, the Twins.

One response to “Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 2: “The Lisa Card”

  1. Parminder Dhillon

    although we don’t see Lisa’s father again after this only episode her mother appears in the surgery also known as operation Zack.

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