Category Archives: Saved by the Bell Recaps

Saved by the Bell: The Original Class…Reviewed!

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When Wedding in Las Vegas aired on October 7, 1994, it was essentially the end of the original cast’s era. Sure, Screech went on to be the most annoying administrative assistant ever on The New Class while Zack Morris, Slater, and Lisa will make cameos, and there were a few more novels and comics produced featuring the original cast, but the closest we’ve come to a reunion has been the Jimmy Fallon sketch. Most of the cast hate Dustin Diamond so much that it’s likely we will never get another live action entry for the original cast.

And if the franchise started with a whimper, with the only reason anyone took notice of Good Morning Miss Bliss being the collaboration between NBC and Disney Channel, it went out with a bang. Zack Morris and Kelly’s wedding was highly promoted and The New Class even shoehorned in a reference to make sure everyone knew this was happening. Hell, even if you didn’t watch the show, you probably knew the wedding film was being aired.

And, nearly thirty years after the original class made its on screen debut, the series has become legendary. Zack Morris, Kelly Kapowski, Screech Powers, and A.C. Slater are household names among kids from my generation. And the legend continues to be well known. When the YouTube series Teens React did an episode in honor of the original series’ twenty-fifth anniversary, some of them readily recognized Saved by the Bell.

And it’s no wonder. The original series has been in near constant syndication since before it left the air. As of this writing, reruns continue to air on MTV2. At times, edited episodes of Good Morning Miss Bliss and The College Years have even aired in the rotation. The show that was panned by critics has become a legend today and shows no sign of going away anytime soon.


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I’ve said about as much as I can in the reviews and individual recaps, but an interesting question I have barely touched on is: why has this silly franchise persisted when so many others have faded? It’s clear from the documentaries that the people responsible for this show had no fucking clue, and the critics and academics fared little better. Maybe this is why The College Years crashed and burned so hard: there was no serious thought behind why people actually watched this show.

To me, it appears to be a combination of things. Boys wanted to be Zack Morris, the cool, attractive, athletic guy who almost always got the girl and could always scheme his way out of trouble. Girls wanted to be Kelly Kapowski, the cool, pretty, popular girl who everyone wanted as a friend and who seemed to have it all, despite coming from a lower economic class than the rest of her friends.

But, more than this, it was a microcosm of high school life, and I think the critics are on to something when they say we hoped things would turn out for us as well as they did for the Saved by the Bell characters. I mean, hell, Zack Morris was a slacker and managed to get into an Ivy League college. Screech was a fucking dumb ass and managed to not let his own stupidity get him killed (and people liked him, for some reason). And everyone seemed happy and part of a group.

And it was just pure fun. Very few people took the stupidity of some of these episodes seriously. Did anyone seriously think caffeine pills were dangerous? Did we really believe the government was stupid enough to mistake Screech for an alien? Were we really in the dark how unrealistic this portrayal of high school life was? I don’t think so. We took it for what it was: a gloriously ridiculous show that only bore a passing resemblance to reality.


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And behind it all was Zack Morris, undoubtedly the central character to the original cast. What we don’t tend to remember is how much of a sociopath Zack Morris was. I mean, hell, he actually got married just to prevent Kelly from going on a semester at sea program. What it boils down to is that Zack Morris had no concern for anyone but himself (unless, of course, the plot called for it to be otherwise).

The New Class tried and failed to replicate Zack Morris four times. There can only be one, and his antics are what made the show. It’s been argued that Zack Morris and Slater were essentially the same character and, while there are similarities, their personalities were definitely different. No one will ever accuse Slater of being the sort of sociopath that Zack Morris became.

For six years, Zack Morris gave hope that one could do whatever the hell they wanted and get away with it. I mean, who wouldn’t want that? From coming to class nearly naked to getting virtually any girl he wanted, rigging elections to gaining admission to a university he clearly didn’t deserve, Zack Morris was a role model for the boys and a sex object for the girls (and the gay and bi boys).

The problem is that the longer the original class aired, the more serious they took themselves, and that just didn’t work. We went from goofy episodes about Screech getting psychic powers or Zack Morris thinking Kelly was a psycho in season one to the drudgery that was much of season four and The College Years. It just didn’t work to take this goofy, so-bad-its-good show and try to turn them into Full House. And that’s exactly what many of the later episodes were: boring shadows of how the show started.


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Would Saved by the Bell make it today? I think it would. Think about how many cheesy shows on Disney and Nickelodeon owe their existence to the Engle-verse. Would Hannah Montana or Drake and Josh have become household names had there never been Bayside High? I tend to think not. Saved by the Bell wasn’t the first live action scripted show to be primarily marketed to young teens, but it was the first to show that such shows could be successful and, more importantly, profitable.

Even if NBC is no longer producing programs aimed at teens, the legacy continues and will continue. There will continue to be teen comedies and dramas for the foreseeable future. Some will be more popular and successful than others, but all will owe their existence to an accidental success: a teen sitcom about a sociopathic young boy, his five easily tricked friends, and their naive school principal. Oh, and there was a shitty magician thrown in there for a season as well.


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I don’t think any of us will ever know for sure what the on-set dynamics were like. I tend to think Dustin Diamond was full of shit at least eighty percent of the time in his tell all, and the Lifetime biopic is almost certainly equally inaccurate. Watching interviews with the cast, I tend to think most of them have a genuine affection for one another. Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley seemed genuinely happy to be together again on Extra, and the whole cast minus Diamond and Voorhies seemed to work really well together on Jimmy Fallon.

Most of the cast have, understandably, distanced themselves to some degree to avoid being typecast. The big exception is Dustin Diamond, who’s still trying his damndest to ride the B-list celebrity status that thirteen years associated with this franchise gave him. What’s for sure are that these actors were talented, even Diamond, and that the success of the show depended a lot on their performances. After all, look how horribly The New Class falls flat due to bringing in a bunch of actors who couldn’t cut it.


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It’s time to say goodbye to most of the original cast. We’ll have another opportunity to say goodbye to Dustin Diamond and Dennis Haskins. For now, though, it’s time to bid farewell to the rest of the original cast.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar found himself typecast following The College Years and had a bit of trouble finding work. He got his big break in 2001 when he was cast as a replacement for the lead role on NYPD Blue. Since then, he’s aced almost constantly, with his other most famous role being the titular Franklin on Franklin and Bash. As of 2015, he’s married and has two children. All in all, it seems like he has a good life.

Mario Lopez has acted nearly constantly since The College Years was cancelled, with recurring roles on The Bold and the BeautifulNip/Tuck, and The Chica Show. But his most famous role has, by far, been as the co-host of Extra. He’s also somewhat of a fitness expert, authoring his own book on fitness.

Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, or Tiffani Thiessen as she prefers to be called nowadays, found steady work faster than any other cast member as replacement Shannon Doherty on Beverly Hills, 90210. No, really, she was replacement Shannon Doherty. She was even briefly considered as a replacement for Doherty on Charmed. She’s worked nearly constantly. Other than 90210, her most famous role was as a regular on White Collar. As of 2016, she seems to be taking a break, with her last acting credit being the Jimmy Fallon sketch, presumably taking a break to raise her new baby.

Following Saved by the Bell, Elizabeth Berkley made the mistake of starring in the so-bad-it’s-good cult film Showgirls, as I’ve made fun of her for several times. Though she’s continued to act over the years, many people find it difficult to take her seriously, which is unfortunate, as Showgirls being as terrible as it was clearly wasn’t her fault. She’s had very few recurring or starring roles as a result, with notable exceptions being on The L Word and CSI: Miami. She also runs a non-profit, Ask Elizabeth, which aims to help teenage girls overcome personal issues, and is raising a beautiful family.

Lark Voorhies has been, perhaps, the least successful actress post-Saved by the Bell. She’s been in a lot of stuff, but her only recurring roles have been on Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful, and In the House. She’s been twice married and divorced and recent photos seem to suggest she’s been having Michael Jackson levels of plastic surgery. Her last acting credit was in a 2014 children’s show, and she seems to be keeping a low profile nowadays. She’s also the only cast member that seems to be cordial to Dustin Diamond nowadays.


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And now what some of you have been waiting for: the future of this blog on Fridays. When I began, this was as far as I knew I wanted to go with this blog, and it has been a painstaking process, especially since I added The New Class to the mix. I’ve been keeping a steady pace on this blog for nearly two years and have never missed a deadline. While reviewing the original class, my life has changed drastically, and I’ve even lived in multiple countries since this blog began. I’m tired.

Some people expressed surprise that i decided to go directly into The New Class when I finished Good Morning Miss Bliss. It was partially motivated by the fact that I knew this day would eventually come: the day when all I have left to review are episodes of the bastard stepchild of the franchise.Given the reputation of The New Class, I didn’t quite fancy having nearly three more years of reviews to go when I finished The College Years, so I decided to jump right in and get it over with.

But I need a break from this pace. I’m definitely continuing The New Class on Mondays, but Fridays will be less structured. I’m eventually going to finish reviewing the comics and delve into some of the other oddities of the franchise (and, yes, the Lifetime biopic will probably eventually be in that mix). I’ve considered reviewing the teen novels, of which thirty-seven exist, but it would mean tracking down all these on ebay and Amazon Marketplace and then actually reading them. And I’d still love to delve into some of Peter Engel’s other TNBC series, though a full TNBC Reviewed blog doesn’t seem tenable given that some of the more obscure series seem to have disappeared without a trace. What should come once I get some energy back? You let me know.

For now, thank you for reading the rambling of a guy who managed to miss Saved by the Bell completely during the nineties despite being the age of the target demographic. I know it may be tempting for some of you to leave now, but please don’t! Share my pain as I review the final three seasons of The New Class! Don’t make me do it alone! In the coming weeks, we’ll get to experience the dangers of marijuana and herbal supplements, watch the gang build houses for Habitat for Humanity and travel to Paris, and wonder why Kareem-Abdul Jamar was so desperate he accepted a cameo on The New Class. Doesn’t that sound exciting kids?!?

I know. I’m kidding myself again.

Saved by the Bell Season 4 Recap

Season four of Saved by the Bell is simultaneously the weirdest and least consistent of the seasons. Pretty much every source from interviews to documentaries to the Lifetime biopic each confirm that this was intended to be the shortest season since the first season but NBC, at the last moment, decided to expand the number of episodes for maximum profit. This would normally be a disastrous move but, as we’ll see, it didn’t turn out as bad as it could have…or as bad as most people remember.

This is a complicated season to recap as well since the twenty-six episodes fit into four categories, none of which really have anything to do with one another: Kelly-Jessie episodes, Tori episodes, clip show episodes, and out of season episodes. I’ll deal with the first two categories in a moment. All I’ll say about the clip show episodes is they’re horrible, each more terrible than the last, and completely worth skipping unless you have a penchant for the most boring episodes of the series. They’re not even worth putting in my bottom episodes list because they’re not even real episodes. I won’t talk much about the out of season episodes but they will come up later.


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The Kelly-Jessie episodes are the eleven that were intended to air this season. They were considered to be an epilogue for the series, featuring the gang’s senior year and providing some closure as to the series. And, to say the least, these episodes were underwhelming. They were so all over the map and provided no character development that lasted longer than an episode. Zack Morris and Lisa date…and then never speak of it again. Screech dates Punky Brewster and then break up with her. Slater and Jessie & Zack Morris and Kelly renew their relationships and redeclare their love for one another…and then never mention it again. With the exceptions of “The Fight” and “Graduation,” I really can’t understand the purpose of most of these episodes.

This doesn’t even take into account how stupid many of these episodes are. A square dance senior prom would bring open rebellion from the students. Nobody cares about Screech’s love life or his spaghetti sauce. And we get a completely unbelievable excuse to put Zack Morris in charge of the school and a resolution to the plot that left a Donald Trump presidency looking plausible by comparison. All of our favorite characters were really at their worst in these episodes, as we’ll discuss more in characterization. If these had been the only episodes of the season, this would have been my least favorite of the series.


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The Tori episodes are the ones usually remembered as bad and I think the reason has been voiced by many people in the comments: many people were bitter that Tori replaced Kelly and Jessie. And I will be the first to say she’s not a good replacement for Kelly and Jessie. With that being said, she’s not bad as people make her out to be and, more surprising, the episodes featuring her this season are of a higher quality overall than the Kelly-Jessie episodes. Even the worst Tori episodes, like “Day of Detention” and “School Song” are a lot better than the worst Kelly-Jessie episodes. Tori brought something different to the series and, for that, I’m impressed.

It’s even more impressive considering these episodes were kind of ordered at the last minute to pad out the season. The writers could have very easily just blow off these episodes and not done crap with them and, though we would have hated the episodes, we wouldn’t have been able to blame them. Instead we got some high quality episodes that aged well and are enjoyable. There’s faults with the episodes, like every Saved by the Bell episode, but, with the possible exception of continuity issues, the faults are easy to overlook.

Where and how exactly these episodes fit in is another matter entirely. Kelly and Jessie don’t seem to exist in the Tori episodes. This has lead to lots of fan speculation, from the idea that they take place in a parallel universe to Chuck Klosterman’s theory that Zack Morris and the gang just weren’t hanging out with Kelly and Jessie during these episodes. I have trouble accepting either explanation because of some continuity problems during the season. Slater has a new magic sister, Lisa doesn’t seem to remember that she dated Zack Morris earlier in the season, Slater doesn’t seem to remember Zack Morris’s relationships with Kelly and Stacey, and Screech goes back on his promise to stop sexually harassing Lisa. The biggest problem of all, though, is the fact that some elements of the Tori elements find their way into The New Class episodes, including the school song and Little Zack. It’s just impossible to resolve these contradictions. As such, I don’t think there is a satisfactory explanation. It’s just one of those things we have to accept, like the magic move from Indiana to California.


Let’s talk characters.

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Zack Morris is douchey, as usual. This isn’t helped by his competing claims in both Hawaiian Style and “Senior Prom” that he has either loved no one like he did Andrea or no one like he did Kelly. One might excuse this as just being a horny teenager who can’t make up his mind, but he doesn’t reflect on his changing tastes so it’s not clear there is character development. So much on this show is done off camera so you never know, but we need to be able to see it to be sure that it’s real.

Having so many out of season episodes, though, did demonstrate that Zack Morris has grown somewhat. He has more of a conscience than he did during season one and, rather than being a complete sociopath, is only a partial one. After all, he does engage in a pissing match with Slater over multiple girls who aren’t attracted to either of their dumb asses. I continue to fail to believe he was admitted to Yale as well and am convinced the writers don’t understand college admissions requirements.

He’s at his best in “Earthquake,” taking charge of a bad situation and turning it around. If he was like this in every episode, he might actually be a decent human being. Instead, he’s a caricature because that’s what we’ve gotten used to. Naturally, he’ll probably lose any character growth once he reaches college.

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The number of out of season episodes also shined the spotlight for me on how Slater has changed. Whereas Slater started as a rival for Zack Morris, he evolved into a clone of him, with the only discernible difference being a worse taste in fashion. Really, Slater hasn’t had a whole lot to do this season. The problem is he doesn’t have much to do this season. Only two season four episodes focused on him: one on his relationship with his father and the other one on a sister that had never been mentioned before and will never be seen or mentioned again.

Sure, he had a brief flame up of his relationship with Jessie that came the fuck out of nowhere, but that doesn’t really cut it. I miss the rival Slater, and I think that was something this series drastically needed: regular tension that wasn’t always forced through situations and guest stars.

In any case, I can’t hate Slater. He was just there. I don’t believe for a second, though, that, in real life, he would hang out with Zack Morris or Screech. The girls maybe, but not Tweedle Preppy and Tweedle Dumb. In any case, his just being there must have paid off since little girls fought over who made them tingle more: Zack Morris and Slater and, in the end, maybe that’s what Slater contributed the most to Saved by the Bell.

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Screech is a moron and the longer he’s with this franchise, the bigger a moron he is. I’ve decided that Screech’s biggest function this season is to be a walking, talking plot contrivance. Really, the only episode he’s truly the focus of is “Screech’s Spaghetti Sauce” and that episode is fucking stupid. He’s around to tell secrets, to cause drama, and to prevent anyone from dating Lisa except for himself. The fact that someone doesn’t punch him every episode is beyond me.

Really, he’s the court jester, the one who makes the lame ass jokes that make no sense. Despite this, he pushes on, convinced of his own humor, which is not so far from Dustin Diamond in real life. I don’t believe for a second he’s the real valedictorian or that he could really create artificial life. Screech reminds me more of a Ralph Wiggum or Peter Griffin than an Einstein. The fact that he was admitted to multiple Ivy League schools but chooses Cal U instead says it all. No semblance of common sense.

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Kelly hasn’t changed a bit over the past four years. Not a bit. She’s around to be pretty and give all the little boys boners. That’s it. There’s an ample comparison between “Video Yearbook,” an episode produced during season two, and “Senior Prom,” both of which feature Zack Morris doing despicable things to Kelly and both of which lead to Kelly instantly forgiving Zack Morris to get back to the status quo. Really, if it weren’t for her being overly nice, she wouldn’t have a personality at all.

I’m going to say something controversial: I didn’t miss Kelly much during the Tori episodes. She just doesn’t do a lot of important things. She has a role in “Student-Teacher Week” and a major plot in “Senior Prom,” but both plots are only in relation to Zack Morris’s plot. This season, Kelly only does things in conjunction with the rest of the gang. She doesn’t do things on her own.

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Jessie is at her strongest when she’s the moral center of the group, which doesn’t say much considering she’s pretty much a caricature of feminism. This gradually fades over the years until there’s only a handful of instances where she acts as the ethical one. Other than that, her only other discernible character trait is being a psychopath…about everything. Going off on Slater. Believing a t-shirt to be sexist. Wanting to be valedictorian way too much. All signs of an unstable mind.

It’s no wonder Slater’s really her only boyfriend over the course of the series. I mean, you could count her dance partner in “Dancing to the Max,” but that guy just didn’t know what he was getting himself into. She ranks as just slightly more tolerable than Screech but, suffice it to say, I won’t miss her on The College Years. It was time for Jessie to go, even if that exit was only caused by Elizabeth Berkley doing an NC-17 movie.

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Lisa finally got shit to do this season! After spending much of the last three years as just a big plot contrivance as Slater, she actually got to date Zack Morris for an episode, even if that was quickly forgotten in the realm of plots the producers didn’t care to carry over for more than one episode. Not to mention the fact that, in the Tori episodes, she kind of becomes a lead girl, picking up the slack for Kelly and Jessie. It’s the way she should have been used throughout the series.

And, yet, something was still missing. It feels like the producers never took Lisa seriously. Out of all the characters, she shows the most growth over the course of the series, even growing to tolerate Screech, a feat I’ve not yet accomplished. I like Lisa and I wish she had carried on to The College Years.

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Mr. Belding hit his stride in season two and he’s been going downhill ever since. He shows so much incompetence in administrating Bayside this season that one could make the argument it’s foreshadowing things to come in The New Class. At his best, he’s a wise mentor and a foil to Zack Morris. At his worst, he’s the butt of stupid jokes and just kind of existing in limbo within the series: kind of there but kind of not.

Mr. Belding is the one character who shouldn’t have been the focus of too many episodes but I still wish we could have saw the wise caring Mr. Belding more often. He only goes down after this season and it’s hard to believe that Dennis Haskins really thought his character was growing in the right direction. Rather than character growth, I think we saw character decline in Mr. Belding, not quite as drastic as Screech, but there nonetheless.

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A commenter asked me last season to be easy on Tori and judge her on her own merits, not on her legacy within the fandom. Fortunately, this is where never seeing the series before came in handy. Tori was original. If there’s a previous character I’d compare her to in terms of personality, it’s Stacey. She’s brash, independent, and doesn’t take Zack Morris’s shit. Her relationship with Zack Morris was quite sudden and not really developed, but I attribute that to the low number of episodes she was in.

Naturally, her absence from “Graduation” raises questions despite the fact we know the actual reason for her absence: “Graduation” was filmed before Leanna Creel joined the cast. The solution could have been simple: make her a junior and make her the starring character in The New Class as she befriends a new generation of characters. Unfortunately, people rebelled against Tori. She replaced a popular character and she was never going to be accepted because of that.

Tori got a bum wrap. She’s not the best character ever, but she’s not annoying. She doesn’t deserve the reputation she’s received and, I dare say, there were many times I found her more interesting than Kelly or Jessie. We’ll never know what the potential for her character could have been but there were so many things they could have done with her.

As for Leanna Creel, she continued trying to act throughout the nineties but she never landed another major role. Her next best remembered role was as half of Mike Seaver’s love interest in an episode of Growing Pains (she’s actually a triplet; her sisters appeared in that episode as well). According to IMDB, she currently works as President of Production at Ignite Entertainment. In any case, she never shook the fact that she was the most unloved character from Saved by the Bell  and, last year, appeared in Bayside: The Musical, partly as a way to find closure in her own experience from Saved by the Bell.


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When I started this blog last year, this was as far as I knew for sure I wanted to go. And here I am. Naturally, it’s morphed into a monster featuring multiple incarnations of the franchise, and I’ve loved it completely. Yet there’s something kind of sad about leaving the original Saved by the Bell behind, even if I know that I’m not leaving the original cast yet. This is the series that people look back on fondly as a nostalgic part of their childhoods. This is the series that made six young faces household icons. There’s something special in that and, though I’m not done with this blog, I’m aware that there’s about to be a shift.

I’m not going to do a grad recap of the entire series. I’m saving that for after The College Years. But I’ve enjoyed the process of really dissecting this series. I hope you have, too. If I have made you smile, think, or notice something new in your favorite childhood show, this blog will have been worth it. I’m sure I missed a lot, but I’m only one person. Hopefully, I’ll inspire some other blogger to write about the things I haven’t. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing this blog. It’s been such a rewarding experience for me so far and I’m looking forward to completing the rest of the franchise.

It’s quite clear that the franchise was not intended to continue. The College Years and The New Class were both huge cash grabs as there was a finality about “Graduation,” even if it was ultimately unsatisfying as a series finale. But I move on, now, to Peter Engel’s attempt to keep the Saved by the Bell cash train going.


My Picks:

As usual, I encourage you to agree or disagree with my picks in the comments section below.

Five Episodes I Loved:

1. “Earthquake” (Episode 21): There’s no question in my mind this is the best episode of the season. It showcases Zack Morris simultaneously at his best and worst and really shows him stepping up to help both Mrs. Belding and Tori. The whole gang really steps up in this episode and it was a quite enjoyable, solid episode.

2. “Teen Line” (Episode 6): I don’t buy the concept of the gang running a teen line, but I like this episode for Zack Morris being forced to confront his own prejudices. It actually shows a rare bit of growth on his part and it’s a nice change.

3. “Slater’s Sister” (Episode 16): Ignoring the inconsistent characterization of Zack Morris and the fact Slater’s sister has never been mentioned before, this is actually a pretty good episode on its own. Slater’s animosity about Zack Morris dating his sister is actually a bit justified and it’s nice to see Slater actually do something.

4. “Masquerade Ball” (Episode 7): Another nice Zack Morris growth episode. If only more could be more episodes could be more like this one. On top of this, Tori proves she’s not one to be fucked with and both Zack Morris and Slater receive much earned comeuppance.

5. “The Bayside Triangle” (Episode 5): FINALLY a good Lisa episode. I heard Lark Voorhies and Mark-Paul Gosselaar were actually dating at the time of this episode, and it shows: the chemistry is there and right and I actually found myself rooting for a Zack Morris/Lisa relationship. The only reason this episode doesn’t rank higher is because of Screech’s idiocy. There was no reason for his jealousy and it’s actually stalker-like behavior for him to control Lisa when she’s never shown a bit of interest in him.

Three Episodes I Hated:

1.  “Snow White and the Seven Dorks” (Episode 20): I hope whoever thought this would be a good idea for an episode was fired. I never wanted to see a rap version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and it just comes off as completely stupid. If I bought a ticket to the performance, I’d walk out. Oh, and the Zack Morris and Jessie possible romance was so forced it wasn’t even funny.

2. “Screech’s Spaghetti Sauce” (Episode 3): Punky Brewster comes off as a caricature of a gold digger and what’s sad is she really doesn’t do anything worse than Zack Morris has ever done. On top of that, the fact the gang actually believed Screech could make them money just showed how much they never truly learn.

3. “Video Yearbook” (Episode 18): This one is just stupid. If Zack Morris really gave girls’ contact information away to possible delinquents, he’d receive more punishment than a “GOTCHA!” He’s at his worst in this episode and, what’s worse, Screech is just as bad as him and gets no punishment.

Saved by the Bell Season 3 Recap

 

If Saved by the Bell matured during season two, then season three was its coming of age. It was during this season that many of the most recognizable episodes of the series aired. Even the theme song and opening are now the more recognized versions, being familiar to many viewers from syndicated episodes. Unfortunately, for this franchise, that doesn’t mean it was all unicorns and gumdrops and Emmys. No, there are plenty of bad episodes this season, so many it’s going to be hard to narrow them down to just three, but they’re still widely remembered.

By season three, mainstream audiences were watching Saved by the Bell and firmly placing it on the road to become the cult classic it is today. The little show that could no longer had to prove itself and wouldn’t face another threat of cancellation until its natural conclusion at the end of season four. This meant that the writers really had free reign to try new and wild ideas without worry that it might get them cancelled. Some of these experiments turned out wonderfully and some turned out terribly, but they were all a big step for Saved by the Bell.

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Of note during this season is how much of it was spent outside Bayside. This was a ballsy move to feature so many episodes away from the setting that made this show so popular, and it could well have gone down in disaster as evidenced by how horribly The New Class pulled off the same thing. The Malibu Sands episodes especially were actually pretty good over all, and allowed us to see the six characters we’ve come to know over the last few years interact in a different setting. If not for the success of these episodes, I doubt NBC would have green lit the two movies. They proved these characters were strong enough to exist outside Bayside.

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Of course, this meant less Mr. Belding. They did the sensible thing and didn’t feature our beloved principal in any episodes set outside the school. Seems that sort of thing is a tad unrealistic, even for this show, and The New Class certainly could have learned from their example and not shoehorn in plots for Mr. Belding every episode. Unfortunately, this means Mr. Belding is the most under-developed character of the season by far. After having both high and low episodes in season two, we don’t get to see him do much more this year and he’s back to being the foil that he was in both Good Morning, Miss Bliss and season one.

Let’s look at the other characters.

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Zack Morris starts out the season being dumped by Kelly and this frees him up for many of the plots later in the season, most notably the Malibu Sands episodes. What’s interesting is he seems to be in the wrong so much less this season, although the other characters seem to insist on making him the bad guy, even when he’s not. Take his being pissed off at Kelly in “The Aftermath:” he did nothing wrong but everyone else makes him out to be an evil ass because the message we’re supposed to get is it’s okay for your girlfriend to cheat on you and you shouldn’t feel feelings lest they ruin birthday parties. It’s really pretty idiotic and I hate that this is what they seem intent on doing with his character. He still had his moments of genuine assholish behavior, such as when he stole Mr. Belding’s car and set up Lisa just to get revenge on Eric or when he didn’t want to date Wendy because she was overweight, but they’re fewer this season.

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Kelly continues to be defined almost exclusively by the men in her life. Other than a supporting role in the “Home for Christmas” two-parter, I can’t think of a single plot that didn’t involve her and her love life. She started the season breaking up with Zack Morris, had her little subplot with Jeff, considered getting back with Zack Morris, considered dating Slater, dated Johnny Dakota, and even, creepily enough, had Rusty from Full House beating down her door. She tries to be the voice of reason at times this season but fails miserably because that’s not her character. She really could be replaced with a pretty lamp without affecting the plot of the show at all.

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Slater spends much of the season wrapped around Jessie’s finger. His misogyny is toned down this season and, though he still says the minor sexist thing, he’s changed quite a bit. Unfortunately, this means he’s probably the blandest character of the season. Really, he doesn’t do a lot and gives off the impression he’s around for eye candy.

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Lisa’s probably the most developed character of the season. After having spent most of season two not doing much at all, she comes back this season and gains some personality. Unfortunately for her, that means she’s now a serial monogamist, but she at least has some definable characteristics other than liking clothes. There’s still a good portion of the season when she doesn’t do much, like during most of the Malibu Sands episodes, but her presence this season is much improved.

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Jessie is a complete and utter sociopath this season. Her quasi-feminism is at its most annoying as she tries to boss around everyone in site. Her hypocrisy is on show when she tries to ruin her dad’s wedding for no reason, or when she has sour grapes when she doesn’t get the highest SAT score. She’s the most inconsistent character of the series and you never know what Jessie you’re going to get. If she ever went to court, I could almost buy a defense of multiple personality. A disproportionate number of episodes revolved around Jessie this season, and four episodes were devoted to dealing with her dysfunctional family. None of them were particularly good and she was only saved from being the worst character this season because of the abomination that follows.

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Screech continues to be the most annoying character in television history. He’s not funny. Ever word that comes out of his mouth is either annoying as hell or idiotic. He’s constantly annoying the other characters. At this point, I’m convinced the others are only keeping him around because he’s blackmailing them. No episodes really revolve around Screech this year other than “Check Your Mate,” which also featured the final appearance of Violet. In some interviews, Dennis Haskins claims Dustin Diamond is a comedy genius. If, by genius, you mean completely incompetent and not funny, I think he’s absolutely right.

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Saved by the Bell also did something interesting this season by adding two new characters for the Malibu Sands episodes. Mr. Carosi is obviously meant to fill the void that existed without Mr. Belding around as Zack Morris’s foil, and he pulls it off beautifully. At times, he even does it better than Mr. Belding. It’s a shame they never did anything else with his character.

Ernie Sabella came to Saved by the Bell after a year as Larry and Balki’s boss on Perfect Strangers. Sabella has since had recurring roles on The PracticeThat’s So RavenProvidence, and Encore! Encore!, but the role that has perhaps defined him the most is as the voice of the warthog Pumbaa in The Lion King and its myriad of spin-offs and sequels. It’s kind of heartening looking at him knowing that the voice of Pumbaa comes from his mouth.

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Of course, the more interesting character was Stacey, whose role became both an antagonist and love interest to Zack Morris. There were times she was idiotic, like not bothering to tell Zack Morris she had a boyfriend before she started dating him, but she successfully shook up the lineup of the gang in a way no other character has been able to. Her presence this season was, for the most part, a pleasant surprise. She might be the only girl other than Kelly whom Zack Morris seriously dates in this series.

Leah Remini went on to guest star in a shit ton of things before landing a role as Carrie Heffernan, the long-suffering wife to the lead idiot on King of Queens. She’s been successful as an actress and continues to land roles left and right, including starring in her own reality show last year for TLC.

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I won’t be reviewing the special features for the DVDs this season since all they are is the cast talking mindlessly about the episodes, often not even talking about the episode in question. I turned on one during “Fake IDs” and it bored me to tears. On top of this, the cast they had on this episode were Dennis Haskins, Dustin Diamond, and Lark Voorhies, three actors who had almost nothing to do with this episode, and the result is just abominable. On top of this, they divided the season three episodes into two DVD releases: season three and season four. The episodes, as usual, are extremely out of order and I have no idea why Lionsgate thinks there were five seasons of this show. There weren’t. Make a DVD release that at least conforms to what’s easily accessible on IMDB.

Overall, this might be the most consistent season of Saved by the Bell and I feel comfortable saying that knowing what’s ahead next season. This is usually the season people fondly remember when they think of this show and that’s okay. This season is a part of lots of people’s nostalgia, and I respect that greatly. It’s what you’d expect from Saved by the Bell: goofy plots and unrealistic situations but all with heart and class.


My Picks:

As usual, I encourage you to agree or disagree with my picks in the comments section below.

Five Episodes I Loved:

1. “The Last Weekend” (Episode 12): A solid end to the Malibu Sands episodes. Despite the major plot hole that they never clearly indicated that Mr. Carosi didn’t know about Zack Morris and Stacey’s relationship, it really delivered. It actually captured the character development experienced during the arc.

2. “Mystery Weekend” (Episode 26): This is a weird episode, but weird in a good way! It’s almost like a send up to Scooby-Doo and I enjoyed it despite how unrealistic it was and how many holes were in the plot of the murder. It’s probably not an episode that could be successfully done again, but it was nice for a change of pace.

3. “The Game” (Episode 4): This is the episode that really brought Stacey into the fold of the gang as she helped them win the volleyball tournament. The antagonism developed between Zack Morris and Mr. Carosi was fitting as well, although it’s still a little creepy knowing Screech is out there luring little girls with promises of candy.

4. “All in the Mall” (Episode 16): This one is so ridiculous it’s funny. No, I don’t believe for a second gangsters would chase our gang through the mall or that a hidden video show would try to film them, but it’s just so stupid it’s hilarious. It also proves you should never put Screech in charge of anything important.

5. “Pipe Dreams” (Episode 11): Like when I picked “Jessie’s Song” for season two, please do not misinterpret this as me saying this is a good episode. It’s one of the more preachy episodes of the season, but the way the writers try to manipulate our emotions with Becky’s death is so ridiculous it’s hilarious. In any other show, this would be an offensive episode. On Saved by the Bell, it’s humorous in ways it never intended to be. BECKY!

Three Episodes I Hated:

1. “Rockumentary” (Episode 22): This may be one of the worst episodes of this series. It’s a twenty-three minute dream sequence, and a boring one at that. That’s about all you really need to know. It doesn’t even have a moral in the end, other than don’t piss on your friends when you all become famous musicians. It’s just Zack Morris pontificating on how awesome it would be to become a famous rock musician. Bull shit.

2. ‘The Aftermath” (Episode 3): Zack Morris and Kelly’s break-up is handled so piss poor. Not only did she cheat on him but everyone makes him out to be the bad guy when he dares to have emotions about it. The moral is hold your emotions inside because all they’ll really do is piss your friends off and ruin birthday parties.

3. “No Hope with Dope” (episode 21): In typical ’90s drug propaganda style, there’s no difference between doing marijuana, cocaine, or fucking caffeine pills, at least in the stupid world these characters exist in. All drugs are equally bad without exception, mmmkay? I can’t even say this one is untentionally amusing like “Jessie’s Song” or “Pipe Dreams.” It’s just a preachy PSA, and a horribly done one at that.

Saved by the Bell Season 2 Recap

Before I get started, I just wanted to take this opportunity (especially since it won’t come around again for another six months), to thank everyone who reads this blog. As I write this, I’m up to record page views. I love writing this blog and I couldn’t do it without you. Thanks especially to Pablo, Mark Moore, and Jennie B who consistently comment almost every week. I love reading comments and hearing feedback and I generally approve almost everything I receive, positive or negative, unless it’s just not constructive at all.

With that, season two of Saved by the Bell.


Season two of Saved by the Bell was probably when the show finally started coming into its own. It wasn’t really trying horrible gimmicks yet to attract viewers, and there are some very good episodes in this season. I feel like this was the season that kept the franchise afloat for another nine years.

Yet, mixed in among great episodes like “The Prom” and “The Fabulous Belding Boys” were atrocious episodes like “Running Zack.” As always, the Saved by the Bell grab bag has to be a mixed one. And this isn’t even considering the fact that two out of season episodes made it into the mix. The show may not have jumped the shark this season, but the fin was definitely waiting to come out.


On top of all this, the DVDs for both seasons one and two were absolute, utter messes. I could forgive putting all four out of season episodes on the season one DVD. There’s actually some logic to that when you think about it. What I can’t forgive is the fact the episodes are advertised as in airing order but are definitely not in airing order. On top of that, three season two episodes are actually on the season three DVD: “The Fabulous Belding Boys,” “Breaking Up is Hard to Undo,” and “The Glee Club.” This is just messy and unforgivable. On top of that, The Summer of Morris, another Saved by the Bell review blog, has pretty much confirmed that what we have are cut episodes after that blog was able to dig up a lost scene from “The Zack Tapes.”

This is just unforgivable. What the DVDs are essentially saying is that they know we’ll buy these episodes no matter what crap they put out because they know we want the episodes. At this point, I have nothing but disgust for Lionsgate for doing this.


Let’s talk characterization.

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Oh, Zack Morris. You started off the season with so much promise when you actually did something admirable for Kelly in “The Prom.” You had to go and ruin it by being yourself, though, didn’t you. Between his racist portrayal of Native Americans, his desire to cheat on Kelly with the school nurse, and his attempt to sabotage Kelly’s chance to go to Paris, Zack Morris continues his trend of douchebaggery and takes it to new, unheard of levels. Zack Morris shows no growth this season, and he just becomes the kind of character you want to punch in the face.

vlcsnap-2014-06-29-19h02m15s113Speaking of punching people in the face, Screech’s character this season shows the beginnings of the annoying character who’s going to be with us for the next nine years. He’s a complete moron, totally unlikeable, and yet the gang still lets him hang around with them. He gets a girlfriend this season but forgets about her unless it’s convenient to the plot. We meet his mother but only so it can be established she’s as much an idiot as her son. Peter Engel wasn’t lying: Screech’s point on this show is to try and salvage really bad scenes, and it shows.

vlcsnap-2014-06-19-21h29m14s42Oh, Kelly, you showed so much potential this season. You were the focus of one of the best episodes of the season and you carried over your likeable bits. Unfortunately, Kelly is defined by men, and I only realized it this season. Without men to fight over her, she has no character. I mean, really, the only things I know about Kelly other than her being beautiful and attractive to the male characters is that she’s poor, she is either tone deaf or a musical genius, and she has lots of siblings, and none of these things are mentioned unless they’re directly needed for the plot. This is an instance where the writers could replace a character with a toaster oven without effecting the show.

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Poor Elizabeth Berkley. You will always be remembered for two things: Showgirls and being a caffeine pill addict. Jessie doesn’t have a lot to do this season outside getting over her addiction and pursuing Slater like a psychopath. She has minor subplots in other episodes but they never amount to much. Though Jessie has more characteristics than Kelly, she’s still defined by her pursuit of Slater which, in itself, is a pretty minor subplot this season.

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 Lisa’s on the show a lot, but she never does anything. She’s usually only there to get in on the antics of the gang, to insult Screech, or to act as the voice of reason, which is quite sad considering this is the girl who, last season, thought it would be a good idea to let Zack Morris prostitute her out to pay back her father. I can’t think of a single memorable Lisa scene this season and that’s quite sad, especially considering she’s been around since Good Morning, Miss Bliss.

vlcsnap-2014-05-06-17h49m12s253If there’s a character this season who really has no purpose, it’s Slater. The biggest plot he’s a part of this season was in “Save the Max,” and there he doesn’t even have a large role. The writers wrap up his infatuation with Kelly pretty early in the season and, without Zack Morris to fight with, the writers don’t seem to know what to do with Slater. He off and on pursues Jessie this season but that’s about it. Everything else is relegated to minor sub-plot status. Of course, they did find an excuse for him to take his shirt off this season for fan service, but there’s no reason for him to be there other than to be a pretty boy.

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Mr. Belding gets the most development of any character this season as we get an episode that shows just how much he cares for his students. Yet, despite this, we still get moronic plots involving him such as “Breaking Up is Hard to Undo,” where he shows pederastic tendencies. Most episodes he continues to be relegated to the background, which is probably how it should be since he’s meant to be Zack Morris’s foil.

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With this recap, it’s time to say goodbye to the first Saved by the Bell cast member to depart: Ed Alonzo. We’ll see him show up in a couple more out of season episodes, but this is the last season he actually appeared in. I don’t know why Max was given the boot, but I can only assume it was because the writers realized he was the most redundant character on the show. He never did anything useful and gave horrible advice. He also apparently randomly snuck around Bayside taking pictures of all the students.

So what did Ed Alonzo do after Saved by the Bell? Not much, it turns out. He’s made a few sporadic appearances on talk shows and in sitcoms such as Murphy BrownHow I Met Your Mother, and Modern Family, but he’s never had another major role. He continues performing magic and, from what I understand, he completely whores out the fact he was a regular on Saved by the Bell for a season to get people to come see him. But, yeah, he’s a definite d-list celebrity at this point and most people don’t even remember he was a regular on this show.


vlcsnap-2014-05-13-16h46m19s65Season two of Saved by the Bell is definitely better overall than season one, and I’d rather rewatch some of these episodes than much of what is to come. But it’s time to move on into season three as Saved by the Bell essentially becomes even more centered around Zack Morris than it already was.


My Picks

As usual, I encourage you to agree or disagree with my picks in the comments section below.

Five Episodes I Loved:

1. “The Fabulous Belding Boys” (Episode 15): This is, hands down, the best episode this season. The plot is mostly realistic, we get some amazing characterization for Mr. Belding, and Zack Morris really does learn something in the end. It’s going to be hard to beat this episode as my favorite of the series.

2. “The Prom” (Episode 1): This could have easily given “The Fabulous Belding Boys” some serious competition had it not been for the stupid subplots. Still, it’s a really good episode and I found myself genuinely empathizing with Kelly. I wish there were more episodes like these two.

3. “Jessie’s Song” (Episode 9): Don’t get me wrong. This is not a good episode. However, it is absolutely hillarious how ludicrous it is. Even more, it’s amazing that the writers thought this was a good idea. It’s the most infamous episode of the series by far and lives on as fodder for Elizabeth Berkley jokes.

4. “From Nurse to Worse” (Episode 16): I love it when Zack Morris acts like an asshole and gets his comeuppance. It may be completely improper for the nurse to conspire with the gang for revenge, but it’s great to see him get what he deserves nonetheless. It’s slightly hampered by the “Slater doesn’t want a flu shot” subplot, but it’s solid nevertheless.

5. “The Glee Club” (Episode 18): Okay, if I have to pick one more episode, it’s this one. It’s a solid episode that gives us some characterization for Violet and really shows off how much talent Aaron Spelling’s money can buy. It’s probably the only decent episode involving Screech this season.

Three Episodes that I Hate:

1. “Running Zack” (Episode 13): I hate this episode. I hate every single solitary minute of this twenty-two minute piece of racist garbage. I hate that someone thought this was bringing up sensitive issues in a wise way. I hate that Zack Morris is even more racist when he thinks he’s being racially sensitive. I hate that we, the audience, are insulted by the idea that Zack Morris is deeply affected by the passing of a minor supporting character he met twice. I hate that this episode exists.

2. “Blind Dates” (Episode 6): This is an episode without a reason for existing. The entire thing would have been cleared up if Zack Morris had just told Kelly and his parents that Mr. Belding was blackmailing him. Instead, we get a half hour of insufferable nonesense that is insulting to two year olds.

3. “Breaking Up is Hard to Undo” (Episode 17): All the characterization Mr. Belding received in “The Fabulous Belding Boys” is thrown down the drain as he crosses so many professional boundaries. What writer thought the concept of a principal hanging out in his student’s bed and talking about his love life problems was a good idea?

Honorable Mentions:

“Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind” (Episode 12) and “The Babysitters” (Episode 14): It’s no wonder NBC choose not to air these episodes during the first season. They’re two of the worst episodes I’ve seen in the franchise, and that includes what I’ve seen of The New Class. These episodes are subpar, even by Saved by the Bell standards, and should never have seen the light of day.

Saved by the Bell Season 1 Recap

A note on episode order. Some of you will no doubt notice that there are a few more episodes that were produced during season one. They are even in the season one DVD box set. However, the Saved by the Bell episode list is a mess. Episodes were aired out of order left and right and a few, such as these early episodes, were aired out of season. Therefore, I’ve made the decision that I’ll be reviewing in airing order. Also, the Complete Series DVD box set is a mess in terms of episode order. They claim to have all episodes in order of airing, but “The Election” and “Save That Tiger” is out of order, and several season two episodes are included in season three. I don’t even think they know when things were produced/aired. Therefore, I will be following the IMDB list.

I don’t think anyone but the most die hard fans would disagree with me that Saved by the Bell is a flawed show. And, when I say flawed, I mean stuck somewhere between Justin Bieber spewing gangsta wanna-be nonsense and Henry VIII murdering his wives nonsense. Reviewing every episode of the show, you really realize how horrible the writers, prop designers, costumers, and even boom mike operators were. Hell, in the previous sixteen reviews I’ve barely scratched the surface of how terrible the production value of this show was. I could probably write a feature length review on every single episode and still have stuff left over to say.

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Needless to say, the transition from Good Morning, Miss Bliss to Saved by the Bell was definitely not a smooth one. Watching this season back to back with Good Morning Miss Bliss definitely made me appreciate the fact that they actually seemed to be trying on Good Morning, Miss Bliss. With this, it’s almost like they expected to be out of a job by the end of the season.

And, yet, the show stuck around for three more years.

vlcsnap-2014-02-14-19h36m55s9Zack Morris and Screech actually show a bit of regression in personality this season over their Good Morning, Miss Bliss portrayal. Essentially, it’s as if the writers took their one characteristic they were remembered for and made those their only traits. It’s no help that Slater is basically a carbon copy of Zack Morris except he’s a “jock” and not a “prep.” We’ll just forget the fact that Zack Morris is pretty much a jock himself, unless cross country doesn’t count in the Saved by the Bell universe.

Zack 3rd placeScreech begins his long descent into becoming one of the most annoying characters in television history this season. Yet, he’s still a hell of a lot more likable than he will be later on. His status as stalker of Lisa is solidified, though. Whereas he could have simply been said to have a simple crush on Lisa in Good Morning, Miss Bliss, it’s turned into unhealthy psychotic behavior in this season, to the point she actually starts to have nightmares of him.vlcsnap-2014-02-14-19h32m07s198Lisa is now a member of the stupid spoiled rich bitch club. Her fashionable traits held up better on Good Morning, Miss Bliss, especially since the only other child female regular on the show was Nikki, who was played as an unfashionable tomboy. When compared to Kelly and Jessie, Lisa honestly is nothing special in her dressing.

Jessie’s entire shtick is bleah bleah bleah eco-feminism, save the whales, goodie goodie two shoes, I make As. The only change in her personality is when she shows obvious signs of hypocrisy by refusing to date Screech after seconds earlier saying he was being treated bad when she didn’t know it was him. She wins the student body election and it’s actually remembered in a subsequent episode, but she doesn’t do anything else even remotely important this season.

Kelly is the most likable of the regular cast because she’s the one who’s the least stupid, least manipulative, least bitchy, and least overall annoying. She actually gives Screech a chance when no one else will, she has a good heart for others, and she looks out for her friends. Yet, even she has her moments, as in the pimple cream episode, and the fact that she has no aspiration other than to get fucked and pop out children. To Zack Morris and Slater, she’s a piece of meat, one they will constantly fight over.

Bayside rapMr. Belding is being set up as the epitome of the “adults are stupid” theme on this show. He falls for the gang’s stupid plans on more than one occasion and blames Zack Morris for at least one scheme that he had nothing to do with. Yet, I can’t say he’s a completely unlikeable character, even if he seems a bit narcissistic trying to insert himself in everything, such as the Casey Kasem dance-off.

Belding Chubby CheckerMax was, of course, a useless character and contributed nearly nothing to the show. He did magically solve all the gang’s problems on one occasion by giving them friendship bracelets, but that was the extent of the useful things he did. He kept lots of animals in his clothes, which is actually kind of disturbing.

vlcsnap-2014-02-14-19h46m48s45There were a number of recurring characters introduced this season, each one based either on an exaggerated stereotype or on the adults are stupid thread. It’s kind of painful to realize that one-dimensional and stereotypical are the only ways that the writers of this show know to create a character. And they still, despite their best efforts, manage to get it wrong.

For instance, despite their best attempts to get me to hate the nerds, I am still convinced that Edgar Poindexter is the most useful recurring character on the show and, quite frankly, girls would be stupid not to go for him. The way he and his friends transformed a stupid idea of a cardboard surfboard into a smart idea of a sun visor and made profit shows that he’s obviously going to be a very wealthy man someday.vlcsnap-2014-02-15-23h23m03s240As bad as some parts of this season were, it was still entertaining. I totally get why many people have very fond memories of Saved by the Bell. It’s one of those things that’s so bad it’s good. There were times I was genuinely laughing and felt genuinely entertained.

But, will this feeling last as we go into season two? We’ll soon find out.


My Picks

As usual, I encourage you to agree or disagree with my picks in the comments section below.

Five Episodes I Loved:

  1. “King of the Hill” (Episode 15): OK, I’m the first to admit that it’s pretty bad when the pilot episode makes this list. But it was a genuinely good introduction to the characters and actually felt believable in terms of Slater’s shaking up of Zack Morris’s world. Why they waited until almost the end of the season to show this, I’ll never understand.
  2. “The Mamas and the Papas” (Episode 12): As far as episodes went, this one was quite entertaining. Besides Zack Morris being framed for something that he didn’t do, it was quite an enjoyable set-up and actually provided fertile ground for character development, even if there was no follow through.
  3. “The Gift” (Episode 3): I’m actually surprised at myself that I’m including this one, but the unbelievable premise wasn’t enough for it to not be enjoyable. And, what can I say, it’s the mother fucking Micro Machines guy!
  4. “The Lisa Card” (Episode 2): I nearly didn’t include this one for the simple reason it had such a ridiculous and convoluted ending, but it is believable and entertaining, even if Zack Morris was trying to whore out one of his friends.
  5. “Fatal Distraction” (Episode 5): Zack Morris getting his just deserts for invading Kelly’s privacy? Hell yeah! This episode started my love of Kelly as she is both the most likable character and the one you don’t want to mess with!

Three Episodes that I Hate:

  1. “The Friendship Business” (Episode 11): This is a stupid, stupid, stupid episode. The idea that a school would randomly give $100 to teenagers to start stupid businesses that a kindergartner could predict the failure of is ludicrous. The ending is even worse and it makes me vow to never wear a friendship bracelet again, even if they do come back into style.
  2. “Dancing to the Max” (Episode 1): I liked this one more the first time around but, the more I think about it, the stupider this entire episode is. Sorry, but Casey Kasem does not randomly show up at high schools to watch random teenagers do stupid dances involving hopping on your uninjured foot. The Jessie-is-scared-to-dance-with-a-boy subplot was ridiculous and contrived and Zack Morris does not help matters at all by treating Kelly like a pawn in his game.
  3. “Pinned to the Mat” (Episode 9): The moral of this episode is you don’t need to know what you want to be for the rest of your life in high school. Unfortunately, this is something any high school kid with a brain cell should already know, or, at the very least, would be told by any competent guidance counselor. And Zack Morris does not have the power to bring in random students to the wrestling team on a whim just to keep from losing a bet.