We’re back at the mall this week where Mr. Belding and Screech almost immediately make asses of themselves trying to get off the elevator. We get some dialogue about how Mr. Belding and Screech are setting up for his brother-in-law’s new candy store. Wait…so this episode should have aired before “My Best Friends?” Geez, ever think that would clear up the confusion on why the hell they were working at a candy store? In any case, there’s still no explanation what happened to the sporting goods store so I’m just going to assume Screech somehow blew it up after the whole Air Screech fiasco.
Tommy D approaches them and talks about dressing as Pocohantas. Geez, this episode just took a turn for the worse. I’ll be picturing that all night…
And because I love sharing my pain with you, my loyal readers, here’s an artist’s rendition of what that hideous hybrid might look like…
Try getting that out of your mind…
The real reason Tommy D’s there is to provide some exposition about Mall Mania, which is apparently an annual event in which mall stores get to show off their merchandise in an elaborate show. Also, we find out one of our subplots for the episode is going to be Screech buying joke candy for the store and we start out this barrel of laughs with Screech tricking Mr. Belding into eating spicy candy. Why does he still have a job anywhere?!?!?!
Mall Mania mania has spread to Lindsay and Rachel, who hope to be models for the store they’re working at, La Boutique. Ryan just hopes he gets to perv on his current girlfriend and future girlfriend’s breasts at some point in the show.
Oh, and Tommy D randomly took up smoking. Yeah, it’s never explained why or when he started smoking, but it’s a great introduction for a very special episode no one ever asked for or wanted! The gang judge him slightly for being a smoker but all I can really think of right now is, “I remember when smoking was legal in most public places!”
At La Boutique, Lindsay and Rachel try to suck up to their boss, Mr. Hugo, but he’s already asked random beautiful women Laura and Ashley to be his models. Also, Mr. Hugo puts any previously effeminate gay stereotype in the history of cinema and television to shame. This guy is so flaming I’m waiting for him to say, “Flame on!” and become the Human Torch.
Laura and Ashley share stories with Lindsay and Rachel about what it’s like to be a model. One of them pulls out a pack of cigarettes and offers one to Rachel who refuses. Lindsay, however, randomly accepts one because the writers of this show have no fucking clue why kids start smoking. Yeah, a random offer from a stranger gets you hooked on cigarettes. Keep telling yourself that.
Meanwhile, Mr. Belding can’t stop eating the merchandise so Screech gives him a lollipop that…sticks to your tongue. Geez, no wonder the store was in such a dire financial situation in “My Best Friends” if this is the shit they sell!
Mr. Belding tells Screech that this is a stupid fucking subplot so he should send back all the trick candy. When Tommy D comes in with a fresh shipment, Screech somehow knows telepathically that the candy on the left is trick candy so he tells Tommy D to send that back. Tommy D, being a fucking idiot, immediately which side he’s supposed to send back. Sorry, can’t blame Tommy D being a moron on smoking. He didn’t need nicotine to destroy his non-existent brain cells.
Lindsay, meanwhile, gets ready to smoke her third cigarette of the day because she’s instantly hooked I guess or some shit. Rachel judges her for it. Lindsay hides the cigarette when she sees Ryan coming because she doesn’t want judgment from him. He and R.J. invite the girls to lunch…
But Lindsay falls behind so she can stare meditatively at her cigarette. Um, prop department, are you sure that’s tobacco in that cigarette and not something slipped in by Johnny Dakota?
At La Boutique, Ryan hatches a plan to get Mr. Hugo to use Lindsay and Rachel as models. He pretends to be a fashion photographer and says that the girls would be great for getting young people into the store. Mr. Hugo, apparently having just been born yesterday, readily agrees to this…
…especially when R.J. tickles the hairs on their chinny chin chins.
Lindsay’s so happy about this turn of events that she gives Ryan a giant kiss. As soon as the audience loses their shit, though, Ryan’s all, “Dayum, girl, your breath stank!” Lindsay’s all, “I’m a casual smoker now so don’t judge me!” Geez, hiding the smoking from Ryan didn’t last long…
And, naturally, Ryan looks on in the most judgmental face he can muster. So the writers of this show don’t understand why teenagers start smoking nor do they understand how peers typically react to other peers smoking. Yep, this episode is completely out of touch.
At the candy store, Tommy D’s depressed because the football coach demoted him due to his wind sprint times going down. It’s all because of those damned cigarettes instantly affecting his body! Screech manages to get some preachy shit in about how the easiest way to quit smoking is never to start, and Tommy D says he wants to quit but it’s so hard. Screech offers Tommy D some gum to help him, but quickly finds out it’s more trick stuff.
He tries to stop Mr. Belding before he opens a can with those stupid fake snakes in it but it’s too late! And a load of customers come in with more of those lollipops stuck to their tongues. Mr. Belding gets pissed and tells him to quit this stupid shit before Screech runs the store into the ground.
At the club, R.J. can’t shut the hell up long enough to play stupid muzak. You know, though, with all the teenagers at this club today, The Max must really be suffering from lack of business. Maybe they just shut down on days the gang isn’t there.
Meanwhile, Lindsay lights up another cigarette and Ryan makes her blow the smoke onto a napkin so she can see what she’s putting into her body. There’s lots of reverse peer pressure as the gang all tell her how dumb it is to smoke and how she may get lung cancer in the future, and, finally, Maria makes her go outside to smoke.
At La Boutique, Lindsay and Rachel practice for the fashion show.
But disaster strikes when Lindsay’s cigarette causes an expensive dress to suddenly burst into flames. That’s your problem, Lindsay! You’re not smoking cigarettes! You’re smoking miniature napalm bombs! Mr. Hugo is not amused and fires Lindsay.
So, the reasons given for not smoking in this episode are:
- It leaves dirty stains on napkins.
- You may get kicked off the football team.
- You may get lung cancer in a couple decades.
- It’s addictive.
- You may set random things on fire.
- Your friends will judge you mercilessly for not being exactly like them.
The writers of this show don’t have the slightest fucking clue about how teenagers really think, do they? Not a one of these is going to convince a teenager who either smokes or is thinking about smoking to quit because there’s a possible rationalization for every single one of them. Oh, and number six is just fucking stupid and unrealistic.
But that doesn’t stop us from continuing this stupid plot as Ryan comes out to judge Lindsay some more. Lindsay tells him to fuck off and that, if he can’t accept her for who she is, maybe they just need to break up and she storms off to consider the fact she’s lost two mall jobs this season.
It’s time for the Mall Mania party and the writers forget momentarily that this isn’t an episode taking place at Bayside as they have Mr. Belding announce that this is the “Bayside Mall Mania party.” Geez, it’s nice to know Bayside owns the mall now.
Anyway, Mr. Belding talks about how to make a caramel apple and suddenly the audience starts revolting. They came to hear a presentation from candy store manager. What the hell did they expect? Strippers and lap dances?
Screech saves him by breaking out the “super loop licorice” and tying them up with it. The audience loves it because they’re all high and thus ends our stupid crazy candy subplot.
Tommy D bums a cigarette off Lindsay and tells her he wishes he’d never started. This sends Lindsay into a random dream sequence…
Where it’s 2020…
And no one can see her because she’s dead! Yes, this is the worst dream sequence ever. Everyone else celebrates that it’s been ten years since Tommy D quit because Lindsay died. They even have the celebration in the mall because they couldn’t be bothered to break out another set for this episode. What’s worse, though no one is supposed to be able to hear her, Tommy D actually looks directly at her at one point. That’s some great acting there, guys. Strapped on takes were you?
And…what else can one say about this? Lindsay imagines her own death. Morbid.
It’s time for the fashion show. Maria takes Lindsay’s place to avoid more napalm incidents, but Mr. Hugo’s lost his voice and can’t narrate it. Screech remembers he once narrated a fashion show for Lisa and even mentions how much he sucked at it, and Mr. Hugo gives him the job because we only have a few more minutes left in this episode and what the hell else are you going to do? Tommy D gives Screech some “hiccup gum” by accident to ensure the whole thing goes horribly. We have a horrible, unfunny minute of Screech hiccuping until R.J. scares him. And that served absolutely no purpose whatsoever…
Lindsay apologizes to Ryan for not listening to his judgments about her smoking and tells him that she’s quitting immediately because, like the time she became anorexic in a week, she’s managed to become addicted to smoking in a couple of days. And our episode ends with Lindsay vowing the only thing that will touch her lips is Ryan’s, at least until whenever the hell the ski lodge episode takes place in this chronology and her lips touch Greg’s. Geez, though, that will make eating and drinking rather difficult if her lips are only in existence to kiss Ryan…
So…final thoughts? It’s a horrible very special episode and will never convince anyone not to smoke. Don’t get me wrong…smoking is a nasty habit and I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. But the preachiness and jugementalism of this episode alone might make a nice argument for me to take it up. Also, if I do get lung cancer, it will prevent me from having to see the next four season of this show. Thanks, The New Class, for convincing me I’ve been wrong all these years!