Ah, it’s the last episode of Good Morning, Miss Bliss you guys! I’ve almost made it through all thirteen episodes! It’s an exciting milestone, so stay tuned after the review for a couple of announcements.
In our cold opening, Screech inserts himself into a conversation between Zack Morris, Not-Slater, and Not-Jessie about baseball, wanting to know what position he’s going to play. They tell him he’s hella bad at baseball so they’re just going to let the opposing team throw foul balls at him instead.
After the credits, Miss Bliss’s voice over remind us that role models play an important part in every child’s life and she hopes that her resistance to the incompetence that is JFK Junior High will inspire them and maybe they’ll be mentors in the future. Just then Screech comes in and trips over…nothing.
If Screech turned out to be a mentor, that would explain why The New Class turned out so fucked up.
Suddenly a crazy man just walks in Miss Bliss’s class raving about the world ending and I first thought maybe he was Tina’s father come to visit. But, no, it turns out it’s Miss Bliss’s eighth grade teacher, Mr. James Lyman, because apparently it’s common for visitors to just barge in during school unannounced and be allowed to interrupt class. She says that if he hadn’t been so bat shit crazy in his teaching methods, she may have never gone into teaching. and apparently eighth grade Miss Bliss had just as bad excuses as eighth grade Zack Morris. I suppose they were trying to set up for the second season why Miss Bliss has such a thing for Zack Morris.
In the cafeteria, Not-Jessie tells Lisa she can’t go to Cosmo’s with her after school because she has a baseball practice. Lisa tells Not-Jessie she better start conforming to gender stereotypes or her vagina is going to be less used than a workaholic’s vacation time. Not-Jessie is all, “Shut the fuck up, Lisa! You don’t know nothin’.” And Lisa’s all, “OK, if you want to be a virgin all your life, see if I care.”
As they eat, Mr. Lyman tells Miss Bliss that he’s no longer teaching and she’s shocked. Mr. Belding joins them and tries to display his wonderful grasp of humor but it shockingly only gets confused stares.
Mr. Belding tells Miss Bliss he needs her statewide curriculum report by Friday morning but she’s like, “Bitch, I can’t do that report by Friday and teach class!” Mr. Belding says he can’t get her a substitute by then but she’s like, “Mr. Lyman will substitute!” Mr. Belding sensibly says they need to do background checks but Miss Bliss is all, “Background checks, smackground checks, he taught me, that’s all you need to know!” Yeah, Miss Bliss hasn’t seen Mr. Lyman in a very long time. How does she know he’s not on the run from the law for murdering his class?
In the hallway, Not-Jessie says she can’t pitch anymore because she’s trying harder to conform to gender stereotypes and Zack Morris, Screech, and Not-Slater attempt to exert peer pressure on her to get her to play baseball but it’s all for naught when Screech calls her a “guy,” which reminds her that her hoo hah will be ever barren unless she quits.
It’s the last episode of Good Morning, Miss Bliss and, amazingly, Mylo does his first useful thing of the series! But there’s rumors of Full House getting a sequel series so I suppose if that can happen, anything can!
Mylo busts Zack Morris and Not-Slater walking around in the hallway during class and asks to see their hall pass. Zack Morris presents one and seemingly gets away with it but, while they’re still within ear shot of Mylo, Zack Morris tells Not-Slater that Mr. Lyman gave him a hall pass that’s good until July because Mr. Lyman trusts Zack Morris. Mylo passes this information on to Mr. Belding.
As Mylo leaves, Miss Bliss comes down the stairs and Mr. Belding tells her the information he got from Mylo. Miss Bliss can’t believe it and so she insists they go in her classroom to watch Mr. Lyman teaching. And they walk into an empty classroom as we cut to commercial break.
After the break, Miss Bliss and Mr. Belding haven’t been able to locate the class, which is actually a huge liability problem since they have no clue where a bunch of students are. Mr. Lyman comes in the room and says the kids are at lunch and he’s taken them on a history walk without informing the office to talk about all the historical events that took place around the school, including a Sioux battle next to the 7-11 despite the fact that the Sioux were never in Indiana. Fact checking people!
Of course Mr. Belding is the villain here as he advocates putting the students in the classroom to read out of books and I can’t help but wonder why it has to be one or the other. After all, the best teachers use a variety of different methods for a variety of different learners. But this is Good Morning, Miss Bliss so it’s all black and white.
Later, Mr. Lyman has the class move their desks to opposite sides of the room and gives Union and Confederate style hats to our five regular cast members but only a couple extras. The prop department must have been over budget if they couldn’t even afford props for everyone in the scene. Mr. Lyman tells them to close their eyes and imagine they’re at Gettysburg. This leads up to him telling them to wad up paper as weapons and throw the paper balls at one another in mock war, just as Miss Bliss enters. And, as a reader pointed out to me, the show proves once again that it can’t maintain continuity for even thirty minutes when Not-Jessie is clearly seen throwing with her right hand despite the fact she identified as a south paw earlier in the episode.
Miss Bliss tells Mr. Lyman he needs to cut this shit out and conform to the man but Mr. Lyman’s all, “Nobody puts baby in the corner!” He tells Miss Bliss she can take her class and shove it and leaves without his hats.
In the restroom, Not-Jessie is complaining about how horrible make-up is and Lisa tells her to cheer up because she’ll have guys wanting her cooch in no time. Not-Jessie is finally like, “Fuck this shit. I like playing baseball better than conforming to society’s expectations,” and tells Lisa she’s going to go play baseball because it’s completely impossible to find a way to do both in the Saved by the Bell universe. And the Not-Jessie wants to conform to gender stereotypes subplot ends with Not-Jessie spreading eyeliner on her face in an attempt to look like a baseball player, but she comes off looking like Minnie Mouse.
That night, Mr. Lyman shows up at Miss Bliss’s door and tells her, “Bitch, I be givin’ you the chance to apologize for the way you’s be treatin’ me today!”
We get a bunch of crap shoved down our throats from Mr. Lyman about how education just isn’t what it used to be in the good ole’ days and how he was forced out of his job because he fought the man when they forgot it was about the kids learning. In a strange twist, the hall pass Mr. Lyman gave Zack Morris was dated for July 3, 1863, the day the Battle of Gettysburg ended, because Mr. Lyman said now Zack Morris won’t ever forget that date, which he definitely will because that’s not a mnemonic at all, just a gimmick. And Miss Bliss is inspired to lead her class on a history trip tomorrow, because we’ve completely forgotten that Miss Bliss was supposed to be filling out a report.
And I’m calling bullshit on this entire plot. Yes, teachers have it hard sometimes with rules coming down they must follow and unhelpful administrators. But there are lots of good teachers, many of whom I’ve met over the years, and they manage to strike a very good balance between traditional teaching and the bat shit crazy method of Mr. Lyman. Yes, let’s pump more money and resources into education. But let’s not pretend like the educators aren’t doing their damndest without a nutty guy pretending like the only way to teach is to have kids throw paper balls at one another and give fake hall passes.
Well, in any case, we end our episode with Miss Bliss giving a lecture on the Battle of Gettysburg since the Battle of Gettysburg would be quite hard to teach on a walk in Indiana.
Zack Morris and Not-Jessie argue because Zack Morris claims it was Not-Jessie’s bad pitching that made them lose the baseball game yesterday.
And Mr. Lyman completely loses it when he comes into the class dressed as Abraham Lincoln and delivers the Gettysburg Address to Miss Bliss’s class. Mr. Belding comes in to find out why this weirdo is still roaming the hallway at his school and Miss Bliss tells Mr. Belding that this is Mr. Lyman’s farewell address. Because the way to go out is to dress as Lincoln for a bunch of fourteen year olds and recite a speech.
First: Mylo does something useful.
Well that’s it for Good Morning, Miss Bliss. Next Monday, I’ll have a bonus episode. Then, next Wednesday, I’ll have a recap of the series and an announcement about what’s next on Mondays. And make sure to keep checking in on Fridays for the last few episodes of season one of Saved by the Bell!