Well, this week we’re back on the good ‘ole second season of Saved by the Bell, and what better way to mark our return than a random close-up of a Shakespeare statue. No, it has nothing to do with anything the rest of the episode. It’s just one of those random times the camera person got bored and decided to start filming random stuff on set. There are times I think the crew of Saved by the Bell went to the Ed Wood School of Film-making.
Anyway, the episode proper starts with Zack Morris declaring that, in addition to all the other random activities the gang takes on in their thousand hour days, they’re also a part of the drama class, something Zack Morris excels at since he can almost always con his way out of anything despite the fact even Mother Teresa and the Dalai Llama wouldn’t trust his scheming ways.
And meet Mr. Bainbridge, our drama teacher, who’s actually quite sane, at least for being a member of Bayside’s faculty. The most insane thing he does this episode is thinking that Screech’s idea for putting on a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is a good idea, mainly because it’s in the public domain and the producers of Saved by the Bell won’t have to pay any royalties since they blew their royalty money already this season. But they can’t just do any old version of Snow White; no, they are going to do a rap version because when I thought of what was missing from Saved by the Bell, my first thought was our gang rapping about tiny people and poison apples.
So we go directly to the try outs, which was confusing because, for a brief moment, having no clue what was going on, I thought they had skipped to practicing the play. Luckily it’s not or we’d miss out on seeing Screech take advantage of the situation to not only sexually harass Lisa while rapping horribly but to also shake his hips in the semblance of what I assume Dustin Diamond thought looked like dancing.
Next up is Kelly, who’s auditioning for the wicked queen, and she raps her lines with the charisma of Ben Stein watching The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. She doesn’t want to try out for the role since she wants Snow White, which means I have to question why she’s auditioning if she doesn’t want to, but Mr. Bainbridge insists that she imagine some petty high school insecurity in order to channel the wicked queen, and she improves. Well, she improves as much as an actress on this show can.
Jessie, meanwhile, complains backstage about quasi-feminist bullshit on how sexist Snow White is. How dare a nineteenth century character be less enlightened than a woman who thinks t-shirts are sexist and once overdosed on caffeine pill! Well, Zack Morris tells her just change the lines since none of the crew are going to bother checking whether they did or not anyhow.
Jessie auditions with Screech and a grab bag of background characters as the “Seven Dorks” and raps about Snow White being liberated and shit, very believable for a nineteenth century Grimm Brothers fairy tale. Mr. Bainbridge, despite initially looking like he doesn’t know what to make of this mess, complements Jessie on her performance. He really shouldn’t encourage her. Seriously.
Last up is Zack Morris, who auditions for the role of the prince. There’s really not much to say other than the rapping is really beginning to annoy me, but the audience loses their shit over his audition, making me think the last play they saw was a peep show at their local adult bookstore.
And it’s a good thing Mr. Bainbridge is quick to make up his mind on the roles because that means we can fast forward directly to casting. Kelly’s the wicked queen, Lisa is the mirror on the wall, Screech is dork number five, Zack Morris is the prince, and Jessie is the super-enlightened Snow White. There’s no accounting for taste since none of these people should be acting. Ever.
Zack Morris doesn’t want to be in the play anymore, though, as he says that the only reason he tried out was he couldn’t stand the thought of anyone else kissing Kelly. Well, aren’t you just the little shit wasting everyone’s time like that? Jessie butters him up about being the best and shit and how they once were “Mr. and Mrs. Skunk” in an elementary school production, they’re just the next Lucy and Desi waiting to be born!
So Zack Morris agrees and we go directly to the kissing scene because that’s all this episode really gives a shit about. Unfortunately, Mr. Bainbridge doesn’t buy their kiss as much as the audience so he tells them to try it again with more feeling tomorrow. After everyone else leaves, they get right to it.
And, by getting right to it, I mean they stick their tongues down each others’ throats. Lisa comes in to retrieve something in the meantime and catches them in full-on make out mode. She quietly sneaks out and the two break their kiss, realizing they liked it a lot more than they’re supposed to because they both got boners and, after all, kissing should be a purely theoretical enterprise except when you’re magically in a relationship! No enjoying anything!
Oh, I see. It’s finally happened. With this episode, Zack Morris has officially gone after every female in the main cast. Jessie was last because she would have, in real life, ran Zack Morris off with her propensity for whining.
At Kelly’s house, Kelly and Lisa practice their lines, but Jessie’s really distracted, so, when Kelly leaves the room, Lisa takes advantage of the situation to tell Jessie she knows that Jessie’s a big hoe bag. Jessie swears Lisa to secrecy but then blurts out the whole thing to Kelly in guilt upon her return and rushes out, leaving Kelly to wonder what the fuck just happened.
At Bayside, Jessie’s mobbed by her seven dorks who want to practice their scene with her. She rebuffs them until it becomes a convenient plot point for her to get away from Slater, because nothing says not feeling guilty like getting a gaggle of background characters to carry you away.
And now, it’s time to play our favorite game here at Saved by the Bell Reviewed: “Where’s Scott Wolf?” Yes, it’s that magical time when we guess where our future Party of Five and Everwood star will show up as a background character on one of his first acting gigs! So, where is Scott Wolf this week?
Why, he’s a waiter at The Max behind Slater! Well, since there are no more out of season episodes from the second or third season, we probably won’t be seeing Scott Wolf again unless it’s in a clip episode. As such, this probably really is the final installment of “Where’s Scott Wolf?” Goodbye, Scott Wolf, and godspeed your journey into marginally better television.
So Slater thinks someone else may be after Jessie and asks Zack Morris about it. Zack Morris stammers and stutters, which is only slightly less suspicious than if he was wearing a sign that said, “I kissed Jessie and I liked it!” Slater says he’s going to randomly join the play so he can keep an eye on Jessie like a psycho stalker and destroy any guy who goes after her.
Well, and it’s really nice of Mr. Bainbridge to accommodate the random whims of Bayside’s student body because he allows Slater into the play as an eighth dork. The Grimm Brothers must be rolling in their graves at this point. This abomination to a classic fairy tale makes Jessie faint and, when it comes time for the kiss between Zack Morris and Jessie, neither can go through with it. When Lisa lets slip that maybe they like each other, they both run out, shocked by just how contrived this plot really is.
Since Mr. Belding needed a couple scenes, this suddenly becomes serious enough for the principal to handle. Zack Morris and Jessie both quit the play off camera (thanks for telling and not showing, guys…Ed Wood School of Film-making) and they tell him they might like each other but it would cause problems with Slater and Kelly if they do. Mr. Belding, the guy who has gotten pissed off about kissing in school on more than one occasion, tells them the only way they can find out for sure is to kiss again and see if they feel any of those things people commonly call “emotions.” I guess I should at least be thankful Mr. Belding doesn’t want them to just sit there and go at it in his office.
In the hallway, Slater and Kelly ponder whether there’s something going on between Zack Morris and Jessie. They decide that it’s preposterous to believe such a thing. After all, Jessie outright telling Kelly that she kissed Zack Morris and Lisa blurting out shit and both of them acting suspicious means nothing at all since it wouldn’t be convenient to the plot for them to figure it out now. No, they decide Zack Morris and Jessie are acting weird because they’re scared of Slater and Kelly being jealous, so they go off to tell them that they’re enlightened and understanding in what may be the most obvious set-up for a reveal ever.
So Zack Morris and Jessie get right to it and try the kissing. They don’t get erections this time, which must mean they don’t like each other since asexuality doesn’t exist in the Saved by the Bell universe. They’re so happy they decide to kiss again in celebration…
…just in time for Slater and Kelly to catch them. Slater and Kelly break up with Jessie and Zack Morris.
It’s nice to see the play takes place in a Vanilla Ice music video, as Kelly threatens to break Lisa’s bones if she says anything nice about Jessie, even in character.
And Kelly wants to stuff an apple down Jessie’s throat since she’s no doubt had parts of Zack Morris down there.
Mr. Bainbridge wonders what the hell they’re doing and Mr. Belding tells him he has no idea either. Yeah, you’re the one that was practically begging Zack Morris and Jessie to make out in your office, or did you forget about your inappropriate boundaries with students?
It’s almost time for the kissing scene, but Zack Morris has a different idea. See, he decides to hell with pleasing the audience and changes the script mid-play.
…while the prince is in love with the queen. That constitutes incest I do believe. Also, the background nerds are way too excited about this turn of events that will no doubt convince everyone unfortunate enough to have bought a ticket to this spectacle to demand their money back.
And our episode ends with everything going back to normal as there’s nothing better to save a relationship than completely sabotaging a school play in front of students, parents, and faculty who you’ll be asking to write letters of reference for college on your behalf in just a couple years.
Firsts: School play.