This episode wastes no time in getting right to the plot as we open with Mr. Belding telling the employees of the country club that there will be a members verses employees tournament Sunday and, if the employees win, the members will serve them for a day. Gee, I wonder what’s going to happen. I’m in such suspense.
Mr. Harrington randomly pulls up to talk smack about the employees and we find out that, in the seven years he has been club president, the members have never lost. GEE, I WONDER WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN? I mean it’s not like this plot is completely cliché and has been done a thousand times, including on the original series. Oh, and I’m fast seeing that they’re playing Alison off as a character who thinks Screech can do no wrong and her father can do no right.
Playing tennis will be Brian and Rachel. Rachel sucks ass so Brian is there to give her some lessons. Riveting stuff let me tell you. Screech comes up with a letter from Rachel’s boyfriend, David, which begs the question why Rachel’s now getting her mail at the country club. As she runs off to stroke her lady boner that David remembers she exists, we get what’s intended to be a comedy scene with the ball machine breaking and throwing lots of balls at Screech. I bet it’s not the first time he’s had lots of balls thrown at him.
Rachel comes back upset because David has decided not to come home this summer and is, instead, going to Europe. Rachel tells us she only took this job because David is a member here, which is the first we’ve heard of this, and decides she needs to quit since there’s no other reason to have a summer job than seeing your boyfriend.
Meanwhile, our swim team consists of Lindsay, Megan, and Bobby, who does a pratfall into the water, supposedly because he was stung by a bee. Once again, such exciting stuff. I’m so glad I get to review this series every week for the next six seasons. Please ignore the sobbing you may now be hearing.
Meanwhile, we have Snotty McSnotty-Pants over here, aka Todd, whose sole purpose in this episode is to provide conflict as he wants Lindsay and thinks Tommy D is too working class for her.
Tommy D is apparently supposed to be on the swim team as well, but it appears as if no one bothered to check and see if he could swim before they signed him up for said team. That would be something you should find out, and it’s interesting that even Lindsay doesn’t know this. Their relationship is such a close, special bond.
Mr. Belding is practicing golf against Mr. Harrington when Screech comes in and conveniently mows him down with a golf cart, putting him out of the tournament. Alison suggests Screech fill in and, despite the fact that we just saw last week that Screech knows how to properly swing a golf club, he does one of the weird little Screech-isms the writers of The New Class have him do when they’re desperately trying to get a laugh by having him swing the club every which way over his head like a mad man and still manage to hit the ball nearly to the hole. It’s a miracle, almost like a contrivance if you will!
After the commercials, Brian is upset that Rachel is quitting and venting his frustration about how it will impact him to Bobby because everything is about Brian and how he feels. Brian decides to send Rachel a telegram pretending that it’s from David to convince her to stay since it’s the 1890s and telegrams are the popular mode of communication for high school students and Casey Kasem.
Meanwhile, everyone is ragging on Tommy D because he can’t swim. Now, ready to confuse the timeline of these episodes even more? Mr. Belding says that Little Zack is three and can surf despite the fact that we saw Little Zack last season as a baby. WHEN THE FUCKING FUCK ARE THESE EPISODES SUPPOSED TO TAKE PLACE? It makes my head hurt!
Alison comes up and strokes Screech’s ego a little more about the golf game as Mr. Harrington comes up and invites Screech to dinner with them because he was impressed. Oh, and Mr. Harrington refuses to allow them to substitute anyone for Tommy D because it would be against the rules.
The natural course of action is to teach Tommy D to swim in less than a week using a paddle board and floaties. At the same time, this random little girl is beating him at swimming because he sucks ass.
The first person Rachel naturally sees after receiving the telegram is Brian because plot. She tells him the telegram solved all her angst because David is coming home which means she now has a reason to be at the club for the summer.
Todd comes up and talks some more smack about Tommy D, which causes Tommy D to magically be able to swim. It’s a Christmas in July miracle!
At dinner, Mr. Harrington is practically sucking Screech’s dick as he laughs at Screech’s unfunny jokes and proposes toasts to his new best friend forever. As Mr. Harrington gets up to clean up some wine Screech spills on him, a random club member tells Mr. Harrington he hears that Screech might beat Mr. Harrington in the tournament, to which Mr. Harrington replies that Screech will do anything for him. Anything.
It’s finally time for the games to begin.
And they start the tournament with the tee off of the golf portion. Naturally, Screech is already beating Mr. Harrington.
In tennis, Brian and Rachel are losing badly so Brian sabotages their opponents’ game by pointing out to the wife of the team that her husband isn’t letting her hit any balls because she’s a woman and women folk suck ass at tennis.
This pisses her off and she starts trying to hit every ball but she really does suck ass, giving Brian and Rachel a new advantage.
Meanwhile, Mr. Harrington, the great stickler of rules, is moving Screech’s ball to force him to take a penalty stroke and none of the dozens of spectators seem to notice. Screech has the power of contrivance on his side, though, and still manages to hit the ball toward the green despite it being behind a tree.
In tennis, Brian and Rachel win because their opponents can’t stop arguing over who gets to hit the ball.
In swimming, Tommy D’s magical swimming abilities aren’t enough to allow the employees to win the swimming portion of the competition. Todd talks some more smack and Lindsay calls him a loser and pushes him in the pool, because that’s perfect revenge.
Mr. Belding tells us the scores are tied and it’s all down to the golf event.
Good god, I never wanted to see Screech shake his ass while he is playing golf. That was definitely on my list of things I never wanted to see.
But, yeah, the golf game is down to the next stroke…for some reason. Mr. Harrington misses an easy shot. He tells Screech that he has to miss the next shot on purpose or he’ll never let Screech see Alison again because Alison is a woman and women are the property of their fathers until they are married off, at which time they become property of their husbands.
But, yeah, of course Screech makes the hole and the employees win.
Rachel says she’s glad she didn’t quit and Bobby accidentally lets out he knew what was in the telegram despite the fact that she didn’t tell him about it. Brian confesses that he wrote the telegram and, instead of telling Brian to fuck off and quit trying to interfere in her relationship, Rachel tells Brian she thinks it’s touching that he wants to stalk her all summer and tells him she’s staying.
Alison finds out her father’s scheme and tells him he lost fair and square and to load Screech’s bags onto the golf cart.
And we end our episode with Screech and Alison riding away on the back of the cart as Alison asks Screech what he wants her to do for him since she’s also a member of the club. NO, END THE EPISODE NOW! I DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT WHAT SCREECH WANTS ALISON TO DO FOR HIM!
When I recapped season one, I alluded to the fact that there were more episodes produced for that season than the sixteen I reviewed. NBC ordered a total of twenty episodes for season one but, for reasons that are beyond me, chose to shelf four of those episodes. They aired all four episodes later on, two during season two and two during season four. Because I’ve chosen to take a look at the episodes in order of airing, I am treating them as episodes of season two and season four and referring to them as “out of season episodes.”
It’s painfully obvious these episodes do not belong with seasons two and four. The cast, especially Zack Morris and Screech, are noticeably younger, and Max is still in the cast. But they’re there so let’s take a look at the first of these out of season episodes.We open in the only classroom in the school, where Zack Morris is directing a student film using the school’s new video camera. Jessie is playing a school teacher because all teachers dress like Ma Ingals from Little House on the Prairie.
Slater is acting as camera man while lots of extras sit around looking bored in the background for no discernible reason.Zack Morris cues the hideous creature and…oh my god that is a hideous creature! Why, that thing is the stuff nightmares are made of! Oh, yeah, of course it’s just Mr. Belding butting in to give us some exposition about how the camera is expensive so he just decided to let a bunch of teenagers use it on a whim. Gee, I hope this doesn’t play into the plot in like a minute.
The real hideous creature comes in and I actually think it would be more hideous without the makeup. Like Screech just looks like the Jolly Green Giant glued a bunch of fake eyeballs to his forehead. Hey, they still have better production values than Birdemic. But, yeah, the Screech alien sucks Jessie’s brains out through a giant straw.
Oh and Kelly’s role in the film is to deliver exposition by jumping around and cheering her lines, because that’s totally how cheerleaders act all the time.Lisa comes in playing the school nurse and delivers oh so important exposition about Jessie’s brains being sucked out because a school nurse can totally diagnose conditions just by moving a person’s head around in circles.
The Screech alien tries to suck out Lisa’s brains for dessert but Lisa resorts to physical violence and punches the Screech alien in the straw, causing it to chip a tooth. Zack Morris calls cut and gets hella mad that they’re going off script. In the process, he accidentally knocks the camera out of Slater’s hands.
That was either one hell of a fall or one delicate camera. Falling on the ground caused the eye piece to fall off, the battery to come off, the cassette to eject itself, and tape in the cassette to come out, not to mention the random exposing of wires. If I didn’t know better, I’d say this was horribly contrived in an attempt to convince us that one fall to the ground damaged the camera beyond repair!
In Zack Morris’s room, Jessie is freaking out because her reputation is at sake as “President of the School.” Yeah, I’m not making that one up. The writers actually had her say she was president of the school. Does this mean Slater is her first lady? Kelly says the best thing to do is to buy a new camera but Slater says the camera costs $1,200 because…Slater just happened to know how much the camera costs? I don’t know.
Meanwhile, Screech is reading The Weekly Babbler, a rip-off of Weekly World News. For those who don’t remember, Weekly World News was a trashy tabloid that was sold at supermarket checkout lines to really gullible people filled with supposed paranormal and supernatural headlines. They were most famous for a series of articles on a supposed bat boy but my favorite was always the one that claimed Hitler, JFK, and Elvis were all alive somewhere and hanging out, despite the fact that Hitler would have been 120 years old at the time.
Zack Morris sees an ad that offers to pay $1,500 for the best picture of an alien. They all get the same idea with the implication that they’re going to take pictures of Screech in his alien costume.
Back at Bayside, Jessie dresses like the Swiss Miss girl in an effort to elude Mr. Belding. She’s supposed to be Spanish or Mexican or some shit here, but her fake accent sounds nothing like either a Spanish or a Mexican accent so the entire getup is, as usual, complete and utter bull shit.
We find out that Mr. Belding has been bugging Jessie for the return of the camera. He finds her but she manages to convince him that her name is “Maria Tortilla” until Zack Morris comes in and ruins the clever ruse. It’s been a week since the last scene and Mr. Belding wants his camera back so he can make internet porn. Zack Morris pulls a new camera out of his bag and Jessie faints because even she can’t believe this entire scheme, including getting paid, was pulled off in only a week.
Yeah, a scheme worked with no consequences, but it wouldn’t be much of an episode if that were the end of it, so let’s get our next point of conflict.
At The Max, a strange man comes in looking for Zack Morris. His name is Johnson and, although he never says it, the kids assume he’s from the newspaper. He wants to meet the hideous Screech alien and says that he’ll pay $10,000 for a meeting. Ah, so we have some conflict: greed!
After Zack Morris is out of range, Thompson speaks into his beeper, identifying himself as “Lieutenant Thompson” and saying that he has made contact. Yes, folks, the implication here is that a representative of the United States government believes that a cheesy picture of a completely unrealistic looking alien in a trashy tabloid magazine is real. Boy, the writers of Saved by the Bell sure have some faith in their government!
At Bayside, Screech has had his tooth filled and his filling now magically picks up bad muzak radio stations because that’s totally a thing that happens with fillings. Zack Morris and Slater tell Screech their plan to continue defrauding a newspaper. Screech is hesitant and says he’ll let them know after he drops off his doctor’s note with Mr. Belding.
And magically, through contrivance, who should be in Mr. Belding’s office but Lieutenant Thompson, who identifies himself as a member of the Air Force’s UFO Investigation Unit. Yeah, this is totally a thing. There’s a running gag that gets no laughs about Lieutenant Thompson being really clumsy and Mr. Belding tries to convince the lieutenant that Zack Morris is not a reliable source.
Conveniently, Mr. Belding gets called out of the office because the water polo team has a horse in the swimming pool. I don’t know what it was with the writers during the first season and the swimming pool but that poor swimming pool sure saw better days. Screech comes in and encounters Lieutenant Thompson, whose keen intuition hears the radio stations in Screech’s fillings and becomes convinced he could be an alien.
At The Max, Max is totally willing, as the responsible adult he is, to help the gang defraud a newspaper. He agrees to show Screech some magic tricks to convince Lieutenant Thompson that he’s an alien.
First is drinking milk through your finger, because when I think aliens from the great sci-fi shows like Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who, I think drinking milk through your finger.
Then Max teaches Screech how to make two metal xylophone mallets appear behind his head like antennas. Yeah, Max, I had forgotten how useful and integral to this show you were. I don’t know how we’ve gotten through most of this season without you.
It’s after school hours at Bayside and Zack Morris breaks in to lead Lieutenant Thompson to see the alien. There’s some lame practical effects including lights blinking smoke, and lockers opening and closing on their own, as well as some scary muzak. Screech comes out dressed as the alien and though Lieutenant Thompson believes the ruse at first, even he catches on to a fake ear and fake antennas falling off. The rest of the gang come out apparently admitting to the ruse.
Screech rips his face off to reveal Dustin Diamond’s true appearance and this convinces Lieutenant Thompson he’s an alien because the lieutenant is a moron. Lieutenant Thompson finally tells them who he is and reveals his plans on dissecting Screech because dissection seems to be the first thing that comes up in every bad sitcom involving an alien. Just ask Alf.
Rather than tell their parents there’s a creepy guy from the government who wants to murder one of them, Screech hides out at Zack Morris’s place and keeps Zack Morris up with his incessant praying and referring to himself as “the Screechster.” He also wants Zack Morris to come to Heaven with him so their love can be eternal.
And it’s finally time for them to consummate their love beneath Zack Morris’s Bejeweled blanket.
In Mr. Belding’s office, even Mr. Belding can’t help but laugh at Lieutenant Thompson’s idiocy in believing Screech really is an alien and, after the lieutenant tries to rip one of Mr. Belding’s ears off, Mr. Belding does the first sensible thing anyone has done this episode and tells Lieutenant Thompson to leave, to which the lieutenant continues his idiocy by demanding that Mr. Belding produce the alien, threatening the wrath of the federal government if he doesn’t.
Zack Morris and Mr. Belding team up for a plan they thought up off camera. Lieutenant Thompson comes in to take Screech who comes out of a locker ready to go. But the rest of the lockers open up revealing the most hideous site you ever saw.
Oh my god, the gang and all the extras have taken too many caffeine pills and turned into Dustin Diamond clones! Get your children inside! Get your guns! Hide your prostitutes who might want to make a horrible sex tape!
The logic here is that if Lieutenant Thompson wants to take Screech, he has to take everyone, which is completely ludicrous but whatever. We’re almost done with this stupid episode.
Screech reveals the mask that he used in an attempt to defraud a newspaper, which resolves the conflict instantly, completely rendering the others dressing as Screech pointless and idiotic. The lieutenant says that wasn’t very honest and Mr. Belding lectures him about how it wasn’t honest to tell a group of kids that he was from a newspaper despite the fact that he never actually did that. The lieutenant leaves flabbergasted by his own idiocy and we end with Mr. Belding and Zack Morris showing a grain of respect for each other before each runs in the opposite direction in fear of this new blossoming love.
Love them or hate them, the Malibu Sands episodes of Saved by the Bell are some of the most remembered episodes of that series. So it was inevitable that The New Class would come up with a cheap, derivative knock off.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present, the Palisade Hills Country Club!
Now remember last week I told you to remember that it was the first week of school? Well, now it’s summer again and all eight of our The New Class cast members are here! Now, there’s a basic problem with this: either it happens ten months from the last episode during the last summer, or it happened the previous summer in between seasons one and two. If it happens in ten months, it doesn’t make sense given the events to come around relationships. If it happened last summer, it makes absolutely no fucking sense given the fact that we just introduced four new fucking cast members! Did they think no one would fucking notice!
Now I suppose it’s possible to rationalize Rachel, Bobby, and even Brian, but you know who can’t be rationalized?
Fucking Screech. And you know why? Because, according to the last episode, he hadn’t yet returned to Bayside! My god, these writers are throwing darts aren’t they? They haven’t any fucking clue what’s going on with continuity!
So Mr. Belding is the general manager for the summer and Screech is his assistant. Wait…I can believe that Screech, as a college student and intern, could use the money. But they do realize that most principals in the Los Angeles area make six figures, right?! Even if Mr. Belding is at the low end of income, he’s still up to at least $80,000 a year! We know he has a wife and only one child. Why does he need a summer job? Does he have illegal gambling debts? Is he in the hole for his caffeine pill fix?
Barely a minute in and the inconsistencies are mind boggling. Fucking hell.
And it just keeps getting better as Screech has hired our gang to work at the country club for the summer, and they’re all dressed as if they’re ready to have fun rather than work, including Bobby who was apparently wearing a pool float, goggles, and a snorkel in Tommy D’s van.
And up pulls our new Mr. Carosi, except this time it’s Mr. Harrington, the president of the country club, played by that guy from WKRP in Cincinnati. Not the cool guy who went on to star in Head of the Class but that other guy who was always a pain in the ass on the show. Yeah, I don’t buy that this guy is supposed to be threatening. He is one person on an elected board. Even if he hates everything, the rest of the board can override him. He’s not making a very realistic target of conflict. But the show must go on so he’s pissed that Tommy D’s van dares block him from getting directly to the door because his home made barbecue sauce for the country club barbecue is spoiling in the trunk. Yeah, he comes off as a jack ass whose only purpose on the show is to cause conflict with Mr. Belding.
Oh, and Screech sticks his hand in the sauce because Screech is a fucking moron, meaning it should no longer be fit for human consumption but they’ll probably eat it anyway. Oh, and there’s a running gag throughout the episode that I hope is not a permanent thing where Screech walks like the Scooby-Doo gang trying to sneak around a haunted house. It’s really annoying and makes no sense. And Mr. Harrington’s car is sent off with the new valet parking attendant, Tommy D, because insurance companies totally don’t mind sixteen year olds parking cars at expensive country clubs.
It’s time to see where everyone will be working and first is Brian, who’s working as pool attendant, meaning he has to put sunblock on really old women. Seriously, that’s all we see him do in his job this episode. I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works.
Meanwhile, Rachel is the new lifeguard and Screech decides to test her skills by throwing himself in the pool, because no one ever tests lifeguard skills before they hire the god damned life guard!
A nearby woman takes pity on the brain dead moron in the swimming pool and swims out to save him before Rachel can get there. And, for Screech, it’s a boner at first sight.
Next, after Screech puts on some dry clothes, it’s time for Bobby to learn the ins and outs of being a caddy, and Mr. Harrington is his first client. So, natural, a combination of reckless driving, failure to secure the golf bag, and idiocy means that Mr. Harrington’s bag fall down go boom!
Mr. Harrington looks like he wants to punch Screech as Screech tells him that he’s overreacting that his idiocy may have damaged the golf clubs. Yeah, isn’t this grounds for firing right here? Naturally, the thing to do is for Screech and Bobby to test every single club to make sure it still works, despite Mr. Harrington telling him specifically not to.
Screech tells Mr. Harrington that he’s a properly trained idiot and knows what he’s doing, and Bobby proceeds to throw a club into the water trap. Really, there was not even an attempt to make it look like Bobby swung and lost control. It was just a straight up throw.
Mr. Harrington’s ten seconds of mild yelling attracts the attention of the girl who saved Screech’s idiot life at the pool, who drives up to the group. It turns out her name is Alison and she will be joining us for no other purpose over this story arc than to give Screech a hard on. Gross. Meanwhile, Screech invites himself to lunch with the Harringtons because plot.
Meanwhile, Mr. Belding is excited to show Megan his meat and, through the power of exposition, we find out it’s for the barbecue, which is country and western themed.
Megan and Lindsay are waitresses because their brief tenure at The Max apparently qualified them for it. Tommy D comes in and invites Lindsay out for a spin in Mr. Harrington’s car, which sounds like a perfectly good idea through which nothing could possibly go wrong. Megan tells her to go since they’re not busy.
And, as if it was planned by bad writers, a horde of people come strolling in as soon as Lindsay is out the door. I mean as soon. Could this many people not be seen from the windows?
Meanwhile, Brian, Rachel, and Bobby decide to go for a joy ride in the golf cart.
Brian shows his own idiocy by driving the golf cart without any hands.
Which, by either coincidence or contrivance, just happens to be in the path of Tommy D and Lindsay driving Mr. Harrington’s car. We’re told that there’s a big dent in the car but the prop people were too busy to put a dent in the car in order to demonstrate this to us, the viewers, so they just tell us about it.
Tommy D decides to fix the dent himself and uses Rachel’s nail polish to replace the paint. Yeah, something tells me that wouldn’t work outside the wacky Saved by the Bell universe.
Meanwhile, Screech and the Harringtons arrive at the restaurant for lunch, where Screech promptly gives bad customer service by telling a customer about a fake rat in the restaurant so she’ll leave and he can have the table.
Mr. Belding comes in, sees the restaurant understaffed, and cock blocks Screech by making him fill in for Lindsay despite the fact that we can see a host behind them not doing anything but talk on the phone. Guys, if an extra is going to detract from the believably of an episode, maybe he shouldn’t be there! By the time Screech is done being a shitty ass waiter, the Harringtons are done eating, and we’re supposed to feel sorry that Screech won’t be getting his dick wet in Alison’s fertile downstairs area.
The gang meanwhile brings the damaged piece of Mr. Harrington’s car to dry under a fan in the kitchen. Megan has reservations since that means unplugging the freezer with Mr. Belding’s meat in it, but they do it anyway because conflict.
Bobby sucks ass at covering for Tommy D at valet parking, mostly because he doesn’t have his driver’s license, and Mr. Belding and Screech come out to find out what the hell is going on. Just at that moment, conveniently as if bad writing dictated it, Mr. Harrington comes out looking for his car and Tommy D comes driving up in it.
Everything’s fine until Tommy D hits the side, causing the left headlight, which Brian didn’t hit at all, to just fall out of the car. Come on, at least make it believable!
After a commercial break, Mr. Belding has fired all the kitchen staff so he could demote the gang, even Megan, who had nothing to do with the car incident, to kitchen staff. Screech smells a distinct odor and, no, it’s not his rancid underarms but, rather, Mr. Belding’s meat spoiling since they forgot to plug the freezer back in, and Mr. Belding tells them not to come in tomorrow.
But they do show up the next day, at 6:00 a.m. nonetheless, and 6:00 a.m. in California apparently means that the sun is blaring down directly overhead. The gang find Screech and say they want to make things right for Mr. Belding, and the seven of them formulate a plan.
Yes, it’s an impromptu luau, because we needed an excuse to strip clothes off the gang!
And it’s complete with a sucky ass pig made out of canned ham and pineapple. Yeah, that’s really convincing. Looks more like a paper mache statue which, knowing this show, it probably is.
Mr. Harrington is hella pissed and convinced the members are going to hate the luau.
But, right on time, the members, who are still traveling in packs apparently, all arrive at once and love the sucky ass luau as Screech dances the funky chicken.
Now it’s time for entertainment from Screech and the Dumb Asses, a traditional “island” song for Alison.
Yes, we have to endure Screech singing and Alison actually liking it, because she’s tone deaf I guess. And the lyrics?
I’m a young Hawaiian guy,
I look at you and start to sigh,
I thank the stars above,
And hug you daily,
And sing you songs of love,
On my ukulele,
Don’t make me blue,
Come sit in my canoe,
Oh, come on! They couldn’t even get the meter right? They weren’t even trying on this one! This makes their song at the play last season look Grammy worthy by comparison! Screech must have let Little Zack write the lyrics. That’s the only explanation for it!
We have to have a happy ending so Mr. Belding gives the gang their old jobs back despite the marked incompetence they’ve each displayed throughout this episode because putting on a shitty luau makes everything alright, and we close with Screech and Mr. Belding falling in the pool because…I guess this episode is all wet?
Firsts: Mr. Harrington, Alison Harrington, Palisade Hills Country Club.
We open at The Max, where Zack Morris wants to be rich again and thinks that, because he has big ideas, he can do it. Zack Morris is reading a magazine conveniently titled Making Money where he gets the idea to open up his own 900 number and make a fortune. Unfortunately, he has no idea what to offer for a service for his 900 number, so his plan currently looks similar to the underwear gnomes from South Park:
Step 1: Open a 900 number.
Step 2: …
Step 3: Profit!
Lisa, Jessie, and Slater come in as Jessie is reading “Dear Donna,” a relationship advice columnist. Turns out that Lisa always gives the same relationship advice as “Dear Donna,” which causes a light bulb to magically appear above Zack Morris’s head Looney Tunes style.
Yes, his idea to create “The Lisa Line,” a relationship advice service, but he only tells us this in monologue rather than telling Lisa, who’s sitting right there, because we need to draw this out a little longer.
Meanwhile Jessie and Slater are fighting like usual. It doesn’t really look different from any other episode, but it actually plays into one of the subplots later on.
Kelly and her little sister Nicki, whom we’ll never see again after this episode, come in The Max. Make sure to welcome Kelly back from the shortest month in Paris on record! And Zack Morris…is flirting incessantly with his girlfriend’s thirteen year old sister. They’ve become friends over Zack Morris teaching Nicki how to pitch a baseball, a skill he’s never had before but it was convenient this time, but we get a dream sequence from Nicki’s head to show us she wants more. And look, it’s a Cinderella rip-off, with Nicki as Cinderella…
And Jessie, Lisa, and Kelly as the evil step-sisters, with The Max as their home because the producers didn’t want to spring for the Kapowski home set for a dream sequence. What follows is the reason it took so long for white rappers to be taken seriously. No, it wasn’t Vanilla Ice hat was the root cause of it. It was this episode.
Dear freaking god. If this isn’t a relic of white people trying to imitate the hip-hop community in the early ’90s, I don’t know what is. This is painful to watch as D.J. Zacky Zack and the Preppies here rap the Cinderella story at us.
DJ Zacky Zack is looking for the person whose foot fits in the gold sneaker. And you know the rest of the story: it won’t fit Jessie, Lisa, or Kelly…
But it will fit Nicki. And they live happily ever after in the magical land of cultural misappropriation!
At Zack Morris’s room, he’s gotten Screech in on the plan for no particular reason and decides they’re going to be rich off this line if they operate it for five hours a day at $2 a minute. Uh, no. 900 numbers don’t work like that. The reason they made money was because people could call anytime day or night. Therefore, the number could afford to advertise late at night when the rates were cheaper. But this is Saved by the Bell so they’ll probably be richer than Bill Gates by the time this is over.
They also rip off the dance of joy from Perfect Strangers.
Lisa walks in and they finally tell her the plan. She demands half the profits, which is quite reasonable, but Zack Morris tells her she can’t tell anyone their secret identity and she can’t give free advice anymore. So what does she do if one of her friends is genuinely in trouble? “Sorry, I can’t give you advice, but you can call this line that I’m not a part of and get your advice there!”
Isn’t it great that Bayside High just lets any student advertise their 900 number at school? Isn’t it even better that the advertising doesn’t give the number to call so there should be no way for anyone to know how to reach this Teen Line?
So the predictable subplot with Jessie and Slater is that Jessie is hella pissed because she has a good time at the prom with Slater eleven weeks ago but he hasn’t asked her back out and she doesn’t want it to be a one night stand. Slater’s all, “You’re this ultra-feminist who always insists on doing everything yourself so why didn’t you ask me out?” Jessie’s all, “I’m going against my characterization because it creates more conflict that way!” So Slater asks Jessie out and she walks away saying, “Maybe!” What the hell was that all about?
So we get to the teen line, which is three phones in Zack Morris’s bedroom with only Lisa, Screech, and he answering. Yeah, this would really make someone rich outside the Saved by the Bell universe. Oh, and Zack Morris is answering the phone with a bad Australian accent and the name “Nitro.” To our readers down under, I apologize grossly for this misrepresentation of your fine nation. Here’s hoping Zack Morris gets kicked in the face by a kangaroo.
Nitro’s first customer is Moose, who’s holding a football to let us know he’s a dumb jock since we’ve never seen him before. He likes a girl but she is perceptive and doesn’t like him because she’s well aware he’s a fucking dumb ass. Lisa’s advice: write a poem, because poems solve everything!
Next is Louise, whom Moose has a crush on. Louise wants to know if she should go steady with Moose and Lisa tells her to make fun of his name because that’s romantic.
Next is Jessie, who doesn’t know whether she should go out with Slater despite the fact that she already did eleven weeks ago. Lisa tells her to just fucking do it for Christ’s sake and quit dragging out this fake conflict!
The phones start ringing off the hook as Zack Morris gets Nicki on the phone. Nicki says she really likes this guy who’s dating someone she’s close to and wants to know what she should do. Zack Morris is a complete moron and can’t see the obvious in front of his nose so he tells her to go for it since Lisa is busy fighting about shopping on the other line.
At Bayside, Nicki is there…
So Nicki is thirteen, which puts her in seventh or eighth grade. This begs the question WHAT THE HELL IS SHE DOING IN A HIGH SCHOOL? Can anyone just walk in this school at anytime who wants to? We saw the creepy photographer do it last week and now an obsessed pubescent.
Anyway, Nicki asks Zack Morris out.
As he’s about to change into Teen Wolf, Zack Morris realizes his advice was really bad Nicki is demanding a kiss as Kelly comes down the stairs and, instead of straightening this all out like a normal person, Zack Morris sticks Nicki in his locker as Kelly tells him about Nicki having a crush and thinking it’s super great they have sex to bond over now! When Kelly walks away, Zack Morris lets Nicki out of his locker and gives her a sexy peck kiss on the cheek to get her to fuck the fucking fuck off, but Jessie witnesses the whole thing and reaches the obvious conclusion that Zack Morris is dating a thirteen year old.
Back at Teen Line HQ, the phones aren’t ringing because Lisa solved everyone at Bayside’s problems because a 900 number can only be called by people from one specific place of course. Zack Morris reaches the conclusion that he needs to give bad advice to keep people calling so he fires Lisa.
Zack Morris’s first customer is Slater and he tells Slater to get rid of the nuts girl who said, “Maybe.”
At The Max, Kelly thinks it’s preposterous when Jessie tells her that Zack Morris is dating Nicki. Slater comes in and breaks off his date with Jessie, which causes her to get so upset that she runs a marathon out the door and down the street.
Zack Morris tells Kelly he can’t go out tonight because he has something to do, which naturally leads her to conclude Jessie might be right about him dating Nicki because conflict.
Meanwhile, Louise shows Zack Morris and Screech Moose’s love poem, “The birds and the bees don’t compare to your knees, Louise.” Yeah, that’s romantic shit right there. Zack Morris and Screech lead her to believe it was plagiarized, which causes Louise to go fucking nuts and squirt ketchup on Moose because conflict.
At Teen Line HQ, Kelly calls in thinking that Zack Morris is dating NIcki and, rather than do the obvious thing and tell her the truth, Zack Morris decides to prolong the conflict because the writers really fucking like conflict in this episode.
Zack Morris calls Lisa on another phone begging advice on what he should do with Kelly and she’s like, “Biatch, you fired me! I’ll only do it if you give me all your money!”
Nicki calls in on a third phone and Zack Morris tells Lisa she wins, who tells him the obvious: tell Kelly the truth and let Nicki down easily. And he goes to do that, only he tells Nicki the truth and lets Kelly down easily because he mixes up the phones.
Hi, crazy ass art teacher who has nothing to do with the plots of this episode!
Yes, in art, we’re drawing Moose, Slater, and a random extra. I swear, if they strip I’m not finishing this review.
Yeah, everyone’s pissed at everyone else so we rip off a plot from Good Morning, Miss Bliss and have a random silly string fight as Mr. Belding comes in because…apparently everyone in class just happened to have silly string!
Mr. Belding drags the entire class in his office rather than…investigating right there in the class and, despite the fact that it was crazy ass art teacher who started the silly string fight, he’s blaming it on the students and finds out they all got bad advice from the Teen Line. Mr. Belding puts on his thinking cap and deduces it was Zack Morris and Screech behind the line even though the only evidence is that they’re the only ones who didn’t call it. Yeah, that’s solid beyond reasonable doubt stuff right there. Let’s get Mr. Belding in the criminal justice system! Mr. Belding gives Zack Morris and Screech an ultimatum to make the school happy again or there will be spankings all around.
Zack Morris begs Lisa to help him set everyone straight and she takes pity on him. Her advice for Kelly and Nicki?
Make Nicki think that Zack Morris is as big an idiot as Screech, who is tossing popcorn in the air and catching it in his mouth.
Lisa sets everyone right including Slater and Jessie and now it’s time to take care of Kelly. Her plan?
Dress Kelly up like Dolly Parton and take her to The Max so she can spy on Zack Morris and Nicki.
Zack Morris is dressed…actually, he is dressed like Screech. I can totally see Screech wearing this outfit. Maybe they swapped clothes in Screech’s bedroom as they admired their duple teenage bodies. Zack Morris is trying to scare Nicki away with spiders and worms and other stuff all women hate because all women on Earth have the same phobias, but it backfires and Nicki wants to take Zack Morris to the “insect rodeo,” which I can imagine is ants in cowboy hats riding grasshoppers and roping centipedes.
Zack Morris goes to the last resort, the truth, since we only have about a minute left in the episode. Nicki says he’s a fucking idiot that he was too scared to tell a thirteen year old that he didn’t like her and that makes him hella lame. Nicki runs out as Dolly Parton walks up and flirts with Zack Morris. Since Kelly is completely co-dependent on Zack Morris at this point, she overlooks the fact he has a chronic aversion to just telling he truth in the first place and avoiding this whole damn thing. Zack Morris pretends that he doesn’t know it’s her and says he can’t, but he tells us, the viewer, in monologue, just in case you’re just tuning in as the show closes.
They told us this day was coming. They warned us how horrible it would be and we didn’t listen. No, we thought, season one of The New Class was so horrible. Surely if they were able to save this show from cancellation they would make changes to make it better! We were wrong, and the reason why was answered for us in the opening credits. Lo, the approach of the Antichrist. We open the season with the first day of school, but remember this opening because when we get to next week’s episode, it’s going to make that episode make so much less sense. The first order of business for the show this season is to replace the half of the cast that didn’t make it from last season. First, we have our Zack Morris character, Brian Keller (Christian Oliver), who is a foreign exchange student from Switzerland. They did this because the actor is actually German. I don’t know how good of an actor Mr. Oliver is in Germany, but his horrible acting grates on my nerves so much throughout this episode I don’t know how I’m going to last twenty-six episodes with him. Since we don’t need a fake Screech anymore, Weasel’s replacement is Bobby Wilson (Spankee Rodgers), whom the DVD cover promises is “hilarious.” Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it. Something tells me I may be yelling false advertising in my season two recap. And his name is Spankee. That’s amazing!
So we quickly get some forced character development on the two as they perv on the girls. Yes, Rachel is there with Megan like she always has been and always will be even though she barely had contact last season with any of the characters besides Scott. But who cares! They needed a character and Sarah Lancaster was dumb enough to come back! And it appears they’re going to play her as a Lisa rip-off despite the fact she showed absolutely no signs of that last season. So the deal is Brian wants to fuck Rachel but Rachel has a boyfriend, the former captain of the football team, who’s off at Michigan on a football scholarship.
Ugh, I can’t believe we’re just barely a minute in and the writers have managed to fuck up the one thing Rachel fucking did last season! One thing! They couldn’t remember one thing! You see, Rachel’s one thing last season is she got it on with Scott, so either she was cheating on her boyfriend with Scott or she had a very short summer fling. But here they act like this is a super serious relationship that has stood the test of time.
God I hate these writers. Oh, and they try to establish Bobby as being obsessed over Megan since seventh grade, which begs the question where he was all last season. I guess he was waiting in the wings for Weasel to be out of the picture because Weasel was such a threat.
So Brian and Bobby approach Rachel and Megan. Brian pulls a rose out of his ass for Rachel and Bobby offers some chewing gum for Megan. This shit is so thrilling I tell you what. And here’s our other two returning characters. So, like that, they’re a gang. Yeah, just like Brian, Bobby, and Rachel have always been with the others. There’s no acknowledgement at all that this is something new. The writers just assumed that no one would give a damn.
The only other thing important that happens here is we get some exposition about Rachel’s jacket belonging to her mother and her mother not knowing Rachel has it. Gee, I wonder if this is going to play any role in the story in just a few minutes.
Mr. Belding comes through the hallway and tells our new gang to all come to his office. And what important business does Mr. Belding have with our gang?
Why, he’s called six of his students in to show off that the producers threw money at a new set for his office this season. Yeah, that’s actually a running gag throughout the episode: that he has a new, high-tech office that’s constantly malfunctioning. Funny stuff, let me tell you, by which I mean it’s totally lame and I won’t be focusing on it every time they go back to it this episode hoping for a cheap laugh.
Oh and I should note that Mr. Belding has no idea the difference between a microwave and a fax machine. Seriously. He probably thinks the intercom microphone is a shower head too.
In another blink or you’ll miss it plot contrivance, Bobby notices that Mr. Belding has a flat tire so he sends his personal mechanic, Tommy D, out to fix it. Yeah, seems like business as usual but, trust me, it actually comes back in a few minutes.
Mr. Belding’s secretary calls him to tell him that his new administrative assistant, a student on work study leave from California University, has arrived. There’s so much wrong with this setup. First, the writers do realize administrative assistant is just a politically correct term for secretary, right? The first time they complain about the school not having any money this season, I’m coming back to this. Second, why does Mr. Belding not know who he new assistant is? Did he not interview candidates? Did he just tell Cal U that any old body will do? And where is Cal U supposed to be in California anyway? Is it really close enough that the candidate could just commute for classes?
God, I won’t analyze this stupid scene any more. Let’s just say that the new administrative assistant is Beelzebub wearing a bikini lady tie. And Mr. Belding is not amused. He was hoping Zack Morris or Slater would come back and do some cleaning for him under his desk. But, yes, Screech is back and he’s still trying to do the same shtick he’s been doing since Good Morning, Miss Bliss, except well into his teens.
So the running subplot of the episode is that Mr. Belding rightfully doesn’t trust Screech to do anything so he gives Screech menial tasks to keep him far away. First up is counting the lockers to see if they’re all there, which Screech doesn’t think seems weird at all. And, by contrivance, we find out Brian has Screech’s old locker.
Meanwhile, Screech is scaring the shit out of Bayside’s faculty. Screech wants Mr. Maloney here to remember him, but Mr. Maloney is like, “Shit, you psychopath, this is my first and last appearance in this franchise. I don’t know you. You could be Tori for all I know!”
But before Screech can terrify anymore of Bayside’s teachers, Mr. Belding sends him to substitute in a room because one of the teachers got stuck in a revolving door at Taco Bell. Yeah… And I should note that none of the students ever refer to Screech as “Mr. Powers” because the writers are afraid the viewers of this show are such complete dumb asses they wouldn’t realize that Mr. Powers and Screech are the same character.
So Screech naturally overextends his authority and decides to make the seating chart for the entire year.
This is wear Brian tries to get Screech to put him next to Rachel. Screech has a stroke and, since he is a complete dumb ass, proceeds to mix up the room in such a way that everyone is back to sitting in the exact same seat they were before.
Tommy D comes in, having finally completed Mr. Belding’s slave labor but apparently does not realize there are things called showers and sinks at Bayside. Why is he that dirty anyway? He just changed a fucking tire. Did he have to stick his hand in the oil to do that?
Tommy D apparently didn’t bother to get a late pass from Mr. Belding so Screech grills him on it. In case you had forgotten in the last few minutes that Screech is a complete dumb ass, though, he writes Tommy D’s late pass for him.
He then demands Tommy D hand over the late pass and pushes Tommy D into Rachel, getting oil on Rachel’s mother’s jacket. I’m so glad that we’re halfway through this episode and we finally have conflict. I just love the look from the extra in the green sweater, too. She looks like, “Am I really in this stupid show? Is anyone watching me? May I have my check now?”
There’s also some new transition music that’s even more confusing than the original series’s transition music. It sounds like the composer of the Seinfeld theme was drunk.
At The Max, Rachel tries to assure Tommy D it’s not his fault even though it kind of is since he didn’t bother to wash his hands before coming to class. The jacket costs $700, so the gang decide the best way to raise the money is to have a party because it worked for Screech to replace his mom’s Elvis statue back in the original series. They decide to have the party at Bobby’s house since his parents will be out of town and Bobby agrees hoping to be able to slip a Rufie in Megan’s drink.
Meanwhile, Screech is still annoying Mr. Belding while singing Sesame Street songs. Next scene.
Brian, Bobby, Lindsay, and Megan trick some dumb cheerleaders into paying to go to the party, and Lindsay and Megan apparently aren’t cheerleaders anymore because the writers can’t remember everything they did last season.
Tommy D promises Meat and the football jocks, including new jock “Hacksaw,” lots of meat they can suck on and convinces them they’re cool, so they’re in.
And Megan and Bobby do the same with Milton and new geek Woodrow, because Kirby apparently decided that he was done with this stupid show. Oh, and they have delusions of being cool as well. Apparently, on this show, no one is cool except our six main characters.
At what I assume is Brian’s house, Brian counts the money and finds out they have successfully copied a plot from the original series. But, uh oh! More conflict! They can’t have the party at Bobby’s house because Bobby’s parents decided to have the house fumigated for termites while they were gone, which means Bobby is either breathing in toxic gas while he sleeps or he’s homeless for the weekend sleeping on the street. Maybe Zack Morris will find him and date him.
At The Max, Screech has decided to go to his old hangout so he can…color code Mr. Belding’s keys. As he completes this very important task, Brian and Tommy D go into action and trick Screech into unlocking the gym so they can have the “Don’t Tell the Principal” party in there. Yeah, did I mention Screech is a complete dumb ass?
We only have a few minutes left so they decided to actually show a bit of this party, and it’s everything you would expect out of a Bayside party: Brian trying to get his dick wet with Rachel, Meat, Hacksaw, and the jocks eating lots of food, and Tommy D and Lindsay incompetently acting as DJs.
Mr. Belding comes in, having been called by security and told that there were strange things going on, because that makes a lot more sense than, say, calling the police.
Mr. Belding wants an explanation and Screech takes the fall, telling Mr. Belding that he let the kids have the party there. Mr. Belding tells Screech there will be spankings Monday morning, and the gang gives everyone their money back since the party only lasted twenty minutes, because twenty minutes is totally enough time in Los Angeles for Mr. Belding to receive a call from security and drive over.
Monday morning, Screech tells Mr. Belding he’s going to quit since the students think he’s lame, Mr. Belding doesn’t trust him, and he really shouldn’t be playing this character anymore since The College Years was cancelled.
The gang comes busting into Mr. Belding’s office and confesses to what they did, leading Mr. Belding to give them two weeks detention. Rachel also tells us that, off camera of course, she told her mother about the jacket and was grounded for two months.
After they leave, Mr. Belding tells us the whole moral of this episode that we should have learned, in case we didn’t, was about telling the truth, which the gang learned from Screech because not telling the truth himself sure taught them! And, besides, everything turned out all right for Screech so it must be okay! Screech decides to stay at Bayside after all, because we could be so lucky for this to be merely a one-shot guest appearance. It’s going to be a long, long six seasons…
Firsts: Brian Keller, Bobby Wilson, Hacksaw, Woodrow, Brian wants Rachel, Bobby wants Megan, Screech as administrative assistant, Brian’s bedroom, Mr. Belding’s new office.
Zack Morris tells us in his monologue that the school store is also known as “Nerds R Us” as demonstrated by this nerd’s unhealthy obsession with a shell clock, whatever the hell that is. Yes, it’s time for us to see the first incarnation of the school store, which is actually in its own room. Mind you, it’s just the classroom set converted but at least it’s not just a booth in the middle of the hallway like in The New Class.
This is a school store that also has at least four staff employees, including Kelly. Where the hell does Bayside get the money to fund all this shit? Is Mr. Belding secretly using the store as a front for caffeine pill smuggling? Also, it’s apparently a school store that allows all its inventory to be chosen by the student employees.
The rest of the gang come in to get Kelly and Slater sets off the alarm for the autographed Mr. Rogers picture, because that’s totally what geeks are into: Mr. Rogers.
Slater is manhandled by one of the nerds who feels all over his rippling muscles. The nerd asks Slater out on a date later but the producers haven’t built a set for Bayside’s gay bar yet, so no go.
The gang develop a plan to get Mr. Belding to put Zack Morris in charge of the school store, and Mr. Belding laughs to see such sport, suggesting he’d rather Zack Morris put a hit out on him. Zack Morris decides to convince Mr. Belding by demonstrating how much sales are down, because that’s totally why high schools have a school store: to make a profit. After telling Mr. Belding that the nerds’ bestselling product is pale flesh colored Band-Aids, Zack Morris immediately contradicts himself by showing Mr. Belding a bunch of blank sheets of paper and telling him that’s the sales figures. They sold Band-Aids but made nothing on them. How does that work again?
Since it moves he plot along, Mr. Belding acquiesces to Zack Morris’s request and puts him in charge. The next day, he’s hired the rest of the gang to work there, and his new stock, which he somehow go a super rush on, includes cup holders, Bayside t-shirts and sweats, a ball with a drunk face on it, and something that, judging by the signage, is apparently AMAZING!
The nerds come in to have a sit-in until they’re scared off by security, Slater, who does the growl he does with Zack Morris in bed to scare them away.
The gang decide they need a gimmick to get customers in the store and, as the girls are going to swim team practice since the episode needed them to suddenly be on the swim team and Screech is going to photography club because the episode needed that too, Zack Morris decides these two things might go together in the form of snapping illicit photos.
Ladies and gentleman, Screech’s worst disguise yet. He was supposed to have been in the pool taking pictures and even has water in the snorkel, but notice that his shirt and shorts are not wet nor is their any water anywhere on his body. So…was the water in the snorkel part of his disguise then?
Zack Morris’s plan is to use Screech’s photos to create a “Girls of Bayside” calendar which…all things considered…is actually one of Zack Morris’s better plans. Of course, he goes to the magic printing press next to the radio station in the basement and…
By the next day, has lots of the calendars ready for sale and a line full of extras waiting to buy them! It’s amazing how fast the wheels of progress can turn when you have horrible writers on staff!
The girls come in and are all excited until they discover…
That Zack Morris’s magic printing press also has the ability to print cardboard cut outs! Really, the timeline on this episode is ridiculous, even by Saved by the Bell standards. It’s like Zack Morris has connections with the Chinese Mafia to where he can obtain anything he wants in a short amount of time.
And these are the photos that Screech took in the water with an underwater camera? Pictures of the girls posing completely dry and smiling at the camera, with Lisa even saluting the camera. And they didn’t know that the camera was there? Are they blind or just stupid?
But, woo hoo! Ms. December is hot stuff! Slater comments on how hot ass Mr Belding is in a bathing suit and Jessie promptly assaults him. All three girls want the calendars to be pulled off the shelf and, when Zack Morris refuses, they take their case to a higher authority.
In Ms. December’s office, the lovely model takes the side of the girls because of feminism and privacy and stuff. And, just as Mr. Belding orders the calendars be recalled and destroyed, a stranger enters!
This is Adam Trask, who barges into Ms. December’s office saying he’s a photographer with Teen Fashion Magazine and thinks the pictures in the calendar are great masturbatory material. Adam wants to do a photo spread of the three people in the calendar who the producers were willing to pay to appear, and Jessie’s all, “Feminism! Inner beauty! Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!” until Adam tells her their pictures will be seen around the world.
And she’s ready for her close-up, Mr. DeMille because fame is apparently more important to Jessie than her principles.
Now forget all the stranger danger stuff you had hammered into you since kindergarten because everyone completely trusts Adam despite the fact that he just wandered in off the street with a calendar full of teenage girls and now wants to take more photos, because you should always let strangers who haven’t even proven their identities take lots of photos of you.
So here are just a few of Adam’s god awful photos, including Jessie as the school teacher who wants to punish you for being naughty!
Lisa gets stuck with the African poacher who looks incredibly uncomfortable to be doing this photo shoot look.
The Max once again shooed all its customers away for one of Zack Morris’s schemes, and here we have Kelly looking sexy while calling the Psychic Friends Network.
Here we have Jessie dressed like Blossom would be if she were dressed as a cowgirl.
And, since the writers figured they didn’t want to waste their one opportunity to use the school store set, Adam takes some photos in their, because when I think sexy girls, I think school supplies in the background.
The next day at The Max, the girls are apparently having breakfast at The Max because they’re meeting Adam there before school. Makes sense as we know how much poultry Max keeps in his pants.
The magic printing press was running all night again and the magazine with the girls’ picture is already out. The girls think they look like hot shit and Slater’s jealous that he wasn’t asked to model.
Adam tells the girls that his editor has decided he wants one of them on the cover of their anniversary issue and he picks Kelly because she’s the one whose pictures he’s gotten the most use from. After the girls agreed not to get angry at who would be picked, they immediately start fighting… Until Screech does his Gollum impersonation that is.
Adam tells Kelly the best news is that he’s taking her to Paris for a month because he can more easily take the sorts of photos he wants to if the meddling adults aren’t around, and because high school students can just take off for a month of school at a time at their discretion. Yeah, that’s totally how that works. Naturally, everyone is overjoyed that Adam is going to commit statutory rape in Paris except for Zack Morris, who believes Kelly will immediately forget about him upon stepping foot in French soil.
After eavesdropping on the girls’ conversation, Zack Morris learns that Kelly is leaving tomorrow because Saved by the Bell time is apparently sped up. Zack Morris goes into shit face mode by mentioning all the things that Kelly won’t be around for, like the swim meet and Slater’s science project, hoping it’ll make her feel guilty because all that matters is Zack Morris and what he wants and, besides, Kelly is Zack Morris’s property and needs to learn her place.
He also gets Screech to cry hysterically as he walks by so he can tell Kelly she’s going to miss Screech’s birthday since that episode was aired out of season and they haven’t established when his birthday is yet in airing.
So the manila envelope contains Kelly’s assignments for the entire month that she’s gone. Really. They aren’t even trying at this point in the episode. I think the writers decided to go on vacation to Paris themselves rather than finish writing this.
The gang is bummed because Kelly can’t go to The Max for a farewell lunch because she has to skip school to go home and pack. After she leaves, Zack Morris convinces them all not to go to the photo shoot that Kelly is apparently having today for some bizarre reason. Yeah, I guess they needed one more scene with Adam so they just said, “What the hell! Let’s take more photos!”
At the photo shoot, Kelly’s taking lots more illicit photos for Adam’s personal collection when Zack Morris comes in and tells her that the gang is hella pissed at her for going off for a month and that’s why they didn’t come to the shoot.
An upset Kelly tells Adam she can’t go to Paris and runs out. Adam quickly deduces that Zack Morris is cock blocking him and tells him he’s a piece of shit that just cost him the one opportunity for nudie pics of Kelly since he’ll never be on this show again.
The scene ends with a sad Zack Morris as we dissolve into Kelly’s room, who’s frantically trying to call Lisa and apologize. And, in an age before cell phones were popular, Lisa apparently has her own line and answering machine since we hear her voice and name on it and not her family’s.
Zack Morris comes in and tells Kelly how much of a piece of shit he’s been suddenly acting during the last quarter of this episode and says he was feeling extremely insecure because the writers needed more conflict than the usual Jessie being pissed off about the calendar because feminism. So what is Kelly’s response you ask. Does she finally see how horrible a person Zack Morris is and dump him?
Why, no, Kelly’s response is, “Oh, Zacky-wacky you silly willy! I’m going to love you forever because I’m horribly insecure and codependent, unless of course a college guy works at The Max next season and seduces me away from you! But what are the odds of that happening?” And they seal their forever love with a kiss, which causes he audience to lose their shit.And we end with the reveal that the gang was loitering in Kelly’s hallway waiting for the happy ending to give her a send off. Boy, that would have been really awkward if Kelly had reacted like a normal person, dumped Zack Morris’s ass, and told him to get the hell out of her house and life forever.
This is a review unlike any I’ve ever done on this blog before. This is a review for something that’s…good! Genuinely very good! As such, my usual mocking style is not going to work for this review.
One common misconception that people have around this blog is that I hate Saved by the Bell. And it’s an easy misconception to have. After all, my influence for this blog is Billy Superstar of Full House Reviewed, who absolutely hates the show he reviewed and says he never wants to see an episode of it again.
Let me make this very clear: I do not hate Saved by the Bell (well, except for The New Class; it sucks ass). In fact, I have a strong affection for Saved by the Bell. It’s one of those series that is so bad, it’s good. And, if you’re not able to mock this series at least as much as I do on a weekly basis, you are missing out on half the fun of watching it!
Imagine my delight when I found out that an off-Broadway unauthorized musical parody of Saved by the Bell existed. I first learned of Bayside: The Musical when I started the Twitter feed for this blog, and was looking for accounts to add. I was intrigued by the musical itself, but the fact that it plays in New York City was a problem for me logistically. But I knew I eventually wanted to review it as part of this blog.
So, when the writers and directors of Bayside contacted me and invited me to come see them perform, I knew I had to find a way. And so, in June, I traveled to New York City to see Bayside performed at Theater 80 in Manhattan.
The night that I saw Bayside happened to be their one hundredth performance. Supported largely by word of mouth, Bayside, against all odds, has become an underground hit in the off-Broadway world, with even Perez Hilton and The New York Times lavishing praise on it.
In addition, the cast of Saved by the Bell is slowly trickling in to see the production. Bayside has been visited by Dustin Diamond, Dennis Haskins, and Pat O’Brien, all of whom loved the experience. Leanna Creel is set to visit this weekend, and Mario Lopez has expressed interest in seeing the show. They hope eventually to have more of the cast visit and even, as a stretch goal, would love to host Hayley Mills.
Tobly and Bob Smith
Bayside finds its genesis in writers and directors Bob and Tobly McSmith. Bob and Tobly have been watching Saved by the Bell since they were kids. One night, they were watching an episode and came up with the idea for a musical parody. They wrote a script and performed it to sold out crowds and received rave revues. Though they’re very proud of these early days, they are glad to no longer be in small fifty seater venues without air conditioning.
What the McSmiths have come up with today is something truly magical. I’m not typically a fan of musical theater. I just don’t get the appeal, say, of seeing Les Miserables with random songs spliced in (I am open to conversion if someone can explain the appeal to me). But comedy musicals are an exception for me, and Bayside ranks up there with the best of them. It’s like Avenue Q came along, met Saved by the Bell, and had a beautiful love child that brings the best of both worlds to the table.
Bob and Tobly have an incredible knowledge and understanding not only of this show but also of Good Morning, Miss Bliss and The College Years. Through this knowledge they are able to incorporate an incredible number of references to the show, so many so that I lost track. And through it all, I found myself laughing hysterically. This musical is just this good.
The plot, if you can call it that, is ripped from “Save the Max.” The gang discovers that The Max is about to be repossessed. In order to save The Max from closing, they have to raise a staggering $500. Along the way, they engage in plots from the entire run of he show in an effort to raise money
Methods the gang use to try and raise the money include Screech’s spaghetti sauce (the secret ingredient is his semen!), holding a prom with the theme “Under the Apartheid,” getting jobs at the Malibu Sands Beach Club, and a beauty pageant that Slater and Screech naturally enter (because beauty pageants are great ways to make money!).
If you’ve been reading this blog or you’ve seen much of Saved by the Bell, this will all sound familiar. What makes it amazing is the great writing and talented, stellar cast who are playing completely exaggerated versions of the characters they are playing. But, damn, you could seriously reboot the show with this cast. They’re that damned good.
Zack Morris is played by Sam Harvey as a narcissistic, ego-maniac whose ruling instinct is to get Kelly back from the college boy who stole her from him. As in the show, Zack Morris is the central character and frequently delivers monologues to remind us what’s going on, though, in Bayside, they’re, of course, very exaggerated.
Kelly (normally played by Katie Mebane but Caitlin Claessens was substituting the night I was there) is a horribly dumb girl with an ever-increasing number of siblings in her family. She’s played as very sexually promiscuous and, by the end of the show, it’s implied that she’s pregnant.
Slater (John Duff) is, of course, the narcissistic wrestling jock, wearing a singlet through every scene except the Malibu Sands scene. He is nominally dating Jessie but it’s clear that he’s a closeted homosexual and completely in love with Zack Morris. By the end of the show, he’s even in a rainbow singlet.
Jessie (Adriana Spencer) is still the smart one in school, but the running gag throughout the episode is, naturally, her caffeine pill addiction. The exaggeration of “Jessie’s Song” is perfect, with Jessie chugging pills by the handful and, at one point, spitting them mercilessly into the audience. Spencer is to be commended for an amazing performance that I doubt Elizabeth Berkley herself could have topped. She evokes the unintentional humor of “Jessie’s Song” in such a way that she has, very much, been etched in my mind as the most memorable part of the production.
Lisa (Shamira Clark) is still the fashion queen. She perhaps has the least to do in the show, but this doesn’t stop her scenes from being hilarious. She deals with the fact that she’s the only African-American student at Bayside and the fact that no one even realizes that she’s black until someone points it out. And, of course, there’s the subplot about Screech wanting to bone her.
Screech (Justin Cimino) not only has Dustin Diamond down to a “T.” Besides his spaghetti sauce, Screech’s main conflict is over whether to date Lisa, who doesn’t want to date him and is completely rejecting him, or Tori Spelling, who wants his man chowder. He does reveal, as well, that Kevin the Robot tragically drowned in the Powers family bathtub.
Supporting the main gang in multiple roles is Amanda Nicholas. Amanda is listed in the program as playing “Every other student at Bayside,” and plays many of the other roles including Tori Spelling (she’s not Violet in this production), Becky the Duck, Stacey Carosi, and Miss Bliss.
But the actor who steals the show, by far, is Seth Blum. Blum primarily plays Mr. Belding (who definitely has a boner for both Zack Morris and Kelly) but his most hilarious moments come in the other characters he plays, including Max, Mr. Carosi, Chief Henry, and, most hilariously, Tori Scott. Tori is brilliantly portrayed here as a masculine motorcyclist who is the ugliest girl you ever saw. Despite this, the gang all thinks she’s beautiful and she helps them come up with their money making schemes. It’s a performance that has to be seen to be believed. And Tori is definitely the rebel “girl” here–in one scene she’s off to see her parole officer for selling dope.
If there’s a downside to Bayside, it’s that I wonder whether someone not at all familiar with the show would get the satire. This is a minor quibble, though. If writing this blog has taught me anything, it’s that there are enough people around the world who love to make fun of this show that there’s no shortage of an audience. As long as Saved by the Bell reruns are being played somewhere, there will always be a new influx of people waiting to make fun of it.
The jokes come a mile a minute and, if you’re able to pick up on enough of the references like me, there won’t be many times during the show when you won’t be laughing. From an entire musical number devoted to Trapper Keepers hiding boners for Kelly to a seance where Chief Henry and Miss Bliss (whom it’s explained died, and the gang is holding a memorial dance for her) get it on, there’s enough to keep you busy for the two hours the show runs.
I’m definitely a fan of the McSmiths work now and look forward to what they have to offer in the future. They have previously staged a similar unauthorized parody, Showgirls: The Musical, to rave reviews, and I regret I missed seeing that one. If you enjoy mocking Saved by the Bell as much as I do, you need to see this show. I hope, in the future, they’ll be able to go on tour, as there’s a definite market for their show all over. For now, they play Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. at Theater 80, 80 St. Mark’s Place in New York City, but will be taking most of August off. For tickets and more information, visit them online at http://baysidethemusical.com.
I traveled 750 miles to see this show. You should do the same. Consider it your excuse to take a vacation in New York.
Season one is over, one of the worst things I’ve ever watched in my life. And the most disturbing part is that I’ve heard this is best season of Saved by the Bell: The New Class, that it’s all downhill from here.
There’s no better way to say this: Saved by the Bell: The New Class sucks ass.
What in god’s name made these people think that, if they simply hired six teenagers who vaguely resembled the cast of the original show and recycled story lines from the original that they would automatically have a good show?
The disturbing thing is, they were, in the long run, successful. As we’ll soon see, this show ran for seven seasons. Seven fucking seasons. How? Why?
This is not to say the original was a stunning achievement of television greatness. Far from it. But a commenter (I think it was Mark Moore), hit the nail on the head as to why this show is not remembered today like the original class (and even Good Morning, Miss Bliss and The College Years to a degree) were: the cast of this show has absolutely zero charisma together. For all its faults, you could genuinely believe that Zack Morris, Slater, Screech, Kelly, Jessie, and Lisa were who they said they were: six high school friends trying to make it in the world with all its awkwardness.
On this show, I don’t believe for a second that any of these morons give a damn about one another. None of the six really had any experience in professional acting prior to this show and it is really palpable. Each of the six presents wooden performances that are only highlighted by Dennis Haskins showing them up with his Oscar worthy by comparison acting. Even some of the guest stars did a better job than the main cast this season. James Marsden, though his character was an unlikable douche, definitely demonstrated why he’s successful today despite being on The New Class. Hell, by comparison, the baby playing Little Zack is a fucking child prodigy compared to these idiots.
But, for all this shit, there’s one character who actually developed over the season, and it’s probably not who you think I’m going to say.
As scary as it is for me to admit, Scott really does grow over the course of the season. He starts out an unlikable, irredeemable piece of shit whose sole ambition in life is to steal Lindsay away from Tommy D. Yet, throughout the season, we actually see him gradually develop a conscience. On one occasion, he actually feels guilty for trying to get Lindsay to cheat on Tommy D with him and stops his plan in the middle. Towards the end of the season, he actually dates a few other girls, and he seems to be becoming more socially adjusted. My god, given a few more stories, he could have actually become likable, so of course he’s one of the characters the writers jettison.
They also jettisoned Vicki, and with good reason. Vicki didn’t do shit this season. No episodes focused on her. She occasionally has a supporting role in one of the group’s schemes, but she had no personality or life outside the group. Her one thing was being a complete dumb ass, which grated on my nerves more than anything. They hinted at a running subplot with her having a crush on Scott but it only showed up a few times when it was convenient to the plot and was forgotten the rest of the time. Consider the fact that Vicki was jealous of Scott and Megan but not Scott and Rachel. In fact, she helped facilitate Scott and Rachel’s date!
Obviously, Weasel was supposed o be Screech and he sucked ass at it. He received more shows with him as a central character than any other character besides Scott. He really didn’t do much, though. He’s supposed to be lifelong friends with Lindsay but this is only explored in one episode. He’s supposed to have an unrelenting crush on Megan, but this is dropped when it’s inconvenient to the plot. Hell, most of the time his entire existence on the show was defined in terms of Scott.
Out of the three characters who made it to season two, Lindsay is the most understandable. For much of the season, she’s the only likable character. This, unfortunately, is also her weak spot. Lindsay exists as a sexy lamp shade for Tommy D and Scott. What little development we get apart from the boys involves Vicki and Megan being super bitches to her for no good reason. And she has exactly two emotions: super happy or “oh my god my kitten just died.”
I don’t have any strong feelings towards Megan one way or the other. She’s an okay character but her characterization is so inconsistent. One minute, she’s a horrible super bitch to Lindsay. The next minute, she’s a super nice and even caring, even towards Weasel’s creepy sexual advances. I am glad they kept her and got rid of Vicki, but Megan just doesn’t do anything for me. I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Oh god, Tommy D, why are you on this show? You exist for three reasons: to be Lindsay’s boyfriend, to be Mr. Belding’s mechanic, and to be Scott’s foil. You really have no purpose outside these three things this season. Even his one episode devoted to him was all about how the gang could take advantage of his impending driver’s privileges. It’s genuinely baffling to me why they kept him but got rid of Scott. A triangle in season two between Scott, Lindsay, and Rachel could have been a very good story line, even if The College Years did it already.
And now it’s time to say good-bye to the three actors who are leaving us. I would like to tell you why these three were dropped, but information is few and far between. Common fan belief seems to be that the producers believed the solution to all their problems was to shake up the cast and bring back Dustin Diamond. Diamond claimed in Behind the Bell that Robert Sutherland Telfer was fired for having very conservative beliefs, which is a bizarre claim since Peter Engel once served as dean of Pat Robertson’s Regent University, and, I’m sorry, but you don’t get much more conservative than Pat Robertson. I tend to think Dustin Diamond is full of shit and, for now, the true reasons behind the three’s firing will remain unknown.
For Isaac Lidsky, being fired may have been a blessing. I swear, looking up information on this guy, you couldn’t help but be inspired. He has persevered against some fucking tough odds. He quit acting and was soon after diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerate eye disease that eventually left him blind. Even this didn’t stop him. Lidsky studied Law at Harvard and, in 2008-2009,, clerked for Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, becoming the first blind person to clerk in the Supreme Court. Today, he’s CEO of a construction company and heads a charity called Hope for Vision that seeks to bring awareness and advocacy to degenerate eye diseases.
Bonnie Russavage managed to stay off the radar for a number of years until a blog tracked down her personal Facebook. (I’m not linking to the blog because I’m personally opposed to pointing out celebrities’ personal Facebook accounts without their permission.) Like Lidsky, Russavage quit acting. Today she’s divorced with a son and works as a recruiter for a company that seeks to find jobs for medical professionals.
Robert Sutherland Telfer is the most difficult of the three to track down. Wikipedia claims he got into amateur gymnastics after he quit acting, but he kind of dropped off the face of the Earth after that. I haven’t the slightest clue what he’s doing today, and that’s probably how he wants it, which I respect.
When it comes down to it, it’s baffling that this show survived its initial season. If not for Peter Engel and the Saved by the Bell pedigree, I have a feeling it wouldn’t have. It just goes to show that, with the right circumstances, even the worst piece of shit can manage to get a second season…and a third…and a fourth…
You may recall that, for Good Morning, Miss Bliss and Saved by the Bell, I picked five episodes I loved from the season and three I hated. Well, I just can’t maintain that format here. Every single episode is detestable. Every single episode is cringe worthy. So here, instead, are five episodes of this season I hated the most:
Episode 3, “A Kicking Weasel:”Ugh, do I even have to say much about this? You don’t become a football star by being able to do field kicks. It just doesn’t happen. Add to this the fact that nothing is really resolved at the end and the bitchiness of Vicki and Megan towards Lindsay, and you have a painful combination.
Episode 4, “Home Shopping:”If you’re going to rip off the zit cream episode, at least do it in a believable manner. Seriously, chocolate memory may be the worst excuse of a dumb ass idea I’ve seen in this franchise yet, and I’ve seen “Jessie’s Song.”
Episode 6, “George Washington Kissed Here:” This episode is a mess. There’s so much going on that it’s like the plot is rushing trying to keep up. Scott’s an asshole in this episode, Lindsay’s an asshole, Megan’s an asshole, and Tommy D, the only one not being an asshole, is being told he’s an asshole. Oh, and lack of historical fact checking.
Episode 8, “Belding’s Baby:” Little Zack was the only good thing about his episode. The fact that not only was Mr. Belding seemingly bringing his infant son to work but that said infant son was also being hauled around Los Angeles by our brain dead characters in an effort to get Scott laid make this one even more painful to sit through.
Episode 10, “Swap Meet:”If you’re going to do an episode heavily focusing on comic books, you better do your fact checking or geeks like me will call you out in a heartbeat. Tommy D’s geek costume to get into the comic shop was just horribly insulting and Rachel could have been replaced with a vacuum cleaner with no change in the plot.
And so we reach the end of season one of The New Class. We’ll jump into season two on Monday. But be sure to check back tomorrow for a special review of Bayside: The Musical!
So it’s that time I’ve hoped would eventually get here. It’s been thirteen weeks in the making. It’s the first season finale of The New Class! Hallelujah I’m one-seventh of the way through this awful, awful series!
Oh my god! I’m only one-seventh of the way through this awful, awful series!
*sobs quietly in the corner curled up in the fetus position*
Well, let’s do it.
We open with Scott staring lovingly into a random extra’s eyes because Muffy the Vampire Slayer rejected him last week and Rachel won’t be available to come back until the season two premier. Oh, don’t worry. This has nothing to do with anything during this episode. If it were any other show you might ask yourself why it’s even here. But this is The New Class, the show that some rightfully describe as worse than Full House.
So Scott’s late for Social Studies because he was too busy staring into that extra’s eyes for no reason but, don’t worry, he has a stack of forged late passes at his disposal!
Scott is surprised to see Mr. Belding subbing for Mr. Tuttle in the one classroom. Yeah, apparently even Mr. Tuttle laughed when offered the opportunity to reprise his character on this awful, unneeded spin-off. So, Mr. Belding gets to hear and believe Scott’s lame excuse that he got four wisdom teeth pulled. Anyone who’s had wisdom teeth pulled knows he would be at home in excruciating pain right now if that were the case, especially if they were impacted.
So three area businesses have agreed to allow Bayside students to run their livelihood’s for a week. Oh, joy. It’s a rip-off of “The Friendship Business.” Because that’s exactly what this show was missing: a rip-off of one of my least favorite episodes from the first season of the original series. Well, except for the introduction of Edgar into my life, but there will be no such grace in this episode. Oh, and to make things even better, as we’ll soon find out, all the employees of these businesses decided to just take a week off without pay so that some high school kids could do their jobs for them. How convenient!Group number one is Meat and the football jocks, who will be working at “Dottie’s Dumbell Depot.”
Because it’s my only solace during this episode, I’m going to imagine this is Dottie. That would kick ass.
Group two, which includes the gang sans Scott (including Weasel, who’s enjoying pounding his head in this photo against Megan’s book) will be, *duh duh duh* RUNNING THE MAX! And we have an episode title!
And here’s our subplot for the episode: Vicki only has one more opportunity to get Scott to give her his man chowder, so she’s determined it’s going to happen!
Group number three, which include Ron and Claire, are running “IHOT,” the International House of Dry Cleaning. Okay, if such a place existed, I might consider taking my dry cleaning there, I won’t lie.
Scott’s been assigned to group three because groups in the Saved by the Bell universe have to be six people and some interloper named Homer.
So what’s Scott’s plan to get into group two?
Why to trifle with Claire’s heart of course! He tells her he loves her, which sends her into a hot flash and causes blow kisses to spontaneously erupt from her mouth in Scott’s direction. Scott gets out of the way and tells Homer the kisses are for him, which sends Homer on an odyssey but gets our plot moving.
Tommy D is group leader. Yeah, the dumbest guy in the cast is the group leader, and his incompetence soon shows. Scott has been assigned as a bus boy, which he hates.Lindsay is a cook while Megan and Vicki are waitresses. Oh, and Vicki wants Scott to “bus her table,” which I can only assume means fuck her ten ways to Sunday.
Yeah, to make a long, long plot short, everyone sucks at their jobs and all the customers at The Max have had enough, because Hawaiian themed parties, Casey Kasem dance-offs, a horrible actor waiting tables, and a radio telethon are apparently not enough to get people to leave The Max, but slightly bad service is.
Of course, Scott has a way to turn things around and, I have to admit, at least at the start, it’s a competent business model.
First, you place Weasel in the position he’s best at: the school idiot passing out flyers in the hallway.
Then promise Meat and his Neanderthal buddies free food for wearing The Max’s name on the back of their jerseys.
And duck the anger of the football coach cleverly named “Coach.” Wait…they already introduced a guy as the football coach EARLIER THIS SEASON? Did they forget about that or do they just not care anymore? Can no one on this show maintain continuity for longer than the attention span of a three year old? But the coach threatens to make Scott do push-ups until his grandchildren graduate if he doesn’t get the advertising off the jerseys. That’ll make procreating pretty difficult for Scott, I have to admit.
Oh, well, back to the plan. Weasel is installing disk drives on the toilets, perhaps the only part of this plan that doesn’t make sense.
Vicki is the dish washer because she sucks at life, and Megan and Lindsay are waitresses because they have the best people skills of the gang. Oh yeah, and there’s lots of flirting between Megan and Scott, which upsets Vicki but, hey, it’s Megan’s last opportunity too!
Rounding it out is Tommy D as cook, cooking his famous meatloaf without any meat. Everyone is impressed because The Max actually has turned around, and why not? After all, it’s the smartest thing Scott’s ever done on the show. So you know now they’ve got to find a way to fuck it up since there’s still around twelve minutes left.
Mr. Belding comes in and, through the power of exposition, tells Scott that the school has agreed to cover the cost of any losses to the three businesses. I asks the same question I asked in “The Friendship Business:” where does Bayside get all this money? Is it Mafia owned? Did they buy a share in Jesse and the Rippers? Did they strike oil…again? God, it makes no sense!
Scott decides to ask what would happen if a group made a profit and Mr. Belding tells him that it’s never happened, but he guesses the group would get to keep the profit. And our plot finally advances.
So Scott’s plan is to get the coach to switch the location of the annual football banquet from the Palisades Hotel to The Max, and, as such, Scott and Weasel talk shit about the hotel to the coach until he says he can’t have his boys eating at a place like that. Scott offers up The Max and the coach goes for it, on the condition he cook up something worthy the classiness of the two gentlemen below who seem to be playing the game where you pretend to steal the other person’s nose by displaying your thumb cupped in your hand.
Scott thinks he’s up to the challenge. Back at The Max, he tells the gang his plan but reveals they need to raise $600 in advance to buy food for the banquet. His plan?
Karaoke with Ron! Yes, for only $10, you, too, can sing horribly off-key in an establishment that changes purposes to suit the plot of the week, and help Scott raise collateral while you’re a it!
Now a new conflict! Ready for this? Scott is an asshole manager! Imagine that! It was totally unexpected! He’s overworking all the staff, not even letting Weasel go take a tinkle!
Back at Bayside, it’s time for progress reports, starting with Meat’s group, who present Mr. Belding with their best selling dumb bell, the “Sissy Boy 3000.”
When it’s time for Scott’s group to report, everyone is asleep and exhausted except for Scott, but he reports things are going wonderfully. Tommy D and Lindsay have had enough of this bull shit and quit and Vicki soon follows when she realizes Scott’s not going to fuck her this week. Megan asks if they can pull it off without them, and we get the most pointless dream sequence of the season.
Yes, it’s Scott imagining himself doing push ups until his grandchildren graduate from high school after he fucked up the football banquet. Thanks for that, The New Class writers. That was so integral to the episode.
At The Max, Scott and Weasel are the only ones working, with Weasel making the great sacrifice of not seeing “Blossom Goes to Iraq.” Is that the one where she loses her virginity to Saddam Hussein played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar?
Well, Megan comes in and quits because her school project is eating into school time and she needs to study because she got a C+. Yay, we’re even reusing minor plot points of original series episodes now. God help us, it’s up to Scott and Weasel now, and Weasel conveniently has to go back to Bayside to get the shrimp from his locker. Yeah, his locker…
I’m not even going to question the fact that Scott and Weasel appear to be skipping out on school while the rest of the gang is at Bayside. It’s an inconsistency but, at this point, it’s the least of this show’s problems. What I will tell you is how Weasel tells Lindsay, Vicki, and Tommy D that Scott is sorry for being an asshole and this makes them instantly forgive him.
I will question why Weasel appears to have the sample photo that comes with a picture frame hanging up in his locker. Does he not have a real family to call his own?
So, one by one, Lindsay, Tommy D, Vicki, and even Megan come back to The Max to help Scott out.
And Vicki tries her hand at getting a hot dicking one more time.
And just in time because Weasel was planning on serving this monstrosity of Jello, bananas, peaches, and pepperoni.
But, since some stuff near the beginning actually made snese we haven’t reached our contrivance quota for the week yet so we still need one more, and we get it in the form of the power going out! But never fear, Tommy D has a plan!
And it descends, the western themed football banquet, complete with a western-style Max sign that just happened to be lying around, some hay, rocks, a grill, and checkered table clothes.
And the nerds even volunteers to steal clothes from the dry cleaning business so that the gang has cowboy apparel available. And the girls say, “Yodel lay hee hoo!”
And the boys say, “Spin me in your arms, Tommy D, and make me feel like a real boy!”
And Mr. Belding and the coach say, “Isn’t this episode over yet?”
But they pull it off and the jocks love it.
And Mr. Belding pulls horrifies us by dressing like Indiana Jones as he tells the gang they all get As.
In the end, the gang discover that, due everything they had to get at the last minute, including a blown fused box even though it’s not clear that that’s their fault or responsibility, they are in the hole for $9.00. But what matters is they had fun and Lindsay leaves them with the season closing cheesy thought: Scott may have lost $9, but he gained five friends, at least until next week when they forget that he and two of the others ever existed. But, yeah, friends forever!
And that’s it for season one of The New Class! As usual, I’ll have a recap this Wednesday! And stay tuned next Monday as we discover whether this show can suck any worse than it already does. Spoiler alert: it can.
To truly understand this episode, you have to understand the context it came out of. In 1971, two congressmen released a then-explosive report declaring that ten to fifteen percent of U.S. servicemen in the Vietnam War were addicted to heroin. Soon after, U.S. President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse “enemy number one” in U.S. society. The media then popularized the term “War on Drugs” to describe government attempts to combat the drug trade.
But it was really under the administration of President Ronald Reagan that the War on Drugs really took off. I won’t speculate here on why Reagan choose to go after this unwinnable “war” but, suffice it to say, cocaine and, especially, crack cocaine, soon became public enemy number one in the minds of most Americans, and penalties for mere possession were ramped up. The mantra, “Just say no!” was soon coined and beat into the heads of school children around the country. Meanwhile, then-Vice President George H.W. Bush involved the CIA in the War on Drugs, which eventually lead to the extremely controversial invasion of Panama in 1989 on the pretense of ending the drug trade in Panama. Commentators on both sides of the political spectrum have since declared that the War on Drugs was a colossal failure and, if anything, actually made things worse.
The effect was definitely felt on pop culture. In a now infamous episode of Diff’rent Strokes, Gary Coleman’s school is visited by First Lady Nancy Reagan, who conveniently has come to a random middle school to encourage kids to “Just say no!” because that’s apparently all we were lacking to get kids to stop abusing harmful narcotics. An early episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation featured an alien race addicted to narcotics. Cartoons got in on the action with All-Star Cartoons to the Rescue, a thirty minute special where all your favorite cartoons came to preach to you for a half hour about why marijuana was bad (ever wanted to hear Simon the Chipmunk completely ruin your childhood memories by saying “marijuana” or see Bugs Bunny holding a joint? No? Me either.) Even comic books got in on the action when Green Arrow discovers his young ward and sidekick, Speedy, is addicted to heroin and when Harry Osborne trips on LSD in The Amazing Spider-Man.
So, with everyone else doing it, it was naturally only a matter of time before Saved by the Bell got in on the action. Naturally, they do it as ineptly as possible: with a non-addictive substance that, yes, is dangerous in large quantities, but you really have to be negligent to abuse. Saved by the Bell wasn’t the first to do a very special episode on the abuse of legal substances; Punky Brewster tackled the dangers of prescription medications and Family Ties tackled diet pills. But Saved by the Bell may be the only show to date that has tackled the menace of caffeine pills.
So here goes nothing, and they waste no time because we open with Jessie drinking coffee, which she hates. So of course she keeps drinking it because STANFORD!
So the logical solution is to use half a bag of sugar in it. Who knows. Maybe this episode will be about Jessie on a sugar high and turning into Tori!
Anyway, Zack Morris informs us in a monologue that it’s time for the geometry midterm. For once, the timeline on this show actually fits! Jessie’s drinking so much coffee because she’s hella worried that she’s going to flunk this midterm so she’s staying up late for some hot studying with her Little House on the Prairie doll.
Don’t you miss the days when you could stick a quarter in a jukebox and it would play the exact karaoke version of the song you were thinking of without the trouble of actually pressing buttons? Yeah, Lisa’s not even pretending to press buttons here. Max must have turned into the Great Gazoo and is using his magic for stupid stuff.
Kelly and Lisa join the table and convince Jessie to sing along with them. Oh, this should be good since we established just last week that Kelly can’t sing to save her life!
What the hell do you mean Kelly’s a good singer this week? You mean that, once again, we can’t manage to maintain one minor character trait from one week to the next? Why do I still expect this show to do things like maintain continuity and remember what they wrote the previous week?
Anyway, the guys love the girls singing and Zack Morris says his father (would that be Peter or Derek?) has a friend who’s a record producer who, because of plot contrivance, just happens to be looking for a girl version of New Kids on the Block. I fail to see what the difference would be.
Jessie’s all, “NO! GEOMETRY FIRST!” But we’ve established one of the conflicts, possibly in record time!.
Welcome back, Mr. Dewey! Yeah, I have to admit, he’s one of the recurring characters that I’m growing a special fondness for. He’s like Ben Stein, except without all the crazy creationist bull shit.
Mr. Dewey is passing back Geometry quizes and decides to violate confidentiality laws by announcing everyone’s grades to the whole room because it’s easier to move the plot along when we don’t worry about stupid things like realism. Zack Morris, Kelly, and Lisa all have B+s.
And…*dun dun dun*…wait for it…Jessie has a C! Oh yeah, she’s going spastic, much like she did when she got a bad grade from the Micro Machines Guy, except this time she’s not yet threatening Zack Morris’s life.
The bell rings so naturally Mr. Dewey is off to his tryout with American Gladiators. Hell yeah! I would totally watch that episode!
Jessie is still freaking out about the quiz and her first reaction, naturally, is that this single quiz will prevent her from getting into Stanford because, as we all know, college admissions departments get a full breakdown of every grade you ever receive in every class since preschool. Let’s hope they don’t see that D- for finger painting when she was in kindergarten! But, never fear! Slater offers to tutor her, because the person you want tutoring you in Geometry is the person who has Berber carpet for hair!
In the locker room, Screech has dressed up like a really bad excuse woman for the thousandth time on this show and the girls continue to be unable to tell that it’s Screech in a bad wig denigrating the Irish accent, even when he decides his new female name is Sinead O’Connor. It’s nice to see some things never change, like the girls failing to get a clue!
The girls decide to sing a song to cheer Jessie up about her grades and, yeah, Ms. O’Connor records them on her handy, dandy mop microphone that totally exists.
At Jessie’s house, she and Slater are studying Geometry and Slater put on his best, “I is Smart!” hat so he can pretend to be the smart one this episode.
Zack Morris breaks an entering by climbing in Jessie’s window which is naturally not closed or locked because she figures no one wants to steal her Little House on the Prairie doll. Zack Morris reveals that he and Sinead O’Connor recorded the girls in the locker room and Jessie’s hella pissed for about five seconds until Zack Morris reveals that the producer loves them and thinks Jessie is the best. He must have caught the Miss Bayside competition too. And he leaves as he came in: like Spider-Man returning through the window from a night of crime fighting.
Zack Morris’s illegal entry was the perfect excuse Slater needed to get the hell out of there but Jessie has other plans.
And it’s the evil caffeine pills! Look at how vile they are and how much they could potentially keep Jessie from STANFORD! Why, you can almost see Satan himself jumping from that little pill bottle as he laughs maniacally at another soul destroyed by a legal, mostly harmless substance! Cartoon All-Stars may have gone after the scourge of marijuana and Reagan may have set his eyes on crack cocaine but, no, Saved by the Bell found the real destroyer of lives: caffeine pills! And Slater remembers what Nancy Reagan taught him on Diff’rent Strokes and just says no to these evil, vile, disgusting, life-destroying little tools of Beelzebub! Why, it may lead her to harder stuff, like LSD…or RED BULL!
Seriously, Jessie says she just bought them today and Slater pretty much immediately freaks out despite the fact that there’s no possible way Jessie has taken too many of these pills unless she downed the entire bottle, which she obviously hasn’t done since she just offered one to Slater. To keep Slater from totally spazing out on her, Jessie agrees with Slater and waits to take more until he leaves the room.
But not before giving Slater a “thank you for tutoring me!” pop kiss on the mouth as the audience loses their shit.
The next day at The Max, Jessie is naturally harassing Mr. Belding about STANFORD as he tries to have a peaceful lunch at the restaurant all his students hang out at. Mr. Belding is like, “Chill the fuck out you psycho bitch! There are plenty of other good colleges even if Stanford doesn’t take your caffeine pill popping ass!”
Which naturally leads to a dream sequence. Welcome to Jessie’s new college, Surf University! Boy, this thing must be endowed by the crew from Baywatch.
Yes, it’s the perfect school for Zack Morris because he’s surrounded by girls in bikinis all day and isn’t forced to do anything.
Oh, poor Jessie! Geometry prevented her from going to STANFORD so here she is!
And Mr. Dewey is here to get a sun tan!
And Mr. Belding is the dean of students…for some reason…
Yeah, as usual with the dream sequences, there’s absolutely no purpose for anything we just witnessed so let’s never speak of it again…except for making fun of Mr. Belding in the comments.
Good lord, I’m only half way through this episode…
In the hallway at Bayside, because of plot contrivance, Zack Morris needs the girls to make a music video for “Hot Sundae,” their new band. It sounds like either the Christian older brother to Hot Topic or a promotional band for Dairy Queen. Come in and get your nipple rings shaped in a cross or Kelly on your ice cream cake!
Naturally, this leads to Jessie popping more of Satan’s little white drug capsules, as we lead into…
Oh my God…I’m tripping on LSD right now. That’s the only explanation for rip off of Richard Simmons’s Sweating to the Oldies I’m seeing on my screen right now. Let’s break down this song…
Here’s a message that I’m sending to you.
You can do what you want to do.
A little work never hurt no one.
It’s the only way to get things done.
The writer of this song is the Captain Obvious of songwriting. “A little work never hurt no one/It’s the only way to get things done.” Let’s think of some other suitable songs for Hot Sundae now, such as, “I feel a burning, should I care?/Oh my God, yes, there’s a fire in my hair!” Or let’s go for the immortal, “Sometimes I feel like my head will explode./It’s ok, it’s just The New Class, those toads!”
Oh, but it gets worse. Let’s review the chorus:
Put your mind to it, go for it.
You’re gonna break a sweat!
Rock ‘n roll, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Mind to it, go for it.
You’re gonna break a sweat!
Rock ‘n roll, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
The sheer horrible factor of these lyrics is making my head explode. Seriously, One Direction can write better than this. Selena Gomez can write better than this. Justin Bieber…can sometimes write better than this.
Oh Jesus, there’s another verse…
My love is strong whenever you’re around.
I walk on air, I never touch the ground.
And I’m so happy that you’re with me now.
You’ll never see me in the lost and found.
First, when did this become a love song? The first verse and the chorus give absolutely no hint that it was! Second, why are they Jesus now? What other explanation is there? They walk on air and never touch the ground? Did they steal Marty McFly’s hover board from 2015? Third…why would you look for a girl in the lost and found? Is she like a purse or a cell phone that you negligently leave on a public bus? And what does that have to do with any of the other lyrics?
There’s only one logical answer to any of this. To quote Mystery Science Theater 3000, lyrics by Mrs. Johnson’s kindergarten class. This must have been another of Jessie’s early D projects.
Oh, god, a third verse. Let’s get this over with…
I feel so good whenever you are near.
All my troubles seem to disappear.
You’re the one that I’ve been searching for.
‘Cause every day I love you more and more.
OK, this was actually the strongest of the verses until the last two lines. If he’s the one you’ve been searching for, how can you love him more and more every day? Are you stalking him? Have you turned into the nanny from The Hand that Rocks the Cradle? Wow…these are really bad lyrics.
Well, the only thing worse than the lyrics of this song are the visuals of the video.
Because when I think high energy pop video, I think Richard Simmons and girls dancing around in a gym that just so happened to agree to let Zack Morris film his stupid music video there. And seriously, if Zack Morris is filming this, how is he pulling off a multi-camera professional setup complete with editing that, while it wouldn’t pass muster with anything better than an Ed Wood film, does at least show some competence?
Oh my God! This is the effects of the caffeine pills! The specter of LIsa’s head has found me at last and it getting its revenge!
Oh my God! Now it’s Jessie!
And now it’s Kelly! We’re all going to die! We’re all going to die!
Whew, I’m glad that’s over! Now we can just view the girls’ bad choreography in which they think randomly swinging their arms and bouncing on exercise equipment OK Go! style counts as dancing.
You know what this episode was missing? Lisa singing while pumping iron. Now it is complete and will go down as a master piece (of shit).
More trampolines. Yay.
And look. The girls now operate on Looney Tunes physics: they’re able to float in mid-air for no discernible reason.
Good lord. That may well have been the longest three minutes of my life.
So the recording company loves their video because it’s the same company that thought Eddie Murphy should have a music career in which his one hit is constantly mistaken for a Michael Jackson song. But the company still isn’t convinced so they want to see them perform live tomorrow night at, you guessed it, The Max, because we might as well since everything else in Los Angeles revolves around The Max. No record producer on Earth would be this wishy washy. Either they like Hot Sundae or they hate Hot Sundae.
And after the previous long scene, the episode remembered it was supposed to be a very special episode on Lucifer’s demonic wake-up juice, so Slater roots through Jessie’s bag looking for a pen and finds her pills. Slater’s all, “Bleahl bleah! Bleah! Danger!” and Jessie’s like, “Fuck off and quit rooting through my bag!” Yeah, I’m with Jessie on this one.
The next day, Jessie has turned into Speedy Gonzales as she prepares to take her Geometry mid-term. Here’s the thing about this episode. There are lots of times that Jessie is acting bat-shit crazy like this but there’s no laughing from the audience because they want to convey a serious, somber attitude. What ends up happening instead is awkwardness, the same awkwardness you feel when someone trips and falls down but you’re not sure you should laugh because you don’t know whether they’re hurt or not. Seriously, someone needs to remaster this episode with more laugh track.
Jessie’s the first one done and Mr. Dewey is like, “Don’t you want to check your answers?” Jessie is underdetred, though, and replies, “Undalay! Undalay! Areeba! Areeba!”
In the hallway, Slater tries to tell Zack Morris about Jessie’s problem with Apollyon’s harbinger’s of doom. Zack Morris is all, “Even though you saw this with your own eyes and I didn’t, I choose to blindly disbelieve you because it’s the most convenient way to move the plot along. Yay, lady vitamins!”
There’s a brief rehersal at The Max featuring a song that’s not the one we were treated to mere moments ago unless they wrote a fourth verse and changed the melody and key. There’s not much point to this scene except to give Elizabeth Berkley more of an opportunity to overact.
And now it’s time for what is, perhaps the single most infamous scene on this show. See, Jessie’s fast asleep when Zack Morris shows up to take her to the performance at The Max. Apparently caffeine pills make you lose your memory and sense of time.
“There’s no time! There’s never any time!”
Jessie reveals her stock of the Devil’s Caucasian Caffeinators and…well…
This scene has been made fun of so many times and is even the subject of t-shirts, so I’ll just let these people interpret this scene for you…
And, yes, Zack Morris, Jessie being addicted to caffeine is exactly like the time the two of you snuck out to see E.T., just like those teenagers caught up in that horrible street gang are just like the time in second grade one of my classmates stole a french fry from my lunch.
Just to put this in perspective, in a matter of a few days, Jessie has developed this crippling addiction to a substance that it takes a hell of a lot of to cause any harm. Has she been chugging the whole fucking bottle?
That night, at The Max…
It’s time for our live performance, and Lisa’s up first…
And then Kelly…
And…OH MY FUCKING GOD! THIS SCENE WAS ALL I NEEDED TO SEE THE TRUE DANGERS OF CAFFEINE PILLS! TOO MANY CAFFEINE PILLS MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE DUSTIN DIAMOND! OH THE HORROR! OH THE HUMANITY! THIS SHOULD BE IN EVERY DRUG AWARENESS COMMERCIAL KNOWN TO HUMANITY!
God, make it stop!
Slater suggests that the producer come back another night when Jessie isn’t looking so much like Dustin Diamond, but $5 says we’ll never hear about Hot Sundae again. At Jessie’s house, everyone has decided to come over and keep her up further after her binge of being up so long. We get some pity parties about how everyone is to blame for Jessie using Satan’s Pills of Doom, Slater reveals he enjoys being abused by Jessie, and Jessie says her mom is taking her to “the doctor” for counseling tomorrow. The doctor. That’s the best this episode could end with. Yeah.
So I’m sure some of you will want to know what I thought of this episode. It’s definitely cheese, pure cheese. It’s unrealistic, horribly acted, horribly written, horribly directed, and not fact checked. But it’s unintentionally funny as shit, even with the horrible song and music video, so I can’t hate it too much. Even Dennis Haskins says he loves making fun of this episode, so what can you say.
Firsts: A very special episode, STANFORD!
And speaking of making fun of episodes, I have two special posts coming up this next week. On Wednesday, I’ll have a recap of season 1 of The New Class. And, on Thursday, watch for my review of the unauthorized off-Broadway parody of Saved by the Bell, Bayside: The Musical! It’s going to be a busy week!