The College Years Episode 2: “Guess Who’s Coming to College?”

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We have our first cold opening since Good Morning, Miss Bliss, and we use it for Zack Morris to introduce us to…the first day of college registration. So if this is the first day of registration, why the hell were the gang studying last week? It seems we’ve gone back in time, which means we’ll have to watch Screech going out on a date with poor Danielle and Alex again.

Zack Morris cooking a delicious and nutritious Pop Tarts breakfast hoping that the overprocessed  real fruit part of a complete breakfast will loosen Leslie up enough to want to have sex with him. Naturally, she interprets the two Pop Tarts as being that Zack Morris cooked for her and Alex, and Alex cluelessly takes one of the Pop Tarts and coffee. It turns out, though, that Zack Morris didn’t need to go to any such trouble because she instantly accepts an offer for a date with Zack Morris that night, completely contracting her personality last week that was obviously building to a season long cat and mouse game between the two. It’s like the writers of this episode didn’t watch the first episode at all.

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After a slightly modified opening that now includes Kelly instead of Danielle, thus removing all tension as to who’s actually coming to college, our episode opens with Mr. Rogers bringing a giant person sized “care package” to Screech that even he admits is overweight and feels like it’s heavy enough to be a person. Hmm, we never actually find out what’s in that box but I have a suspicion I’ll share in a moment.

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Meanwhile, Kelly wanders around in the hallway lost looking for Zack Morris. She encounters Mr. Rogers, who wonders why anyone would want to find Zack Morris and assures her that his potentially sexually degrading antics have been cancelled for the week. She explains that she went to high school with him and Mr. Rogers expresses his sympathies. He physically lifts Kelly to the suite just a few meters away and leaves her on the door step.

Kelly enters the room without knocking and finds her worst nightmare, a child actor quickly running into irrelevance. She explains to Screech that, despite the fact it was never previously mentioned, she was on the waiting list to get into Cal U and they just called her to let her know she was admitted.

Screech tells Kelly that, conveniently, one of the girls just moved out of their sweet, transferring to another university, so Kelly’s sure to move in. Since we’ve seen Leslie and Alex, that must mean Danielle. But, you know that human-sized care package Mr. Rogers brought in? NO! Screech’s date with Danielle went wrong and he killed her! And, what’s more, he says that this wasn’t the first package he received. Could the others contain…Tori, Mikey, Nikki, and Miss Bliss?!?! It would answer so many continuity issues on this show if Screech turned out to be a serial murderer and, let’s face it, it’s completely believable…

In any case, Kelly asks Screech not to tell Zack Morris she’s there yet as she’s hoping for a convoluted plot that will end with comedy gold.

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We join Zack Morris and Alex in the pre-internet version of registration: standing in lines and waiting to find out what classes you’re in. Alex is upset that she didn’t get into a single theater class and that it’s the end of the world.  Slater, meanwhile, got into really cushy classes because he’s a jock and obviously too stupid to do anything if he’s not coddled. Screech finds Mr. Rogers registering for Sociology 101 because he needs some undergraduate classes towards his graduate work . Screech almost makes fun of Mr. Rogers for doing something stupid like advance his career but Mr. Rogers threatens to pound the shit out of Screech’s stupid serial murdering face. Oh, if he were to prevent me from having to suffer through The New Class he would officially be the best character ever.

Leslie accidentally runs into Kelly without realizing who she is and Zack Morris does the thing where he passes right by Kelly, not seeing her despite the fact she’s right next to him.

Back at the suite, Zack Morris arrive back after their date to see Free Willy. Leslie tells Zack Morris she really likes him which means she doesn’t want to date him any longer because he’s a piece of crap womanizer. He tells Leslie a sob story about how his high school sweetheart Kelly Kapowski died in a boating accident, breaking his heart and leading him to not respect women in any way.

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Naturally, Leslie falls for his shtick completely and kisses him, feeling sorry for him, and giving the audience an excuse to lose their shit.

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Unfortunately for Zack Morris, Kelly picks that precise moment to make her grand entrance. Zack Morris finds out that Screech arranged for Kelly to live in their suite, with Screech saying that he pulled some strings to get Kelly in. Seriously…what does Screech have on the administrators at this school that he keeps pulling strings? Did he threaten to do to them what he did to Danielle?

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In the student union, Slater has to kick Screech out with his stupid ass looking bicycle. Yeah, I have no idea what this is about. It does come back later but it’s almost an attempt at a Monty Python-esque random joke that doesn’t have anything to do with anything else.

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Meanwhile, Zack Morris tries to apologize to Leslie for being a creep and lying about Kelly.She tells him, once again, she wants nothing to do with him and tells him to fuck the fucking fuck off.

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Zack Morris tells Slater his plan to get Leslie to like him: sneak into her room, copy down her schedule, and get into all her classes so he can have sexy study dates. Fortunately, Leslie’s smarter than 95% of all characters on this show and listens in on Zack Morris’s plan so she won’t fall prey to his conniving ways.

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Back at the suite, Kelly tries to bond with Alex but just discovers how bat shit crazy she is when she goes on a huge over-dramatic rant about not getting into any theater classes.

Leslie asks Kelly to hide her stuffed animals and if she has a boy over to fuck and then starts to pry into Kelly’s relationship with Zack Morris.

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After Kelly leaves, Alex says that it’s clear even to her that Leslie is jealous. Leslie denies it but puts her plan into motion to get back at Zack Morris, changing key elements of her schedule.

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This leads Zack Morris to inadvertently enroll in a graduate level Mandarin class because Cal U apparently sucks at managing prerequisites. He also ends up in a class with a professor who insists on speaking to Zack Morris in Mandarin even when it’s crystal clear he’s in a class beyond his means and, to throw a bit of racism in there, every person in the class is of Asian descent because only Asian people would learn something stupid like Mandarin. Oh, Saved by the Bell, you never cease to amaze me with your cultural insensitivity.

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At the student union, Zack Morris and Leslie instantly make up for her deception and his invading of her privacy. Zack Morris invites Leslie to a REM concert the next night and she decides that all that shit about not wanting to date him is so twelve minutes ago.

Kelly finds Zack Morris and they decide to go out to the square and talk in order to build up to a forced subplot.

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Slater sees Mr. Rogers studying and brags about taking really easy classes and Mr. Rogers points out that he took really easy classes when he was an undergrad and now he’s on a stupid Saved by the Bell spin-off. We cut away with Slater looking thoughtful, wondering if Peter Engel will make him be on The New Class if he stays in these really easy classes.

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Zack Morris and Kelly come back to the suite after midnight, talking about how it’s been a long time since they had a heart to heart talk. They even reference their night in Palm Springs, even though that wasn’t actually Palm Springs but Palm Desert. Kelly says she’s beginning to feel more at home thanks to Zack Morris and that he’s more than a friend to her. She decides it’s time for some forced romance even though, with the exception of Palm Desert and the senior prom, she hasn’t shown any interest in him for nearly two years.

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They kiss and, naturally, Leslie walks in on them, leading, I’m sure, to a zany subplot!

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Zack Morris wakes Slater and Screech up to talk about his girl problems. He kicks them out of their own beds when Leslie comes in so he can talk to her. Leslie’s also changed clothes since the last scene so we can look at her in a night gown which means she stewed in anger long enough to change into bed clothes.

Zack Morris looks into Leslie’s eyes and realizes the writers want to extend this subplot so he still likes her and says that Kelly has it all wrong and he’s going to tell her he doesn’t want to date her.

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He walks into the girls’ room, kicks Alex out, and tries to break it off with Kelly. He realizes he likes her pajamas so he says he and Leslie aren’t a thing and he’d rather go to the REM concert with her so he’ll break it off with Leslie.

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He still can’t break it off with either of them, though, so, when they meet in the suite, he runs out of the room. Leslie and Kelly decide they need to talk so they can put this subplot to rest.

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At the student union, Slater’s new schedule takes him all across campus so he wants to borrow Screech’s stupid bicycle to get around. For some reason, though,  beautiful girls wants to use it since girls on this show can’t tell how untouchable Screech is. Since we never see this girl again, I can only assume she’s Screech’s newest victim.

Mr. Rogers comments on Slater’s new courses and Slater says he decided he wanted to register for real courses. Slater thanks Mr. Rogers, or Mike as he’s now calling him, for being the conscience he’s been looking for the last four years without the boundary crossing action.

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Back at the suite, Kelly and Leslie tell Zack Morris they’ve decided it’s sweet he didn’t want to hurt either of them so they’ve decided the logical thing to do is for neither of them to date Zack Morris until a later time when it’s convienent to the plot. They’ve also decided to steal Zack Morris’s REM tickets and go to the concert together because that’s a reasonable thing to do.

Zack Morris gives us a monologue that maybe he doesn’t need to date his roommates.

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Alex comes in, though, and, though she’s the worst girl in the suite, he decides she’s better than nothing when she comes in to say she got into an acting class. And our episode ends with Zack Morris and Alex going out to eat so Zack Morris can finally try to get rid of his cursed virginity with someone, anyone.

vlcsnap-2015-08-29-21h03m23s303During the credits, we get a scene of Zack Morris and Screech breaking into the girls’ room to copy Leslie’s schedule. Screech, naturally, acts like a complete dumb ass when he’s supposed to be watching to make sure the girls don’t come back, so I guess some things never change. Also, I’m not sure what the deal with showing this during the credits is. Is it a cut scene? Is there one of these in every episode? I guess only time will tell.

Firsts: Kelly at Cal U.

 

18 responses to “The College Years Episode 2: “Guess Who’s Coming to College?”

  1. It’s interesting. I understand why they got rid of Danielle from the pilot to the first episode. She screamed Lisa clone. I don’t feel sorry for Essence Atkins though since she has done a 1001 movies/tv shows since TCY.

    But, if your bringing in Kelly…then why keep Leslie????

    She was going to be Zack’s love interest. But, once Kelly showed up you know what the endgame was.

    You knew that when in doubt St. Peter and the writers were going to make it the Zack and Kelly show. Either with them in a why don’t they just go to bed already friendship vibe. To love triangle to a full blown relationship.

    I guess Leslie was going to be the love triangle. but SPOILERS that never happened. At least with Leslie. But that’s for other episodes.

    Leslie to me seemed boring, and once Kelly showed up she seemed useless. Maybe they should of kept Danielle.

  2. Which source are you using for these reviews?

    I know, in the original airing, the scene of Zack sneaking into the girls’ room to take a Polaroid of Leslie’s schedule (by the way, why didn’t he just write it down?) was in the episode itself. What you see in the closing credits is outtakes. I know the picture-taking scene was cut in syndication (at least from the syndicated episodes that I downloaded, since the out-of-print DVD set is expensive as fuck).

    • I have the DVDs. It’s not in the DVDs.

      • Well, that sucks.

        What’s the running time of the episodes on the DVDs? I don’t have an NBC airing on VHS to compare it to offhand, but I’m curious.

        It’s possible that NBC’s repeat airing of this episode (if it did indeed repeat at all, which I doubt; the series ended in February and was likely pulled from the schedule after that) removed that scene.

        More likely, the DVD set is syndication edits.

        However, this episode originally aired in a one-hour block with the next episode on NBC. There was one theme song and one closing credits. There were also hosting segments that had Zack, Slater, Kelly, and Screech in the common room, seemingly watching the show on TV (I guess). Room had to be made for these segments (maybe it was the lack of a second theme song and closing credits), but I would have thought the episode would be short enough for syndication already. I guess not. Anything to squeeze in extra commercials.

  3. When this aired on syndication on TBS, they also had the outtakes during closing credits. And honestly the outtakes weren’t even that good. I feel like most of them had DD in them.

  4. I remember a part in DD’s book about the outtakes on TCY.

    According to him one episode, MPG knocked on a girls dorm room. When she answered he pulls out a condom and says, “No need to fear Trojan Man is here.”

    Of course it got a big reaction from the studio audience and the cast. But St. Peter wasn’t too trilled. Behind closed doors St. Peter yelled at MPG and threatend to suspend and even fire him.

    Of course none of that happend and was buisness as normal. Even though it was a prime time show, they never used the outtake. For all we know St. Peter burned it.

    • Huh, that’s interesting. Threatening to fire MPG seems like a massive overreaction, I mean the characters are in college and it wasn’t live or anything. I would think it would warrant a “Hey, cool it with the antics and read your lines” at most.

    • ILovedKellyKapowski

      Whatever Dustin Diamond says in his book should be taken with a grain of salt. Even DD doesn’t claim the shit in his book is true, he says a ghostwriter made that shit up, and used his name.

  5. If these writers were in charge of Breaking Bad they’d get to like episode 3 and be like “Gahhhh I can’t take this tension any more! Let’s just have all the characters kiss and make up.” Pretty much everything Zack does in this (and every) episode would be a permanent dealbreaker for any real person, but these writers can’t keep any girl mad at him for longer than 30 seconds.

    In other news, as best as I can recall from watching this season a few months ago, the clothes are a lot more boring than in the original. I always thought that was one of the elements that made the show cult-y, seeing all the zany clothes costuming dragged out of Party City or who knows where.

  6. Simple reason Danielle left. The writers decided to dismiss the thought of another “token” black. (I’m black btw). That’s actually better than everyone wondering why the gang isn’t completely diverse. Either stick with a multi-race cast or not, but the one character is overreaching.

    • Oh I tend to agree. I love how Peter Engel gets on his high horse and says they didn’t see race and then…oh, you’ll see in a few episodes but it’s bad.

      • Oh you mean when Slater finally discovered…he was latino?

        • Oh God the memories

        • ILovedKellyKapowski

          i thought Slater was Chicano? or was it Italian? LOL

          • I emember that. Zack looking point blank into the camera and saying, “I thought he was Italian.”

            I laughed then, and honestly, I think I would laugh at that joke today.

          • He’s Chicano – with an Italian father originally named Sanchez. And he forgot Spanish since high school.

            When I first heard Zack’s joke, I took it at genuine confusion (which I shared). I, too, thought Slater was Italian, but it wasn’t because of his dad; I simply paid more attention to the “Mario” part of his name than the “Lopez” part.

          • ILovedKellyKapowski

            Just goes to show: kids don’t care about race or ethnicitiy, they see their friends as people. Which is how it should be.

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