Monthly Archives: April 2014

Saved by the Bell Season 1 Recap

A note on episode order. Some of you will no doubt notice that there are a few more episodes that were produced during season one. They are even in the season one DVD box set. However, the Saved by the Bell episode list is a mess. Episodes were aired out of order left and right and a few, such as these early episodes, were aired out of season. Therefore, I’ve made the decision that I’ll be reviewing in airing order. Also, the Complete Series DVD box set is a mess in terms of episode order. They claim to have all episodes in order of airing, but “The Election” and “Save That Tiger” is out of order, and several season two episodes are included in season three. I don’t even think they know when things were produced/aired. Therefore, I will be following the IMDB list.

I don’t think anyone but the most die hard fans would disagree with me that Saved by the Bell is a flawed show. And, when I say flawed, I mean stuck somewhere between Justin Bieber spewing gangsta wanna-be nonsense and Henry VIII murdering his wives nonsense. Reviewing every episode of the show, you really realize how horrible the writers, prop designers, costumers, and even boom mike operators were. Hell, in the previous sixteen reviews I’ve barely scratched the surface of how terrible the production value of this show was. I could probably write a feature length review on every single episode and still have stuff left over to say.

Zack doll

Needless to say, the transition from Good Morning, Miss Bliss to Saved by the Bell was definitely not a smooth one. Watching this season back to back with Good Morning Miss Bliss definitely made me appreciate the fact that they actually seemed to be trying on Good Morning, Miss Bliss. With this, it’s almost like they expected to be out of a job by the end of the season.

And, yet, the show stuck around for three more years.

vlcsnap-2014-02-14-19h36m55s9Zack Morris and Screech actually show a bit of regression in personality this season over their Good Morning, Miss Bliss portrayal. Essentially, it’s as if the writers took their one characteristic they were remembered for and made those their only traits. It’s no help that Slater is basically a carbon copy of Zack Morris except he’s a “jock” and not a “prep.” We’ll just forget the fact that Zack Morris is pretty much a jock himself, unless cross country doesn’t count in the Saved by the Bell universe.

Zack 3rd placeScreech begins his long descent into becoming one of the most annoying characters in television history this season. Yet, he’s still a hell of a lot more likable than he will be later on. His status as stalker of Lisa is solidified, though. Whereas he could have simply been said to have a simple crush on Lisa in Good Morning, Miss Bliss, it’s turned into unhealthy psychotic behavior in this season, to the point she actually starts to have nightmares of him.vlcsnap-2014-02-14-19h32m07s198Lisa is now a member of the stupid spoiled rich bitch club. Her fashionable traits held up better on Good Morning, Miss Bliss, especially since the only other child female regular on the show was Nikki, who was played as an unfashionable tomboy. When compared to Kelly and Jessie, Lisa honestly is nothing special in her dressing.

Jessie’s entire shtick is bleah bleah bleah eco-feminism, save the whales, goodie goodie two shoes, I make As. The only change in her personality is when she shows obvious signs of hypocrisy by refusing to date Screech after seconds earlier saying he was being treated bad when she didn’t know it was him. She wins the student body election and it’s actually remembered in a subsequent episode, but she doesn’t do anything else even remotely important this season.

Kelly is the most likable of the regular cast because she’s the one who’s the least stupid, least manipulative, least bitchy, and least overall annoying. She actually gives Screech a chance when no one else will, she has a good heart for others, and she looks out for her friends. Yet, even she has her moments, as in the pimple cream episode, and the fact that she has no aspiration other than to get fucked and pop out children. To Zack Morris and Slater, she’s a piece of meat, one they will constantly fight over.

Bayside rapMr. Belding is being set up as the epitome of the “adults are stupid” theme on this show. He falls for the gang’s stupid plans on more than one occasion and blames Zack Morris for at least one scheme that he had nothing to do with. Yet, I can’t say he’s a completely unlikeable character, even if he seems a bit narcissistic trying to insert himself in everything, such as the Casey Kasem dance-off.

Belding Chubby CheckerMax was, of course, a useless character and contributed nearly nothing to the show. He did magically solve all the gang’s problems on one occasion by giving them friendship bracelets, but that was the extent of the useful things he did. He kept lots of animals in his clothes, which is actually kind of disturbing.

vlcsnap-2014-02-14-19h46m48s45There were a number of recurring characters introduced this season, each one based either on an exaggerated stereotype or on the adults are stupid thread. It’s kind of painful to realize that one-dimensional and stereotypical are the only ways that the writers of this show know to create a character. And they still, despite their best efforts, manage to get it wrong.

For instance, despite their best attempts to get me to hate the nerds, I am still convinced that Edgar Poindexter is the most useful recurring character on the show and, quite frankly, girls would be stupid not to go for him. The way he and his friends transformed a stupid idea of a cardboard surfboard into a smart idea of a sun visor and made profit shows that he’s obviously going to be a very wealthy man someday.vlcsnap-2014-02-15-23h23m03s240As bad as some parts of this season were, it was still entertaining. I totally get why many people have very fond memories of Saved by the Bell. It’s one of those things that’s so bad it’s good. There were times I was genuinely laughing and felt genuinely entertained.

But, will this feeling last as we go into season two? We’ll soon find out.


My Picks

As usual, I encourage you to agree or disagree with my picks in the comments section below.

Five Episodes I Loved:

  1. “King of the Hill” (Episode 15): OK, I’m the first to admit that it’s pretty bad when the pilot episode makes this list. But it was a genuinely good introduction to the characters and actually felt believable in terms of Slater’s shaking up of Zack Morris’s world. Why they waited until almost the end of the season to show this, I’ll never understand.
  2. “The Mamas and the Papas” (Episode 12): As far as episodes went, this one was quite entertaining. Besides Zack Morris being framed for something that he didn’t do, it was quite an enjoyable set-up and actually provided fertile ground for character development, even if there was no follow through.
  3. “The Gift” (Episode 3): I’m actually surprised at myself that I’m including this one, but the unbelievable premise wasn’t enough for it to not be enjoyable. And, what can I say, it’s the mother fucking Micro Machines guy!
  4. “The Lisa Card” (Episode 2): I nearly didn’t include this one for the simple reason it had such a ridiculous and convoluted ending, but it is believable and entertaining, even if Zack Morris was trying to whore out one of his friends.
  5. “Fatal Distraction” (Episode 5): Zack Morris getting his just deserts for invading Kelly’s privacy? Hell yeah! This episode started my love of Kelly as she is both the most likable character and the one you don’t want to mess with!

Three Episodes that I Hate:

  1. “The Friendship Business” (Episode 11): This is a stupid, stupid, stupid episode. The idea that a school would randomly give $100 to teenagers to start stupid businesses that a kindergartner could predict the failure of is ludicrous. The ending is even worse and it makes me vow to never wear a friendship bracelet again, even if they do come back into style.
  2. “Dancing to the Max” (Episode 1): I liked this one more the first time around but, the more I think about it, the stupider this entire episode is. Sorry, but Casey Kasem does not randomly show up at high schools to watch random teenagers do stupid dances involving hopping on your uninjured foot. The Jessie-is-scared-to-dance-with-a-boy subplot was ridiculous and contrived and Zack Morris does not help matters at all by treating Kelly like a pawn in his game.
  3. “Pinned to the Mat” (Episode 9): The moral of this episode is you don’t need to know what you want to be for the rest of your life in high school. Unfortunately, this is something any high school kid with a brain cell should already know, or, at the very least, would be told by any competent guidance counselor. And Zack Morris does not have the power to bring in random students to the wrestling team on a whim just to keep from losing a bet.

The New Class Season 1, Episode 3: “A Kicking Weasel”

A quick, exciting announcement: this Thursday, Very Special Episode is launching a new review site. Join us as millerfarrow takes on the classic 1980s sitcom, Growing Pains! He’ll be starting at episode one and reviewing in chronological order, with new posts every Thursday! We hope you’ll check out Growing Pains Reviewed and like it on Facebook!


vlcsnap-2014-04-03-21h46m15s10We open with Weasel walking down the hallway carrying a bunch of football equipment on a stick. I guess this is supposed to be funny but, like most of the jokes in this series, it completely falls flat. And, oh joy, another football episode. Is this Friday Night Lights suddenly?

Anyway, Weasel is the water boy and apparently hasn’t bothered telling Scott that.as Scott feigns surprise. Apparently the big game with Westwood is coming up and Bayside hasn’t won a game against Westwood in ten years. Two surprises here: one, that they’re playing a team other than Valley. And two, wasn’t Slater a star football player? I seem to remember him winning a really big trophy for Bayside. But that was three years ago and the writers believe the target demographic to be stupid and have a short memory span so whatever.

vlcsnap-2014-04-03-21h49m26s57Tommy D comes up and reveals to the girls that he made a “Lindsay’s Boyfriend” t-shirt in the print shop. Talk about unhealthy co-dependence. Scott starts kissing Tommy D’s ass, and my first impression was that Scott wanted to sell the Lindsay’s Boyfriend t-shirts, which is just creepy. But, whatever the case, Scott has a plan that you just know is bound to blow up in the next twenty minutes.
vlcsnap-2014-04-03-21h50m32s217The girls are on the JV cheerleading squad. Apparently, in The New Class, that means they cheer for the ping pong team despite the fact we saw Kelly and Lisa cheering for the varsity sports as early as season one. Something tells me that, if I keep pointing out these disconnects with the original series, we’ll be here all day.
vlcsnap-2014-04-03-21h51m12s174The ping pong team is, of course, comprised of our stereotypical Saved by the Bell nerds, including Kirby, who is apparently going to be a regular nerd during the next couple of seasons. These nerds are like a thousand times more annoying than those from the original series because, by this time, Steve Urkel was a cultural phenomenon so they’re all trying to talk nasally. When they lose to Westwood, Mr. Belding is there to provide a comforting man boob.

Weasel walks in carrying an armload of shoes and some asshole football player named J.T. throws a football to Weasel in order to make him drop the shoes. Despite Mr. Belding and the football coach, Mr. Miller, being right there, nothing is done to J.T. and Mr. Miller actually yells at Weasel for dropping the shoes on the floor. What an ass! It seems Lindsay is the only one with half a brain cell in the room and yells at J.T. before helping Weasel pick up the shoes and telling him not to let that ass get to him.

vlcsnap-2014-04-03-22h52m30s78Meanwhile, the unnamed cheerleading coach comes in, followed close behind by two football players carrying a cheerleader. The coach says that the cheerleader was injured doing a reverse 180 degrees. OK, I don’t think it’s possible to just injure yourself in such a way that your legs are stuck in a split. And, I’m no doctor but, even if it was, wouldn’t it be injuring her further for the football players to be carrying her like this? And why did they have to bring her in there in the first place for the coach to tell Mr. Belding what happened? They even point out that the nurse’s office is nowhere near there, so WHY?
vlcsnap-2014-04-03-21h52m41s44Meanwhile, Scott and Tommy D are making new t-shirts: “Bayside: Proud to be #2.” Yeah, this is an idiotic idea. If being a Chicago Cubs fan has taught me anything, it’s that, even if your team completely sucks ass, you cheer for them and pretend they don’t. I wouldn’t buy a t-shirt that says, “Chicago Cubs: We haven’t won a pennant since 1945!” What makes these idiots think this would sell?

Weasel and Lindsay walk in and tell Tommy D that a cheerleader from the JV team will be chosen to replace the injured cheerleader. Weasel thinks Lindsay is a shoo in for the spot and she thinks he’s saying it because he’s her friend. And the audience has an “AWWWW” moment when Tommy D tells her Weasel is saying it because it’s true. Lindsay says even if she doesn’t get the spot, at least she knows that one of her friends will, which is actually quite noble.

It’s too bad that Megan and Vicki are acting like complete assholes throughout this entire episode. They’re obviously hella jealous of Lindsay and encourage her to use a move she’s not good at when auditioning. And then, when Lindsay asks them to spot her, they deliberately let her fall. Why does Lindsay hang out with these two again?

vlcsnap-2014-04-03-21h55m36s241Meanwhile, J.T. comes in and throws some smelly uniforms at Weasel and then pulls Weasel’s pants down, revealing his nice pink boxers. Once again, despite Mr. Miller being a matter of feet away, he doesn’t do crap and Weasel snaps and kicks a football into a nearby net, sending the net flying across the gym.

Mr. Miller finally takes notice of Weasel and says that kicking like that means Weasel should be on the football team. Um, I don’t know a lot about football but I’m pretty sure kicking the ball is a fairly small part of the sport. You need a lot more skill than this, and a scrawny guy like Weasel who’s never played the game would be murdered on the field. But who cares about logic and reality! This is the Saved by the Bell universe!

After a commercial break, Weasel walks into The Max wearing his new football jersey. Everyone’s impressed about Weasel being on the football team but a cat fight erupts among the girls about who is going to be the new cheerleader. I was hoping that a swimming pool full of mud would soon be brought out for them to settle their dispute but, instead, they’re united over their mutual hate of J.T.

vlcsnap-2014-04-03-21h58m15s47Yes, J.T. is there and still acting like an asshole, telling Weasel that he just had beginners luck and spraying mustard on his jersey. Tommy D looks like he wants to turn J.T. into a boxing bag but Lindsay and Scott stop him. Why? Everyone agrees this guy is an asshole treating Weasel like shit for no reason. Why not let Tommy D use him for his workout?

After J.T. leaves, Weasel thanks everyone for their support but says this is a fight he has to fight on his own, which makes me think Weasel’s about to go all Carrie on this mother fucker’s ass. Really, few characters in this universe have evoked as strong a reaction from me as J.T. I really hate him. He has absolutely no redeeming qualities and no motivation behind his hatred of Weasel, which leads me to believe he just has a small penis and is trying to compensate for it.
vlcsnap-2014-04-03-21h58m59s225At the print shop, Scott has changed his t-shirt strategy to “Bayside Wins With Weasel.” Sorry, Scott, but unless Weasel is going to do anything other than kick the ball, Bayside does not win with Weasel. But everyone’s obsessed with Weasel’s ability to kick. Tommy D is skeptical about whether Weasel can really win the game when Weasel kicks a ball through the window. And Tommy D says, “Holy Canolli.” Holy Canolli…Holy Canolli…you writers really couldn’t think of anything better for him to say than “Holy Canolli.” I get you don’t want to say holy shit on a Saturday morning teen program but there are other, more realistic ways for Tommy D to express surprise than “Holy Canolli.”

Scott wants Tommy D to use the print shop funds to print more t-shirts and he’s initially understandably skeptical, until Scott promises to get Lindsay on the varsity team, at which time he agrees.

Mr. Miller and a number of other football players walk Weasel down the hall saying how great it is that he’s going to win the game by kicking the ball despite the fact that I think the writers were thinking of soccer and not football. But whatever, J.T. is still an asshole and one of the extras refers to him as their quarterback. Wait…wasn’t Crunch just established as their quarterback last week? Speaking of which, where is Crunch? Last week, everyone was up his ass about being God’s gift to football and this week, in another football episode, he’s nowhere to be seen. Way to maintain continuity, guys.

Mr. Belding comes down and starts shaking Weasel’s hand and, for a moment, I thought Weasel looked like he was going to kiss Mr. Belding, but it turns out Mr. Belding is stepping on his foot. Oh, and the overweight football player behind Weasel is Meat. It’s his first appearance and he’ll be showing up quite a bit over the next couple seasons.

vlcsnap-2014-04-03-22h00m12s202Meanwhile, Scott starts kissing Megan’s ass and convinces her she needs to create a “smarter” cheer. Next he tells Vicki that she’d make a cute cheerleader and gives her a t-shirt to wear under her uniform for good luck. Yeah, the fact that these two fell for that tells me they’re not the brightest bulbs in the bunch.

At the cheerleading tryouts, apparently Linday, Megan, and Vicki are the only three trying out because they didn’t want to pay for additional extras. The judges are Mr. Belding, the cheerleading coach, and one of the ping pong nerds. Wait, why is he here? Why am I questioning this? It’s hurting my brain!

Lindsay is first and does a mediocre cheer. Next, Megan does her “smart” cheer and the judges look less than impressed.vlcsnap-2014-04-03-22h02m36s101Finally, Vicki runs out for a shower after Scott tells Tommy D he put itching powder in the t-shirt he gave her. The judges, of course, pick Lindsay because the plot demands it. Oh, and, the red-haired nerd who is, for some reason, judging this thing, is Milton. He first showed up in “The Date Lottery” but I don’t know enough about this stupid show to know who’s recurring and who’s not unless I look it up on IMDB. But he’ll apparently be a recurring nerd on The New Class.

Everyone is up Weasel’s ass. He signs all the t-shirts that Scott and Tommy D made and the cheerleaders have written a cheer for him. But, when Mr. Miller asks him to practice kicking, he’s suddenly bad at it because he’s happy instead of angry, which actually makes sense, for once. After all, it is a healthy way of handling your emotions to channel them into a sport or something creative. And it would make sense that Weasel hasn’t had the experience needed to do this on demand.

Scott and Tommy D get Weasel and J.T. to both come to The Max at the same time hoping that J.T. will piss Weasel off again. But J.T. has found a new way to be an asshole, this time by being nice to Weasel so he won’t be able to play. J.T. says he took football too seriously which, if true, shouldn’t he want to win, even if he’s not the star?

Scott gets Tommy D to try to dump some fries in Weasel’s lap to piss him off but can’t bring himself to because he’s not an asshole like Scott. Scott pushes Tommy D’s hand, knocking the fries in Weasel’s lap, but Weasel is easily forgiving, thus rendering this exchange pointless.

vlcsnap-2014-04-03-22h09m49s72Back at school, Megan and Vicki are still acting like whiny little bitches over Lindsay being the cheerleader, acting like Lindsay is being stuck up when Lindsay is one of only two characters who haven’t been assholes during this episode. Instead of telling them to fuck off with their jealousy, she tells Tommy D she regrets making the team and Tommy D lets the fact that Scott fixed the try outs slip.vlcsnap-2014-04-03-22h10m29s221In the locker room, Mr. Belding tries unsuccessfully to motivate the team and Mr. Miller does so simply by telling them they’re going to beat Westwood. Everyone leaves except Weasel and Scott walks in to try unsuccessfully once again to piss off Weasel.vlcsnap-2014-04-03-22h12m04s148Lindsay picks that moment to walk in and yell at Scott about the scheme, which does piss Weasel off because Lindsay is his best friend. Scott piles on some lies about stuff he supposedly did to Lindsay to piss him off even more, which, of course, gets Weasel in the mood to kick.

And then this happens.

Two things to notice. I know I haven’t talked much about how horrible these actors are, but they’re really bad. All of them. Isaac Lidsky may be going for angry here but he sounds more like he’s going to cry.

Second, there’s no way at the angle that Weasel kicked the ball that it would have gone that high. Really, that’s just really bad editing.

vlcsnap-2014-04-03-22h15m08s189But, after some really bad parodies of celebratory football dances, Bayside wins, of course, all thanks to Weasel, for some reason. Everyone loves Weasel because they won the game without a single touchdown, which I’m not sure is actually possible. Please, if I’m wrong, correct me, but it just seems pointless and idiotic that this entire plot has been built around field kicks being the most important part of football!vlcsnap-2014-04-03-22h15m47s56To resolve our other plot, the girls feign that they’re forgiving Scott.
vlcsnap-2014-04-03-22h16m14s78And Mr. Belding steps on Weasel’s foot again. That’s just liability waiting to happen.vlcsnap-2014-04-03-22h16m42s123Lindsay tells Mr. Belding that Scott and Tommy D are donating all the money they won from the t-shirts to the ping pong team…for some reason. I guess this is revenge on them even though that was just barely related to them fixing the tryouts. But, no matter, our ping pong nerds give a rousing cheer for Scott and Tommy D.vlcsnap-2014-04-03-22h17m20s211And everyone watches as Scott dances around The Max because Megan and Vicki put itching powder down his shirt. And everything is resolved, except for the fact that Megan and Vicki were complete bitches and that Weasel is still on the football team. Considering Mr. Miller and J.T. never show up again in the series, what do you want to bet neither of those things are ever mentioned again?

Firsts: Meat.

Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 16: “Save That Tiger”

It’s hard to believe, especially since we just did the pilot last week, but it’s time for our first season finale. And, oh, they had to go and start it off with the funky sounding version of the theme song. This doesn’t bode well already…

So it’s the city cheerleading competition and apparently cheerleading is so highly thought of in the Saved by the Bell universe that it inspires a prank war every year between Bayside and Valley. Don’t you just remember those old days when cheerleaders inspired your high school to rumble. Seriously, why wasn’t this in the homecoming episode where it belonged?

vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h35m22s32Anyway, Zack Morris’s monologue tells us he wants to go down as “Prankster Prince,” which is TV trope he never quite fulfills. I’d say he’s more the jerkass if anything.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h35m30s118Zack Morris is teaming up with Slater and Screech to come up with the ultimate prank to prove that they’re more juvenile than Valley. They’re determined to strike before Valley but, wouldn’t you know it, right at that very minute Edgar and another nerd comes walking in wrapped in toilet paper.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h36m03s177

Oh, Edgar, my dear prince! What have they done to you! Valley must be bombed in a take no prisoners style for committing this heinous act against Saved by the Bell‘s most likable recurring character! Valley High School, if you weren’t fictional, I would take you out with my bare hands for laying a finger on this dear soul!

Max cuts the duo free with a sword he just conveniently happens to have up his sleeve and leaves the toilet paper lying all over the floor in front of the entrance. That’s what I want to see when I patronize a restaurant for the first time: toilet paper all over the floor outside the restroom.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h37m17s139Meanwhile, the girls are super worried because that whore Nancy Zeiler came down with the chickenpox and can’t cheer for Bayside in the tournament. That means they’re one cheerleader short. Slater suggests Jessie cheer and Jessie’s all, “Fuck that shit! Feminism! Female empowerment! Equal Rights Amendment!” But she’ll still help the others find a new cheerleader. Oh and she actually mentions that she’s the student body president. My god, something from another episode mattered!
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h38m04s96But before we leave The Max, it appears that Valley High School must be located right outside The Max, because they have now put a tire around Edgar and the other nerd. You bastards. May Mylo Williams and Tina Paladrino become faculty members and unleash a horrid curse on your building.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h38m28s85So, at the cheerleading tryouts, we need an incompetent prospective cheerleader to laugh at, so who else would they get but Rhonda Robistelli, because she’s way too masculine to be a cheerleader because she’s tall and strong and it’s funny.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h39m00s146The group tries out and Rhonda Robistelli quite literally punches our two unnamed cheerleaders in the face. With no other viable candidates because Rhonda Robistelli is the only other girl they paid this week to actually have lines, Jessie finally agrees to be the new cheerleader.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h40m28s6Just then, the boys walk in and reveal they put super glue on Valley’s track that somehow didn’t dry instantly and released helium in their band room that somehow didn’t dissipate. I think the biggest prank here is on the viewers since we’re not supposed to understand basic Chemistry. But, worst of all, they stole Valley’s banner. Oh, the humanity! They’ll be forced to go to Staples and print up another one before Friday! Jessie tells them they’re hella lame and thieves for stealing the banner but they’re all, “Fuck you! We’re bad boys!”vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h41m00s65In the minute that the boys were in the gym, Valley somehow sneaked into the hallway, toilet papering it very elaborately. They’ve also managed to rig silly string in the boys’ locker in the same amount of time. I’ve finally figured it out! Valley is actually the old name for Hogwarts! I mean, how else do you explain first the fact that Edgar was attacked again right outside The Max seconds after he left and now the defacement of the hallway. They’re wizards! Burn them alive!

Mr. Belding comes in and is all, “This is fucking bullshit. You fucking idiots stop while I go and talk to the principal at Valley!”
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h44m00s77And here we see one of the apparent problems with Valley: low academic performance. How else do you explain two guys obviously in their twenties still being students there. Anyway, these are the Clegg cousins, Stan and Dan, who are behind Valley’s pranks on Bayside, and they’re in Mr. Stingwell’s office, which just happens to look exactly like Mr. Belding’s office except they moved the desk. Mr. Stingwell is fucking pissed at Stan and Dan for not being more juvenile in their prank approach and encourages them to think as childish as possible. And he’s fucking insane throughout the entire episode. I mean, seriously, if Jack Nicholson hadn’t wanted to play the Joker, they could have easily tapped this guy.

Incidentally, the guy playing Mr. Stingwell had a supporting role in Gomer Pyle, USMC but is more known for his voice acting, which prompts me to ask what it is with this show and voice actors. Were they just cheaper to hire than normal actors?
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h44m49s50Mr. Belding comes in and Mr. Stingwell immediately gets him with a joy buzzer and a whoopee cushion that makes the sound of a 1920s era automobile. We get an exposition dump about how this entire prank war has been going on for twenty years and started between the two of them, back when Mr. Stingwell was “Stinky” and Mr. Belding was “Mad Dog.”
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h47m07s157Mr. Stingwell seems to agree to end the prank war but not before slapping a “Valley Rules” sign on Mr. Belding’s back and sending him on his way so the set director can reset his office.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h47m38s201At The Max, Zack Morris and Slater are dressed as, in the words of Jessie, Rambo and Gumbo, which I think about sums it up. They aren’t sure what they’re going to do yet but they’re certain they’re about to make their move on Valley because they have to keep the plot going.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h48m08s247Oh, and out jumps Screech, dressed as a kamikaze pilot. Oh, casual racism, how I missed you since our last encounter. Way to poke fun at one of the darkest times in Japan’s history simply because you needed a stupid stereotype Screech could make fun of.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h49m33s80At Kelly’s house, Jessie has unveiled her idea for new uniforms, the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman look, which is sure to work because no one wants to be distracted by pesky sex. Jessie also wants to rewrite their cheer and the writers actually seem to be aware of how fucking stupid the Bayside cheer we’ve heard a couple times before is because Kelly actually references how dumb it is. Lisa and Kelly like one of Jessie’s suggestions and reveal that it has a huge role for the mascot, who happens to be Screech.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h50m58s153The next day, Zack Morris and Slater reveal that they stole Valley’s mascot, who happens to be a live bulldog, because all schools keep live animals as their mascot on the school premises at all times. Why, I’m sure there’s a live tiger somewhere at Bayside just waiting to eat Screech!

Jessie is outraged at the dog-knapping but Slater decides they need a picture of the Bayside cheerleaders with the Valley mascot to taunt Valley with. Mr. Belding comes in just as they’re about to take the photo and they convince him to stand in the back of the photo, at the same time sneaking the bulldog into the front without him seeing because one of his four character traits is being completely dense.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h52m15s132In the locker room at Bayside, the Clegg cousins have stolen Bayside jackets and are looking for their missing mascot in the most logical place: the locker room. Screech comes in and just blabs the entire dance plan to the Clegg brothers, not even questioning the presence of potential predators in the locker room just waiting for Screech to hit the shower before pouncing. The Clegg cousins decide to kidnap Screech because kidnapping a person is apparently on par with stealing a dog?

Zack Morris and Slater reveal Screech’s kidnapping to the girls and, of course, only Kelly is genuinely concerned about Screech’s well-being. Everyone else only cares about their own selfish concerns, including Zack Morris, who imagines a “Prank World Championship” awards ceremony in which he’s given the last place medal and mistaken by Mr. Stingwell as Jack Morris.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h54m41s69And he imagines that his prize is being hit in the face by Mr. Stingwell with a pie and sprayed with water.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h55m39s149 vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h55m53s35The girls convince Zack Morris and Slater that they need to fucking man up and tell Mr. Belding so he can call the FBI or something. They do, but instead of reporting the felony by Mr. Stingwell’s remedial students, Mr. Belding calls Mr. Stingwell, who orders the Clegg cousins to go exchange mascots. The Clegg cousins have other ideas, though, and steal Screech’s suit so they can infiltrate and sabotage the cheer, leaving Screech feeling less than good and me wondering why the police were not involved.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h57m40s82One of the Clegg cousins comes in and gets their bulldog while handing over the other Clegg cousin in the tiger costume. Jessie takes the tiger off for the competition before Screech runs in and reveals the plan, which tells me the Clegg cousins aren’t very good at kidnapping since their victim apparently escape just minutes after they left. But Zack Morris and Slater are determined to make things worse, again, instead of calling the police.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h59m09s176We enter the cheer competition, and Valley is first. Of course, their cheer is pretty much about them being stuck up Valley girls and how they’re better than everyone else. And you’ll notice that Rhonda Robistelli is in the background wearing the exact same clothes she wore during the cheerleading tryouts, leading me to conclude that this all happened in a day.

Meanwhile, Zack Morris and Slater dump ants down the tiger costume, causing the Clegg cousin to break out into elaborate gymnastics, because my first reaction when bugs are biting my man parts is to do a cartwheel.  I do have to admit, though, this cheer is much improved over their normal horrible one. Maybe this one will stick.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-22h01m11s139Of course, Bayside wins the coveted “Golden Megaphone,” the Clegg cousins are revealed for their treachery and taken away by Mr. Stingwell for spankings, and we get one big boo yeah for Bayside before the curtain falls on the season.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-22h02m47s82

Firsts: Valley High School, a felony is committed with no police intervention, the writers remembered something from a previous episode.


And yeah, that’s it for season one of Saved by the Bell. This Wednesday I’ll have a recap of the season and on Friday I’ll have a special review. In two weeks, we begin season two, and we’ll see if the writing for Saved by the Bell can manage to get any worse!

The New Class Season 1, Episode 2: “The Slumber Party”

Just a quick note: I’ve been able to successfully buy savedbythebellreviewed.com after it had been parked and unused for a year. As a result, the primary address of this site will now be http://www.savedbythebellreviewed.com. The previous address, savedbythebellreviewed.net, will continue to redirect to the site, but I’d highly recommend you update any bookmarks and site links.


vlcsnap-2014-04-01-00h21m38s109Our episode opens with Scott coming into The Max and…oh my god! What the hell is he wearing? I lived through the nineties and this was never in fashion, even in the Dawson’s Creek bad sweater phase I lived through in high school. I get that the crew was trying to update the look for a new generation but this is not capturing the spirit of the nineties!

Anyway, Scott tells us it’s the big football game between Bayside and Valley and Scott feels conflicted since he used to attend Valley. But his penis soon does his thinking for him as Tommy D, Weasel, and Lindsay come in, with Lindsay exclaiming that she wants Bayside to win and naturally Scott agrees with every word she says. And, since I’m criticizing fashion and we’re less than two minutes into the episode, I’ll just point out that Weasel is dressed here as a retarded Mario Brother.

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-00h26m02s170The writers seem intent on trying to prove that Tommy D isn’t Slater by having him insist that this “game stuff” is so uncool. Scott senses an opportunity to swoop down on his prey and immediately starts sucking Lindsay’s lady penis to try and show her how perfect he is. Tommy D continues about how this “pom pom stuff” is for dweebs. Uh, Tommy, you do know that only the cheerleaders use pom poms and not the football players, right? I’d question what Lindsay sees in Tommy D but then I’d just be pointing out the obvious.

Lindsay is conscripting her friends into planning for the pep rally before the big game and, as Vicki and Megan come in, Vicki is assigned to food duty because she likes to talk about throwing up. Yeah, it makes little sense to me either. Weasel and Megan are paired up for the music committee and Weasel immediately channels his inner Screech to sexually harass Megan.

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-00h34m13s252Scott volunteers for decoration duty but Tommy D doesn’t trust his motives since Scott is a former Valley student. Wait, not a minute ago Tommy D didn’t give a rat’s ass about any of this stuff and suddenly he doesn’t trust Scott is rooting for Bayside? I see consistency has been left out of this episode. Scott goes to the next table where a group of non-speaking extras from Valley are sitting and bets them $100 that Bayside will beat Valley, hoping that this will prove his loyalty to Bayside and allow him to get into Lindsay’s lady bits. And, in another dated reference, Weasel laments that $100 could buy him twenty minutes on the Blossom party line. Who would he talk to: Joey Lawrence?

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-00h41m15s108Back at Bayside, there’s some boring stuff about Vicki bugging Mr. Belding for vegan refreshments and Weasel continues his sexual harassment of Megan. But the important stuff comes in Lindsay’s compliments about Scott’s contributions to the decorating committee. Scott is disturbed, though, that, despite his greatest efforts to bang Lindsay, she blows him off to meet Tommy D at The Max, because why the hell would she possibly want to hang out with her boyfriend? Scott formulates a plan to dress as a blonde girl and crash Lindsay’s slumber party that was only mentioned five seconds ago in order to influence her opinion of Tommy D.

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-00h46m19s40At the titular slumber party, Vicki is wearing an oversized toilet seat cover and Megan seems to be questioning the fact that she’s friends with someone who wears a bathroom accessory on her neck. A knock on the door brings Weasel, who is dropping off Scott’s “cousin” from Wisconsin, “Tina,” and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Scott dressed in drag actually makes Zack Morris’s attempt at drag believable.

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-00h48m50s87And Weasel is wearing Twister pajamas hoping the girls will let him stay too, but they spin left face on door.

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-00h50m19s203Meanwhile, no one fucking realizes this is Scott in drag because why would they? After all, in the Saved by the Bell universe, no one has facial recognition skills, except the time that Kelly, Lisa, and Jessie mentally undressed Screech, but that’s a different story. Tina begins regaling the girls with stories of how great  Scott is and how horrible Tommy D is. Apparently Tommy D likes cars and video games, making him a horrible person and completely undatable.

Meanwhile, at The Max, Weasel has suddenly changed clothes and is playing, wouldn’t you know it, video games with Tommy D. Oh, the humanity!  How could Tommy D be playing video games when Lindsay is doing so many more important things like gossiping about him with a bad drag queen and a girl with a toilet seat on her neck.

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-00h57m38s229And enter our comic relief for the episode, Crunch Grabowski, a waiter at The Max. He’ll show up again this season but this time he’s here to deliver a pizza to the slumber party. Despite the fact he looks like he’s in his late-twenties, I looked it up and the actor playing him was only seventeen at the time of this episode. Wow.

Tommy D wants to ride along with Crunch so he can try and catch the girls in hot lesbian action, but Weasel, knowing Scott is there, tries to discourage him. That gives us the most disturbing fantasy sequence of this series yet.

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-01h02m55s116 vlcsnap-2014-04-01-01h02m44s221 vlcsnap-2014-04-01-01h02m33s90Yeah, the fantasy sequence is basically Weasel imagining that the slumber party is his masturbatory Aladdin fantasy and that the girls are scantily clad and going crazy over him.This makes him immediately decide to accompany Crunch and Tommy D to the slumber party, hoping to get laid.

Back at the party, the girls are swooning over a teen mag article about Luke Perry and Tina is all, “Scott’s hella better in bed than Luke Perry!” Right about then, Crunch, Tommy D, and Weasel show up with the pizza. Tina’s hiding her face from Tommy D, which makes no sense because if Scott’s disguise is actually clever enough to fool the girls it should, in theory fool Tommy D as well. It definitely does fool Crunch, who is practically wetting himself over Tina and spills pizza on her. Once she leaves, he declares his eternal love for a girl he met in passing seconds earlier.

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-01h09m18s53The next day, Lindsay is all, “Tommy, if you loved me you would be exactly like me and like all the same things I do!” Tommy’s like, “Fuck that shit! Different is good!” as Lindsay storms away.

Meanwhile, Mr. Belding is escorting Crunch through the hallway like his best girl because apparently Crunch is not only The Max’s least competent employee, but he’s a football player too! He’s so three dimensional! Crunch looks disturbed at Mr. Belding’s affections and tries to let down Mr. Belding easily by tell him there’s another man in his life.vlcsnap-2014-04-01-01h13m50s230Crunch is distraught when he finds out Tina is on her way back to Wisconsin and says he’s not playing until he gets to see her. This, of course, means bad news for Scott since he has $100 riding on the game, and agrees to go and “catch” Tina so that Crunch will play.

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-01h17m49s61We go to the gymnasium where Weasel is doing a disturbing mating dance to try and woo Megan. Tommy D comes in and it turns out Lindsay blew off a date with him in order to decorate, which obviously means that now Scott has a place to put his man chowder.

Meanwhile, Scott gives Crunch a Dear John letter from Tina, which makes things worse because Crunch takes his issues to Mr. Belding, who misuses his authority to force Scott to find a way to bring Tina back.

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-01h22m38s138After the commercials, we cut to the pep rally.

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-01h26m05s140And if it looks familiar, that’s because apparently a pep rally gets the exact same decorations as the dance from the last episode. Something tells me someone other than Lindsay and Scott should be in charge of decorations next time.

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-01h30m23s232Mr. Belding walks in on Scott changing into Tina and thinks that there’s a little something something going on between Weasel and Tina. Oh, and Tina’s hair color has changed due to the unavailability of the blonde wig from before, but this will have absolutely no bearing on the plot because Crunch is apparently being played as a dumb ass who doesn’t even question Tina’s new hair color.

Back at the Pep Rally, which apparently involves slow dancing…

Slow dancing…at a pep rally…

No. No. No. Kelly, Lisa, and Jessie’s stupid little cheer was better than this. Apparently Lindsay views “pep rally” as an excuse to throw a dance, which makes even less sense due to the fact Tommy D was so adamantly opposed to any involvement with it. I am…so…confused right now…

The writers of this show really have no clue, do they?

But let’s roll with it for now since this episode is nearly over. Crunch wants to get it on with Tina but Tina is playing hard to get. She also gets in the middle of a dispute with Lindsay and Tommy D, further solidifying their hoped-for break up.

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-01h38m04s241Tina spills something on herself to give her an excuse to leave the room and avoid the sexual aggression of Crunch. But, in the hallway, Tommy D finds Scott with wig in hand and earrings still in.

vlcsnap-2014-04-01-01h41m15s37Tommy D finally becomes the first person to figure out what Scott has been up to and forces Scott to dress again like Tina under threat of bodily harm to repair the damage he did to Lindsay and Tommy’s relationship. He tells Lindsay Tommy is a good guy after all. They kiss, agree that their character traits can be expanded to include other interests, and the audience goes fucking crazy.

And our episode ends with Crunch having a nice Rhonda Rubestelli-style dance with Tina, because he’s big and that’s funny.

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God, Scott is just a dick, isn’t he?

And so ends my recap of “Screech’s Woman”…I mean, “The Slumber Party”…

First: Crunch Grabowski.

Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 15: “King of the Hill”

It’s kind of ironic isn’t it: I’m now fifteen weeks, nearly four months, into this blog and I’m just now finally getting to the pilot episode of Saved by the Bell because, for whatever reason, they made the first episode, the episode dealing with the first day of school and the arrival of Slater, the fifteenth fucking episode. This is why I’m reviewing the episodes in order of airing and not production: because, to me, this shows that someone, either at NBC or among the producers, just didn’t give a damn. Even more ironic is it’s the same week I reviewed the pilot for The New Class. This could make for an interesting comparison…

And their way of explaining why they’re just now showing this episode? It’s apparently all a flashback, as a voice over from Zack Morris says, “I’ll never forget the day that Slater showed up.” LAME, LAME, LAME! Turning an episode into a flashback, especially one not filmed as a flashback, is the laziest possible gimmick you can use. You’re less than thirty seconds into the episode and you already have me pissed off!

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Zack Morris gets his own personalized wake-up call telling him to roar like a tiger, which I presume means Tony the Tiger and not like Shere Khan or something. He’s excited about the first day of school. And why? Because he has girls to stalk, very specifically, one special girl whom he has a giant descending cardboard cut out of in his bedroom.

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Run, Kelly! Run now!

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At Bayside, Zack Morris and Jessie are comparing their schedules, and Zack Morris is pissed he only got one lunch period because he has ambitions of auditioning for the part of Roseanne. Mr. Belding enters and Zack Morris does some sucking up about Mr. Belding’s weight. And I think there’s an implication that Mr. Belding and his wife fuck underwater in a swimming pool.

Lisa is pissed because her locker is stuck between some geeks because the world must revolve around Lisa if she doesn’t like the people around her. Zack Morris agrees to get her another locker in exchange for some plagiarized Spanish homework.

Zack Morris has ambitions of getting the locker next to Kelly’s and thinks he can con the guy next to Kelly into giving up the locker. And, after the cameraman has a seizure, who should appear and reveal that he has the locker next to Kelly but Slater. And Slater has no intentions of giving up his locker, especially when he realizes there’s a piece of meat assigned next to him.

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Slater almost instantly falls in lust with Kelly and decides he wants her lady parts to be his lady parts. He reveals he’s been in fourteen schools in the last three years and has learned how to be crafty himself.

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Zack Morris instantly convinces Screech to share Screech’s locker with him and it seems Screech was originally to be a neat freak as we find out he has a Dirt Devil in his locker to clean up with.

Zack Morris enters the classroom determined to sit next to Kelly so he can sniff her hair and oogle her lady parts up her shorts, but Jessie refuses to switch seats with Zack Morris.

vlcsnap-2014-02-16-19h04m32s208Lisa is more than willing, though, once Zack Morris tells her he has a new locker for her.

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Slater enters and slaps Screech in the face for blowing a bubble. Mr. Dewey comes in his usual energetic and excited self and Slater gets himself moved to the front of the room because of supposed vision difficulties. And guess whose seat he switches with.

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Zack Morris and Slater eye each other as monkeys preparing to fight for the territory in between them. And Screech tells Zack Morris he can’t share a locker with him because Slater told Screech he’d fuck him up if he did.

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At The Max, we learn that Max keeps a stuffed rabbit in his pants. It’s disturbing to know that so many items find their way into Max’s nether regions. Max gives Zack Morris a Coke to take over to Kelly so he can ask her back to his place for hot fucking but Slater comes in and cock blocks Zack Morris before he can.

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And I think this is what they call a redneck wedding.

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Back at school, Zack Morris tries to murder Screech by stuffing a bone down his throat but luckily Kelly’s there to save him using the Heimlich maneuver. Screech’s only regret seems to be she wasn’t wearing a strap on. But Kelly is late to class, with a different teacher in the same room that served as Mr. Dewey’s room a few scenes ago, and this unseen teacher gives her detention for being tardy on the first day, which is apparently what Zack Morris was trying to accomplish.

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Meanwhile, judging by the portrait of Shakespeare, the exact same room seems to also triple as Miss Simpson’s class. Jesus, does this school only have one classroom? I mean they could at least do like they do with the bedrooms and pretend that they have different decorations!

Zack Morris precedes to call Miss Simpson a whore, a slut, a bitch, and a dumb ass in an effort to get detention, but her deafness prevents him from getting his wish, until he knocks his copy of Shakespeare onto the floor, which is apparently enough to get detention at Bayside.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Zack Morris is playing make believe, pretending to be Principal Morris until Mr. Belding comes in.

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Mr. Belding has Danny Tanner syndrome and instantly recognizes that Zack Morris moved his pencil cup. Mr. Belding tells Zack Morris he better leave his stuff the fuck alone before he back slaps him!

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Mr. Belding dons his retarded Mr. Rogers outfit and tries to be a fatherly figure to Zack Morris, but Zack Morris is determined to be a bad boy and get a spanking so he knocks over as much stuff of Mr. Belding’s as he can until Mr. Belding finally tells him to get the fuck out and go to detention.

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Zack Morris is overwhelmingly happy to be at detention and has a fantasy sequence about how Kelly will surely love him for getting her detention.

vlcsnap-2014-02-16-19h18m13s233Kelly, for some reason, is dressed as a Hawaiian princess in Zack Morris’s fantasy and she tells him that he’s going to get some hot poon for arranging this detention for the two of them.

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And we find out that Bayside apparently has the strictest detention ever on record.

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But Zack Morris enters the room and who should greet him but Slater, who got detention for offering his bare ass to a teacher who was evidently not into statutory rape. Slater tells Zack Morris that Kelly isn’t coming, though, because someone actually asked her why she was late for class and excused her for saving a life. Imagine that!

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Zack Morris and Slater have a verbal pissing match in which Zack Morris insults Slater for being in so many different schools. Slater is like, “Fuck off! I’m a military brat you self centered moron!” Mr. Dewey comes in and tells them both to shut the fuck up and sit down.

Zack Morris and Slater have a couple final jabs at each other about how they scare one another and they have secret homoerotic fantasies of each other’s hot bodies.

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And our rivalry is off to a dorkishly kicking start, one week before the end of the season!

First: Mr. Belding’s obsessive compulsive neatness.

The New Class Season 1, Episode 1: “The Date Lottery”

Welcome to Saved by the Bell: The New Class, aka Saved by the Bell: The Clone Wars, where we will see everything that happened in the original Saved by the Bell repeated with new actors playing characters exactly like their original counterparts because at this point the writers realized they could fill a script with the word “watermelon” over and over and people would still watch. I was so tempted for this entire stupid season to just refer to these characters as they truly are: New-Zack, New-Slater, New-Screech, New-Kelly, New-Lisa, and New-Jessie. However, that requires too much energy and this series is not worth it.

Scott

We open at Bayside High and it’s the first day of school. Meet Scott Erickson (Robert Sutherland Tefler), our attempt at emulating Zack Morris. Scott will be delivering our monologues for the series, at least until they fire him at the end of the season. Scott tells us he’s the new kid in school having transferred in from Valley. He’s decided that the best way to make his rep is to stalk and then fuck the hottest babe in girl because naturally all girls are good for are as a status symbol.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to our first theme for season one of The New Class:

Scott’s a dick.

Megan Vicki

Scott immediately sets his sights on figuring out which will be the candidate for his creepy advances. And the writers use this as an excuse to introduce us to the rest of our main characters. Scott’s first two babes are Megan Jones (Bianca Lawson), who is our new Lisa with Jessie’s intelligence, and Vicki Needleman (Bonnie Russavage), who has Jessie’s eco-feminist “Save the Dolphins” mentality with some really strange phobias of nearly everything, which may be the most original thing this show has done so far.

Vicki starts talking about her allergy issues and Scott decides she’s not fuckable. Mr. Belding comes out to greet Megan and, through the power of exposition, we find out that she’s Bayside’s best student, which means Mr. Belding must have a list of these things so he can reassign the title once someone graduates. Naturally, she inherited it from Jessie and Screech. Megan says she’s already studying and Scott decides Zack Morris is too much of a lazy ass to date a girl who might encourage him to do something useful and productive with his life.

Scott immediately takes the opportunity to start kissing Mr. Belding’s ass and, though Zack Morris has only been gone from Bayside for a few months, Mr. Belding doesn’t recognize Zack Morris’s clone when he sees him.

Weasel Lindsay Tommy D

And, in order to quickly and conveniently introduce our final three characters, we meet Barton “Weasel” Wyzell (Isaac Lidsky), the new Screech; Tommy “D” De Luca (Jonathan Angel), the new Slater; and Tommy D’s girlfriend, Lindsay Warner, the new Kelly. And, of course, because the conventions of the clone wars require it, Scott immediately sets his sights on Lindsay and decides he wants to fuck her. Being completely naive to Scott’s advances, Lindsay decides to take him to class since the two of them and Weasel both have Miss Simpson as their first class but Tommy D does not. It’s kind of sad to say, but we’re only three minutes in and I already know everything I need to know about these six characters to understand the rest of the episode.

Miss Simpson

And oh all is right with the world since not only is Miss Simpson still alive but she’s bat shit crazy as ever. There’s a long drawn out scene where she asks everyone what books they read over the summer and she manages to misunderstand every answer, so she now believes Scott and Weasel to be the intelligent ones and Megan to be the dumb one. Oh, and according to the chalkboard behind her, there’s a test on Friday so I hope everyone studied over the summer!

Lindsay finally begins to realize that Scott practically humping her leg is not platonic and we get to see his lascivious glances as he fucks her in his mind.

Scott Megan lust

At The Max, Weasel comes in and sits with his new best friend, Scott, who is deep into shoveling the bullshit on thicker and thicker with Weasel. We find out Lindsay is Weasel’s next door neighbor and they’ve been friends since preschool. We can tell that Scott is deep into formulating a Zack Morris like plan because he’s busy offering Weasel manipulative favors that we can already tell he can’t deliver on, such as having Megan as a date to the dance.

Back at Bayside, Scott goes to see Mr. Belding, telling him that he thinks it’s unfair that the geeks are being singled out to not have dates to the upcoming Welcome Back dance because, since women are property, they should be treated as such and forced to go out on dates with whomever desire them, and because Mr. Belding might be fired should all the smart kids stop studying because of their lack of sexual intercourse.

Weasel enters under pretense of giving Mr. Belding’s computer a check-up because the school system apparently doesn’t employee professional technicians when they can get students to do the work, and, oh yeah, Weasel has a completely irrational fear of Mr. Belding as an authority figure. Weasel tells Mr. Belding that he can’t find a date to the dance and that he doesn’t feel like studying anymore. Scott and Weasel suggest putting all the kids into the computer and assigning dates by random lottery because that’s the best way to get conflict going in this episode. Mr. Belding is like, “Fuck yeah!” and so our conflict can begin.

Weasel Scott Geek

After a commercial break, we see that our overly-stereotyped geeks are still with us at Bayside, and Weasel is introducing them to Scott so that Scott can sell them the opportunity to fuck whoever in school they want to. Because get it, unless you’re stereotypicaly beautiful or popular, your private area will remain a barren desert for all time.

Tommy D doesn’t want his property to go to the dance with some other guy but Lindsay is all, “Flowers and Puppies and Rainbows and Unicorns and Equality!”

Weasel Scott hack

Scott sells $400 worth of match-ups and, at Scott’s house, Weasel hacks into Mr. Belding’s computer to set the matches. Scott is matched with Lindsay, Weasel with Megan, and Tommy D with Vicki, because no one wants to fuck her allergy ridden eco-feminist cooch. And Scott has the first fantasy sequence of the series, in which Lindsay comes over to Scott’s house to fuck him and declares she’s tired of Tommy D’s skanky boner and wants Scott’s skanky boner instead.

Scott Lindsay fantasy

This leads to a tender moment between Scott and Weasel.

Scott Weasel tender moment

At the dance, which is actually being held at Bayside and not at The Max for once, Mr. Belding announces everyone’s dates for the dance. Scott immediately starts setting his sights on the fucking that is surely to come, and Tommy D comes up and starts acting macho like, “Don’t be messing with my property, bitch!”

Dance

And oh boy does it look like a hot ass dance, what with the dancing four feet apart and all! These kids are getting crazy! They’re surely getting fucked tonight!

Megan pulls Lindsay and Vicki into the hallway to cry about her possible upcoming nuptials with Weasel and they finally start putting two and two together that too many geeks were matched with too many popular kids for it to be a coincidence. And their primary suspect is Weasel, so they bring him into the hallway to manhandle him. Of course, this could have been his intention all along. It’s the most contact he’s had with Megan all night.

Manhandling Weasel

Weasel finally admits that Scott put him up to it and Lindsay wants to go tell him off, but Tommy D convinces her to get revenge instead.

Back at the dance, Lindsay tells Scott that he’s the only fuckable one at the dance and that she sends Tommy D to the curb. Tommy D informs Scott about his upcoming murder and, for some reason, Scott never once calculated into his plan the possibility that Tommy D might want to beat the living shit out of him for interfering in a relationship for his own selfish reasons.

Tommy D punch

The next day, everyone’s all, “Tommy D gonna pop a cap in yo ass, biatch!” And Weasel, for some reason, is denigrating Scottish culture.

Weasel bagpipes

Weasel tells Scott that Tommy D has gone completely psycho and is assaulting and murdering people with the name Scott. And Tommy D will be waiting to do the same to Scott after Miss Simpson’s class.

For running time’s sake, we skip most of Miss Simpson’s class and come to the end, where Miss Simpson is once again discussing Romeo and Juliet and Lindsay is all, “It would be so sexy if a guy would die or at least be horribly disfigured for me.” Tommy D shows up in Miss Simpson’s doorway right as the bell rings but, because Miss Simpson’s Belltones are low on battery, he convinces her it’s not the end of class and everyone is trying to sneak out. She makes everyone sit back down, but Tommy D sets off his digital watch, which she actually believes is the bell ringing.

Tommy D watch

Scott goes into the hallway to confront Tommy D but sees Mr. Belding and suddenly realizes he has unexpressed homoerotic desires that must come out right then.

Scott Belding

Scott eventually confesses to rigging the date lottery to avoid being killed by Tommy D and the gang reveals they were all in on a massive conspiracy to expose Scott’s nefarious network of lies all along.

Scott lottery rigged

Scott gets detention, Tommy D is all, “Don’t fuck with me, motherfucker!”, and Scott is all like, “I think I’ve found my new permanent home on Saturday mornings as the replacement Zack Morris for all time, or at least for the next twelve episodes!”

Firsts: Scott Erickson, Tommy “D” De Luca, Barton “Weasel” Wyzell, Lindsay Warner, Megan Jones, Vickie Needleman, Scott does the monologues, Scott and Tommy D’s rivalry, Tommy D and Lindsay dating, Scott trying to steal Lindsay, Scott’s room.

Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 14: “The Zack Tapes”

Ah, this is one of the episodes that I’ve heard a ton about but never seen. Let’s see if it’s as bad as people say it is!

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Our episode opens at The Max where the students are getting ready for a Sweetheart Dance. Apparently this is a dance where the guys give the girl a heart with the guy’s name on it if he wants to go to the dance with her. And, oh, look, the Guy with Buttrock Hair has a name: Jeff!

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Anyway, of course Zack Morris and Slater are fighting over who gets to take Kelly to the dance because at this point in the show they wouldn’t have anything else to do if they didn’t. Slater says Zack Morris ain’t goin’ to no stinkin’ dance because he’s in deep shit with Mr. Belding over pouring tea bags in the swimming pool. Wait, either it’s a really small swimming pool or Zack Morris got a whole lots of teabags. Either way, this is a flimsy excuse of a prank at best. And he erased the blackboards with Mr. Federman’s toupee because he apparently didn’t notice it was gone from his head. So Zack Morris’s mother is coming in for a conference and Slater says there ain’t no way she gonna let Zack Morris’s ass out of the house for this dance!

Lisa comes up carrying a tape recorder playing some cheesy sounding pop song with a gaggle of extras dancing behind her. She tells Kelly that it’s the new Bo Revere single, except I thought they were saying Paul Revere throughout most of the episode and found myself thinking, “Jesus people, if you’re going to make up the name of a singer at least make it up to something that hasn’t been used in the music industry before, unless you’re trying to imply that kids were into the 1971 hit single ‘Indian Reservation’–in fucking 1989!”

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Anyway, Screech finds Lisa and starts sexually harassing her to go to the dance with him. He apparently broke into her locker to put a balloon of Harpo Marx in it to convince her. For the record, Harpo’s the sexier one between the two.

Mr. Belding comes down the stairs and tells Lisa to shut her fucking tape off because he was never a fan of Paul Revere back in the 1960s, instead preferring the sounds of the Beach Boys’s “California Girls.” Zack Morris tries to suck Mr. Belding’s ass but Mr. Belding tells him to shut the fuck up because he’s not getting out of trouble.

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And look, Mrs. Wentworth is back. She was the crazy sex education teacher way back in “The Lisa Card.” I didn’t mention her name back then because I thought Carol Lawrence would learn her lesson the first time around and not return to this show. But here she is teaching about subliminal advertising, which apparently is the duties of a sex ed teacher.

All the kids are giving Mrs. Wentworth chocolate and flowers and apples and begging her for some hot poon. She tells them that she put subliminal messages on all their Bo Revere tapes and they all suddenly and magically had the desire to buy presents for their teacher. Well, all except Screech, who seems to believe he’s a goat.

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And here right away is the problem with this episode. I know Saved by the Bell likes to stretch the truth and there is some evidence that subliminal advertising can work, but no amount of subliminal messages can make every person in the class do something so specific as bring their teacher gifts. Sorry, no, I don’t buy it. Not at all. Unless Paul Revere tells me to believe it, fuck off.

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Zack Morris, of course, sees an opportunity to get out of his punishment with Mr. Belding and works with Screech to create a version of “California Girls” with subliminal advertising for Mr. Belding. Zack Morris spouts some bullshit into a microphone and, wallah, instant plot!

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The next day, Lisa is trying to avoid Screech because he doesn’t understand the word “no” and is continuing to fallow her around everywhere. She thinks she’s ditched him when suddenly a walking trash can comes up behind her and attempts to put Screech’s heart around Lisa’s neck. Lisa’s all, “Egad! Screech now has common trash cans doing his bidding for him! What sort of sorcery is this?” And she runs off. Meanwhile Zack Morris comes into the hallway and gives Mr. Belding the tape of “California Girls.”

Kelly tells Zack Morris she can’t wait no more for his ass to get out of trouble and she takes Slater’s heart. Zack Morris is devastated that someone wouldn’t forego their own life to fully accommodate him in every way, and mopes off through the cut to Mr. Belding’s office, where he’s listening to the tape Zack Morris gave him.

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Zack Morris is suddenly perfect in every way to Mr. Belding because subliminal advertising is like magic brainwashing. Mr. Belding tells Zack Morris he has a special place in his heart and gives him $10 for the dance.

So, seeing how well subliminal mind control works on Mr. Belding, Zack Morris figures it could probably work on the other cast members, and he and Screech put together tapes to test out their theories. They give their tapes to the three biggest nerds they can find.

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The first is ‘ole Edgar in his second appearance, who gets a hot chick that wants him to stick his giant chess piece in her pie hole. Oh yeah, you go Edgar. You go get you some of that hot brainwashed girl. As soon as she finds out how much money you made off those sun visors, she’ll see how you’re a real man and stay with you!

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In the second test, this girl is apparently approaching a guy with really large muscles. But does she go for him?

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No, she goes for this unfortunate looking boy named Alan.

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Finally, Weird Al Yankovic here gets a Max waitress to come out. He orders one of her with nothing on it and she falls for him.

The tests are encouraging to Zack Morris’s plan and the next step is to make tapes for Kelly and Lisa so they’ll choose them to be their dates. But how to get the tapes to them?

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Well, the easiest, most logical way, of course, is to dress Screech up in Winnie Cooper drag as his female persona, “Barbara Bush,” and send him into the girl’s locker room.

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But, oh, that Jessie is nearly too smart for him and wants to help a girl she’s never seen before work out on the soccer team despite the fact that this is something you have to try out for and can’t really come in mid-season. But Barbara takes advantage of Jessie leaving the room to switch the tapes and does what her namesake does best: hide out of sight from all the dumb people around her.

And, of course, the tapes work perfectly. Kelly quite literally throws Slater’s heart on the floor and he’s all, “Dayum, gurl, how you gonna do me like dat?” She says Zack Morris is all the man she’ll ever need. Lisa, meanwhile, is head over heels for Screech and says she always wanted a guy who can look uglier than Robin Williams in drag.

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At The Max, Jessie has been listening to Kelly’s Bo Revere tape so, of course, she’s now in love with Zack Morris, too, and Max’s bow tie goes crazy because it’s apparently in love with Zack Morris as well.

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Kelly and Lisa come in with Lisa expressing her love for Screech. Kelly and Jessie both start saying all the same things about Zack Morris and Jessie gets a Looney Tunes light bulb announcing she has a clue.

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They imagine Screech naked in the locker room and deduce that Barbara Bush is probably actually in Washington, DC in 1989 and not the locker room at Bayside High. This leads them to the obvious conclusion that Zack Morris and Screech must have brainwashed them to go for their hot pubescent bodies instead of desiring to ride through the Massachusetts countryside yelling, “The British are coming!” and decide to get revenge. But Screech better enjoy being imagined naked while he can. After all, it’s probably the last time it’s going to happen.

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The girls recruit Mrs. Wentworth for the project, and, sometime later, Mr. Belding announces he’s going to play Kelly’s Bo Revere tape on the loudspeaker. Jessie runs up and forces herself on Zack Morris and soon all the female extras in the room follow.

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Zack Morris runs out into the hallway and he’s soon latched onto by both Kelly and Lisa, and an even bigger mob of female extras finds him and tries to take off his clothing for an on-the-spot group orgy.

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Slater comes in and Zack Morris thinks he’s there to rescue him, but turns out Slater wants Zack Morris for himself as he’s finally stopped repressing the homoerotic urges that fuel his rivalry with Zack Morris.

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Zack Morris runs into Mr. Belding’s office to get him to turn off the tape, and Mr. Belding also starts flirting with him because everyone loves Zack Morris. Mrs. Wentworth blocks his exit from Mr. Belding’s office with her cougar flirting, and Jessie, Kelly, Slater, and Lisa soon join in. Mrs. Wentworth finally tells Zack Morris that every female student in the school was in on an elaborate revenge plan against him because they all suddenly had the urge to get revenge despite the fact the vast majority of them were unaffected by this week’s plot. She also reveals that the tape Mr. Belding was playing wasn’t Zack Morris’s tape with the subliminal messages on it at all but, rather, a regular tape. Apparently no one at Bayside High had anything better to do that day than help the girls get revenge on Zack Morris. I mean, it’s not like Mrs. Wentworth or Mr. Belding had anything to do that day like teach or run the school or anything.

Mr. Belding tells Zack Morris he’s in deep shit and he better pay him back the $10 and have his mommy in the next day for a good spanking.

So, yeah, this episode is ridiculous and completely unbelievable, but it’s entertaining, and I guess that’s the most I expect from a Saved by the Bell episode at this point. I’m aware that there are more episodes in the future that I will want to rip to shreds so I’m enjoying the ones that are just good, dumb fun while I can.


In case you missed the announcement on Wednesday, I start reviewing Saved by the Bell: The New Class on Monday, so make sure to check it out as I take on the evil, horrible, ugly offspring of the Saved by the Bell franchise!

Good Morning, Miss Bliss…Reviewed

Before I recap Good Morning, Miss Bliss, a few announcements. First of all, I want to thank everyone who’s read, shared, and liked this blog over the past few months. I especially want to thank all of my wonderful commenters who have made this blog extremely fun to do and have given feedback and to TMC for posting about the blog on message boards. I have to admit I’m having a blast doing this blog but you guys really make it worth it.

Earlier this month, I launched Very Special Episode, what I hope will become a network site with pop culture reviews. It’s already launched its first new blog, Gossip Girl Here, a blog reviewing every episode of Gossip Girl one week at a time, written by regular SBTB Reviewed commenter senorbrightside. In the coming weeks, I hope to launch more new features, so be on the look out as I have tons of ideas.

Speaking of other sites, the Saved by the Bell Reviewed podcast, from the writer who brought us Full House Reviewed, launches this Monday. I am looking forward to seeing the similarities and differences between my reviews and theirs and encourage all my readers to support both my project and theirs.

Also, if you like this blog, make sure to support it! There are several ways you can support this blog and they’re found in the right hand column. Of note is the Saved by the Bell…Reviewed Store, where you can buy clothing, DVDs, comics, and books.

And finally, now that Good Morning, Miss Bliss is done, the logical question is what’s next for Mondays? I’ve decided I’m going to continue doing reviews on Monday as I’ve actually enjoyed the variety of doing more than one series at a time. With that in mind, starting this Monday I’ll be doing Saved by the Bell: The New Class. It seems like the logical choice since it requires very little knowledge of the continuity in the Saved by the Bell seasons I haven’t gotten to yet. I’m looking forward to it, though I expect it to be a doozie of a series.

With that, Good Morning, Miss Bliss.


 

GMMB Cast

It’s hard for me to make heads or tails out of what the expectations for Good Morning, Miss Bliss were. The original pilot was aired in a prime time slot and was definitely more adult oriented. Miss Bliss and her husband, Charlie, made several not so subtle references to fucking, and even one of the kids, who were supposed to be eleven, was overly sexual. By the time the Disney Channel picked it up, though, newspaper articles were referring to it as a “children’s show,” and the show definitely was made more low-key, with Charlie and Georgie, the most sexually-explicit characters, written out completely.

It was a grand experiment for its time, though. It marked the first time a series produced by one of the broadcast networks was aired on a cable channel. NBC apparently intended to reair the episodes on Saturday mornings during the summer if Good Morning, Miss Bliss was successful, which would have also been a first. I do wonder how they intended to do a second season had it been renewed. After all, the kids eventually had to grow up and go to another school and they could only transfer Miss Bliss so many times before everyone just stopped believing it.

Unfortunately, this experiment may have been doomed from the beginning. Many today will not remember that the Disney Channel was originally a premium cable channel, similar to HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime. This meant that one did not simply get the channel in their basic cable lineup. No, if you wanted the Disney Channel, you had to pay an extra subscription fee for it, and most viewers opted not to do that. Unlike today when premium cable channels are producing high quality shows, the Disney Channel was relying tremendously on old and repackaged programming, and Good Morning, Miss Bliss was a very expensive project that, given the lack of viewers who would have been able to see it, probably did not make sense to continue.

I tried to find some information on the specifics of why Good Morning, Miss Bliss was cancelled, but I came up empty-handed. Executive producer Peter Engel says in a documentary on the franchise that Disney simply opted not to continue the show after thirteen episodes, and that it was a devastating blow to the cast and crew when they were told.

My question becomes: would Good Morning, Miss Bliss have survived had it remained on NBC, either as a prime time show or a Saturday morning show. My answer, based on my own gut feeling, is possibly. The original pilot showed great promise and we’re all well aware of how Saved by the Bell eventually took off on Saturday mornings. It’s probable that Good Morning, Miss Bliss was cut short because of its relationship to the Disney Channel. It’s a question we will never have a definitive answer to, but I think it would have had a much better chance.

Its treatment since cancellation has been all the more strange. Despite the fact that it takes place in a different school in a different state with some characters who are never mentioned again, Good Morning, Miss Bliss was revamped into episodes of Saved by the Bell, with a voice over by Zack Morris telling us this is him remembering his days in junior high school. Some even consider this its first season. Reader Mark Moore let me know after I lamented in the first review that the series may never be released on DVD that every episode except the pilot is available on Netflix with the Saved by the Bell opening, listed as Season 1 of Saved by the Bell.


Let’s talk characters beginning with the four who continued on to Saved by the Bell.

Zack Morris satisfied

Zack Morris kind of starts out just as an asshole, and not even a selfish asshole, when one of his very first scenes involves deliberately making Screech fall down. But that quickly gives way to a different form of Zack Morris, and most of the characteristics we will later associate with him are present: his scheming, sociopathic tendency to use others to further his own agenda, and his loyal changes of heart at the last minute. Miss Bliss told Zack Morris’s father that he had the greatest untapped potential of all her students and, as much as I made fun of that statement at the time, it does seem true. He’s smart, likable, and can be a good friend, but he’s also lazy, opportunistic, and selfish. It’s hard to know whether I should love him or hate him.

But perhaps no other single episode makes him look more despicable than “Clubs and Cliques,” where he deliberately and intentionally humiliates his friends with no comprehension of the consequences, all to win the approval of some older kids. Really, the argument for Zack Morris as a sociopath could be made from this episode alone. We’ll see him act worse in some episodes of Saved by the Bell, but not much worse. This was about the lowest of the low. But it did give the producers their first opportunity to highlight him with his shirt off.

Zack shirtless


Screech depressed

Screech is intended to be the stereotypical dweeb, but a lovable one, and, in this series at least, I find little reason to dislike him. All the things that will make Screech hated and reviled later in the series are absent or downplayed, and he’s quite harmless in this pre-pubescent form. Even his love of Lisa is downplayed this season, and he even talks about having crushes on others girls rather than just having an obsessive fixation on Lisa. It probably has to do with the fact Dustin Diamond was younger than the rest of the actors, being cast on the show at age eleven.

I guess if they couldn’t bring all five kids over to Saved by the Bell, Screech was a natural choice to bring over. He brought a certain cuteness factor to the show. And, let’s face it, he represents the awkward kid inside all of us trying to find his place in the world. Unfortunately for the show, Dustin Diamond had to grow up eventually and, as we’ll see soon, this awkward shtick wasn’t as enduring when Dustin Diamond continued playing the same character well into his twenties.


Lisa Makeup

There’s not a whole lot to say about Lisa from this series. All the trademark Lisa characteristics are present: her love of fashion, her repulsion to Screech, and her selfish attitude. She’s not completely unlikable as she does come to Screech’s defense in “Showdown” and to Zack Morris’s defense (before he humiliated her) in “Clubs and Cliques.” And her character definitely shows great potential.

The problem during Good Morning, Miss Bliss is that she didn’t have a lot to do. She was really only a major player in a few episodes. In others, she was barely present and relegated to some throw away bits. Lark Voorhies does a great job with the role, but she definitely was more a supporting role to the other characters. I’ll speculate on why I think they kept her in the transition to Saved by a Bell in a moment.


Belding pilot
I have to admit that, out of all the characters, Mr. Belding shows the most character development throughout this series and, though I would have loved them to bring Miss Bliss over to Saved by the Bell, I can kind of understand why they choose Mr. Belding instead. In the pilot, Mr. Belding is played as someone who just doesn’t want to get involved beyond the school day and can’t wait for retirement. Had this been the Mr. Belding that made his way into the series, I have no doubt that Mr. Belding would have been dropped.

Belding cowabunga

But this is the Mr. Belding we have all come to know and love. He very much appreciates having a teacher like Miss Bliss in his building, though he is very self-aware of his own limitations and that sometimes brings jealousy out in him, as in “Clubs and Cliques” when he realized that he is not a good teacher. The fact that he can alternate so easily between straight man and comedy relief made him a shoo in for the Saved by the Bell cast, as they needed someone who could be a foil for the antics of the kids. We begin to see his love/hate relationship with Zack Morris here but it wouldn’t be fully developed until Saved by the Bell.


Bliss film
Can you imagine being fired from your own show? Hayley Mills certainly hasn’t had it easy in her adult career. She became deservedly famous as a child actor playing the leading roles in the original Parent Trap. The child actor curse seems to have found. Disney kept her around for many years playing minor roles in various movies and television shows, but she never really found a big break again. This was intended to be her big break as an adult actress.

And she certainly does shine through. Miss Bliss is warm, caring, and comforting to all those around her, maybe to a fault. From the pilot on, her students are first and foremost in her life, even when it might strain an outside relationship. The students trust her and Mr. Belding trusts her. I would trust her if she were my teacher. I suspect there is some unresolved pain deep down that could have been explored had Good Morning, Miss Bliss continued, but we will never know. It would have been hard to bring her over to Saved by the Bell, but I wish they had attempted it.


Tina clothes

If I wished that Miss Bliss had been brought over to Good Morning, Miss Bliss, I’m very glad that Tina Paladrino was not brought over. She was probably intended to be Miss Bliss’s foil, but she comes off as grating and superfluous. Only one episode really featured her extensively, and she was only seen teaching in one episode (separate episodes, mind you). I can’t figure out what kind of character she was intended to be other than overly-emotional and a kooky dresser.

The actress playing her, Joan Ryan, has kept busy over the years, though. She’s actually done more behind the scenes work than she has been in front of the camera Apparently she’s also an acclaimed singer and stage performer, traits that should have been emphasized in Tina’s characterization here.


Mylo bat

If Tina made me grit my teeth, Mylo Williams made me want to punch my screen. Mylo never has an episode that involves him extensively and he is completely useless in every episode except “The Mentor.” Virtually every scene he was in throughout the series could have been cut without any effect on the rest of the episode. His characteristics seem to be a mixture of jive talking, nosiness, gossiping, and being a stickler for union rules. With all these exciting traits, one sarcastically wonders why Mylo was not brought over to Saved by the Bell.

The actor playing him, T.K. Carter, has had a very strange career in Hollywood. He was an up and comer at the time he appeared on Good Morning, Miss Bliss. He had previously appeared in episodes of shows as diverse as The Waltons, Good Times, 227, and Quincey M.E. His big breaks were recurring roles on Punky Brewster and the cartoon Jem. In the early nineties, he seems to have had a very strange feud with Eddie Murphy in which T.K. Carter claims he was blackballed from Hollywood for stealing Eddie Murphy’s watch. It could be true. He’s mostly had bit roles since Good Morning, Miss Bliss, though he did have recurring roles on The Steve Harvey Show and The Corner as well as quite a bit of voice work. His last acting role was in 2007 in a one-off appearance on Everybody Hates Chris.


Talking Baseball

I know I’ve given the characters of Mikey and Nikki crap, perhaps more than they deserve. Mikey, unlike Slater, who he was replaced with, was shy and sensitive. He was the perfect straight man for Zack Morris and Screech, but the problem is that out of the five kids, he probably had the least to do in the entire series. One episode, “Love Letters,” I had to rewatch to see if he was even in the damned thing. Only one episode focuses heavily on him, and the rest of the time he’s kind of Zack Morris’s lackey.

Nikki was slightly more developed and truly filled the role of rival to Zack Morris that Slater would fill during the first season of Saved by the Bell. In the end she ultimately respects and values Zack Morris and there’s even a hint at romantic interest, but he drives her crazy. She’s smart and athletic and your overall goody good. It’s kind of harsh but it seems like she was ultimately dropped because she wasn’t as conventionally beautiful as Lisa, Kelly, and Jessie.

When it comes down to it, I have a great deal of sympathy for Max Battimo and Heather Hopper. Hollywood can be a tough town and they had to find this out way too soon. Good Morning, Miss Bliss was the big break for both of them: both have only a few bit parts before the show. They took very different paths after Good Morning, Miss Bliss though. Heather Hopper continued acting throughout the late eighties and early nineties, mostly in bit roles. Her biggest success was a supporting role in the film Troop Beverly Hills. Other roles have included “Two Bit Whore” on The Shield and “Surrogate Candidate #1” on Passions. Her childhood was apparently tough, though, as she suffered from anorexia in her late teens. Though her last acting role was in 2004 (her IMDB biography says she gave up acting when she became a mother), she appears to have done some stand-up comedy. I did find this video of her one woman show on YouTube in which she actually turns her stay in a psych ward for anorexia into a comedy routine, and it’s pretty good!

Max Battimo took a different route. He was so hurt by the decision not to bring him over to Saved by the Bell that he quit acting completely. He’s found his passion, though. After Good Morning, Miss Bliss, he found he loved ice hockey and, today, he is an official in college hockey. But he’s still occasionally recognized for his brief acting career. There’s an anecdote told by an ESPN writer in which Battimo was attempting to explain a penalty to the head coach of the University of Denver. The coach just smiled at him and said, “Saved by the Bell, huh.”


There’s not much continuity or character development to speak of through these episodes. Each is self-contained with a dilemma that’s solved by the end of the episode. Even brief mentions of character traits that could have been explored in a very interesting way, such as the death of Miss Bliss’s husband or Lisa sneaking behind her parents’ backs to wear make-up, were never explored. I would like to think that they would have been had the show continued. After all, the final episode was basically a lot of explaining of where Miss Bliss’s passion for teaching comes from. And, though many of the character traits developed for Zack Morris, Screech, Lisa, and Mr. Belding during these episodes will be carried over to Saved by the Bell, nothing that happens in any of these episodes will. It’s a definite alternate universe in which Zack Morris is a good ‘ole corn-fed Hoosier boy, and the attempt to shoe horn these episodes into Saved by the Bell is, I feel, wrong-headed and futile. Good Morning, Miss Bliss should be watched, critiqued, and appreciated on its own merits. While it may have given birth to the franchise, it is its own entity.


Bliss Belding High Five

At the end of the day, the question that must be asked is whether Good Morning, Miss Bliss was a good show or not. My answer is it depends on your standards. There have certainly been better shows. The Wonder Years premiered at the same time as Good Morning, Miss Bliss and set the standard for the coming of age comedy series. It certainly hasn’t gone down as one of the great shows that was cancelled too soon. It has its flaws: contrived and overly moralistic plots, unlikable supporting characters, inconsistent writing, and a team that seemed to know nothing about the setting. And there are certain episodes that I despise, especially “Wall Street” and “Let’s Get Together.”

However, there have been much worse shows, some of them premiering around the same time as Good Morning, Miss Bliss. Full House makes Good Morning, Miss Bliss look like Citizen Kane by comparison. And there isn’t anything particularly harmful in Good Morning, Miss Bliss. Overall, I can understand why the producers and NBC believed in it enough to revamp it into Saved by the Bell: it’s a harmless family comedy essentially about the pains of growing up. Junior high is a time many of us have negative memories of and wouldn’t want to repeat. If we were lucky, we had a group of friends like Zack Morris, Screech, Lisa, Nikki, and Mikey, each with their own flaws but, at the end of the day, each coming through as a true friend and comforter.

If we’re lucky, we still have friends like that today. And hopefully we had a teacher who gave a damn about us like Miss Bliss, for all her flaws, gave for her students.

GMMB Bliss and Kids


My Picks
Every recap I’ll have a list of my favorite and least favorite episodes of the season. I encourage you to agree or disagree with my picks in the comments section!

Five Episodes I Loved:

  1. “Parents and Teachers” (Episode 5): The chemistry between Miss Bliss and Peter Morris was apparent but even more apparent was Miss Bliss’s care for her students and that she wanted Zack Morris to know that she cares about him. Hayley Mills really shined in this and it was this episode that made me decide I wished she had been brought over to Saved by the Bell.
  2. “Summer Love” (Episode 1): This episode highlights Zack Morris just being a stupid teenager trying to get along in the world. He does something we probably all did at one point or another, lie for love, and, though he’s being selfish here, it’s not the borderline sociopathic selfishness he’ll display later on.
  3. Original Pilot: What can I say? I’m a sucker for this episode. The chemistry between Hayley Mills and Jonathan Brandis is so good that it’s a shame he wasn’t brought over for the series proper. In addition, I actually liked Charlie Davis because he brought to the surface a conflict between Miss Bliss’s personal and professional lives that is apparent later but largely unquestioned.
  4. “Save the Last Dance for Me” (Episode 7): I was very critical of this one the first time around but have since come to realize it’s pretty realistic of the conflicts I witnessed from my middle school days. Though the ending is obviously shoehorned in and forced, Zack Morris, for once, is the bigger man despite the fact he technically did nothing wrong, and his actions save his friendship with Mikey.
  5. “Love Letters” (Episode 2): Eighth grade Screech is considerably less annoying than he will be the longer he’s associated with this franchise, and he’s actually a bit endearing in this episode as the underdog desperate to impress the girl he loves. It’s definitely a crush in this episode and not the sort of stalking and creepy behavior we’ll see him display towards Lisa in Saved by the Bell.

Three Episodes I Hated:

This was a hard list for me because there are so many lousy episodes during this series that I could have easily named most of the ones not in the episodes I loved list. “Showdown” and “The Boy Who Cried Rat” are definite runners-up for this list. But, in the end, it comes down to personal preference, and these are the episodes I have chosen.

  1. “Let’s Get Together” (Episode 9): Good god this was a horrible episode, partly because it focused so heavily on Tina, who makes Zack Morris look normal by comparison. The endings to both conflicts are completely forced and, in the case of the Zack Morris/Nikki conflict, custom tailored to Miss Bliss’s standards for an A on the project.
  2. “Wall Street” (Episode 3): This one almost made the number one spot because I hated it almost as much. Zack Morris does something utterly despicable and he gets no punishment for it because Miss Bliss feels guilty for yelling at the kids. La di da, get over it, punish the kids, and give us a believable ending rather than one that involves selling potatoes.
  3. “Stevie” (Episode 11): I know some people love this episode but, from the unrealistic premise of a pop singer coming to sing at JFK to her actually staying with her former teacher and the creepy kissing of a fourteen year old by a seventeen year old, I found this episode to be very disturbing. The horrible music video did not help at the end and I still maintain that, if they wanted to do an episode on a pop singer, they should have found a pop singer, even an up and comer.

Good Morning, Miss Bliss: Original Pilot

Yeah, you didn’t really think I’d forget about this one, did you?

I have so been looking forward to doing this episode, but I put off doing it until the end because, frankly, it’s only loosely related to the Saved by the Bell universe. The only character who appeared in this pilot who would be carried over to Saved by the Bell is Mr. Belding, and he’s played by a different actor and even has a different first name here. But I’m actually quite impressed with the casting of the pilot. In fact, the pilot has only been aired one time and has never been rebroadcast, and was not a part of the Saved by the Bell syndicated package. It’s a miracle we have a copy of it at all and, despite the bad quality, I’m just thankful that someone, somewhere actually taped it.

A little background: NBC commissioned a pilot for Good Morning, Miss Bliss in 1987. In an interesting move that I can’t remember ever happening before, NBC aired the pilot in prime time before the series had even been ordered. On July 11, 1987, the world was introduced to Good Morning, Miss Bliss in the time slot normally reserved for The Facts of Life, which was never a ratings powerhouse for NBC but always got respectable numbers. I’ve not been able to find ratings for this airing of the pilot but it’s safe to assume that, even in the summer months, it got some pretty good exposure.

GMMB Pilot Title

So let’s talk about the episode. Our opening is dramatically different from the one used during the actual series. Our opening is essentially a set of drawings of Miss Bliss during various times in her academic career overlaid with the credits.

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Bliss pilot opening 2

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The song is different, too: this song is upbeat like “These are the Best of Times,” but that’s about the extent of the similarity. It makes me appreciate “These are the Best of Times” all the more as the choice of opening song for the series.

Now I said that the cast was almost completely changed after the pilot so I’ll be indicating where it appears they originally intended a character to be a regular.

We open at unnamed grade school (yes, grade school, as established by Mr. Belding later on in the episode) where Miss Bliss is greeting students on the first day of school. One girl is really upset because she grew really tall over the summer. Another is breaking school rules by having headphones on at school but he argues that it’s alright because it’s Beethoven, which Miss Bliss totally buys. Maybe Zack Morris just was trying too hard and should have tried more believable excuses.

Georgie

As Miss Bliss is about to enter her room, we meet the first kid who was evidently supposed to be a regular, Georgie Winslow (Matt Shakman). Georgie, though the power of exposition, lets us know this is the first day of sixth grade for the class and that he’s been looking forward to Miss Bliss’s class so that he could perv on her legs inappropriately. Strange enough, Miss Bliss likes this. Creepy.

Janet

In the classroom, we meet our female students, Janet Hillhurst (Britton Elliott), who is telling another female student, Wendy (Samantha Mills) about how she is wearing a bra despite the fact she doesn’t need it. This is a strange gag, especially since it has nothing to do with the rest of the episode.

Georgie Bobby

Next, we see Georgie trade sandwiches with Bobby Wilson, played by…OH MY GOD IT’S MOTHER FUCKING STEVE URKEL!!!! Yes, that’s right. It’s Jaleel White before he became famous on Family Matters, ironically befriending someone else named Winslow! Jaleel White on Saved by the Bell…just imagine the possibilities!

Adam

Our next student is dressed in a business suit, carries a briefcase, and hands Miss Bliss a business card: “Adam Montcrief, Student.” And he’s played by…Brian Austin Green! Wow, another actor who would become famous just a few years later! In case you don’t remember him, he became famous for playing the incredibly hot geek eternally chasing Tori Spelling in Beverly Hills, 90210. Apparently, Adam was intended to be the lead student originally, the Zack Morris type. It’s probably a good thing they switched to Zack Morris because I can’t imagine this character being terribly interesting.

Miss Bliss tells the students she had a terrific summer in which she got married and she’s now Mrs. Davis, but will still go by Miss Bliss at school, completely rendering that line meaningless. Georgie nearly bursts out in tears over Miss Bliss marrying someone her own age rather than an eleven year old, and I continue to think this is the creepiest kid in the entire series, even creepier than the bully who was twenty years old in “Showdown.”

And in walks our final student, a tough kid with an attitude almost immediately. He takes his seat and props his foot up on a chair in front of him. Miss Bliss tells the class she has three rules: do your best, come to her if you have any problems, and you don’t put your motherfucking feet up in the motherfucking chair.

Michael feet

The assignment for tomorrow is a written essay on the most important person in their lives which I’m sure won’t play into the plot at all. Wendy wants to know if it has to be a real person or if it can be one of the kids on The Cosby Show and I wished it was a few years later so Miss Bliss could reply, “Only if it’s about Raven-Symoné.”

Now Miss Bliss wants the students to tell us about their summers, and we first get Bobby, who tells us his father packed his family into a minivan and drove cross country. Thrilling stuff. Our tough guy student pops a bubble with his gum and Miss Bliss decides that he’s a volunteer.

Michael gum

His name is Michael Thompson and he just moved to Indianapolis. And he thinks it’s the pits, which, as a person from Indiana, I agree with him on one hundred percent. He’s played by Jonathan Brandis, who was most famous for being in The Never-Ending Story II and seaQuest DSV. And, before I get comments on it, I’m very aware he tragically killed himself a few years ago. I have a lot of compassion for him and his family. He was a very talented and underrated actor and it’s terrible that anyone should get to the point they decide to kill themselves.

After a cut, it’s time for lunch and Miss Bliss stops Michael on the way out. She tells him that she’s the head honcho in this class and he better fucking get on board before the spankings ensue. He’s like, “Yeah, whatever.” She says she knows something’s up and she wants to help him but Michael’s all, “Fuck off and mind your own business lady!” and walks out to lunch.

Tina

And then in walks ‘ole Miss Tina Paladrino, in this iteration played by Maria O’Brien. This Tina is dressed even shittier than the Tina we’ve come to know and loathe, and she’s apparently just got back from a summer in Europe where she was almost engaged twice. Miss Bliss tells Tina she got married on a whim this past summer and it’s apparently the first Tina’s heard of it. Yeah, apparently this Miss Bliss is much more spontaneous than the Miss Bliss we know.

Lonnie Maple

In the office, we meet our next character, Lonnie Maple (Julie Ronnie), Mr. Belding’s secretary. It might have actually been nice to have Mr. Belding’s secretary as an actual character rather than a background extra. I can imagine many scenarios she could have been involved in. Alas, though, we’ll never know, as she only gets one scene in the pilot and it isn’t a crucial scene.

Belding pilot

Miss Bliss comes in and snoops around Mr. Belding’s files looking for Michael’s file as Mr. “Gerald” Belding enters and tells Lonnie that someone has already written graffiti about him in the boy’s restroom. And this Mr. Belding looks much different, being played here by Oliver Clark.

Mr. Belding sees Miss Bliss in his files and tells her to back off his confidential information that his secretary is just letting anyone who walks in read. She tells him that she has a student who needs her and Mr. Belding is like, “Girl, you gots some boundary issues! Go back up off those students and relax before you give me a migraine!” This Mr. Belding has already been more useful to Miss Bliss than the other Mr. Belding was in thirteen episodes.

Charlie Davis

We cut to Miss Bliss’s house and meet our last main character, Miss Bliss’s husband, Charlie Davis (Charles Siebert), as he’s moving his things into Miss Bliss’s house, some of which she’s shocked to discover include a parachute, a chair, and a pinball machine as the writers obviously want to emphasize how little Miss Bliss knows about Charlie. And there’s a quick gag where Miss Bliss gets stuck in Charlie’s chair.

Charlie Bliss chair

The doorbell rings and who should it be but Tina, dressed as Ursa from Superman II, who wanted to just come over and meet Charlie unannounced. And boy am I glad they didn’t keep this Tina. She makes me appreciate the Tina we knew for thirteen episodes, and I hate her for that.

Tina Charlie

The doorbell rings again and it’s a flower delivery man. It’s fucking dark outside. Why is someone delivering flowers this late? In any case, the flowers are from Georgie, who manages to be creepy even off camera.

And, because the whole fucking city is showing up at Miss Bliss’s house tonight, the doorbell rings again and it’s Michael. This happened in “Summer Love” too. How the hell do Miss Bliss’s students find out where she lives on the first day of school in the thirteenth largest city in the nation? Does she hand them business cards like Adam, except they say, “Miss Carrie Bliss, Boundary Crosser?”

Michael at the door

Michael says he’s running away. His brother is dying and we cut to commercial break as Miss Bliss embraces Michael.

Michael Bliss hug

The next morning Charlie finds Miss Bliss already up and making breakfast.He wants to know where she was last night because he was looking for some hot fucking and she says she never came to bed because she was staying up cuddling with Michael until he fell asleep. Wait, say what?! She let a student spend the night at her house?! I think she just took boundary crossing to a new, weird place!

Charlie gets pissy because Miss Bliss has a PTA meeting that night and he wanted some poon. He says he always thought being a teacher ended at 3:00 and walks out angry when she says her boundary issues are significant enough that she can’t just turn off being a teacher when the bell rings, and Michael comes into the kitchen.

Michael no

Miss Bliss tells Michael that she spoke to his mom and she really wants to talk to him. He doesn’t want to talk to her because he feels like they’ve been lying to him about how sick his brother really was, and I’m with him on this. I get that this shit is hard to deal with, but it’s kind of insulting and scaring to not let someone know that a loved one is actually dying and not getting better. Miss Bliss tells Michael they were just trying to spare his feelings, and he needs to deal with them, to which he blows up and walks out. I do wonder why the family just moved to Indianapolis if Michael’s brother is dying. Maybe that would have been explained to us eventually. Maybe he was there for treatment. Or maybe the writers just didn’t give two shits about a pilot they didn’t know would be picked up.

Then, for some reason, Charlie’s pinball machine is delivered to the back door. I don’t get why so many people randomly went through backyards in eighties sitcoms. And why would you take a delivery to the backdoor anyway?

At school, Michael is conspicuously absent. Georgie and Bobby exchange sandwiches again, because that’s apparently their thing. Miss Bliss comes in and it’s time to read the essays. Janet gets started and, of all people, the most important person in her life is David Lee Roth. I’m just going to shake my head at this one. It may be the last time someone felt that way about David Lee Roth.

Bradley

And, from what I gather, this unnamed boy is supposed to be Bradley, and he was intended to be a regular student in the class, despite the fact he wasn’t introduced earlier. He’s played by Gabriel Damon, who had a number of bit roles in the eighties and nineties in various shows and movies. Here, his only purpose is to antagonize Janet during her report and declare that Ozzy Osbourne is hella better than David Lee Roth. Hey, you can’t fault him for his musical taste.

Adam report

We cut to Adam, whose fifteen minute report was on why Ronald Reagan shows us that old people can be useful, too. No joking. It’s quite obvious that most of Adam’s characteristics are ripped directly off Alex Keaton from Family Ties. Georgie is next and he’s about to read an inappropriate report on Miss Bliss but she shuts him down before he can talk about her naughty bits.

Michael Bliss report

Michael comes in and asks if he can read his report, which he wrote on his brother. He gets emotional during the delivery so Miss Bliss gets touchy feely and helps him read it.

Charlie school

That night, Charlie meets Miss Bliss at school, apologizing for being such a jackass and they’ll just get it on at her convenience instead. Georgie comes walking in as they make out and Charlie finally gets to meet the creepy kids who’s trying to usurp his wife. Georgie wants his flowers back because he wants to give them to Janet but, instead, Charlie pays him $30 for them. Weirdness all around.

Charlie Georgie

Charlie says he’s just going to have to get used to being married to all her students as well, which is kind of a creepy thing to say. And Charlie and Miss Bliss walk out arm in arm, as we conclude the pilot.

This isn’t a bad start to the series and I wonder what it would have been like if they’d kept these characters. There’s very little hint here for me as to what this series would eventually become in Saved by the Bell and it seems a much more mature show than the series we got on The Disney Channel. Amazingly, the kids also feel less one dimensional to me, with the possible exception of Adam. One of the criticisms of Saved by the Bell is that all six characters are completely one dimensional and based on one character trait each. We actually have some complexity here and Michael displays some character growth in the very first episode, even if it is forced. That’s quite impressive. And, of course, it has Steve Mother Fucking Urkel in it! In any case, Jaleel White, Brian Austin Green, and Jonathan Brandis each went on to do bigger and better things. Considering the career killer being on Saved by the Bell was for most of the cast, it’s probably better for their careers that they didn’t stick around.

Some fans have tried to place this series in the continuity of the rest of Good Morning, Miss Bliss, arguing it takes place a year before the series since Zack Morris once stated that Miss Bliss’s husband died. It’s a pilot, though, and obviously not meant to be taken as a part of the series proper since it’s never been reaired. I think, though, the best thing I can possibly say, though, is, to paraphrase Mystery Science Theater 3000, it’s just a show so you should relax.


And that’s really it this time for Good Morning, Miss Bliss. I’ll have a recap of the series this Wednesday along with an announcement of what’s next on Mondays.

Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 13: “The Election”

Agh, the bad version of the theme song, which I’ve come to find out via the comments section is the original season one theme before syndication, is back! Someone please make it go away, far, far, away!

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Despite the end of the season only being a few episodes away, it’s time for student class elections, and I’m beginning to realize that Zack Morris’s hair can be used as an indicator of which episodes are out of order. Of course, Jessie is running for student body president, and she’s apparently the only person named Jessie at Bayside as her poster doesn’t even bother to give her last name. I guess this makes sense with all those nameless extras running around. Only someone with a name is important in the Saved by the Bell universe! Zack Morris thinks this is pretty square because only geeks and nerds would think of making a difference in anyone’s life but their own. Jessie says she’s trying desperately to be as successful as her mother was in the sixties and that running for student body president of her high school is the best way to go.

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This is Mr. Dewey, another of our recurring teachers. The guy who plays him has been in a ton of shit over the years, most often doing his best impression of a slightly more upbeat Ben Stein who isn’t bat shit crazy over creationism. Of course, Mr. Dewey is serving as faculty adviser for the student body government, but what I want you to notice here is the extra in between Zack Morris and Mr. Dewey, who is doing his best to pretend to talk to that other extra but just keeps nodding his head semi-regularly as if that constitutes talking, or acting. And these people wonder why they’re relegated to the background.

Zack Morris overhears Mr. Dewey and Mr. Belding discuss the fact that they’ve received funding for the principal and the adviser to accompany the student body president on a surprise week long trip to Washington, DC and Zack Morris is suddenly all, “Read my lips!” But most disturbingly, we find out Mr. Belding and his wife were once arrested for skinny dipping in the Potomac. That’s an image I didn’t want in my mind.

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In class, no one can believe Zack Morris is running for student body president but Mr. Dewey celebrates Zack Morris’s entrance into the race in his own special way.

vlcsnap-2014-02-15-10h43m14s33At The Max, Jessie and Zack Morris are giving their campaign speeches, and I tuned out for most of them, but this is what I can imagine was said:

Jessie: Female power! Puppies and kittens and unicorns! Save the dolphins! Big government out of my uterus!

Zack Morris: Yo, I’m Zack Morris! Vote for me!

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Jessie asks Max who he’s supporting, because the support of the guy who runs the restaurant you hang out at really matters. Max reveals that he not only has Jessie’s picture posted on his crotch but that he also believes she has a penis.

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When Jessie is done, though, Max reveals he’s playing both sides of the field when he reveals Zack Morris’s face over his schom-long-doobly.

Lisa wants to be Jessie’s campaign manager and Jessie initially balks until she realizes that Lisa has half the student body under her mind control spell and decides this might be useful if she needs to plan a coup against the Morris Administration. But Kelly isn’t so sure.

vlcsnap-2014-02-15-10h45m23s55Kelly wants to hear both sides before she decides who to vote for and ignores Jessie’s impassioned pleas of, “We both have vaginae!” Did you know the plural of vagina is vaginae? I didn’t until spell check corrected me. Boy, the things you learn from watching Saved by the Bell!

Zack Morris reveals to the worst person possible person about the real reason he’s in the election: Screech. He asks Screech to get some brochures for him on Washington, DC from his mom’s travel agency, and I’m willing to bet we never hear about this travel agency again.

vlcsnap-2014-02-15-10h46m57s230Zack Morris is disturbed to find out that Slater is backing Jessie despite the fact they both have penes. Boy, I’m just learning all kinds of facts about the human reproductive organs in this review although in this case “penises” is also acceptable but penes sounds so much cooler. I’ll have to remember to say that in conversation, as in, “My three penes are massively big and thick, not like Zack Morris’s tiny one-piece.”

vlcsnap-2014-02-15-10h48m34s188I guess it’s supposed to be later because Slater and Screech quite literally run into each other and Screech drops a bag full of Washington, DC brochures. Slater’s all, “What the fuck is up wit dis, yo? You goin’ to our nation’s capital?” And Screech is all, “You can’t make me talk unless you are violent against me.” So Slater solves his problems with his fist by hoisting Screech up to the top of the lockers, at which point he’s all, “Good show, chap! They’re for Zack Morris. Now please lower me before I eject my hamburger from lunch all over your stupid looking hair.”

vlcsnap-2014-02-15-10h49m03s210Remember when I said I didn’t need a picture of Mr. Belding skinny dipping in the Potomac? Well, imagine that it looks worse than this picture. Good god man! It’s no wonder that teachers nowadays aren’t allowed to use the same restrooms or showers or locker rooms as their students. It’s all because of Mr. Belding’s chubby hairy belly!

Anyway, Slater finds Mr. Belding in this disturbing condition and, after flirting with him a bit, tells him he hopes he has a good time in Washington, DC. Mr. Belding is all, “How the hell did you find out?” And Slater says Zack Morris told him. Mr. Belding’s all, “So Zack Morris is only in it for himself? That’s news! I’m going to go take care of him now!” And Mr. Belding makes a remark about Zack Morris sucking like a vacuum cleaner, which I don’t want to know how he knows about.

In Mr. Dewey’s class, Zack Morris has a campaign video to show the class and we’re also told that Jessie’s middle name is Myrtle, thus relegating her to spinster status for eternity.

Zack Morris’s campaign, much like some recent American presidential campaigns, is all propaganda, with Zack Morris calling himself a true American, comparing himself to Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, and showing pictures of himself as a funny looking toddler and an even funnier looking child with outdated seventies style haircuts. You’ve come a long way, Mark-Paul.

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vlcsnap-2014-02-15-10h52m10s44Zack Morris also has the support of boxing great Rocky’s cardboard cut-out.

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And…who the hell is this supposed to be? I have to admit I don’t know enough about eighties pop music to even know who this is and she isn’t identified. But, whoever she is, her cardboard cut out supports Zack Morris!

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Zack Morris also has the support of President George H.W. Bush’s Photoshopped picture.

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And, of course, Lassie.

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And, oh, if only this were Screech’s deathbed, he could die while he was still likable.

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Nine out of ten mistranslated Soviet leaders also support Zack Morris.

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As well as mistranslated dictators from countries American citizens can’t legally enter who want Zack Morris to shave them. Eeew…

Kelly declares that Zack Morris’s propaganda video is shitty and that she’s now supporting Jessie. And Mr. Belding comes in to let Zack Morris know that he knows that he knows about the Washington, DC trip and that it’s off due to lack of funding.

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Zack Morris declares that the only way out of this quandary without letting Mr. Belding know his true, selfish motives is to get Jessie to beat him.

Slater, Lisa, and Kelly tell Jessie she has to change her image to win this election because she’s a fucking non-charismatic loser whom nobody but the three of them will vote for.

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For some reason, the debate is occurring in Mr. Dewey’s class with only our usual extras seeing it because the producers didn’t feel like paying for an auditorium set. Zack Morris tells the class that he’s learned a thing or two from Fidel Castro’s endorsement and he’s decided to impose dictatorial-like demands on the school should he be elected.

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Jessie comes in dressed as and acting like a Valley girl and goes all Clueless on their asses with promises of MTV and trips to the mall and parties and no homework and other things that stereotypical eighties teenagers like.

Zack Morris meanwhile enlists Screech to start a smear campaign against him with rumors such as Zack Morris takes ballet lessons and Zack Morris is Mr. Belding’s son. Boy, this mud slinging is getting intense! Meanwhile, Kelly is whoring herself out for votes for Jessie, quite literally, as she’s promised eight guys a sweet gang bang on Friday if they voted for Jessie.

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And, of course, our stereotypical nerds wet themselves over a Zack Morris photo that Screech has defaced because it obviously proves Zack Morris is one of them.

The next day the results are in and Zack Morris has beaten Jessie by one vote but, more importantly, he beat Jason Bateman, ALF, Gilligan, and the Skipper. Boy, that must have been one hell of a race! Mr. Belding congratulates Zack Morris and tells him that the trip was never cancelled, that he was only being tested to see if he was a selfish little shit, and Zack Morris feels guilty as he realizes, “Hey, that’s me, the selfish little shit!”

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Zack Morris comes in through Jessie’s window and says he feels like shit that he took the position that was so important to her for such selfish reasons but, rather than simply leaving town, he’s going to go to Mr. Belding and tell him the truth so that Jessie can be president. Jessie reveals she stole Zack Morris’s teddy bear when they were toddlers, obviously making them even, and everything is resolved with a hug and a declaration that they’ll always be friends forever, even when Jessie takes her clothes off for a shitty NC-17 rated film.

Firsts: Mr. Dewey, Jessie’s middle name (Myrtle).


In case you don’t follow my Monday Good Morning, Miss Bliss posts, I reviewed the final episode of the series on Monday. This Monday, I’ll have a final, bonus post on Good Morning, Miss Bliss and, on Wednesday, I’ll have a recap of Good Morning, Miss Bliss as well as an announcement of what’s next for this site on Mondays, so make sure to check it out if you want to know what to expect in two weeks!