Well, we’re back at the ski lodge for one more episode. How much I have looked forward to the day we can put this wretched place behind us.
As the name of the episode would suggest, it’s New Year’s Eve.
Mr. Belding, Screech, and the gang are helping Grandpa Ernie set up for his annual New Year’s Eve party. This involves Screech being incompetent with balloons and talking about how, last year, Grandpa Ernie made him dress up as the New Year’s baby, diaper and all. Somehow, I’m surprised that isn’t the plot of this episode. I mean, they do tend to take every opportunity they can to show Screech nearly naked.
Mr. Belding has an idea to save the producers money on the season finale: the gang will think of resolutions based on things that have happened to them over the last year. This will allow the producers to shoe-horn in another clip show episode in place of a real season finale, because who the fuck cares about season finales since you only have to wait ten months on this show for new episodes!
Screech goes off to find the gang so they can reminisce on the last six months of my blogging life and the pain I’ve had to endure. In the meantime, he inhales helium and gives us an unfortunate preview of what’s going to happen to his voice in the coming seasons. I’ll give you a clue: my emotions surrounding the change are annoyance and depression, not joy and amusement.
Screech first finds Ryan, who throws a shovel full of snow in Screech’s face. I like to think this was just Richard Lee Jackson getting pissed off at Dustin Diamond and not realizing the camera was on, but it was so good the producers left it in. Anyway, Ryan realizes how much of a dumb fuck he’s been over the past year with Zack Morris-like schemes and, after some clips, decides his resolution is to think before he acts. Ryan asks Screech what his resolution is, and Screech is terrified to realize his life is so fucked up he can’t decide on just one thing.
Screech finds the girls next, and decides to blow on Grandpa Ernie’s nasal inhaler, which just happens to be sitting there with a bunch of noise makers…for some reason. After watching the clip of Lindsay not trusting Rachel and Ryan during the play, Lindsay vows to trust her friends more. Rachel remembers her mild case of sexual assault at Cal U. Maria vows to be up front with people after remembering how she and Lindsay lied to Rachel at the mall. Screech is filled with dread, though, to realize he still doesn’t have a resolution.
Lastly, we have Tommy D and R.J., who are in charge of food. Unfortunately, R.J. let Tommy D do the taste testing, which Tommy D took to mean, “be an idiot and bite into every sandwich.” Oh, Tommy D, how I won’t miss you at all next season. Your presence this season has contributed nothing! But Tommy D does have a resolution: to be himself, based on the stupid episode where he tried to act cultured and smart to get a girl. R.J., meanwhile, vows to judge everyone for who they are since he remembered how much of a dick he was to a girl with a disability on the S.S. Suspension of Disbelief. Screech feels even more of a loser that even Tommy D has a resolution and he still can’t come up with one.
So it’s time for the party, and Mr. Belding brings everyone outside to give their resolutions. Screech says he thought of one despite the fact that he and Mr. Belding didn’t get their own set of clips. What does Screech do? Why, he just reads off the gang’s resolutions. When they threaten to kick his ass for plagiarism, he apologizes, saying he’s such a dumb ass he thought he came up with them on his own. Mr. Belding says that it’s okay because everyone realizes Screech is a bit touched in the head and that, even if they’re borrowed and he took the thunder away from everyone else, they’re great resolutions.
And our episode, and our season, closes with our principal cast counting down to the new year and then embracing in one more happy cast moment while I thank God I had enough whiskey to make it through this season.
Now you might have noticed the problem with this episode: it takes place mid-school year, while they’re on Christmas vacation. Since Ryan, R.J., and Maria just came at the beginning of the school year, that means every episode they used a clip from had to have happened between September and December. That means, in four months, the gang manged to have a bunch of school episodes in which they had a television station, a gymnastics meet, a school play, and a ballet recital at The Max, plus a multiple episode arc at the mall, a trip to Cal U, three months on the S.S. Suspension of Disbelief, and episodes at the ski lodge. I’ve heard of conflated time lines but this is ridiculous. There’s no possible way the gang accomplished all that in the span of four months, especially if three of those months were spent on a damned boat! These producers just don’t fucking care. They knew that they could take any old shit they wanted to, dress it up with the Saved by the Bell franchise name, and that we would all eat it because they believe we’re all maniacal raving idiots who can’t bother to tie our shoe strings without directions to follow!
God, I really hate this show.
For what it’s worth: here are what the resolutions should have been:
Mr. Belding: Fire Screech.
Rachel: Get a personality that isn’t borrowed from random bits of Megan’s leftover character traits.
Maria: Do something other than be a super bitch.
Lindsay: Acting lessons.
Ryan: Stop being a dick.
R.J.: Do something to make internet reviewers twenty years from now give a shit that you were on this show.
Tommy D: Just leave already.
Screech: Die, preferably as painfully as possible.
In any case, three seasons down, four more to go. As usual I’ll have a recap of season three this Wednesday. And, next Monday, we’ll start in on season four of The New Class. Will it be better than the previous three seasons? Based on what I already know, I’m not holding my breath…