Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 4: “Fatal Distraction”

Girl's ChoiceAh, lust is in the air at Bayside High as our opening shot establishes an upcoming “Girl’s Choice” dance. These things seem to show up in every show from this period, even though I don’t ever remember one actually happening outside the musical Hello, Dolly, but, according to the sitcom cliché handbook, they make for lots of wacky hijinks and misunderstandings, which means Saved by the Bell was going to try it sooner or later.

Zack arabAnd, look, it’s wacky racial insensitivity. An obvious white guy dressed up as a Middle Easterner is so hilarious! And it’s made even funnier by the horrible attempt to do a Middle Eastern accent that sounds more like a white guy doing an Indian accent. Oh, what will that wacky Saved by the Bell do next? Put a yamaka on a Christian and ridicule the Holocaust?

Anyway, our unnamed extra is looking for Zack Morris to ask him to the Girl’s Choice Dance and our Middle Eastern white guy directs her in the opposite direction. And now for the big reveal! You’ll never guess who our Middle Eastern white guy is!

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Zack revealOh my God it’s Zack Morris! I never would have guessed! It’s like this show just keeps finding new ways to surprise me! I mean, come on guys, this reveal is on par with Dallas‘s “Who Shot J.R.?” episode or Twin Peaks‘s reveal of who killed Laura Palmer! This was more dramatic than the ending of The Sixth Sense or Brian’s death in Family Guy or the shocking reveal that Subway’s Jared gained weight again or the age-old question of how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop! I almost shit myself when he took off his racially insensitive clothing and declares himself to be Zack Morris! This is one for the ages! Oh, Saved by the Bell, why did you never win an Emmy?

Zack Morris is denigrating other cultures in order to hide from girls who want to ask him to the Girl’s Choice dance because he’s hoping Kelly will ask him. Because that’s how I get people to ask me out: hide as racially insensitive stereotypes. Kelly hasn’t asked anyone yet and Zack Morris and Slater have a pissing match over who would be the better fuck.

Zack Slater argue

Kelly’s unimpressed and for good reason. I think she’d be better off staying home and using a vibrator than going out with either of these self-righteous egotistical misogynists. But this is the Saved by the Bell universe so of course that won’t happen. Slater tells Zack Morris he should just find another date now and, right at that very moment, Rhonda Robistelli appears on the stairs and chases Zack Morris through the hallway.

Rhonda

Get it, it’s funny because she’s masculine and butch and tall and more of a man than Zack Morris and Slater put together. We’ll see Rhonda Robistelli show up a few times this season, basically every time we need a gender non-conforming female to make fun of.

There’s a pointless scene in which Zack Morris tries to bribe Lisa into telling him whether Kelly is going to ask Slater or him, to the dance, and she basically ends up telling him Kelly is either going to take Slater or him to the dance. Thanks for that great bit of info.

Zack Morris and Slater have a pissing match at The Max over who has turned down more girls to the dance, and Jessie tells them both they’re worthless, disgusting pigs who should crawl in a hole and die. Lisa comes in and tells Jessie that Kelly can come to a slumber party at Jessie’s house and they have to fight Zack Morris off with a stick when he begs them to find out for him whether Kelly wants to ask him to the dance or not.

Max message

Max does a lackluster magic trick to deliver a message to Zack Morris and it’s from Rhonda Robistelli, and she once again chases him around a public facility. Oh, exaggerated gender stereotypes. Because they’re always funnier the second time around. And, for some reason, Rhonda Robistelli sits down with Slater, Jessie, and Lisa and tells them all about how she wants to fuck Zack Morris in the ass with her vibrator.

We cut to the multipurpose bedroom set, which is apparently serving as Jessie’s room again this week, and Zack Morris and Screech are breaking in through the open bedroom window. Because no one in the Saved by the Bell universe locks their windows when they aren’t home. Zack Morris convinces Screech to bug Jessie’s room by telling him it’s the only way he’ll ever find out what Lisa really thinks about him. Because shoving Screech in his locker back in Good Morning, Miss Bliss wasn’t an obvious enough sign. And Zack Morris apparently forgets about Kelly long enough to engage in some foreplay with Jessie’s Little House on the Prairie doll.

Zack doll

After almost getting caught and attempting to kill Screech by pushing him out the window, the wire is set up and Zack Morris is ready to illegally tape the conversations of his friends.

That night, Zack Morris and Screech listen in on the girl’s slumber party in the multipurpose bedroom set, now re-purposed to serve as Zack Morris’s room, using a reel to reel tape recorder from the ’60s. We have Kelly, Jessie, Lisa, and two unnamed extras who we’ll never see again engaging in delightful banner over who’s fucking whom and who sexually harassed whom. Lisa asks someone to pass the pepperoni, which obviously is an allusion to her wanting to fuck Screech. And we have a bizarre fantasy sequence in which the girls are all ga ga over Screech which has some very dated references about Screech being hotter than River Phoenix. The sad thing is River Phoenix may be dead, but he’s still a better actor than the Saved by the Bell actors. And the audience goes fucking nuts over Lisa saying the word “tingle.”

Screech fantasy

Lisa next reveals that she wants to fuck Michael Jackson, which obviously means she wants to fuck Screech. Oh, more dead people the Saved by the Bell girls are into. Kelly reveals that if she had to make her choice whom to take to the dance right now, she would take Zack Morris. This makes Zack Morris so excited that he screams loud enough from his house so that the girls in Jessie’s house discover the bug, and, after covering the bug with a pillow so the boys won’t be able to hear, Kelly devises a way to get back at Zack Morris.

Girls slumberpartyThe tape recorder starts working again, and Zack Morris and Screech think nothing of the fact they weren’t able to hear the girls for some time. The girls start playing a game about deep, dark secrets and, when it’s Kelly’s turn, she reveals that, when she likes a boy, she gets a headache, turns into the Incredible Hulk, and blacks out, only to wake up and discover that she’s beaten him senseless. Zack Morris and Screech totally buy it. They share a tender moment as Screech worries about the only person at Bayside who tolerates him being murdered by a girl.

Zack Screech tender momentThe next day, Screech, in a horrible Michael Jackson outfit, approaches Lisa in a horrible cowboy outfit and asks her to fuck. She tells him to fuck off before she cuts his balls off and shoves them down his throat.

Screech MJJessie keeps up the ruse by telling Zack Morris to be careful around Kelly, and Slater enters in a wheelchair with a cast over his leg, saying that Kelly did this to him but that she said she likes Zack Morris more.

Slater wheelchairI actually think our actors are better when they are lying in their acting than when they’re trying to tell the truth, which says something.

Zack office

Zack Morris breaks into Mr. Belding’s office to look at Kelly’s permanent record (because the principal’s office is totally where permanent records are stored) and discovers that Kelly was in a hospital for the criminally insane.

In a science classroom, Lisa knocks Zack Morris’s books out of his hands to give Kelly enough time to corner him and get him alone in the classroom after the bell rings. Looks like Zack Morris wasn’t saved by the bell this time! She puts on her best Hannibal Lector impersonation as she swings a baseball bat menacingly at Zack Morris.

Kelly batZack Morris runs out of the room in terror telling Kelly he already has a date and, surprise, surprise, it’s Rhonda Robistelli, whose idea of dancing apparently includes using her partner for weight lifting. Oh the gender hilarity never ends!

Rhonda dance

Two questions come to mind: why the hell is a school dance being held at The Max, and where the hell did Rhonda Robistelli buy her dress? The same place where Max buys his magic tricks?

Rhonda Robistelli exits to go to the pisser while Slater and the girls enter and reveal their little scheme. Jessie and Lisa planted the note in Mr. Belding’s files and, of course, Slater’s leg wasn’t broken. Rhonda Robistelli comes back in and tells Zack Morris she wants to take him back to her empty house and fuck him. He feigns having to be home in ten minutes and Rhonda Robistelli plants a big sloppy kiss on him as Max and two extras stare creepily in the background.

Rhonda kiss

And so we end another week of hijinks at Bayside High and boy has it been a week! Racial insensitivity, gender stereotypes, illegal wiretapping, Screech as Michael Jackson, and breaking into the principal’s office for revenge. I guess the lesson here is that if you dress as a horrible racist Middle Eastern man and wiretap your friends to find out if you’re getting some poon, you’ll end up tricked by fake files planted in the principal’s office and will have to go on a date with a masculine she-male. Oh, and your geeky friend will dress up as Michael Jackson.

Firsts: Rhonda Robistelli, racial insensitivity.

7 responses to “Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 4: “Fatal Distraction”

  1. This is one of my favorite early episodes.

    Hmm, what’s with Rhonda wearing that “O” jacket? She goes to Bayside High.

    • Yeah, this episode wasn’t bad. The stupidest part for me was the racial insensitivity at the beginning, which contributed nothing and was totally unnecessary. I assumed Rhonda had a zero on her jacket but I realize even that doesn’t make sense. It seems the prop department didn’t give a damn when they designed her jacket.

      • Or maybe the “prop department” consisted of someone going out and buying off-the-rack clothes from wherever, like a thrift store.

        Eh, the racial insensitivity doesn’t bother me. It’s fodder for Internet critics, and it’s fun to be politically incorrect every so often. =)

  2. Your last 2 sentences in this review are money.

  3. Zack blew his chance at ridding himself of his cursed virginity, and to an older chick who would’ve given him the acrobatic bedroom romp he desires. Of course it can’t happen, cuz in tv world the guy either fails at gaining the appointed object of desire, or passes on the appointed object of ridicule. Rhonda’s height and toughness left her out. Missed out Zack.

    • Caleb Bernard

      I agree, although to me Rhonda’s “Lucky for us — I do” is too forceful to be played for laughs, and puts her in my bad book (right along with most of the characters).

      • Caleb Bernard

        Sometimes I feel like the entire show should come with trigger warnings. Even in the comparatively wholesome GMMB, Zack’s dad kisses Miss Bliss against her will.

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