I feel bad I haven’t been keeping these reviews up as I’ve actually kind of enjoyed reading a modern take on Saved by the Bell. So, with no more cannon original cast, I’m going to be working on catching up with the comics, which are now in a second volume. I know not many of you read these judging by the comics, but I think they’re worth it.
Our cover shows Slater doing what he does best: laughing at women. I assume this is going to be some type of “Jessie’s pissed at Slater” story. Also, remember that he’s still trying to get Kelly to date him at this point in the comic so being chauvinist in front of her might not be the smartest thing to do.
Our story, “Cheers and Jeers,” opens in the hallway at Bayside where Jessie and Lisa discover Kelly holding a get well soon card. Seems the cheerleading squad is having a rash of random injuries due to them being the worst coordinated squad in the world. Seems they have no recourse as they’re only considered a club, not a sport, and so they have to keep on until they just die and shit.
I have to give it to the writer for picking a topic that’s actually quite current and controversial. There’s a huge debate right now over whether cheerleading is a sport or not, with the American Medical Association coming out in favor and, well, most people in sports coming out against because EWW COOTIES! No, it’s not really that simple, but it is controversial and heated. The writer is doing a better job than the Saved by the Bell series at staying current and relevant. Maybe she should write a revival of the series…
In any case, Kelly’s starting a petition to get Mr. Belding to change cheerleading to a sport because he won’t listen unless they have the mighty power of three hundred signatures, and she wants Jessie to sign it. Jessie is unsure whether to get involved because she’s a straw feminist in every interpretation of her.
At The Max, Jessie puts off signing the petition even more because cheerleading is stupid and chauvinist and shit, seemingly having her point proven by Zack Morris signing the petition because cheerleaders are hot and shit. She thinks real female athletes should get the attention and has no interest in joining cheerleading with Kelly.
But then Slater opens his mouth and declares that girls can’t be athletes and shit, which immediately gets Jessie on Kelly’s side because she’ll do anything to feed an obvious troll trying to stir shit up rather than just punching him in the face and running away. Kelly bets Slater he couldn’t be a cheerleader because apparently Bayside is the most gender-normative school in the world and has never had a male cheerleader. He agrees to be on the cheer squad to prove that anyone can do cheerleading and shit which is a completely valid argument, right?
At practice, a cocky Slater doesn’t think he has to warm up or anything, but he soon realizes he’s completely out of his league. He eventually ends up taking a hard fall on his knees and limps away, tail between his legs. Also, Jessie’s writing an article on Slater’s debacle for the school newspaper.
In the hallway, Slater’s hurt one of his knees pretty bad, to the point he’s limping from the swelling. He convinces Zack Morris and Screech not to say anything as he doesn’t want to get kicked off the wrestling team. Um, why would that get you kicked off?
At wrestling practice, the coach won’t let Slater wrestle due to his injury and says he’ll have to miss the big match against Valley. The coach sends Slater to the trainer, who won’t treat Slater because the injury occurred during cheerleading. I guess this guy never took the Hippocratic Oath. This sends Jessie, who’s hanging out in the trainer’s office for some reason, into full pseudo-feminist mode as she continues writing the article.
In the hallway, Slater confesses to Kelly that he couldn’t handle being a cheerleader. Well, obviously. You’re never good at anything in one day! Slater’s not so bright in this incarnation, is he?
He decides to sign the petition because he now believes cheerleaders deserve respect and shit and Kelly’s excited that she has all three hundred signatures. But Zack Morris and Screech, being the spoiled sports they are, point out that some of the names are fake, upsetting Kelly as there’s no way she’ll get enough signatures in time to deliver the petition to Mr. Belding. Why is there a deadline on this? You may not get recognition as soon as you’d hope, but isn’t it worth it to continue trying?
Jessie decides the only way to get enough support in time is for her to run her article, but Slater doesn’t want her to because the coach will kick him off wrestling squad…for reasons? I don’t get this part. Either he’s blatantly sexist or he just has stupid arbitrary rules. In any case, it doesn’t paint the faculty in a very good light for having the equivalent of kindergarten style rule.
The next day in Mr. Belding’s office, the gang discover Jessie found a compromise: she emailed the article to all the parents so Slater’s coach wouldn’t see it. Good thing the spam filters in this universe apparently suck. Mr. Belding’s been overwhelmed with parents’ phone calls demanding he stop being an idiot and make cheerleading a sport, so that’s that.
And our comic ends with Jessie continuing to refuse to be a cheerleader, because no matter what interpretation of the Saved by the Bell universe you’re working from, Jessie’s got to be a stubborn idiot who rarely changes unless it’s convenient to the plot.