Category Archives: Saved by the Bell Season 1

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.

Zack doll

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.

Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 16: “Save That Tiger”

It’s hard to believe, especially since we just did the pilot last week, but it’s time for our first season finale. And, oh, they had to go and start it off with the funky sounding version of the theme song. This doesn’t bode well already…

So it’s the city cheerleading competition and apparently cheerleading is so highly thought of in the Saved by the Bell universe that it inspires a prank war every year between Bayside and Valley. Don’t you just remember those old days when cheerleaders inspired your high school to rumble. Seriously, why wasn’t this in the homecoming episode where it belonged?

vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h35m22s32Anyway, Zack Morris’s monologue tells us he wants to go down as “Prankster Prince,” which is TV trope he never quite fulfills. I’d say he’s more the jerkass if anything.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h35m30s118Zack Morris is teaming up with Slater and Screech to come up with the ultimate prank to prove that they’re more juvenile than Valley. They’re determined to strike before Valley but, wouldn’t you know it, right at that very minute Edgar and another nerd comes walking in wrapped in toilet paper.
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Oh, Edgar, my dear prince! What have they done to you! Valley must be bombed in a take no prisoners style for committing this heinous act against Saved by the Bell‘s most likable recurring character! Valley High School, if you weren’t fictional, I would take you out with my bare hands for laying a finger on this dear soul!

Max cuts the duo free with a sword he just conveniently happens to have up his sleeve and leaves the toilet paper lying all over the floor in front of the entrance. That’s what I want to see when I patronize a restaurant for the first time: toilet paper all over the floor outside the restroom.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h37m17s139Meanwhile, the girls are super worried because that whore Nancy Zeiler came down with the chickenpox and can’t cheer for Bayside in the tournament. That means they’re one cheerleader short. Slater suggests Jessie cheer and Jessie’s all, “Fuck that shit! Feminism! Female empowerment! Equal Rights Amendment!” But she’ll still help the others find a new cheerleader. Oh and she actually mentions that she’s the student body president. My god, something from another episode mattered!
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h38m04s96But before we leave The Max, it appears that Valley High School must be located right outside The Max, because they have now put a tire around Edgar and the other nerd. You bastards. May Mylo Williams and Tina Paladrino become faculty members and unleash a horrid curse on your building.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h38m28s85So, at the cheerleading tryouts, we need an incompetent prospective cheerleader to laugh at, so who else would they get but Rhonda Robistelli, because she’s way too masculine to be a cheerleader because she’s tall and strong and it’s funny.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h39m00s146The group tries out and Rhonda Robistelli quite literally punches our two unnamed cheerleaders in the face. With no other viable candidates because Rhonda Robistelli is the only other girl they paid this week to actually have lines, Jessie finally agrees to be the new cheerleader.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h40m28s6Just then, the boys walk in and reveal they put super glue on Valley’s track that somehow didn’t dry instantly and released helium in their band room that somehow didn’t dissipate. I think the biggest prank here is on the viewers since we’re not supposed to understand basic Chemistry. But, worst of all, they stole Valley’s banner. Oh, the humanity! They’ll be forced to go to Staples and print up another one before Friday! Jessie tells them they’re hella lame and thieves for stealing the banner but they’re all, “Fuck you! We’re bad boys!”vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h41m00s65In the minute that the boys were in the gym, Valley somehow sneaked into the hallway, toilet papering it very elaborately. They’ve also managed to rig silly string in the boys’ locker in the same amount of time. I’ve finally figured it out! Valley is actually the old name for Hogwarts! I mean, how else do you explain first the fact that Edgar was attacked again right outside The Max seconds after he left and now the defacement of the hallway. They’re wizards! Burn them alive!

Mr. Belding comes in and is all, “This is fucking bullshit. You fucking idiots stop while I go and talk to the principal at Valley!”
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h44m00s77And here we see one of the apparent problems with Valley: low academic performance. How else do you explain two guys obviously in their twenties still being students there. Anyway, these are the Clegg cousins, Stan and Dan, who are behind Valley’s pranks on Bayside, and they’re in Mr. Stingwell’s office, which just happens to look exactly like Mr. Belding’s office except they moved the desk. Mr. Stingwell is fucking pissed at Stan and Dan for not being more juvenile in their prank approach and encourages them to think as childish as possible. And he’s fucking insane throughout the entire episode. I mean, seriously, if Jack Nicholson hadn’t wanted to play the Joker, they could have easily tapped this guy.

Incidentally, the guy playing Mr. Stingwell had a supporting role in Gomer Pyle, USMC but is more known for his voice acting, which prompts me to ask what it is with this show and voice actors. Were they just cheaper to hire than normal actors?
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h44m49s50Mr. Belding comes in and Mr. Stingwell immediately gets him with a joy buzzer and a whoopee cushion that makes the sound of a 1920s era automobile. We get an exposition dump about how this entire prank war has been going on for twenty years and started between the two of them, back when Mr. Stingwell was “Stinky” and Mr. Belding was “Mad Dog.”
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h47m07s157Mr. Stingwell seems to agree to end the prank war but not before slapping a “Valley Rules” sign on Mr. Belding’s back and sending him on his way so the set director can reset his office.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h47m38s201At The Max, Zack Morris and Slater are dressed as, in the words of Jessie, Rambo and Gumbo, which I think about sums it up. They aren’t sure what they’re going to do yet but they’re certain they’re about to make their move on Valley because they have to keep the plot going.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h48m08s247Oh, and out jumps Screech, dressed as a kamikaze pilot. Oh, casual racism, how I missed you since our last encounter. Way to poke fun at one of the darkest times in Japan’s history simply because you needed a stupid stereotype Screech could make fun of.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h49m33s80At Kelly’s house, Jessie has unveiled her idea for new uniforms, the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman look, which is sure to work because no one wants to be distracted by pesky sex. Jessie also wants to rewrite their cheer and the writers actually seem to be aware of how fucking stupid the Bayside cheer we’ve heard a couple times before is because Kelly actually references how dumb it is. Lisa and Kelly like one of Jessie’s suggestions and reveal that it has a huge role for the mascot, who happens to be Screech.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h50m58s153The next day, Zack Morris and Slater reveal that they stole Valley’s mascot, who happens to be a live bulldog, because all schools keep live animals as their mascot on the school premises at all times. Why, I’m sure there’s a live tiger somewhere at Bayside just waiting to eat Screech!

Jessie is outraged at the dog-knapping but Slater decides they need a picture of the Bayside cheerleaders with the Valley mascot to taunt Valley with. Mr. Belding comes in just as they’re about to take the photo and they convince him to stand in the back of the photo, at the same time sneaking the bulldog into the front without him seeing because one of his four character traits is being completely dense.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h52m15s132In the locker room at Bayside, the Clegg cousins have stolen Bayside jackets and are looking for their missing mascot in the most logical place: the locker room. Screech comes in and just blabs the entire dance plan to the Clegg brothers, not even questioning the presence of potential predators in the locker room just waiting for Screech to hit the shower before pouncing. The Clegg cousins decide to kidnap Screech because kidnapping a person is apparently on par with stealing a dog?

Zack Morris and Slater reveal Screech’s kidnapping to the girls and, of course, only Kelly is genuinely concerned about Screech’s well-being. Everyone else only cares about their own selfish concerns, including Zack Morris, who imagines a “Prank World Championship” awards ceremony in which he’s given the last place medal and mistaken by Mr. Stingwell as Jack Morris.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h54m41s69And he imagines that his prize is being hit in the face by Mr. Stingwell with a pie and sprayed with water.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h55m39s149 vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h55m53s35The girls convince Zack Morris and Slater that they need to fucking man up and tell Mr. Belding so he can call the FBI or something. They do, but instead of reporting the felony by Mr. Stingwell’s remedial students, Mr. Belding calls Mr. Stingwell, who orders the Clegg cousins to go exchange mascots. The Clegg cousins have other ideas, though, and steal Screech’s suit so they can infiltrate and sabotage the cheer, leaving Screech feeling less than good and me wondering why the police were not involved.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h57m40s82One of the Clegg cousins comes in and gets their bulldog while handing over the other Clegg cousin in the tiger costume. Jessie takes the tiger off for the competition before Screech runs in and reveals the plan, which tells me the Clegg cousins aren’t very good at kidnapping since their victim apparently escape just minutes after they left. But Zack Morris and Slater are determined to make things worse, again, instead of calling the police.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h59m09s176We enter the cheer competition, and Valley is first. Of course, their cheer is pretty much about them being stuck up Valley girls and how they’re better than everyone else. And you’ll notice that Rhonda Robistelli is in the background wearing the exact same clothes she wore during the cheerleading tryouts, leading me to conclude that this all happened in a day.

Meanwhile, Zack Morris and Slater dump ants down the tiger costume, causing the Clegg cousin to break out into elaborate gymnastics, because my first reaction when bugs are biting my man parts is to do a cartwheel.  I do have to admit, though, this cheer is much improved over their normal horrible one. Maybe this one will stick.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-22h01m11s139Of course, Bayside wins the coveted “Golden Megaphone,” the Clegg cousins are revealed for their treachery and taken away by Mr. Stingwell for spankings, and we get one big boo yeah for Bayside before the curtain falls on the season.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-22h02m47s82

Firsts: Valley High School, a felony is committed with no police intervention, the writers remembered something from a previous episode.


And yeah, that’s it for season one of Saved by the Bell. This Wednesday I’ll have a recap of the season and on Friday I’ll have a special review. In two weeks, we begin season two, and we’ll see if the writing for Saved by the Bell can manage to get any worse!

Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 15: “King of the Hill”

It’s kind of ironic isn’t it: I’m now fifteen weeks, nearly four months, into this blog and I’m just now finally getting to the pilot episode of Saved by the Bell because, for whatever reason, they made the first episode, the episode dealing with the first day of school and the arrival of Slater, the fifteenth fucking episode. This is why I’m reviewing the episodes in order of airing and not production: because, to me, this shows that someone, either at NBC or among the producers, just didn’t give a damn. Even more ironic is it’s the same week I reviewed the pilot for The New Class. This could make for an interesting comparison…

And their way of explaining why they’re just now showing this episode? It’s apparently all a flashback, as a voice over from Zack Morris says, “I’ll never forget the day that Slater showed up.” LAME, LAME, LAME! Turning an episode into a flashback, especially one not filmed as a flashback, is the laziest possible gimmick you can use. You’re less than thirty seconds into the episode and you already have me pissed off!

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Zack Morris gets his own personalized wake-up call telling him to roar like a tiger, which I presume means Tony the Tiger and not like Shere Khan or something. He’s excited about the first day of school. And why? Because he has girls to stalk, very specifically, one special girl whom he has a giant descending cardboard cut out of in his bedroom.

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Run, Kelly! Run now!

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At Bayside, Zack Morris and Jessie are comparing their schedules, and Zack Morris is pissed he only got one lunch period because he has ambitions of auditioning for the part of Roseanne. Mr. Belding enters and Zack Morris does some sucking up about Mr. Belding’s weight. And I think there’s an implication that Mr. Belding and his wife fuck underwater in a swimming pool.

Lisa is pissed because her locker is stuck between some geeks because the world must revolve around Lisa if she doesn’t like the people around her. Zack Morris agrees to get her another locker in exchange for some plagiarized Spanish homework.

Zack Morris has ambitions of getting the locker next to Kelly’s and thinks he can con the guy next to Kelly into giving up the locker. And, after the cameraman has a seizure, who should appear and reveal that he has the locker next to Kelly but Slater. And Slater has no intentions of giving up his locker, especially when he realizes there’s a piece of meat assigned next to him.

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Slater almost instantly falls in lust with Kelly and decides he wants her lady parts to be his lady parts. He reveals he’s been in fourteen schools in the last three years and has learned how to be crafty himself.

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Zack Morris instantly convinces Screech to share Screech’s locker with him and it seems Screech was originally to be a neat freak as we find out he has a Dirt Devil in his locker to clean up with.

Zack Morris enters the classroom determined to sit next to Kelly so he can sniff her hair and oogle her lady parts up her shorts, but Jessie refuses to switch seats with Zack Morris.

vlcsnap-2014-02-16-19h04m32s208Lisa is more than willing, though, once Zack Morris tells her he has a new locker for her.

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Slater enters and slaps Screech in the face for blowing a bubble. Mr. Dewey comes in his usual energetic and excited self and Slater gets himself moved to the front of the room because of supposed vision difficulties. And guess whose seat he switches with.

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Zack Morris and Slater eye each other as monkeys preparing to fight for the territory in between them. And Screech tells Zack Morris he can’t share a locker with him because Slater told Screech he’d fuck him up if he did.

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At The Max, we learn that Max keeps a stuffed rabbit in his pants. It’s disturbing to know that so many items find their way into Max’s nether regions. Max gives Zack Morris a Coke to take over to Kelly so he can ask her back to his place for hot fucking but Slater comes in and cock blocks Zack Morris before he can.

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And I think this is what they call a redneck wedding.

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Back at school, Zack Morris tries to murder Screech by stuffing a bone down his throat but luckily Kelly’s there to save him using the Heimlich maneuver. Screech’s only regret seems to be she wasn’t wearing a strap on. But Kelly is late to class, with a different teacher in the same room that served as Mr. Dewey’s room a few scenes ago, and this unseen teacher gives her detention for being tardy on the first day, which is apparently what Zack Morris was trying to accomplish.

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Meanwhile, judging by the portrait of Shakespeare, the exact same room seems to also triple as Miss Simpson’s class. Jesus, does this school only have one classroom? I mean they could at least do like they do with the bedrooms and pretend that they have different decorations!

Zack Morris precedes to call Miss Simpson a whore, a slut, a bitch, and a dumb ass in an effort to get detention, but her deafness prevents him from getting his wish, until he knocks his copy of Shakespeare onto the floor, which is apparently enough to get detention at Bayside.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Zack Morris is playing make believe, pretending to be Principal Morris until Mr. Belding comes in.

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Mr. Belding has Danny Tanner syndrome and instantly recognizes that Zack Morris moved his pencil cup. Mr. Belding tells Zack Morris he better leave his stuff the fuck alone before he back slaps him!

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Mr. Belding dons his retarded Mr. Rogers outfit and tries to be a fatherly figure to Zack Morris, but Zack Morris is determined to be a bad boy and get a spanking so he knocks over as much stuff of Mr. Belding’s as he can until Mr. Belding finally tells him to get the fuck out and go to detention.

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Zack Morris is overwhelmingly happy to be at detention and has a fantasy sequence about how Kelly will surely love him for getting her detention.

vlcsnap-2014-02-16-19h18m13s233Kelly, for some reason, is dressed as a Hawaiian princess in Zack Morris’s fantasy and she tells him that he’s going to get some hot poon for arranging this detention for the two of them.

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And we find out that Bayside apparently has the strictest detention ever on record.

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But Zack Morris enters the room and who should greet him but Slater, who got detention for offering his bare ass to a teacher who was evidently not into statutory rape. Slater tells Zack Morris that Kelly isn’t coming, though, because someone actually asked her why she was late for class and excused her for saving a life. Imagine that!

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Zack Morris and Slater have a verbal pissing match in which Zack Morris insults Slater for being in so many different schools. Slater is like, “Fuck off! I’m a military brat you self centered moron!” Mr. Dewey comes in and tells them both to shut the fuck up and sit down.

Zack Morris and Slater have a couple final jabs at each other about how they scare one another and they have secret homoerotic fantasies of each other’s hot bodies.

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And our rivalry is off to a dorkishly kicking start, one week before the end of the season!

First: Mr. Belding’s obsessive compulsive neatness.

Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 14: “The Zack Tapes”

Ah, this is one of the episodes that I’ve heard a ton about but never seen. Let’s see if it’s as bad as people say it is!

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Our episode opens at The Max where the students are getting ready for a Sweetheart Dance. Apparently this is a dance where the guys give the girl a heart with the guy’s name on it if he wants to go to the dance with her. And, oh, look, the Guy with Buttrock Hair has a name: Jeff!

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Anyway, of course Zack Morris and Slater are fighting over who gets to take Kelly to the dance because at this point in the show they wouldn’t have anything else to do if they didn’t. Slater says Zack Morris ain’t goin’ to no stinkin’ dance because he’s in deep shit with Mr. Belding over pouring tea bags in the swimming pool. Wait, either it’s a really small swimming pool or Zack Morris got a whole lots of teabags. Either way, this is a flimsy excuse of a prank at best. And he erased the blackboards with Mr. Federman’s toupee because he apparently didn’t notice it was gone from his head. So Zack Morris’s mother is coming in for a conference and Slater says there ain’t no way she gonna let Zack Morris’s ass out of the house for this dance!

Lisa comes up carrying a tape recorder playing some cheesy sounding pop song with a gaggle of extras dancing behind her. She tells Kelly that it’s the new Bo Revere single, except I thought they were saying Paul Revere throughout most of the episode and found myself thinking, “Jesus people, if you’re going to make up the name of a singer at least make it up to something that hasn’t been used in the music industry before, unless you’re trying to imply that kids were into the 1971 hit single ‘Indian Reservation’–in fucking 1989!”

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Anyway, Screech finds Lisa and starts sexually harassing her to go to the dance with him. He apparently broke into her locker to put a balloon of Harpo Marx in it to convince her. For the record, Harpo’s the sexier one between the two.

Mr. Belding comes down the stairs and tells Lisa to shut her fucking tape off because he was never a fan of Paul Revere back in the 1960s, instead preferring the sounds of the Beach Boys’s “California Girls.” Zack Morris tries to suck Mr. Belding’s ass but Mr. Belding tells him to shut the fuck up because he’s not getting out of trouble.

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And look, Mrs. Wentworth is back. She was the crazy sex education teacher way back in “The Lisa Card.” I didn’t mention her name back then because I thought Carol Lawrence would learn her lesson the first time around and not return to this show. But here she is teaching about subliminal advertising, which apparently is the duties of a sex ed teacher.

All the kids are giving Mrs. Wentworth chocolate and flowers and apples and begging her for some hot poon. She tells them that she put subliminal messages on all their Bo Revere tapes and they all suddenly and magically had the desire to buy presents for their teacher. Well, all except Screech, who seems to believe he’s a goat.

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And here right away is the problem with this episode. I know Saved by the Bell likes to stretch the truth and there is some evidence that subliminal advertising can work, but no amount of subliminal messages can make every person in the class do something so specific as bring their teacher gifts. Sorry, no, I don’t buy it. Not at all. Unless Paul Revere tells me to believe it, fuck off.

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Zack Morris, of course, sees an opportunity to get out of his punishment with Mr. Belding and works with Screech to create a version of “California Girls” with subliminal advertising for Mr. Belding. Zack Morris spouts some bullshit into a microphone and, wallah, instant plot!

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The next day, Lisa is trying to avoid Screech because he doesn’t understand the word “no” and is continuing to fallow her around everywhere. She thinks she’s ditched him when suddenly a walking trash can comes up behind her and attempts to put Screech’s heart around Lisa’s neck. Lisa’s all, “Egad! Screech now has common trash cans doing his bidding for him! What sort of sorcery is this?” And she runs off. Meanwhile Zack Morris comes into the hallway and gives Mr. Belding the tape of “California Girls.”

Kelly tells Zack Morris she can’t wait no more for his ass to get out of trouble and she takes Slater’s heart. Zack Morris is devastated that someone wouldn’t forego their own life to fully accommodate him in every way, and mopes off through the cut to Mr. Belding’s office, where he’s listening to the tape Zack Morris gave him.

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Zack Morris is suddenly perfect in every way to Mr. Belding because subliminal advertising is like magic brainwashing. Mr. Belding tells Zack Morris he has a special place in his heart and gives him $10 for the dance.

So, seeing how well subliminal mind control works on Mr. Belding, Zack Morris figures it could probably work on the other cast members, and he and Screech put together tapes to test out their theories. They give their tapes to the three biggest nerds they can find.

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The first is ‘ole Edgar in his second appearance, who gets a hot chick that wants him to stick his giant chess piece in her pie hole. Oh yeah, you go Edgar. You go get you some of that hot brainwashed girl. As soon as she finds out how much money you made off those sun visors, she’ll see how you’re a real man and stay with you!

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In the second test, this girl is apparently approaching a guy with really large muscles. But does she go for him?

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No, she goes for this unfortunate looking boy named Alan.

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Finally, Weird Al Yankovic here gets a Max waitress to come out. He orders one of her with nothing on it and she falls for him.

The tests are encouraging to Zack Morris’s plan and the next step is to make tapes for Kelly and Lisa so they’ll choose them to be their dates. But how to get the tapes to them?

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Well, the easiest, most logical way, of course, is to dress Screech up in Winnie Cooper drag as his female persona, “Barbara Bush,” and send him into the girl’s locker room.

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But, oh, that Jessie is nearly too smart for him and wants to help a girl she’s never seen before work out on the soccer team despite the fact that this is something you have to try out for and can’t really come in mid-season. But Barbara takes advantage of Jessie leaving the room to switch the tapes and does what her namesake does best: hide out of sight from all the dumb people around her.

And, of course, the tapes work perfectly. Kelly quite literally throws Slater’s heart on the floor and he’s all, “Dayum, gurl, how you gonna do me like dat?” She says Zack Morris is all the man she’ll ever need. Lisa, meanwhile, is head over heels for Screech and says she always wanted a guy who can look uglier than Robin Williams in drag.

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At The Max, Jessie has been listening to Kelly’s Bo Revere tape so, of course, she’s now in love with Zack Morris, too, and Max’s bow tie goes crazy because it’s apparently in love with Zack Morris as well.

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Kelly and Lisa come in with Lisa expressing her love for Screech. Kelly and Jessie both start saying all the same things about Zack Morris and Jessie gets a Looney Tunes light bulb announcing she has a clue.

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They imagine Screech naked in the locker room and deduce that Barbara Bush is probably actually in Washington, DC in 1989 and not the locker room at Bayside High. This leads them to the obvious conclusion that Zack Morris and Screech must have brainwashed them to go for their hot pubescent bodies instead of desiring to ride through the Massachusetts countryside yelling, “The British are coming!” and decide to get revenge. But Screech better enjoy being imagined naked while he can. After all, it’s probably the last time it’s going to happen.

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The girls recruit Mrs. Wentworth for the project, and, sometime later, Mr. Belding announces he’s going to play Kelly’s Bo Revere tape on the loudspeaker. Jessie runs up and forces herself on Zack Morris and soon all the female extras in the room follow.

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Zack Morris runs out into the hallway and he’s soon latched onto by both Kelly and Lisa, and an even bigger mob of female extras finds him and tries to take off his clothing for an on-the-spot group orgy.

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Slater comes in and Zack Morris thinks he’s there to rescue him, but turns out Slater wants Zack Morris for himself as he’s finally stopped repressing the homoerotic urges that fuel his rivalry with Zack Morris.

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Zack Morris runs into Mr. Belding’s office to get him to turn off the tape, and Mr. Belding also starts flirting with him because everyone loves Zack Morris. Mrs. Wentworth blocks his exit from Mr. Belding’s office with her cougar flirting, and Jessie, Kelly, Slater, and Lisa soon join in. Mrs. Wentworth finally tells Zack Morris that every female student in the school was in on an elaborate revenge plan against him because they all suddenly had the urge to get revenge despite the fact the vast majority of them were unaffected by this week’s plot. She also reveals that the tape Mr. Belding was playing wasn’t Zack Morris’s tape with the subliminal messages on it at all but, rather, a regular tape. Apparently no one at Bayside High had anything better to do that day than help the girls get revenge on Zack Morris. I mean, it’s not like Mrs. Wentworth or Mr. Belding had anything to do that day like teach or run the school or anything.

Mr. Belding tells Zack Morris he’s in deep shit and he better pay him back the $10 and have his mommy in the next day for a good spanking.

So, yeah, this episode is ridiculous and completely unbelievable, but it’s entertaining, and I guess that’s the most I expect from a Saved by the Bell episode at this point. I’m aware that there are more episodes in the future that I will want to rip to shreds so I’m enjoying the ones that are just good, dumb fun while I can.


In case you missed the announcement on Wednesday, I start reviewing Saved by the Bell: The New Class on Monday, so make sure to check it out as I take on the evil, horrible, ugly offspring of the Saved by the Bell franchise!

Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 13: “The Election”

Agh, the bad version of the theme song, which I’ve come to find out via the comments section is the original season one theme before syndication, is back! Someone please make it go away, far, far, away!

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Despite the end of the season only being a few episodes away, it’s time for student class elections, and I’m beginning to realize that Zack Morris’s hair can be used as an indicator of which episodes are out of order. Of course, Jessie is running for student body president, and she’s apparently the only person named Jessie at Bayside as her poster doesn’t even bother to give her last name. I guess this makes sense with all those nameless extras running around. Only someone with a name is important in the Saved by the Bell universe! Zack Morris thinks this is pretty square because only geeks and nerds would think of making a difference in anyone’s life but their own. Jessie says she’s trying desperately to be as successful as her mother was in the sixties and that running for student body president of her high school is the best way to go.

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This is Mr. Dewey, another of our recurring teachers. The guy who plays him has been in a ton of shit over the years, most often doing his best impression of a slightly more upbeat Ben Stein who isn’t bat shit crazy over creationism. Of course, Mr. Dewey is serving as faculty adviser for the student body government, but what I want you to notice here is the extra in between Zack Morris and Mr. Dewey, who is doing his best to pretend to talk to that other extra but just keeps nodding his head semi-regularly as if that constitutes talking, or acting. And these people wonder why they’re relegated to the background.

Zack Morris overhears Mr. Dewey and Mr. Belding discuss the fact that they’ve received funding for the principal and the adviser to accompany the student body president on a surprise week long trip to Washington, DC and Zack Morris is suddenly all, “Read my lips!” But most disturbingly, we find out Mr. Belding and his wife were once arrested for skinny dipping in the Potomac. That’s an image I didn’t want in my mind.

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In class, no one can believe Zack Morris is running for student body president but Mr. Dewey celebrates Zack Morris’s entrance into the race in his own special way.

vlcsnap-2014-02-15-10h43m14s33At The Max, Jessie and Zack Morris are giving their campaign speeches, and I tuned out for most of them, but this is what I can imagine was said:

Jessie: Female power! Puppies and kittens and unicorns! Save the dolphins! Big government out of my uterus!

Zack Morris: Yo, I’m Zack Morris! Vote for me!

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Jessie asks Max who he’s supporting, because the support of the guy who runs the restaurant you hang out at really matters. Max reveals that he not only has Jessie’s picture posted on his crotch but that he also believes she has a penis.

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When Jessie is done, though, Max reveals he’s playing both sides of the field when he reveals Zack Morris’s face over his schom-long-doobly.

Lisa wants to be Jessie’s campaign manager and Jessie initially balks until she realizes that Lisa has half the student body under her mind control spell and decides this might be useful if she needs to plan a coup against the Morris Administration. But Kelly isn’t so sure.

vlcsnap-2014-02-15-10h45m23s55Kelly wants to hear both sides before she decides who to vote for and ignores Jessie’s impassioned pleas of, “We both have vaginae!” Did you know the plural of vagina is vaginae? I didn’t until spell check corrected me. Boy, the things you learn from watching Saved by the Bell!

Zack Morris reveals to the worst person possible person about the real reason he’s in the election: Screech. He asks Screech to get some brochures for him on Washington, DC from his mom’s travel agency, and I’m willing to bet we never hear about this travel agency again.

vlcsnap-2014-02-15-10h46m57s230Zack Morris is disturbed to find out that Slater is backing Jessie despite the fact they both have penes. Boy, I’m just learning all kinds of facts about the human reproductive organs in this review although in this case “penises” is also acceptable but penes sounds so much cooler. I’ll have to remember to say that in conversation, as in, “My three penes are massively big and thick, not like Zack Morris’s tiny one-piece.”

vlcsnap-2014-02-15-10h48m34s188I guess it’s supposed to be later because Slater and Screech quite literally run into each other and Screech drops a bag full of Washington, DC brochures. Slater’s all, “What the fuck is up wit dis, yo? You goin’ to our nation’s capital?” And Screech is all, “You can’t make me talk unless you are violent against me.” So Slater solves his problems with his fist by hoisting Screech up to the top of the lockers, at which point he’s all, “Good show, chap! They’re for Zack Morris. Now please lower me before I eject my hamburger from lunch all over your stupid looking hair.”

vlcsnap-2014-02-15-10h49m03s210Remember when I said I didn’t need a picture of Mr. Belding skinny dipping in the Potomac? Well, imagine that it looks worse than this picture. Good god man! It’s no wonder that teachers nowadays aren’t allowed to use the same restrooms or showers or locker rooms as their students. It’s all because of Mr. Belding’s chubby hairy belly!

Anyway, Slater finds Mr. Belding in this disturbing condition and, after flirting with him a bit, tells him he hopes he has a good time in Washington, DC. Mr. Belding is all, “How the hell did you find out?” And Slater says Zack Morris told him. Mr. Belding’s all, “So Zack Morris is only in it for himself? That’s news! I’m going to go take care of him now!” And Mr. Belding makes a remark about Zack Morris sucking like a vacuum cleaner, which I don’t want to know how he knows about.

In Mr. Dewey’s class, Zack Morris has a campaign video to show the class and we’re also told that Jessie’s middle name is Myrtle, thus relegating her to spinster status for eternity.

Zack Morris’s campaign, much like some recent American presidential campaigns, is all propaganda, with Zack Morris calling himself a true American, comparing himself to Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, and showing pictures of himself as a funny looking toddler and an even funnier looking child with outdated seventies style haircuts. You’ve come a long way, Mark-Paul.

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vlcsnap-2014-02-15-10h52m10s44Zack Morris also has the support of boxing great Rocky’s cardboard cut-out.

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And…who the hell is this supposed to be? I have to admit I don’t know enough about eighties pop music to even know who this is and she isn’t identified. But, whoever she is, her cardboard cut out supports Zack Morris!

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Zack Morris also has the support of President George H.W. Bush’s Photoshopped picture.

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And, of course, Lassie.

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And, oh, if only this were Screech’s deathbed, he could die while he was still likable.

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Nine out of ten mistranslated Soviet leaders also support Zack Morris.

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As well as mistranslated dictators from countries American citizens can’t legally enter who want Zack Morris to shave them. Eeew…

Kelly declares that Zack Morris’s propaganda video is shitty and that she’s now supporting Jessie. And Mr. Belding comes in to let Zack Morris know that he knows that he knows about the Washington, DC trip and that it’s off due to lack of funding.

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Zack Morris declares that the only way out of this quandary without letting Mr. Belding know his true, selfish motives is to get Jessie to beat him.

Slater, Lisa, and Kelly tell Jessie she has to change her image to win this election because she’s a fucking non-charismatic loser whom nobody but the three of them will vote for.

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For some reason, the debate is occurring in Mr. Dewey’s class with only our usual extras seeing it because the producers didn’t feel like paying for an auditorium set. Zack Morris tells the class that he’s learned a thing or two from Fidel Castro’s endorsement and he’s decided to impose dictatorial-like demands on the school should he be elected.

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Jessie comes in dressed as and acting like a Valley girl and goes all Clueless on their asses with promises of MTV and trips to the mall and parties and no homework and other things that stereotypical eighties teenagers like.

Zack Morris meanwhile enlists Screech to start a smear campaign against him with rumors such as Zack Morris takes ballet lessons and Zack Morris is Mr. Belding’s son. Boy, this mud slinging is getting intense! Meanwhile, Kelly is whoring herself out for votes for Jessie, quite literally, as she’s promised eight guys a sweet gang bang on Friday if they voted for Jessie.

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And, of course, our stereotypical nerds wet themselves over a Zack Morris photo that Screech has defaced because it obviously proves Zack Morris is one of them.

The next day the results are in and Zack Morris has beaten Jessie by one vote but, more importantly, he beat Jason Bateman, ALF, Gilligan, and the Skipper. Boy, that must have been one hell of a race! Mr. Belding congratulates Zack Morris and tells him that the trip was never cancelled, that he was only being tested to see if he was a selfish little shit, and Zack Morris feels guilty as he realizes, “Hey, that’s me, the selfish little shit!”

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Zack Morris comes in through Jessie’s window and says he feels like shit that he took the position that was so important to her for such selfish reasons but, rather than simply leaving town, he’s going to go to Mr. Belding and tell him the truth so that Jessie can be president. Jessie reveals she stole Zack Morris’s teddy bear when they were toddlers, obviously making them even, and everything is resolved with a hug and a declaration that they’ll always be friends forever, even when Jessie takes her clothes off for a shitty NC-17 rated film.

Firsts: Mr. Dewey, Jessie’s middle name (Myrtle).


In case you don’t follow my Monday Good Morning, Miss Bliss posts, I reviewed the final episode of the series on Monday. This Monday, I’ll have a final, bonus post on Good Morning, Miss Bliss and, on Wednesday, I’ll have a recap of Good Morning, Miss Bliss as well as an announcement of what’s next for this site on Mondays, so make sure to check it out if you want to know what to expect in two weeks!

Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 12: “The Mamas and the Papas”

This episode has a quite clever framing method. The story is broken up into five acts, each with a title card as shown below, similar to the way Fraiser broke up its episodes into various acts. Considering that this episode aired years before Fraiser, I’d say it was on the cutting edge of what was to come. Not too shabby for Saved by the Bell!

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We start with “The Wedding,” and our three couples come marching in: Zack Morris and Kelly, Slater and Jessie, and, of course, Screech and Lisa, who are all participating in a class project to simulate the experience of marriage. It seems that none of the other students in the class are allowed to participate in this project because it would require them to be more than convenient background filler in this episode. Their grade is to be determined by how well they communicate and whether they go all Lorena Bobbitt on each other’s asses.

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Zack Morris tells us that this is the greatest day of his life because being fake married to Kelly will surely cause him to receive maximum fuckage. And Kelly has turned into Helen Keller because, despite the fact that he’s talking to the magic flying elves in front of him, she can’t seem to tell despite the fact she’s hanging right off his arm.

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At the front is Mr. Belding, who tells them their regular teacher got can’t-afford-a-guest-star-for-this-episode-itis, and that he’s there to fill in for her and marry the couples because it would just be stupid if Max did it.

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Lisa asks why she got paired with Screech and Mr. Belding says it’s alphabetical order. So, let’s break down what alphabetical order should look like:

Zack Morris – Kelly Kapowski
Screech Powers – Jessie Spano
A.C. Slater – Lisa Turtle It’s nice to know our public school system is educating our children so well. After all, if a high school administrator couldn’t put six names in alphabetical order, it might mean she or he was incompetent.

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At The Max, the gang (minus Screech) expresses varying opinions about their fake marriages and it’s quite apparent right away that they’re taking all of this way too seriously. Zack Morris wants to get Kelly on the honeymoon so they can fake consummate their fake love, which I assume means lots of masturbation. Jessie asserts her eco-feminist dominance over Slater, and Lisa bemoans the fact that her husband is the most likely cast member to never do anything again in his career.

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Max brings a cake out and, of course, who should pop out but Screech, which sends Lisa into twitching signifying she may be finally ready to snap from Screech’s constant sexual harassment.

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In Lisa’s room, Lisa is working out to one of those cheesy eighties workout tapes that were advertised all the time on late-night infomercials. I want to believe it’s Richard Simmons because a cameo from him in this show would quadruple the cheese factor of Saved by the Bell instantly. Screech comes walking in and starts doing a weird dance. He wants to move in with Lisa now that they’re fake married and she starts twitching again as she pushes him out the door and is all, “Boy, you done made dat up! Get yo ass out of here this instant before I pop a cap in yo ass!”

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Later, Lisa is praying to God that he strike her dead rather than continue on as a regular of this show, and God says, “Fuck that shit! Thou hast sinned against me with thy vanity, biatch!” and rewards Lisa with a disturbing nightmare where she sees Screech everywhere, including in the face of her doll.

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She wakes up, her twitching more pronounced, and I’m waiting for this to become a very special episode about fake domestic violence in fake relationships any minute now.

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Our next part is “The Honeymoon’s Over,” which must mean that, during their fake marriage, Kelly saw the size of Zack Morris’s fake penis and fake laughed.

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Today, the couples are going to be given situations they must deal with in everyday life. Slater and Jessie go first and must resolve who’s going to be the bitch and cook dinner and Slater’s like, “Fuck that women’s work shit!” Next, Kelly has wrecked Zack Morris’s car and Zack Morris thinks a good dicking is the way to comfort Kelly.

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Finally, Screech needs to be comforted after he lost his job and Lisa has a seizure from his constant neediness. Mr. Belding fake annuls their fake marriage before Lisa fake dies.

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And Screech takes it about like that kid from the photo meme who found out Santa is dead.

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Zack Morris and Slater offer him a sensual massage to get over it, but it doesn’t do anything but turn Mr. Belding on.

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In our next segment, “The Firstborn,” Mr. Belding tells the remaining couples that normally fake couples get fake babies in their fake marriages, but, this time, they’re getting teenagers so they can see what it’s like to raise a selfish little shit who can’t think of anyone but themselves. Gee, I wonder who the kids will be?

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Zack Morris is horrified to find out Screech is now his son and the single most terrifying words I’ve heard in this series are uttered from Screech to Kelly: “What a hot mommy!” Meanwhile, Lisa becomes Slater and Jessie’s daughter and immediately starts demanding that her parents bow to her every whim. Just like normal, then.

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In the restroom, oh glorious restroom, where have you been this whole episode?! Anyway, in the restroom, I think Screech is going all The Shining on the restroom mirror using toothpaste to spell out LIsa’s name. Yeah, that’s not creepy at all.

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Slater comes in and tells Screech that if he can break up Zack Morris and Kelly, he’ll guarantee him a date with Lisa because she’s his fake daughter now and he completely fake controls who she can and cannot fake fuck.

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Our next segment, “The Surprise,” opens back in the classroom and Mr. Belding tells our couples that dealing with the unexpected, like finding out your spouse is a serial murdering cannibal, is the key to a successful marriage.

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Kelly tells Zack Morris she has a surprise for him but, before she can get it out, Screech jumps out from behind the couch and, much like Dustin Diamond later will do in his autobiography, starts screaming, “ME! ME! ME! PAY ATTENTION TO ME! I’M IMPORTANT DAMN YOU! PAY ATTENTION TO THE GOLLUM BEHIND THE COUCH!” Zack Morris tries to shoo him away and Kelly’s all, “You hate our fake child! I was going to tell you I’m having your second fake baby but now I think I’ll take our fake son and move to a fake sleezy motel, file for fake divorce, and sue you for fake alimony!”

Next, Slater is sucking Jessie’s dick and tells her that he’s going to fake stay home and take care of their fake daughter so Jessie can become a fake lawyer. She’s all, “Wow, you became such a fake great father and husband!” Screech comes over to the Spano-Slater’s fake house and asks to take Lisa out on a fake date. Slater’s like, “Fuck off, she wouldn’t touch your fake dick with a fake twelve inch pole!” and Screech is all, “You promised me fake Lisa poon tang if I fake broke up Zack Morris and Kelly!”

Mr. Belding brings the boys into his office and tells them he’s giving them all real Fs for making a mockery of the assignment, and his reasoning is pretty off, especially since Zack Morris is the victim in this whole scheme, for once. He claims that they all three let a rivalry get in the way of an assignment, which is bullshit since Zack Morris did nothing to Slater. But whatever, we have to make Zack Morris a perp somehow and what better way than to shoe on a punishment that makes no fucking sense.

They beg Mr. Belding to give them all a second chance and he agrees on condition they can get their fake wives to agree.

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Our final segment, “The Anniversary Dinner,” takes place at The Max, where Max pretty much admits that his restaurant has become a second school and he has closed his business just to serve the whims of Bayside High’s administrators. Jessie and Lisa walk in and Max escorts them to a table where Screech is waiting. Lisa asks what the most expensive entree is and Max pulls out a live goose.

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Seriously, what is it with Max and random live animals that he pulls out of his clothes. I swear to god if he pulls a snake out of his pants, this blog it over! That will be too much! Jessie gets pissy because Slater ordered for her and tells him she’s a modern liberated woman and doesn’t need his caveman antics dragging down her fake sense of liberation. They decide they’re not compatible and agree to get a fake divorce and put their fake daughter up for real adoption. This will all become all the more ironic around the next season or so.

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Kelly comes in wearing…what the hell is she wearing, a sun dress? Seriously, I let a lot of fashion faux pas pass with this show, but this is too much, especially when they’re trying to simulate a semi-formal atmosphere! Jesus, send it back to Goodwill and get her a garbage bag! It would look better than this thing! Zack Morris tells Kelly he’s been a selfish shit. Max brings out what he says is the night’s special and Zack Morris picks up the tray to find Screech’s decapitated head. Oh, great, Max has turned into Mary Antoinette.

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Kelly and Zack Morris make up and this time it’s Kelly that puts the lid back on Screech, thank God! Mr. Belding tells both groups he’s giving them As because everybody communicated and everything turned out just fine, as it always does in Saturday morning television land!

We end with Kelly asking Zack Morris if he remembers about their second fake little bundle of joy she referenced a few scenes ago, and he’s like, “Well, yeah, but I’m surprised the writers remembered what happened a few minutes ago!” Lisa takes the lid off the tray again and finds Screech’s decapitated head like this.

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Yeah, I feel your pain, Zack Morris. If I had that as a daughter, I would send her to live with Uncle Ted Bundy.

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Despite the ridiculous premise of this episode and how much I’ve made fun of it, there’s something I quite like about it. I found myself genuinely laughing at several points, and this episode might have been the most fun of all the season one episodes thus far.

Firsts: Zack Morris isn’t the biggest jerk, Slater is the bigger asshole.

Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 11: “The Friendship Business”

What is up with the theme song in this episode? No, seriously, listen to it.

It’s the same graphics that we are used to but it sounds like the singer had laryngitis that day. I don’t really mind this song, but I definitely prefer the usual one so I hope this will be the last time we’ll ever see this version of the song.

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We open in Economics class ,where the gang has been tasked with coming up with a business they can run successfully for a group project. They can’t agree on anything because they’re all self-absorbed, but then Lisa comes in and gives them all friendship bracelets. Well, all of the but Screech because he tries to manhandle her into a hug and she tells him that she’s rather stick her head in Paris Hilton’s snatch.

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This is the first appearance of Mr. Tuttle, another teacher we will see quite a bit, here playing the Economics teacher, and he may well be the most normal teacher besides the sub that we’ve seen since Miss Bliss. As for the project, I want to know where the hell Bayside gets its funding. Mr. Tuttle is giving out $100 of seed money to every group, meaning he’s trusting at least three groups of pubescent teenagers to responsibly invest $100. Yeah.

Mr. Tuttle polls each group about their project. The Guy with Butt-Rock Hair and Skateboarding in School Guy have both become stereotypical surfers along with another extra and have decided to sell cardboard surfboards, because cardboard matches the depth of their personalities.

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The guy on the right in the below photo is Edgar Poindexter, who we will also see show up a few times, every time we need one of the stereotypical nerds to actually talk. He and his group are marketing pocket protector protectors, because, as we all know, all geeks can ever think of are pocket protectors.vlcsnap-2014-02-12-18h48m15s218

The gang is about to admit they don’t know what to sell when Zack Morris makes a unilateral decision to invade the friendship bracelet business, which Skateboarding/Surfer Guy thinks are “awesome.” Such beautiful prose has not been uttered since the sonnets of Shakespeare. Skateboarding/Surfer Guy is a true muse.vlcsnap-2014-02-12-18h49m45s146In Zack Morris’s room, Zack Morris has a fantasy about becoming rich and famous through the friendship bracelet business. He’s on the cover of such prestigious magazines as National Celebrity and Famous. Seeing the titles of magazines in Zack Morris’s fantasies, I am glad certain episodes revolving around him never featured certain topics. For example, if there was a very special episode about gay people, I bet Zack Morris would read a magazine called Buttsex Monthly. Or an episode about mental illness might be called Fucking Nuts Quarterly.
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Of course, being the narcissistic fuck he is, everyone in Zack Morris’s fantasy is serving his every whim and need. Screech is a Robin Leech rip-off hosting a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous rip-off. This may be Dustin Diamond’s most unbelievable role yet. After all, instead of champagne wishes and caviar dreams, Dustin Diamond usually had hand-job wishes and dreams of self-importance.
vlcsnap-2014-02-12-18h50m40s190Screech is profiling Zack Morris, who we can tell is rich because he beat up Richie Rich and stole his shoes.

vlcsnap-2014-02-12-18h50m53s56 vlcsnap-2014-02-12-18h51m16s33Slater is doing the grunt work in manufacturing, which I can actually believe considering his lack of direction in the career week episode.
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Lisa is still making the friendship bracelets for Zack Morris because fashion is all she’s good for.

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Jessie is his secretary, and you can tell she’s a spinster by her never-been-touched-by-a-man outfit and demeanor. Fantasy Jessie does give us a funny line, though, when she says that President Bush wants a friendship bracelet for Gorbachev but Vice-President Quayle put his friendship bracelet over his head. Yeah, if you’re too young to remember Dan Quayle, just know that he was perhaps the most incompetent man to serve as Vice-President during my generation.

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Mr. Belding, odd enough, has been turned into Zack Morris’s chauffeur, which I guess is Zack Morris’s way of saying he’s going to be a big jerk to Mr. Belding forever.

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And, of course, Kelly is Zack Morris’s rich housewife, because Kelly has no other purpose in the mind of Zack Morris than to be on standby to fulfill his every sexual desire.

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Well, that was a weird foray into Zack Morris’s psyche. I almost expected us to see Max playing a butler and Miss Bliss acting as attorney.

The rest of the gang join Zack Morris all at once, which suggests they carpooled over. Either that, or there’s going to be an episode of Taxicab Confessions featuring the Saved by the Bell gang. They decide to name their company “Friendship Forever” but the company falls apart when Zack Morris attempts to assert himself as President of the company because he’s afraid that Jessie will blow his idea and, if there will be any sort of blowing around here, it will be done by Zack Morris. He’s all,. “Me Zack Morris! Me smart! Me President!” Jessie, Kelly, and Slater don’t agree and they break off to start a rival company. And I’ve just realized that Zack Morris has an Australian flag on his bedroom door, suggesting that the other company’s strategy will be to call ICE and have Zack Morris sent back to his native land.

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The friendship bracelet business is, so far, a success, with people literally just walking by and throwing money at Zack Morris. In class, Zack Morris reports that the company has, so far, netted a profit of $120.

Not to be outdone, Jessie, Kelly, and Slater have created their own company, complete with a Schindler’s List-style promo video.

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Yes, Slater is sad because he’s no good at making friends. What is his panacea? Why, it’s a head thong, stupid little elastic bands that you wear on your forehead and accentuate your forehead in such stylish ways. Their brand name is “Buddy Bands” and, because girls are only good for sex appeal, Jessie and Kelly dress in skimpy outfits and shake their boobies. The subliminal advertising here is that head thongs and boobies solve all your problems.

vlcsnap-2014-02-12-18h57m41s56At The Max, Max does a magic trick that’s supposed to explain to Friendship Forever how he beat a competitor down the road. What he actually does is make some eggs appear.

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And then a baby chicken whom he was suffocating inside an eggshell.

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The moral here is the way to beat your competition is to offer your customers a live chicken whether city ordinances allow for it or not.

Anyway, they get the idea to market their friendship bracelets by offering a free friend with every purchase, who just happens to be Screech, because why would Zack Morris or Lisa do anything when they can just force their brunt work on Screech. And this woman who appears to be in her late-twenties buys a whole lot of friendship bracelets so she can have Screech’s hot body for as long as possible.

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Back at Friendship Forever headquarters, aka the Australian Embassy, Screech is exhausted from being everyone’s friend all day and Zack Morris suggests that Lisa take over tomorrow. Lisa tells him, “Oh no you didn’t! Bitch, you done made that up! I’m taking my mother fucking friendship bracelets and our mother fucking rent-a-friend and going to sell me some forehead thongs.” And, with that, Lisa and Screech abandon Zack Morris.

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The next day at school, the five watch as Zack Morris packs up Friends Forever and closes for business. He seems to be admitting defeat but, if you haven’t figured by now that Zack Morris always has ulterior motives, you haven’t been paying attention.

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Zack Morris buys a buddy band and the self-satisfied look on his face tells me that I’m now able to predict his actions way too well. Meanwhile, Buddy Bands decides to invest all their money in five hundred additional head thongs because now that Zack Morris is out of business, what can possibly go wrong? Yeah, they haven’t been paying attention.

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Zack Morris goes into the locker room where, for some reason, Mr. Belding is lifting weights because he didn’t want to be caught in the weight room. Zack Morris starts giving Mr. Belding lots of self-serving complements and Zack Morris tells Mr. Belding that he admires him so much he wants to give him a head thong.

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Mr. Belding is so touched he gives Zack Morris a bad touch. And Zack Morris gives his “I need an adult who doesn’t work at this school” face.

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In the hallway, Mr. Belding shares his enthusiasm at having a head thong with a random extra who just bought one, who seems genuinely disturbed to be having this interaction. The extra goes back and demands his money back because anything Mr. Belding wears is instantly uncool, which means they should stop wearing shoes, socks, and underwear. Soon, all the extras follow suit and the head thong business is out of business because they invested all their money in head thongs that no one wants to cover their head butt with.

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At The Max, the gang laments the end of their head thong business, and I want to imagine that Dustin Diamond dresses like this in the comfort of his own house. They realize that they went so over board trying to beat Zack Morris that all they did was beat their meat.

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Zack Morris comes in and sits at a table by himself, telling Max that the others hate his guts for making head thongs uncool. Max tells Zack Morris he’ll get his friends to like him again and even throw in Screech for good measure. He goes over to the head thong table and gives them all friendship bracelets that have had spells of forgiveness cast on them by the magic wizard Belding, instantly repairing the bad feelings the groups had with each other.

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And Zack Morris finally gets his own head thong.

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At school the next day, Edgar reports that his group earned $270 by buying out the surfer group and marketing their stupid cardboard surfboards as car visors, which is actually a clever plan. And their demonstration model attempts to imitate the sunglasses from the opening credits. I think Edgar just became my favorite recurring character on this show because, though he is a complete stereotype, he actually does stuff useful unlike our regular characters most of the time. Who wants to start the Edgar Poindexter Fan Club?

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Next our heroes report that they put together the friendship bracelets and head thongs to create “love cuffs,” which are sure to catch on with the budding high school BDSM crowd.

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And, of course, Lisa is stuck in a sexual position with Screech.

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They report that, though they only broke even and didn’t make a profit, they learned a valuable lesson in friendship. Mr. Tuttle decides that learning a valuable lesson is more important than his overbearing project standards and gives them an A because, in the end, whatever problems you may have in your personal relationships can always be solved with bondage sex toys.

Firsts: Mr. Tuttle, Edgar Poindexter, Mr. Belding lifting weights.

Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 10: “Beauty and the Screech”

We open with Kelly winning two tickets on the radio to the George Michael concert on the payphone at Bayside because the radio signals apparently reached her brain and allowed her to know without a functioning radio that the station was having a contest right then. Either that or she was calling to ask the station to stop letting Zack Morris dedicate Blondie’s “One Way or Another” to her and happened to call in at just the right time.

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Zack Morris and Slater, of course, both pick up the scent of possible lady juices and swoop in like vultures. Kelly’s like, “Ya’ll gonna have to back on up and let me decide like an eighties liberated woman and not a piece of meat, despite the fact that I decided I want to be a housewife for a living a few episodes ago.”

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In Dr. Mertz’s science class, Screech has earned 37 A+s, which gives him the right to wear the “Mertz Molecule hat” as a reward. Couldn’t Dr. Mertz just give him a piece of candy like a normal fucking teacher? Dr. Mertz passes back some tests and everyone did ok except for Kelly, who earned a F and will be flogged and whipped at 3:00pm by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Dr. Mertz tells the class there’s another test on Friday which counts for half their final grades, which either means that Dr. Mertz is able to teach an entire chapter in a week or that he’s a lazy bastard who took months grading this test. And like all teachers at Bayside, Dr. Mertz has a quark, which is apparently to imitate the sounds of the communicators on Star Trek.

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Kelly is bummed out because a F means her parents will never let her go to the George Michael concert, and Zack is still hoping to get his dick wet, so he convinces Screech to tutor Kelly by telling him that Lisa will want to fuck him if he tutors Kelly. Wait, what?

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Since nobody in the Saved by the Bell universe ever knocks, rings doorbells, or asks permission to enter, Kelly breaks into Screech’s house and enters his bedroom. There she meets Kevin the Robot, an AI that Screech apparently built and programmed but failed to win the Nobel Prize for because it’s a total rip-off of the robot from Short Circuit. Kevin has been programmed to act exactly like Screech but still he manages to be a more likable character, and one wishes they had fired Dustin Diamond once he reached puberty and replaced him with Kevin.

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Oh, and Kevin is a perv for Kelly, which already puts him on par with Zack Morris and Slater.

vlcsnap-2014-02-11-20h36m34s228We also get the revelation that Screech just happens to have a bunch of Barbie dolls lying around his bedroom in order to teach hot girls about nuclear fission using cheerleading metaphors, which doesn’t seem all that strange to me. Don’t all pubescent boys just happen to have a stash of Barbie dolls lying around for just such times?

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At The Max the next day, Kelly is excreting lady juices for Screech’s hot man chowder, and Lisa and Jessie decide to pry in order to snap her out of it before Max is forced to bring a Sham-Wow over and wipe it up. Kelly tells Lisa and Jessie she wants to have Screech’s babies, and Lisa has the natural reaction.

vlcsnap-2014-02-11-20h38m25s244Lisa tells Kelly she’s hella crazy but Kelly just tells her, “Bitch, you just jealous I have a man and you just have that creepy little dwarf chasing after you…oh wait!”

Zack Morris and Screech enter and Zack Morris wants to know when he can get to fucking Kelly. Screech is all like, “At the end of the series after you get rid of your chastity rings,” but this doesn’t satisfy Zack Morris. Kelly invites Screech to an empty table for some hot and steamy studying and they’re soon engaged in a milk shake for two as Zack Morris looks on in shock and disgust that an episode of this show isn’t obsessing over him.

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At school, Slater and Zack Morris are in disbelief when Screech and Kelly have given each other stupid little pet nicknames and vow that Screech shall fuck no more.

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That night, Zack Morris and Slater try to crash Screech and Kelly’s hot study session but Screech tells them to get the fuck out of his room before he makes Kevin anally impale them. Kelly finds it hot that Screech is such a man’s man and she has visions of selling her now unneeded vibrator on ebay. And Screech simulates Kelly’s lady juices (and particle bombardment in atoms) by throwing popcorn all over his room from a blender.

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The next day, Zack Morris and Slater are in the restroom bemoaning the fact that Screech has been deemed more fuckable than either of them, and they vow not to tell anyone of their diminished social status. Of course, they fail to notice the two geeks taking poos behind them, who soon spread the news to the whole school and, eventually, the world.

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President George H.W. Bush, in a very special presidential address, declares that he, too, wants to fuck Kelly and vows to tutor Kelly in political science next week while Barbara is off getting her hair did.

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Oh and this guy is another of our regular background characters. This isn’t the first of his appearances but it’s the first time I’ve been able to get a good screencap. This is the guy Billy Superstar refers to as “The Guy with Buttrock Hair.” Oh, the varied characters we meet at Bayside High.

vlcsnap-2014-02-11-20h48m45s45Once the news gets out, all the female extras rush Screech begging to become his love interest so that they, too, might have lines and maybe, just maybe, even have a name. And Lisa is jealous that Screech will no longer be stalking her obsessively. Jessie tells them that Kelly’s the cool kid in school so if she jumped off a bridge, everyone else would too. This prompts Zack Morris and Slater to imagine themselves as Dustin Diamond in twenty years.

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They do really horrible things with their face and everything!

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Kelly wears a pizza on her head, presumably to attract Zack Morris and Slater when they come down off the dope they’ve so obviously been smoking to have this stupid little fantasy because they obviously are going to have the munchies later.

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And Screech has turned into a young Raul Julia. If he had remained looking like this, he may have actually grown up to be the hot one among the three guys from this series and maybe even play Gomez in a new The Adams Family film, but old habits are hard to break, and he’ll grow up instead to be the freak we’ve come to loathe.vlcsnap-2014-02-11-20h51m55s241

Zack Morris and Slater decide the best way to put Screech back in his stereotypical place of single, dateless loser is to tell Mr. Belding that Screech and Kelly are getting married because Mr. Belding is good at meddling in affairs that don’t concern him. After Mr. Belding sees a locker full of wedding paraphernalia, he calls Screech into his offer. The two have a play on words where Mr. Belding thinks he’s talking about hot fucking and Screech thinks he’s talking about hot nuclear fission.

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Mr. Belding finally figures out what’s going on and Zack Morris and Slater drop in for detention.

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The next day, Kelly finds out she got an A and she’s stoked that she gets to go see George Michael. She controls her lady juices long enough to tell Screech she wants to fuck him in the front row. Screech is like, “I hate George Michael. Can’t we fuck at my stupid little insect exhibit instead?” They realize they have nothing in common and shouldn’t date, which unintentionally condemns Screech’s little crush on Lisa, but never mind the logical consequences of dialogue in the Saved by the Bell universe.

Zack Morris and Slater hear the call of carpe diem and swoop in on Kelly trying to take care of her lady parts for her. She tells them to go fuck themselves and they must not think that’s such a bad idea because they take her tickets and decide to go on a date to the George Michael concert with each other.

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Firsts: Screech’s room, Kevin the Robot.

Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 9: “Pinned to the Mat”

Career week

It’s career week at Bayside High, as exemplified by the man in the foreground wearing pajama pants, obviously preparing for a career as unemployed addict. Zack Morris tells us in his monologue that he’s not excited about career week because it’s the first sign that his parents won’t be supporting him his whole life because all that matters in the world is that Zack Morris is happy and comfortable. And Zack Morris is, of course, looking for the most amount of money for the least amount of work, which makes Jessie sensibly suggest a career as clown at Jack-in-the-Box, since fast food is all Zack Morris is qualified for at this point. Zack Morris suggests he wants to be a game show host because all they do is brush their teeth and smile, which it’s true is about all the qualifications one needs nowadays to host Who Wants to be a Millionaire? or Family Feud.

Kelly wants to be a housewife and an actress, because hanging around Zack Morris and Slater will certainly get her enough money to pursue those things. Screech wants to be an astronaut so naturally he’s doing the Moonwalk. Hopefully they’ll send him up without enough fuel to come back. But Slater doesn’t give a fuck what he’s going to be because all he cares about is his wrestling match against Valley. Zack Morris seems especially interested in the match and Slater asks him why the fuck he wants to help him, so Zack Morris warps the laws of time and space again to give us the scoop.

Time out

Zack Morris tells us he bets against Slater’s opponent, Marvin Nedeck, every year and loses every year but this year Slater is sure to win so Zack Morris is getting a mother fucking dirt bike from Nedeck.

Zack Dirt Bike

Oh, and he messes around with Slater’s shirt for some reason before reseting the laws of time and space. Slater tells Zack Morris to fuck off because he doesn’t need his help, and Zack Morris is overjoyed.

At The Max, Lisa has decided what she’s going to be: a fashion designer, of course, because that’s her one thing. Max brings the kids’ food over and tells them he decided to be a restaurant owner rather than a magician because he was better at flipping burgers than pulling rabbits out of his hat. He gets out a top hat and promptly pulls out a live chicken, prompting me to ask if it’s sanitary to have a live chicken in a restaurant.

Max Chicken

Jessie wants to be a lawyer but changes her mind to judge so she can lock Zack Morris up. Kelly says she still wants to be an actress but she also wants to have lots of kids, and Zack Morris delivers perhaps the most sexual line of the series so far when he says that one day he wants to help her with the second one.

Zack lust

Slater tells Kelly he wants to fuck her instead of Zack Morris and Kelly tells him he best be getting a good job so he can support her and her massive amounts of children. Slater says he’ll be a wrestler and the the girls are like, “Fuck that shit! You’s got to grow up and get’s you a real job if you want to be our sugar daddy!” We get a close up of Slater as he becomes introspective about his future as Zack Morris prepares to shoot him in the face with his special ketchup..

Slater introspective

Slater goes to the pest possible source for career advice, Mr. Belding, who tells Slater about his budding career as a basketball player. But Mr. Belding says he stopped playing because he would look silly today in the uniform, and describes having a belly hanging out of a tank top with giant love handles. Oh great, I just ate and now I have a picture of an overweight Dennis Haskins wearing a tank top two sizes too small. Don’t anybody tell Mr. Belding but, if you keep playing basketball, you generally never develop a belly or love handles.

While Mr. Belding continues blabbing on and on, Slater has a fantasy sequence in which it’s The Max in the future and everyone is coming back to show off their fucking awesome careers. Max is still there and has grey hair and a cane.

Old Max

We know Mr. Belding is old now because he has glasses, a bow tie, and a mustache, because all men with glasses, bow ties, and mustaches are old.

Old Belding

And, one by one, we see what each of the gang turned out to be. There’s Judge Jessie.

Judge Jessie

Fashion designer Lisa.

Fashion designer Lisa

And we get an unfortunate shot of Mr. Belding’s ass with Lisa’s flashing name on it because she apparently designed the jeans he’s wearing. Yeah, that’s not creepy at all.

Belding's Butt

Captain Screech Powers, great space explorer, transports in using some horrible animation.

Captain Screech

Zack Morris, the most successful game show host of all time.

Zack Game Show

And, of course, actress, mother, beauty queen, and general anti-feminist setting women’s rights back thirty years, Kelly Morris.

Kelly Morris

Oh, and a 19″ cable-ready TV was a good prize in 1989. Oh, the good ‘ole days.

Cable ready TV

My big question about this scene is why Mr. Belding and Max are the only ones aged. I get that it’s for comedic effect with the two of them, but they could have put horrible make-up and wigs on the rest of them as well.

And then Slater comes in, and he apparently grew up to be Hulk Hogan dressed as Peggy Bundy.

Slater wrestler

Because Slater didn’t pick a career during Career Week, his entire life is shit and he’s a laughing stock because everyone’s choice of career when they’re fifteen determines their entire future.

Slater comes out of his fantasy but we cut to the locker room for quite a disturbing scene.

Zack Screech love

I thought Zack Morris and Screech had finally embraced their homoerotic desires and were preparing to undress in the locker room, but turns out they’re playing motorcycle as Zack Morris imagines taking Screech for a ride behind him, which I’m sure is not the last time he’ll think of that fantasy.

As the duo finish playing James Dean and Natalie Wood (I’ll let you, the reader, decide who is who), Slater comes in and says he quit wrestling and Zack Morris nearly shits himself with the thought that he might lose the bet since he bet his non-existent dirt bike that he was counting on using to pick up all the strange, weirdo geeks at Bayside with..

At The Max, Max tells Zack Morris the story of how his mother got his father to stop being a lazy son of a bitch by forcing him to do work around the house, which gives Zack Morris the idea to call Major Slater and tell him his son is being a lazy son of a bitch. At school, Slater tells Zack Morris that Major Slater is forcing him to find another after school activity. Zack Morris suggests cooking club, which Slater initially mocks because, as we all know, men don’t cook since a woman’s place is in the kitchen popping babies. He changes his mind when he sees Kelly is in the club and Zack Morris comes along for the ride.

And boy, doesn’t Zack Morris just look pretty in his stereotypical super-feminine apron?

Zack apron

The cooking teacher, who’s bat shit crazy like most of Bayside’s faculty, says they’re making layer cakes. She tells them their first job is to toss out their recipes because you don’t need recipes when the production staff have measured out all of your ingredients for you.

Throwing away the recipie

If she wanted them to throw away the recipes, why did she pass them out to begin with?

They make their cakes, Slater’s cake is the best in the class, and Zack Morris realizes that, like the previous eight times, his plan is falling apart.

At The Max, the girls are getting moist because Slater baking apparently means that he’s sensitive now. Nedeck comes in and mocks Slater for cooking because the fact that he cooks obviously means he no longer knows how to wrestle, but Slater and the girls tell him to fuck off. Nedeck pulls Zack Morris aside and tells him he might as well pay up now, but Zack Morris promises that Slater will wrestle him.

Screech singlet

And now the scene you’ve all been waiting for: Screech in a singlet! You know, I never did quite grasp these things and I’ll be very glad when these scenes are over. Anyways, Zack Morris’s new plan is to get Screech to fight Nedeck so that Slater will step in and stop it, wrestling Nedeck himself. Slater comes in but doesn’t give a fuck because he’s busy cooking a quiche that he hopes will win Zack Morris’s love and affection.

At the wrestling meet, the girls are doing the same horrible rap cheer they did last episode, which sounds like they’re saying, “B for B, buh buh buh B, B!” over and over again. How about “B for better song” or “B for better buy some ear plugs” or even “B for even Justin Bieber’s songs make more lyrical sense than this.” OK, maybe I took it way too far on that last one.

Screech nedeck

Screech comes out and starts talking smack to Nedeck, who looks horrible in his way-too revealing singlet. He gets Nedeck pissed off and then finds out that Slater isn’t coming.

Screech Slater Nedeck

Nedeck puts Screech’s body on his shoulders, doing his best impression of Rhonda Robistelli’s dancing moves, but then decides to do his impression of the Merry Go-Round in Strangers on a Train. Slater comes in and tells Nedeck to quit referencing old movies and past episodes of Saved by the Bell and wrestle him.

Of course, Slater pins him down in about twenty seconds because we don’t have much time left in this episode. Nedeck is pinned to the mat and suddenly does his impression of every Bugs Bunny short ever produced.

Nedeck stars

Slater says his quiche blew up so fuck cooking and fuck finding a career, he’s a masculine man and he’s gonna wrestle! Because the three things are obviously not compatible with one another.

Oh, and Screech sits on Nedeck’s chest. Yeah.

Screech Nedeck chest

At the very last minute, Mr. Belding comes out of nowhere, discovers Zack Morris has been gambling, and gives him detention, because apparently this show delights in giving Zack Morris detention for even the smallest of infractions even when it contributes nothing at the very end of an already convoluted episode..

Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 8: “Cream for a Day”

Bayside Homecoming

It’s football homecoming at Bayside High and advertisements are up everywhere for the election of the homecoming queen. What I’m curious about is why we never hear anything about homecoming king? That could create a great subplot but apparently the school doesn’t even give a damn about the king because there’s no mention in any of the banners and advertisements.

Zack Morris monologue hair

Anyway, Zack Morris tells us in his monologue…wait, what the hell is wrong with Zack Morris’s hair? It looks like it’s trying to get away from him! I know big hairstyles were in fashion in this time period but good god man! I’m finding so many distractions in these opening shots that I’m scarred I’ll never get to the episode itself!

Let’s try again. Zack Morris tells us in his monologue that it’s homecoming time. Bayside High is getting ready for their big game against Valley and, apparently, have been completely massacred every year for twenty-three years.

Slater comes down the stairs to a merchandise table being operated by Jessie and Lisa, letting us know by power of exposition that he’s the new star quarterback for Bayside. Slater tells them that he’s going to fuck up those Valley punks royally and they won’t be able to brag anymore. Jessie hopes to sell the rest of their hats with tiger tails attached to them, which I would actually wear if I went to Bayside, But Slater thinks he looks stupid in it and, since Zack Morris’s hair is god awful in this episode, suggests that he wear it instead. I have to admit, it’s an improvement over his hair.

Zack hat

Kelly comes down the stairs in her cheerleader outfit and is super stoked because she wants to be homecoming queen. Wait, she’s a freshman, right? Homecoming king and queen are almost always seniors. I don’t even think my school allowed freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to run. But, whatever, it’s convenient to the plot and the writers don’t give a fuck about what goes on in the actual world anyway.

Kelly’s worried about how she looks because she’s scared someone might not think she’s a living, breathing Barbie doll and she’s paranoid that someone’s going to find out she has actual flaws. She’s most worried someone will find out she wears a retainer, because apparently only ugly people wear retainers, and a group of the typical stereotypical geeks we’ll be seeing throughout the series comes up and asks her to join their “retainer club.” I swear to god I hated these stereotypes. These people do not exist in real life. It’s a caricature of nothing.

Geeks

In Chemistry class, Screech has a pimple and insists that Zack Morris bow down and worship it as his personal idol.

Screech pimple

Screech is convinced that this pimple makes him a man and he’s now ready to go and spread his seed among all the girls who will suddenly accept him and ignore all the other ways he’s dumb and revolting. And Screech has named his zit “Murray.” Wasn’t that the name of one of his rats in Good Morning, Miss Bliss? I think we found out what Mylo did with Murray! He also uses his zit as an excuse to sexually harass Lisa for yet another time.

Mr. Bennett, the chemistry teacher, comes up and tells them to shut the fuck up and get back to work, and it’s nice to see a semi-competent adult in this school. Screech is working on the experiment alone because Zack Morris is a lazy, incompetent bastard who only thinks of himself. Instead of solidifying, though, Screech’s experiment explodes and shoots cream all over his face. Something tells me this won’t be the last time he has cream all over his face.

Screech cream in face

Screech cream in face 2

At The Max, Slater and Zack Morris both want Kelly to drink their milkshakes, and I think that guy in the background is staring at Zack Morris’s ass.

Slater Zack milkshake

Kelly wants to know whether the guys like her hair better up or down, and Jessie and Lisa are visibly exasperated by Kelly’s obsessive-compulsiveness about her appearance.

Suzie Muffin

Kelly’s competition for homecoming queen come in The Max, and Zack Morris and Slater stare lasciviously at Suzie and Muffin. Wait, Muffin? What the fuck kind of name is Muffin? The only things I can think of named Muffin besides the food are porn stars and cats. She has a great future ahead of her, let me tell you. And the fact that Zack Morris and Slater, the two guys she’s been stringing along this entire season, are staring at other girls rather than obsessing over Kelly causes Kelly to feel even more insecure because how dare there be more the one beautiful girl in the world.

Back at school, Screech is disturbed to discover that his pimple hath forsaken him. Zack Morris is like, “Don’t worry. Pimples clear up all the time.” And Screech is like, “Not in two hours, dip shit!” Zack Morris realizes the gunk that got all over Screech’s face in Chemistry must have cleared up his pimple and he quite reasonably gets excited that Screech may have invented a super pimple cream. Of course, he’s only excited because he’s a greedy bastard and plans to pocket all the money for himself. Zack Morris and Screech decide they need to put the cream to the test and they both decide the only candidate is “Crater Face” Cobourn. Because we wouldn’t have believed he truly has an acne problem unless they gave him a name like Crater Face.

Zack Crater Face

In Zack Morris’s room, Zack Morris is applying the cream to Crater Face’s face. And they makes sure to emphasize that Crater Face has the most contrived, annoying laugh on the face of the planet that we’re going to have to hear multiple times during the episode because it and his pimples are apparently his only defining characteristics. Seriously, it’s a laugh that has to be heard to be understood.

And, though he doesn’t look it in his couple of scenes, the actor playing him was apparently around twenty-eight when this was filmed. At least they didn’t have him kiss anyone.

In Kelly’s room, Kelly doesn’t want to come of the bathroom because she has a small, barely noticeable pimple on her nose. Jessie and Lisa tell her to shut the fuck up and get out here before they come in and slap her silly, but she doesn’t listen. They finally get her out by pretending George Michael’s new video is on television and he’s dressed in bikini briefs. Gross.

Kelly nose

So this leads into a fantasy sequence with Kelly in which nobody wants anything to do with her because of her pimple, and it must be Red Nose Day (a reference for my British readers!) because Kelly’s wearing a nose bigger and more glittery than Rudolph’s.

Kelly reveals she wants to be homecoming queen because her mom was and it will get her the attention she’s starved for. Jessie and Lisa tell Kelly to shut the fuck up and come to school because no one will notice. At school, though, Kelly mistakes Screech’s sales pitch for the pimple cream as a stab at her pimple and nearly goes berserk before Jessie and Lisa slap her into submission.

zit off sales

Zack Morris presents the cream, marketed as “Zit Off,” to the student body, who are understandably skeptical, especially Slater. Zack Morris brings out Crater Face, whom nobody believes is him until he does his annoying laugh. And I would believe this sales pitch better if they’d bothered to show us, the audience, what Crater Face looked like before the cream.

Crater Face clear

People rush up to buy the Zit Off but, as Zack Morris is selling it, Mr. Belding comes on the scene and takes Crater Face and him to his office. In the office, Mr. Belding confiscates all the Zit Off but also does not believe that the other kid is Crater Face until…well, how about we just play a guessing game about what Crater Face does to identify himself.

Kelly finds Zack Morris at his locker and asks if he has any more tubes of Zit Off. Zack Morris reveals that he hid some from Mr. Belding and gives Kelly a tube free of charge. As Kelly leaves, Screech comes in and reveals that the Zit Off has caused his skin to break out in a horrible sunburn.

Screech red face

Now, here’s the problem. Zack Morris used his fingers to put this stuff on Crater Face and Screech. Why aren’t his fingers breaking out in this rash as well? But that isn’t convenient to the plot so let’s forget about it.

Screech tiger

After a commercial break, Zack Morris has forced Screech into the Bayside mascot costume so that no one will be repulsed by his ugly face, because students are apparently allowed to use the mascot costume whenever the hell they want. Zack Morris is desperate to find Kelly before she uses the cream. He finds her but she’s already used the cream already but, of course, he doesn’t tell her that he now knows it has side effects because he doesn’t give a fuck about anything but himself.

In Zack Morris’s room, Zack Morris laments to Screech, still dressed in the mascot outfit because apparently mascot outfits can be checked out like library books, that he’s a dead man when people find out what the cream does. Screech takes the head of the costume off and they discover his face has gone back to normal, which either means the effect of the cream is temporary or the make-up department forgot to reapply make-up between takes.

Zack Kelly laugh

With the knowledge that the red effect is temporary, Zack Morris goes over to Kelly’s house to tell her about the side effect. Zack Morris tells them they’ll laugh about this when they’re in college (we’ll have to wait for The College Years to see if that prophecy is accurate) and finally tells her about the redness. Now, I’m divided on this next part. Kelly is enraged and tells Zack Morris that he’s ruined her entire life by ruining her chances at becoming homecoming queen and Zack Morris gets moralistic with her and tells her that she’s a fucking narcissistic psychopath who only cares about her looks. On one hand, Zack Morris is the last one that needs to lecture someone right now given he was so selfish and greedy he didn’t investigate the side effects of a product before marketing it. On the other hand, Kelly is being so shallow that I want to punch her in the nose so she’ll shut up. I think I’ll just say both these characters are being douches and leave it at that.

And we cut to the homecoming rally which, of course, is being held at The Max because apparently Bayside High just needs to buy the place and get it over with. First Slater talks and he says they’re going to blow Valley. No, I’m not making that up. He actually says that. Then, because it’s all we’re really supposed to care about in this scene, Jessie says they’ve tallied the votes for homecoming queen. Third place is Muffin Sangria. Oh god, her first name is the name of a cat and her last name is the name of a Spanish alcoholic beverage. I want to believe that the writers just randomly picked two names from the dictionary and said, “This will sound exotic!” We can apparently scratch her back and make her purr while we get drunk off her juice. Second place is Suzie, which, of course, leaves only Kelly for first place, probably because of the sympathy vote since she looks like a burn victim.

Queen Kelly

Slater starts beat boxing and we’re treated to a really horrible rap/cheer.

Bayside rap

And, because we’re supposed to learn a lesson about not being vain, Kelly apologizes to Zack Morris for what she said the night before because the episodes is almost over and everything has to go back to normal so we don’t have to worry about continuity. We also get to see that the majority of students, as well as Mr. Belding, now have red faces.

Bayside red faces

Belding red face

And in a postscript complete with old archive footage of football games, Zack Morris tells us that Valley was so disturbed by everyone having red faces that it distracted them. Frankly, I don’t blame them. As far as they knew, that could be some sort of communicable disease. Slater scored the only touchdown and Bayside won 7-0.

First: Kelly’s room.