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Ah, the glamorized life of the substitute teacher! All kids want to be substitute teachers when they grow up because they know all the babes it will get them! There’s absolutely no crap that comes from substitute teaching, like kids who don’t respect you, faculty who look down on you, or sub-par pay grades. It’s all smooth sailing and poon, as this episode teaches us. Hell, I’m surprised this episode didn’t inspire a generation of kids to become substitute teachers!
We start the episode with the kids entering a classroom and, before we get started, I just need to ask what the fuck is up with one particular background character.
I’ve seen Skateboarding Guy in a couple of other episodes but I’ve never been able to get a good cap of him. His entire personality seems to be centered around the fact that he skateboards around Bayside. My question: why is this allowed? He could seriously injure another person. We’ll see in this episode that some of the faculty are pretty frail and a teenager riding a skateboard in the hallways isn’t helping matters.
Zack Morris tells us in his monologue that he’s going to win Kelly’s heart using rap master Will Shakespeare. I think he may have been a gangsta rapper who was killed in a feud with Proust Diddy.
We’re in Miss Simpson’s English class. We’ll actually see her show up a few more times. Her entire stick is she’s old and deaf, to the point she can’t hear students’ responses or the bell ringing. Because in Saved by the Bell, hearing loss is a laughing matter. But she’s actually the only character who has an excuse for having no clue what’s going on around her.
Miss Simpson’s class is performing scenes from Romeo and Juliet, the most cliché of all Shakespeare’s plays and my least favorite. Of course it’s being hammed up here as a love story, even though it’s about a couple thirteen year olds who commit suicide after knowing each other a day. I had a professor at university who used to get pissed off that people would go to see this play on Valentine’s Day because it really isn’t a love story. But kids are stupid, so let’s pretend like it is.
Up first is Lisa as Juliet and Screech as Romeo. Screech goes outside the text to take advantage of an opportunity to sexually harass Lisa because that’s his thing, and she’s basically like, “Oh, Romeo, Oh Romeo, shut the fuck up before I sticketh my foot up your ass, oh Romeo!.”
Next Miss Simpson picks Slater to be Romeo but Zack Morris tricks Slater into letting him do it instead. Zack Morris then tricks Kelly into standing up and volunteering to be Juliet, because everything is about Zack Morris and he is god.
Of course, Zack Morris’s rendition of Romeo makes Kelly wet herself with excitement. She swoons over Zack Morris’s performance until she accidentally drops her script. Miss Simpson leans down to pick it up but throws her back out in the process due to an “old hockey injury,” which, in her case, I hope is not a euphemism for hot fucking.
She can’t walk to the nurse so the gang use Skateboarding Guy’s skateboard to transport her there, which is actually a clever plan except, in route, she’s subjected to the indignity of Lisa, Screech, and Mr. Belding using her back as a transport platform. I say she sue the fucking school for worker’s compensation.
At The Max, Zack Morris steals Kelly away from Slater’s day at the beach by promising hot fucking while they scream out lines from Romeo and Juliet. Yeah, there’s no real point to this scene other than to continue to emphasize the girls’ obsession with Shakespeare that will play in within a few minutes, but the look on Slater’s face is great.
The next day, the students are elated when Mr. Belding announces their teacher has been hospitalized because they’re apparently into the BDSM scene at Bayside High and are turned on by Miss Simpson’s pain. But the gang is getting a substitute teacher and, though Zack Morris believes they’ll be getting a “dweeb,” they actually get Mr. Tony Crane, the Ted McGinely of substitute teachers, because he’s all look and no substance. Mr. Crane almost instantly makes the girl swoon all over him with his eighties style parted haircut and his badly animated sparkle in his teeth. I want to know what the hell kind of teacher introduces himself by his full name and not by Mr. Crane. I wonder if he would punish them for calling him Tony. Maybe he’s into the BDSM scene, too. I could see him in leather chaps. I don’t want to, but I could.
And Zack Morris almost instantly feels his masculinity threatened, or what little semblance of masculinity he has left after his date with Screech a couple episodes ago.
After a commercial break, Mr. Crane is dressed as a Spanish dancer to perform Romeo and Juliet, because obviously Spanish costume is the most accurate for a play that takes place in medieval Italy.
Jessie, Lisa, Kelly, the Twins, and several other extras all stampede each other in a feminine stampede to be Mr. Crane’s Juliet and be the first to receive a bit of his spittle in their mouths.
Mr. Crane, who apparently got his English degree from the same incompetent university Mr. Belding got his administrator degree from, declares that, above all else, Romeo and Juliet is a love story. No it’s fucking not! It’s about medieval feuds and how they actually tare apart the family structure from within! Augh! This guy should not be teaching Shakespeare! The bell rings and all the boys leave, but the girls stay put giving Mr. Crane a look like the children of the corn.
At The Max, the girls can’t think of anything but Mr. Crane, hoping that he’ll pick one of them to appear on an upcoming episode of To Catch a Predator with him. Meanwhile, Slater sets his sights on Screech for the release of his sexual tension.
This episode really can’t get its medieval stereotypes straight as Zack Morris next comes in dressed as one of the Three Musketeers to try and impress Kelly, but the girls tell him to fuck off. If the class ever studies Greek literature, Zack Morris should dress as Oedipus. That’s sure to impress Kelly, or her mom at least.
Of course, Mr. Crane walks in and the girls start wetting themselves. They rush over to the jukebox so they can be directly upwind from him. Max tries to assure the boys that Mr. Crane probably doesn’t give a fuck about a bunch of stupid, lust-driven teenage girls, but then Mr. Crane invites the girls to sit with him. Zack Morris and Slater agree to put aside their differences to oppose the evil Mr. Crane before he steals all the girls.
In one of the girls’ bedroom (I think it’s Jessie’s because the Little House on the Prairie doll is in the background), the girls continue wetting themselves over Mr. Crane and somehow have a three-way fantasy about all three of them marrying him at once, and a three-way fantasy is in this show is less exciting than Screech’s bedroom on a Saturday night. But, because he’s a substitute, he has to leave their polygamist marriage and they end up having to marry Screech instead. Screech later wakes up in a cold sweat and realizes it’s all a dream and he’s still living in Indianapolis before Morpheus appears and offers Screech a red pill.
The next day, the boys have just gotten back from the set of the horrible late-eighties film She’s Out of Control, where they have bitch slapped Tony Danza and stolen one of his supporting actresses whom they have redubbed as “Vicki,” all in an effort to get the girls to stop loving Mr. Crane. She’s supposed to pretend to be his fiancé, but Screech accidentally gives the signal when Mr. Belding goes by instead of Mr. Crane. We next have a sequence where Vicki pretends to be in love with Mr. Belding and wants his hot manchowder and that no one since Tony Danza has satisfied her like Mr. Belding has.
Vicki says Mr. Crane’s name and he almost instantly figures out what’s going on. He puts on his Hardy Boys decoder ring and instantly suspects that the three boys who hid inside lockers moments earlier are to blame, and they tell him to back up off their women. Because women are property and you don’t fuck with a man’s property. Mr. Crane tells the boys he wants nothing to do with their underage jail bait girls and that seems to satisfy them. And somehow it wasn’t a very good plan because none of the girls were present when Vicki put on her performance.
At The Max, the gang was all asked by Mr. Crane to meet him there, and he comes in with Vicki on his arm, whom he has hired himself and addresses as his fiancé. He tells them that this was his last day and Miss Simpson will be back Monday, and have fun because he’s going to go bang Mr. Belding’s sloppy seconds. The girls are all butt hurt that a grown man dares to have his own life and love, but the boys swoop in to comfort them as Slater declares his truce with Zack Morris is over because women are ultimately just property to be fought over guys.
First: Miss Simpson