Category Archives: Saved by the Bell Season 3

Saved by the Bell Season 3 Recap

 

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

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

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

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

Let’s look at the other characters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


My Picks:

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

Five Episodes I Loved:

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

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

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

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

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

Three Episodes I Hated:

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

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

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

Saved by the Bell Season 3, Episode 26: “Mystery Weekend”

vlcsnap-2015-02-13-16h16m33s249 We open in a spooky Scooby-Doo style mansion where Screech immediately takes advantage of the situation to jump in Slater’s arms as he’s always wanted to under pretense of imitating Scooby.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-16h17m29s31

No, turns out they’re here for a murder mystery weekend that Lisa won on he radio. Yeah, really, that’s what we’re going with here. A bunch of teenagers alone in a mansion with creepy adults. Oh, well. Just another episode of Saved by the Bell.  We’re at Northwood Manor and our host is Steven Jameson III, who’s trying really hard to be British and failing miserably at it. His equally creepy butler is Bartholomew, who seems a bit too eager to meet Lisa.

Steven exposits that the person who solves the mystery will win the $500 prize, but suspect everyone and trust no one. Jeanette, the psuedo-French maid, flirts a bit with Victor, the piano player, while Zack Morris practically drools over her. Oh, come on now!  This woman’s way too old for you, Zack Morris! This underage shit on this show is getting ridiculous!

Steven shoos Jeanette away so Jessie can have a go at a guy way too old for her. vlcsnap-2015-02-13-16h20m08s102

Jeanette gets jealous and pours a drink in Jessie’s lap while Jessie gets her claws out ready for a showdown with this actress who really struggles to be French. Steven steps between them and gives Victor his drink, which Victor quietly sips, hoping the audience won’t notice.

vlcsnap-2015-02-13-16h20m39s145Steven lights a cigarette and the gang quickly come over to pass judgment on him for daring to smoke in his own mansion. Seriously, who just randomly starts lecturing a guy on the dangers of cigarette smoke? If you don’t like it, then leave! Ever since Johnny Dakota, these guys can get really self-righteous.
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Victor grabs his throat and falls over dead, and if you were following what happened, then you know who did it already, but the show wants to pretend it’s a mystery.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-16h22m25s172

In the boy’s bedroom, Jeanette comes in and practically offers to give Zack Morris a blowjob. Bartholomew comes in and asks Jeanette why she’s after a high schooler. Jeanette is the town whore it seems and sleeping with everyone. Next you’ll tell me she even wants Screech.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-16h23m27s26

At dinner…oh, god. Why me? Why is it that, whenever the writers can’t think of something for Screech to do, they dress him up and tell him to do stupid shit? Yes, Screech thinks he’s Sherlock Holmes and just walks around saying random catch phrases. He’s also paranoid that everyone might be a potential victim and, along with the rest of the gang, I expressed extreme disappointment when he wasn’t poisoned by a glass of water he insisted on trying.
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Zack Morris decides that Bartholomew killed Victor because he wanted Jeanette for himself.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-16h25m27s218

Unfortunately for Zack Morris, Bartholomew comes out at that moment. See, that’s what happens when someone stabs you in the back.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-16h25m52s208

It’s okay for Jeanette though. She goes for Inspector Piccadilly from “the yard,” who’s there to investigate the crime. Yeah, something tells me California is a bit outside the jurisdiction of Scotland Yard. Call me crazy but I don’t think he’s a real inspector.
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Inspector Piccadilly quickly suspects Screech, who confesses to both murders for no apparent reason. Zack Morris intervenes and…NO! Let him confess to murder! Lock him up and throw away the key! Keep him from doing The New Class! Zack Morris, you’re our only hope!

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Suddenly, the lights go out and, when they come back up, Inspector Piccadilly has been murdered by a roving pack of Native Americans. Most pointless character and stupidest death ever. Also, an old lady from the group reports that her necklace has been stolen.

Steven says that the theft isn’t part of the script. Lisa apparently saves Steven from being killed by an ax, which he also says wasn’t part of the script. Steven says he has no choice but to end the game and ask everyone to leave before someone gets hurt. Steven also tells Zack Morris and Lisa to stop by his office for a voucher.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-16h29m39s167

The gang pack their suitcases, but Zack Morris is taking forever and it takes longer when Lisa knocks his suitcase over. The rest of the gang leave, and Lisa offers to finish packing the suitcase while Zack Morris goes to get the vouchers. He also locks the door on the way out to prevent the murderer from getting in.

Zack Morris enters Steven’s office to find it ransacked. Steven says someone was looking for the prize money and gives Zack Morris an envelope. Suddenly, the lights go dark again and Steven screams. When the lights come back up, he’s gone. This is such a cliche. Why is it these old mansions have electrical systems capable of being subtly controlled to dramatic effect?
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The gang, the staff, and the rest of the guests come in and find Zack Morris in the ransacked office. Jeanette says that Steven is so cheap he wouldn’t give free vouchers and, indeed, Zack Morris’s envelope is full of money. Jeanette calls the police and tells Screech to shut the fuck up for once.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-16h33m29s146 Jesus, they’re not even trying with these “cops.” Yeah, these are cops, and Screech is also funny. Worst female impersonation ever! If you haven’t guessed who the murderer is yet, please go check in with Captain Obvious so he can help you along. We do get to see the old woman with the missing necklace beat Zack Morris over the head with her purse, which is kind of amusing actually. Man, this show is getting progressively more violent the longer it’s on.

The “detectives” question Slater, Kelly, Jessie, and Screech about what kind of person Zack Morris is, and they tell the detectives all about Zack Morris’s brushes with immorality: stealing Mr. Belding’s car, making fake ID’s, kidnapping the Valley mascot, and apparently tying Screech to some roller coaster tracks in 1986. Man, that would have been awesome if the car came down while he was on the tracks. But why, if you believed your friend was in trouble, would you suddenly start referencing previous episodes of Saved by the Bell? Do they want Zack Morris out of the picture for season four?

Zack Morris remembers he has Lisa locked in his room, so they go to find her. They find the bedroom empty and the detectives assume Zack Morris did something to Lisa. They find the old woman’s necklace in Zack Morris’s suitcase and Lisa’s watch in his pocket. Zack Morris insists he’s being framed but everyone else starts believing he did it.

Zack Morris tries to figure out how Lisa got out of the room. Screech randomly turns a candelabra and a secret passage opens in the fireplace which leads back to Steven’s office.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-16h37m50s224

There they find a drink and a cigarette with lipstick on it. There’s also a suit that’s been hung up on the door. What no one seems to notice is that the room’s been cleaned up since last we saw it, which I’m pretty sure isn’t standard police procedure in any universe.

They gather everyone and Zack Morris solves the mystery. The killer stole the necklace and rigged the ax after Victor and Bartholomew were murdered because he knew they were close. vlcsnap-2015-02-13-16h39m06s204

The killer needed an accomplice to plant the necklace and the watch, and that was Lisa, who comes out from another secret passage in a fireplace. The drink in Steven’s office was Lisa’s, but there was another drink, also with lipstick on it. One of Steven’s cigarettes also had lipstick on it.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-16h39m59s225Big surprise. The world’s worst cross dressing cop is Steven. Steven had changed out of his suit and into the dress to play detective. There was a second accomplice since Steven couldn’t have killed the inspector and stolen the necklace at the same time, and the second accomplice is the other cop, who’s actually Bartholomew in disguise, which…makes absolutely no fucking sense. Bartholomew was supposed to be dead. I…really don’t get it. If someone can explain it to me, please do, but how could Bartholomew have been an accomplice after his death.

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And our episode ends with Screech pulling Jeanette’s hair to see who she really is, because if there’s a high point we needed to go out on, it’s Screech abusing women.

What an odd little episode to end the season on. Really, I don’t know what to think about this one. It’s not quite like any episode we’ve seen before and I don’t know of any episode in season four to match it.


And that’s it for season three of Saved by the Bell. I’ll have a season recap this Wednesday, and join me next Friday as we delve into the often dark nether reaches of the final season of one of Saved by the Bell.

Saved by the Bell Season 3, Episode 25: “Home for Christmas, Part 2”

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Zack Morris, looking more like Ken, than usual, opens with a recap of last week’s episode. Like in “Palm Springs Weekend,” this recap leaves much to be desired, and Screech’s baby doll that peed all over him is told as if it’s a major plot point that you couldn’t see this episode without. These writers…I tell you what!

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The episode proper opens where we left off, with the boys discovering Laura is the daughter of the world’s best manicured homeless man. Turns out homeless man finally has a name, Frank. It’s not really said outright but it’s implied that Frank passed out because of lack of a properly nutritious meal. Zack Morris decides that, since his father is out of town, his mother won’t mind if he brings his homeless friend home for dinner.
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At Zack Morris’s house, Melanie shows where her son gets his insensitivity by saying she’s never met a real live homeless man before and Frank is all, “I’m not a fucking lion, you psycho.” Naw, that would be the sensible thing. Instead, he says he never knew any homeless people either before he became one. At Zack Morris’s prompting, Frank tells us his story of how he lost his job when the computer factory he worked for closed. Yeah, those were closing in droves in the early ’90s since no one used computers anymore! He couldn’t find another job and couldn’t pay rent, so they found themselves on the street. They drove to California hoping to find better opportunities, but every company hired someone else because he has no home address or phone.

Now, I’ve volunteered at a homeless day shelter and this is a completely unfair situation that makes it unduly difficult for homeless people in the United States to find employment. But I have two questions: where did they get the money to drive to California, and how did Laura get a job if they have no home address? No, really, this is a big, gaping plot hole. Obviously they’re getting mail somewhere if Laura got a job so why is this a hindrance to Frank? I’m not being insensitive to the plight of the homeless here. I’m merely pointing out that the writers of this episode, like usual, ignore simple facts when it makes for better television.

Frank and Laura leave us with a scene to pull at heartstrings again since we don’t know where they’re going to sleep, but, if Baywatch taught me anything, it’s that the lifeguard towers in L.A. are very easy to break into and live in.

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The next day at the mall, the gang helps Melanie set up for the play, and Zack Morris is just overly enthusiastic about working for his mommy during Christmas break.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-11h22m07s235

Screech is…trying to be annoying here, but I don’t get why the audience thinks this is gross. He’s eating egg foo yung with extra garlic sauce. Seriously, what’s weird about that? Are they implying Chinese food is weird?

Laura comes in and Zack Morris practically force feeds her a muffin. They rap about what it’s like to be homeless and Laura says that people shy away from her because she’s homeless. Okay, they’re doing a really bad job here of convincing me that people would stay away from Laura for being homeless. I mean, the word “homeless” isn’t written all over her forehead.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-11h24m03s107 At the store, Laura sees a sports jacket she’d like to buy her father so he can wear it to interviews but she can’t afford it. Kelly suggests she ask Mr. Moody for an advance on her salary, but we’re supposed to hate Mr. Moody because damned capitalists so he summarily dismisses the idea. Kelly tries to plea for Laura, and lets it slip that Laura’s homeless. Mr. Moody’s reaction: “I should have recognized that from her lack of address!” Actually, no he really says that people like “that” steal and he wouldn’t have hired her if he’d known she was homeless. Way to drop the straw man stereotypes there, Saved by the Bell.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-11h24m51s76

Zack Morris comes to pick up Kelly for the play, and he convinces Mr. Moody to let Laura participate by promising Mr. Moody the sales at his store will double if Laura is in the play. He’s obviously going to have Jessie strip and donate the profits to Mr. Moody! As Zack Morris and Laura leave, Kelly takes the sports jacket and puts it on hold, telling another clerk that she intends to buy it for Laura.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-11h26m54s32

And now, here’s the part you’ve all been waiting for: five minutes of the Saved by the Bell cast interpreting A Christmas Carol. As far as the actual interpretation goes, it’s not terrible other than Screech inexplicably playing Scrooge. Yeah, he looks like a retarded version of Burgess Meredith playing the Penguin. Zack Morris is Bob Cratchit. vlcsnap-2015-02-13-11h27m51s82

Laura plays the Ghost of Christmas present, and she sure did a good job in twenty minutes of memorizing her role. People in this universe must have a photographic memory. Screech now looks like he should be in a production of Little Red Riding Hood so he can play the wolf after he ate Grandma.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-11h28m31s224

Melanie plays Mrs. Cratchit (that’s quite an Oedipus complex there!) while Lisa and Jessie play the Cratchit daughters.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-11h28m59s251

And their choice for Tiny Tim? Yeah, apparently Screech isn’t allowed within five hundred feet of young children after he kidnapped that little girl back at Malibu Sands, so we’re stuck with Slater as Tiny Tim. None of this is horrible, but it does beg the question: whoever wanted to see the cast of Saved by the Bell interpret Dickens? vlcsnap-2015-02-13-11h29m44s191

I do wonder wear they got such a tiny turkey to represent how little they can afford on Cratchit’s salary. Did they take one of those little chicks that Max used to keep in his pants and roast it? Poor little chick…
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Oh, and Zack Morris’s plan to double Mr. Moody’s sales? Why, insert commercials for Mr. Moody’s store in random places in a Dicken’s classic. Because the true meaning of Christmas is buying shit at the mall! Way to ruin a classic holiday story, guys…

So, fifteen minutes into the show, the writers realized that there’s been no real conflict yet, so let’s randomly throw some in! Mr. Moody discovers the sports jacket gone and immediately jumps to the conclusion that Laura stole it because homeless people suck. He confronts Laura, who denies stealing the jacket, but Mr. Moody, with no evidence, decides it’s time to call the police. Laura runs out crying as Zack Morris and Kelly come in. Kelly calls Mr. Moody an overly simplistic caricature of society’s disdain for homeless people and tells him that she had the coat put aside so she could buy it. The two of them go to search for Laura.

After a commercial break, the gang and Melanie haven’t been able to find Laura. They decide to keep looking, so they split up. Zack Morris and Melanie go in her car, and they decide to meet at the Morris house at 8:00.

They end up at a Christmas tree lot and still haven’t found Laura. But, let’s buy a Christmas tree because that’ll make everything better!vlcsnap-2015-02-13-11h36m13s231

Zack Morris and Melanie find Frank and Laura in the parking lot. Zack Morris and Melanie explain what happened at the mall, and, after Frank reveals they live in their car, Melanie says that’s no way to spend Christmas Eve.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-11h36m55s130

So let’s invite two people we barely know to the Morris house along with five kids who apparently don’t want to spend Christmas Eve with their own families because Peter Engel didn’t feel like paying to bring back the actors and actresses needed.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-11h37m36s40

Mr. Moody gives Laura the jacket and an apology for being a complete stereotype. It was convenient that Melanie left the door open so he could come in without knocking! Zack Morris says that he and Melanie talked to his father about staying at their house until they get back on their feet, and he was completely fine with inviting two strangers to live with them. Boy, let’s hope they get back on their feet by next episode or the show might actually have to pay for two new regulars! Nah, we’re just going to forget they ever existed, aren’t we?vlcsnap-2015-02-13-11h39m06s175

Laura gives Zack Morris a little something something for his trouble as Melanie looks on envious, wishing Laura would give her a little something something.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-11h39m46s56

And our episode ends with Frank playing piano so our cast can sing us out with “Silent Night.” Well, most of them. I’m not convinced Mark-Paul Gosselaar was really singing.vlcsnap-2015-02-13-11h40m34s28And, from Saved by the Bell…Reviewed! to you, Merry Christmas…in February…or some shit. Yeah, the episode order doesn’t often work out on review blogs for holiday episodes like this. We’ll just pretend like it’s really Christmas or some shit like that. But, hey, stay tuned for the season finale next week!

Saved by the Bell Season 3, Episode 24: “Home for Christmas, Part 1”

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Well, in case you can’t tell, it’s Christmas in Saved by the Bell land, and Zack Morris has his stocking hung, hoping Santa will bring him that new fleshlight he’s been eyeing.

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h00m33s142We open at the Morris household, where everybody wants to eat Melanie’s cookies. Bet she hasn’t been able to say that since she was a teenager herself. Maybe that’s why her first husband mysteriously disappeared in the movie to California. Anyway, the gang all talk about what they’re doing over Christmas break. Slater, Kelly, and Jessie are working at the mall while Lisa is volunteering as a candy striper at the hospital to cheer up children who can’t go home for Christmas. Is it strange that I’m smiling the writers actually remembered something from earlier in the season?
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At the mall, Slater sucks ass at his job wrapping presents. He somehow manages to put a woman’s champagne glasses in a box and not tape up the bottom of the box. I’m quite impressed at this level of incompetence, but the woman isn’t as she actually tries to strangle Slater to death. Yeah, no joke, she tries to kill Slater. I’m not exaggerating. What’s worse, Zack Morris and Slater’s coworker stand by and do nothing until Slater calls for help. Wow, this Christmas episode is taking a dark turn already.vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h03m24s56

Jessie’s job is working as one of Santa’s elves, and this little boy thinks it sucks ass he has to be on Saved by the Bell at Christmas time. Jessie threatens to have Santa not bring him any presents unless he smiles for the camera, and the little boy promptly kicks Jessie in the leg and tells her that at least he’s not a future stripper.

You know, I just realized, as perverse as the Schadenfreude on this show can get, I kind of wish that it had been Screech the woman was trying to kill, or Screech that the little boy kicked. Why couldn’t it be Screech? That’s all I want for Christmas!vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h03m51s72

Zack Morris runs into this girl, quite literally, and quickly finds out her name is Laura. Since she has a vagina, Zack Morris is interested in the possibility she could steal his cursed virginity, but she rushes off quite fast to get to work. Now, begin the not so subtly inserted clues of who Laura is as Zack Morris notices her lunch is only an apple.vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h04m47s106

Meanwhile Screech buys a doll for the hospital Christmas party whose only function is to pee on you. I always wondered this about girls’ toys: why do girls want to do things like deal with a baby doll that cries and pees? I have to say, I would throw that fucking thing across the room.vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h06m23s61

The baby doll is enough of an excuse to get us into the restroom, though, where this incredibly clean and well-manicured homeless man shows Screech how to dry his pants using the hand dryer. Zack Morris and Screech realize he’s homeless once he starts shaving in the sink, and Zack Morris does the single most generous thing I think I’ve ever seen him do in this franchise: he leaves a wad of money for the man to find. Better be careful here, Saved by the Bell, or you might have me feeling sympathy towards Zack Morris. It’s quickly counterbalanced by Screech making some of the most insensitive jokes towards a homeless man I’ve ever seen in this franchise, or on any show for that matter. Jesus, where’s the woman who tried to kill Slater? We could use her right now!vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h11m47s230

At Kelly’s job, it turns out Kelly works with Laura, who keeps changing the subject rather than talk about her home life. Zack Morris comes in and immediately starts hitting on Laura again and asks her to lunch. He starts making asshole comments, though about giving money to the homeless and not knowing if they’ll spend it on food or crack or hookers. Laura’s all, “God you’re an idiot!” and storms off.vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h13m37s41

At the food court, Slater and Lisa make fun of Zack Morris for blowing a date before it even started. Yeah, like they’re ones to talk. Lisa’s a codependent serial monogamist and Slater’s forgotten Denise Richards even existed back at Malibu Sands.vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h14m09s118

Oh, and it’s time for some hilarious sexual harassment! Come on, Lisa! Take that ketchup bottle and shove it up Screech’s ass! I know you can do it!vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h15m39s242

Laura comes in with Kelly and Zack Morris apologizes for being an insensitive ass. He points out that he comes from a place of white upper middle class privilege so he was unaware that homeless people were human as well. She accepts his apology and sits down to have lunch with him, scarfing down much of his meal.vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h16m44s125

Afterwards, Zack Morris takes her to sit on Santa’s lap, and I think Santa’s getting a woody that he gets to have one of Zack Morris’s girls sit on his lap. Also, the boy who kicked Jessie earlier returns to insult her some more. Boy, I love this kid! He needs to be a regular!vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h17m39s164

Melanie comes in and basically warns Laura that Zack Morris might try to lose his virgin status and that she should sick Screech on him if that becomes a problem. Melanie also invites Laura to be in the mall production of A Christmas Carol that all the gang is going to be in. Laura isn’t sure she can ask for time off but Zack Morris reminds her that she can always get time off when it’s convenient to the plot.

At the gift wrapping station, Lisa berates Slater for his sucky ass gift wrapping skills. The homeless man comes up and redoes the wrapping job. Lisa leaves to go to the hospital for the Christmas party and, after the homeless man asks for some gift wrap scraps, he gives the man a whole roll of wrapping paper.

Zack Morris and Screech come in to get Slater so they can go to the hospital when they notice a crowd gathering.vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h20m47s249

The homeless man’s passed out on the floor, so Slater immediately…unbuttons his shirt. Okay, who put Dustin Diamond’s porno in my box set? Luckily Slater starts doing something useful and uses his lifeguarding skills on the man while Screech calls 9-1-1…after he finds out the number.

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h22m23s191 At the store, Kelly and Laura gush over her picture with Santa when the shop owner, Mr. Moody comes out. There’s been far too much generosity in this episode so Mr. Moody’s job is to be the stereotypical Scrooge type boss and refuse to let Laura off so she can be in the play. How horrible…he wants his employee to work. What a horrible guy he is.

The rest of the gang sans Lisa come to collect Kelly and Zack Morris tells Kelly and Laura about the homeless man. She asks if he’s okay but Zack Morris is all, “There’s no time for that crap! We’ve got to go entertain sick children so we can tug at even more of our audience’s heart strings!”vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h23m13s161

At the hospital, Lisa helps the kids decorate the tree.vlcsnap-2015-02-06-19h26m46s138Lisa asks this little boy if he wants to put the star on top of the tree. He’s all, “Bitch, I’m too short to reach the top of the tree. Quit talking smack!” Lisa gets a random tall guy to help him reach, and he’s all, “Yo, that was real cool, mama. Wanna go back to my room and make babies?”vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h24m13s5

The rest of the gang come in dressed as characters from Santa mythology, and I swear they missed out on an opportunity here to have Dennis Haskins dressed as Santa. Instead, Zack Morris is Santa, and the gang hand out presents to the kids. Also, Screech practically orgasms from Lisa kissing him, and the little boy is all, “Yo, sucker, get your fucking hands off my woman!”vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h25m10s35

Slater tries to calm the young man’s rage with a present, but he’s all, “Yo, this wrapping job is all whack! Who’s the dumb ass who did this?” He figures out that Slater did and is all, “Get yo ass out of my face now before I pop a cap in yo ass!”

The gang decide to go visit the homeless man, and I kid you not, they find out his room number by asking for the homeless man who passed out in the mall. It’s nice to know that the staff is so up on every patient in the hospital. Before they go, fake snow comes streaming down…from the ceiling of a hospital…on top of sick kids…yeah, that sounds really sanitary. Can you say “malpractice?” The little boy is all, “Yo, what’s this bull shit? It doesn’t snow in Los Angeles!” I’m actually quite surprised the writers of this show know it doesn’t snow in L.A. They get so many other basic facts wrong that I just take it for granted they live in little padded sense deprivation rooms a hundred feet below the ground.

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At the homeless man’s room, the boys are surprised to find Laura there, who finally admits, in the most obvious plot twist in television history, that this man is her father. Yeah, I think it was easier to figure this out than to figure out that M*A*S*H would conclude with the end of the Korean War.vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h27m46s79And our episode ends with the boys looking awkwardly at Laura and her father and trying to figure out what they should say in part two since they have twenty more minutes to tug at some more emotions for Christmas.
As a side note, the end credits list “Santa Clause as Himself” as a guest star. Jesus, do the writers think that the intended teenage demographic of this show haven’t figured out how Santa works yet? Way to really insult your audience’s intelligence there!
Firsts: Christmas!

Saved by the Bell Season 3, Episode 23: “Cut Day”

We open at a student council meeting where the nerds are advocating for a national day of mourning in honor of the anniversary of the cancellation of Gilligan’s Island. Wow. Things were so much more innocent and simple before 9/11, weren’t they?vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h16m58s109

Meet Graham, who is intimately concerned about the plight of Styrofoam cups, or, as Graham calls them, “plastic foam cups.” Jesus Christ, Saved by the Bell writers, could you pick an environmental threat and stick with it rather than sticking two random things together and hoping no one notices. Graham wants these “plastic foam cups” them banned from Bayside, and his talk of environmentalism gives Jessie a lady boner. Graham wants the students to hold a protest against the Styrofoam devil tomorrow, but Zack Morris reminds him that tomorrow is the never before mentioned “cut day,” which means no one comes to school or gives a shit.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h18m02s242

Mr. Belding comes in randomly and says he knows it’s cut day tomorrow but he can’t do anything to stop them. Uh, yes you can dip shit. You’re the principal. Get the whole lot of them for truancy! But since we’re going with the story that principals can’t do anything about truant students, Mr. Belding says anyone who skips will receive an unexcused absence. Since Zack Morris currently has nine unexcused absences, one more will mean suspension, and, every breath Zack Morris takes, Mr. Belding will be watching him. Uh, didn’t we do this plot already?vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h18m45s166

In the hallway, Screech is a dumb ass like usual and I really wish Lisa would punch him in the face. Meanwhile, Jessie breaks the news to Slater that she wants to fight the evil plastic foam cups tomorrow rather than skip, so it looks like Slater will be with Kelly all day instead.

Jessie catches Slater up on the Zack Morris subplot, and Zack Morris bets Slater $100 that he’ll find a way to skip class tomorrow without Mr. Belding knowing because Bayside doesn’t care about students randomly deciding not to go to school.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h20m37s2

At school the next day, the only students are Jessie, Graham, and Zack Morris. Clueless teacher here keeps calling row, oblivious to the world for the whisky she’s drinking to get through this damned episode. Graham spouts some quasi-feminist bullshit about female presidents that gives Jessie a lady boner. Mr. Belding comes in to check on Zack Morris, and, shortly after he leaves, a nerd comes in to get Zack Morris to go to the library and pay his damned library fine.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h22m25s60

Um, is encouraging truancy a smart business move for The Max. i mean I know they do some pretty stupid things, but this may take the cake. I think I find the dance off at The Max more believable at this point.

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Screech and Lisa whack moles while the writers suddenly remember that Slater used to want to date Kelly. Yes, they’re getting close as they play whatever the hell this game is. I admit it: I don’t know much about billard-like games.

Zack Morris comes in and gloats that he wants his money so he can get back to class. Turns out Zack Morris paid off the nerd to get him out of class. Slater tells him that it’s cut day, though, not cut class, and, since there’s thirteen more minutes in the episode, he’ll have to get out of every class if he wants to win the bet. Otherwise, an otherwise boring episode will be lethargic to watch.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h24m22s202

Back at Bayside, Mr. Belding waits enthusiastically hoping that Zack Morris is cutting study hall. He runs in at the last moment, though, dashing Mr. Belding’s hopes of getting rid of Zack Morris for a day.

Jessie and Graham decide to paint signs for the rally, giving Zack Morris a great idea.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h26m15s56

He asks to go to the restroom and takes a thing of red paint with him. When Mr. Belding comes to check on Zack Morris again, a voice on the intercom says that Mr. Belding’s car is being towed because it’s in a red zone. Uh, that’s not the way it works, guys. What did Zack Morris do: call a brain dead traffic cop?vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h26m23s137 It’s enough to give Zack Morris an opportunity to get out of class, though ,and he ends up at the movies, where Slater and Kelly continue to get close over a scary movie. Slater’s all stoked that Kelly’s not a stuffy quasi-feminist spinster like Jessie so maybe he might get laid for a change.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h28m59s164

Back at Bayside, Mr. Belding really seems to be targeting Zack Morris. He assumes Zack Morris is cutting because he’s in the hallway, despite the fact that Jessie and Graham are also in the hallway and Mr. Belding doesn’t seem to give a shit about them. Oh, hypocrisy, thy name is Belding! Zack Morris says he’s in the hallway because he’s protesting with Jessie and Graham, which is apparently excuse enough to get out of trouble.

Mr. Belding tells them he has no control over the plastic foam cups and that they need to talk to whatever idiot writer thought that was a real product. He also tells them to get the hell out of the hallway before he realizes how stupid he’s being and punishes all three of them.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h30m24s244 Jessie and Graham commiserate over how much it sucks they have to protest a fake product. They give a sexy hug in Zack Morris’s sight as he goes off for the next cut scene.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h30m42s132

At the beach, it’s dancing Charlie Brown style! Yes, that’s right, all your favorite extras are dancing as if they are poorly animated comic strip characters who only know one move! Also, why is there bad muzak at a beach?vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h31m26s94

Slater sexily puts sun block on Kelly’s shoulders while Lisa agrees to bury and hopefully suffocate Screech so The New Class will never happen.

Zack Morris shows and Screech gives him a box of chocolate covered grasshoppers. Yes, this will actually play into the next scene. While Slater goes to get them all drinks, Zack Morris asks Kelly about getting sexy with Slater. She’s all, “The plot wants me to be oblivious to what’s going on, so I’m being oblivious!”vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h34m07s162

Meet Mrs. Culpepper, the latest in a long line of bat shit crazy teachers at Bayside. vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h34m38s212

Yes, she believes this is Africa, and that Nigeria is next to Las Vegas. I…don’t even know what to think. I’m pretty sure at this point Bayside hires all their faculty from mental institutions.

Mr. Belding comes in and tells Mrs. Culpepper that she’s received a telegram and that she’s won the lottery. What the hell is it with this show and telegrams? I lived through the early ’90s and I’ve never seen a telegram in my life! Was this written by my grandfather in the middle of a fit of dementia?

Mrs. Culpepper is all, “Screw this episode!” and leaves. Mr. Belding does the logical thing and dismisses all the students for the day except Zack Morris. Yeah…I’m totally sure that allowable. Now you’re just being a dick, Mr. Belding.
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After Slater calls and reveals that he sent the telegram using a Delorean to go back to 1885, Zack Morris offers Mr. Belding one of the chocolate covered grasshoppers. When Zack Morris tells Mr. Belding what’s in it, Mr. Belding naturally runs off to throw up because he has a weaker stomach than my cat hacking up fur balls.

In the hallway, Zack Morris sees Jessie and Graham about to head to The Max. Zack Morris suddenly decides it’s time to save Slater and Jessie’s relationship and he needs to keep Jessie and Graham away from The Max. He can’t stop them, though, and Mr. Belding comes out to stop him so Jessie and Graham can have a head start. Zack Morris pulls the exact same trick on Mr. Belding again and he rushes off to The Max.

Zack Morris barely loses the bet and rushes in just ahead of Jessie and Graham because…plot. vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h39m14s158Jessie sits Slater down and says she’s finally found her quasi-feminist equal and she thinks she and Slater should see other people. Jessie loses it, though, when Slater says he had fun with Kelly, which Jessie assumes means hot fucking. They fight and then realize how boring and stupid this whole episode has been. They tell the rest of the gang they’ve decided to see other people, but Slater assures them that it’s okay because he’s sure they’ll still date when it’s convenient to the plot.

Man, this is one of the more boring episodes of the season. I can’t even really be pissed at it. It’s just…bland and uninspired and a stupid excuse to break Slater and Jessie up.

Firsts: Slater and Jessie break up.

Saved by the Bell Season 3, Episode 22: “Rockumentary”

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I really don’t understand what’s going on with this opening. We open in an alternate dimension at some random stadium, where Casey Kasem…oh Casey Kasem. What possessed you to do this show a second time? You couldn’t have been that desperate for a paycheck after A Pup Named Scooby-Doo was cancelled, right? Oh, the late, great, Casey Kasem, reduced to one of the worst episodes of Saved by the Bell.

Anyway, we open at some random stadium, where Casey Kasem interviews Zack Morris about the sudden success of Zack Attack after the writers suddenly remembered it exists. That one gig they did at the school dance must have really attracted the attention of all the hot scouts, who were no doubt loitering around Bayside like tons of other adults who shouldn’t be there. Casey Kasem claims Zack Attack has captured America like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones would have if every member of those bands were horribly dubbed with songs written by kindergartners. Oh, and, yeah, Zack Morris has groupies who want him to sign their arms.
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Zack Morris and Casey Kasem walk through the hallway where they meet the rest of the members of the band, bass player Lisa, lead singer Kelly, drummer Slater, and member of Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition, Screech. Jessie doesn’t appear in this episode which must mean that she’s not a “Friend Forever” as the name of their tour implies.vlcsnap-2015-01-22-21h49m44s28

As the concert begins, Casey Kasem takes us back to that Saved by the Bell garage set where it all began, and the gang practice their horrible song, “Friends Forever.” Yeah, there’s too many bad songs in this episode so I won’t be transcribing them, but I just point out the ingenuously written lyric, “We’ll be friends forever/’till the end of time.” Redundancy, anyone? Also, the writers obviously don’t know what a lead singer is as Zack Morris is clearly the lead singer of the group, with Kelly merely backing him up.

Meanwhile, Casey Kasem, apparently hanging out in Zack Morris’s garage, declares that fate was about to run past them.

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Yeah, this is Brian Fate, a big recording executive who was jogging past and loves their horrible Jonas Brothers-esque sound and wants to make them stars. Hah, that pun was so clever even the audience forgot to laugh. Oh, and Brian manages the “Beach Buddies” because this episode was too lazy to think of any original band names. Kelly asks if he’s really interested in them and Brian asks if Bart Simpson has animated zits. Uh, have you ever watched The Simpsons? Bart Simpson is in fourth grade on the show. No, he doesn’t have zits. That means he’s apparently a sadistic liar who deliberately makes fun of the hopes of teenagers.vlcsnap-2015-01-22-21h51m42s181

Casey Kasem declares that this was the beginning of their rise to the top and we get a song first played in a club and then a stadium.
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At the stadium, girls randomly run up on stage and steal Screech’s clothes. Eww, why would anyone steal Screech’s clothes? Why is this even a question? And, yeah, this sequence lasts way too long.

Next, we find ourselves at a press conference being held by their publicist, Mindy. There’s more time wasting but the gist is that Zack Morris wants to fuck Mindy and Kelly declares the gang will be friends forever, except for Jessie because she’s off staring in Showgirls at this point.vlcsnap-2015-01-22-21h53m39s70 Oh my god! Zack Morris has morphed into Mecha-Zack Morris! It must be what happens when his ego explodes!

We rejoin Casey Kasem at what I assume is supposed to be the Grammys, though Casey only identifies it as a “music awards show.” What, was Grammys copyrighted?
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No. No they did not. Worse Michael Jackson and Madonna impersonators ever. I could look more like Michael Jackson than that. Hell, I could probably look more like Madonna than that. Sometimes this show displays a startling lack of effort.vlcsnap-2015-01-22-21h56m03s238

Yeah, Zack Attack wins the biggest award, whatever that is, and we get a little more time wasting with all five members of the gang individually thanking previous guest stars who are not in this episode. God, this episode is so boring!

Our next bit of meaningless time wasting is a party the gang are at. Mindy says she wants to fuck Zack, not the group.
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Meanwhile, Screech and Slater oogle girls, and a man with low self-esteem misses that he totally has a chance with Kelly. WHAT IS THE POINT OF ANY OF THIS? WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?!?!?!

Lisa designs some costumes for the group. Zack Morris likes them but Mindy’s all, “Your designs suck ass!” Lisa goes away feeling upset but Mindy tells him that she’ll make him a star and the rest of the band shouldn’t even be alive.

At the studio the next day, Brian and the gang are upset because Zack Morris is an hour late. Zack Morris shows up with a song he wrote with Mindy. Mindy’s suddenly become super bitch towards the rest of the gang. Kelly, Slater, and Screech wrote a song they want the band to sing, but, good god, it’s horrible even by Saved by the Bell standards. It’s all about school being boring. Yeah, imagine if you took The Wiggles and inserted lame stuff about teenage life in their songs. Zack Morris and Mindy’s song isn’t much of an improvement, but at least it doesn’t make me want to gouge my ears out. Well, at least permanently.vlcsnap-2015-01-22-22h02m06s241

Yeah, we get some newspaper headlines about Zack Attack fighting, including this one with the season’s publicity photo and Jessie cleverly cropped out, because she’s totally lame since she’s not in this episode. Anyway, it’s right before a concert and Zack Morris is hella pissed about the articles. Screech gave the interview but the rest of the gang agree with him, so Zack Morris walks out to form his own group. vlcsnap-2015-01-22-22h03m45s253

Meanwhile, Casey Kasem is still hanging out in Zack Morris’s garage. Maybe, while he’s there, he can solve the mystery of whatever happened to Peter Morris and earn a Scooby Snack.vlcsnap-2015-01-22-22h04m07s206

We get a run-down of what the gang do after the break-up, including Screech, who seeks out the “high geek” and is told the meaning of life is banging cheerleaders, because sex is obviously all there is to life. Oh, and, no joke, the guy playing the high nerd is Jeffrey Weissman, who might be most famous for imitating Crispin Glover in Back to the Future II and III.

Now get ready for the most hilarious thing you’ll ever see in your life. I mean, there have been some ridiculous ass moments on this show, but this just takes the cake! Are you ready? Well, take a look at this!

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OH MY GOD! It’s like Vanilla Ice raided the wardrobe of Michael Jackson after getting his hair caught in the mouth of a rabid badger!!! I…I have no words! This shit speaks for itself! Never in my life have I been so ashamed to be a white boy as when I witness this travesty!

Yeah, Zack Morris is pissed at Mindy because she’s dressed him as a horrible caricature. He gets a call telling him that Slater, who’s a race car driver, has been in an accident and is in the hospital. Mindy the Bitch tells Zack Morris that if he leaves, they’re through and he’s like, “Fuck that! I have a future on cable television to think about!”
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At the hospital, Kelly, who plays a nun on Santa Barbara (in an unfunny gag), and Lisa, who’s on “U.S. Gladiators” visit Slater.vlcsnap-2015-01-22-22h07m34s211

They’re soon joined by Screech, who’s managed to find a vapid stereotype who’s not repulsed by him.

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Zack Morris comes in and apologizes to everyone for breaking up the band. Everyone’s like, “We instantly forgive you because we only have three minutes left in this episode and still have a lot to do!” vlcsnap-2015-01-22-22h10m54s180

Casey Kasem brings us back to the present for the “Forever Friends” reunion tour of Zack Attack, where we’re treated to yet another song, and I am so bored out of my mind! I don’t fucking understand this episode at all! What the hell has been going on the last twenty minutes? This better not be some cheap ass gimmick…vlcsnap-2015-01-22-22h11m22s203No. No. No. No. I…

FUCK YOU SAVED BY THE BELL!!! You fucking mean to tell me this was all a twenty-two minute dream sequence?!?! NO! WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK! I HAVE BEEN BORED BY THE LAST TWENTY-TWO MINUTES OVER AN EXTENDED DREAM SEQUENCE!

Fuck. My. Life.

We mercifully end this episode with Zack Attack practicing for a Bar Mitzvah gig, and if I ever see this fucking episode again, it will be too soon. I’d rather watch a twenty-four hour marathon of The New Class than endure this insulting, idiotic, pointless episode again. The moral of this episode? If you have a dream about being a successful rock star, don’t be a dick to your friends in it? Hell if I know.

Saved by the Bell Season 3, Episode 21: “No Hope With Dope”

Since I’ve been doing this for a year now, I thought I’d let you in on my process. I always view episodes once so I can take screenshots and think of what I’m going to say. I write the actual review while I’m viewing the episode a second time and sometimes take a break in between the two, as I did today.

As I was on my way to the train station during my break, I passed a couple crouching behind a bush trying to smoke a joint clandestinely. Remembering the lesson I learned tonight from this episode, I told them, “There’s no hope with dope!”

“But why?” they asked.

“Because…there’s no hope!” I told them.

“But we enjoy it and it’s not harming you!”

“But…there’s no hope with dope!” That’s when they told me to leave them the hell alone before they shanked me with a broken beer bottle. I don’t know what I did wrong! I applied everything Saved by the Bell taught me in this episode! Maybe I’ll figure it out in the review…
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We open at Bayside where the great actor Johnny Dakota is visiting. You remember Johnny Dakota, right? He was in all those great films like … and … Yeah, they just made him up, didn’t they? You know, if they were going to make up someone, I’d have rather they brought back Stevie just so I could see her fall from grace.

Lisa’s in love with Johnny Dakota and Zack Morris immediately takes to Johnny so he can go up a few more pegs on the scale. Zack Morris takes Johnny to Mr. Belding’s office where he introduces Johnny to his Dick which, no joke, is what people call Mr. Belding all through this episode.

Turns out Johnny is looking for a school to film an anti-drug PSA for NBC. Zack Morris senses the opportunity for exploitation and decides it’s time to convince Johnny to stay at Bayside for about seventeen more minutes.vlcsnap-2015-01-16-17h29m26s165

He starts with a well choreographed song from the gang and random extras about how they won’t use drugs. They must all be telepathic or else write anti-drug raps in their spare time because they all magically know the lyrics to this song despite having about three minutes to write it.

Johnny’s still not sure so Jessie talks about academics and shit. They go off to talk as Kelly runs up excited because she saw Johnny Dakota’s limo. Wait…how does everyone know that particular limo is Johnny’s? Does it have a giant cut out of Johnny’s head on the side?
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Zack Morris introduces Kelly to Johnny and that’s the clincher. Because Johnny’s heard the reputation of Bayside students, and Kelly in particular, for dating older men, he sees the opportunity to get some great underage poon. vlcsnap-2015-01-16-17h31m08s161

It must be some time later but I only guessed because everyone’s wearing different clothes and a full crew has moved into Bayside’s single classroom. Johnny shows Kelly a storyboard and tells the one on the right is Kelly. You know, I never picked Kelly for being a Charlie Brown look alike but, you know, whatever.

Johnny wastes no time and asks Kelly out. Kelly’s like, “What the hell! He’s not the first adult I’ve dated this season!”
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Meanwhile, Zack Morris is doing what Zack Morris does best and trying to profit off Johnny Dakota being there. Profit apparently means trying to sell doorknobs Johnny touched or sunglasses with his sweat and eyelashes on them. EEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!  Mr. Belding comes up and tries to put a stop to this most disgusting form of entrepreneur spirit but Johnny comes in and says that it’s okay because he gave Zack Morris permission to sell them and give the profits to an anti-drug charity.

Zack Morris thanks Johnny for saving him and Johnny says that Zack Morris reminds him of himself when he was in high school he gives Zack Morris his jacket to sell and Zack Morris decides he wants to keep a little piece of Johnny close to his body.

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We follow the boys in the restroom where this man way too old to be a student at Bayside throws a paper towel at Zack Morris. We’ll soon find out his name is Scud and, yes, Scud has a purpose.

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Slater finds a joint on the floor, calls it a roach, and Screech runs out doing the usual Screech stupidity. Zack Morris and Slater decide to try and hide the joint from Johnny to prevent it from casting a negative shadow on Bayside that someone dares to do a mostly harmless narcotic, but Johnny walks in and drills them on the joint. Zack Morris and Slater are all, “We’re too lame to ever do marijuana!” and Johnny instantly believes them, flushing the joint down the toilet. He asks both of them to be in the PSA.vlcsnap-2015-01-16-17h35m37s51 Turns out the entire PSA is our gang plus a girl too old to be a student at Bayside. Yes, this is the meat of the episode, where we’re going to talk about why drugs are so bad. So here are our answers:

Screech: One twigie and I’m out of control. You know, Screech high might actually be a pleasant change on this show, or The New Class. It would make him interesting until he found a way to be annoying high.

Random Girl: Her brother used drugs, drove to the beach, and is now in a wheelchair. It makes sense! Drugs made her brother’s legs fall off!

Slater: Len Bias, the NBA player, died because of drugs! Yeah, Bias’s death was tragic. He od’ed on cocaine in 1986. What does that have to do with marijuana, which is the drug most often referenced in this episode and the one actually used! That’s like comparing heroin to Tylenol!

Zack Morris: John Belushi died because of drugs! Yeah, Belushi’s death was tragic, od’ing on a mixture of cocaine and heroin. Once again, what the hell does that have to do with marijuana?

Kelly: I don’t get it; I just don’t see why people do it! Yeah, and I don’t get why a pretty teenage girl would date men in their twenties, but you do it anyway, Kelly!

Jessie: I once was hooked on caffeine pills! Yes, you keep telling yourself that Jessie, and my readers can go back and read my review of the most unintentionally hilarious episode in this franchise’s history if they want to relive it.

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Johnny goes to get his director so he can actually tape the gang saying all this stuff when in walks Scud. Turns out he’s random girl’s boyfriend. The boys start thinking and realize Scud was in the bathroom, and the joint was in the bathroom, so Scud must be the pothead! Great logic there, guys.

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The boys go in the bathroom where they find Scud smoking a cigarette. Screech overreacts, as usual, and they briefly consider giving Scud a lecture on the dangers of cigarettes, but they realize how lame that would make the episode so, instead, Peter Engel jots it down as an idea in case he’s desperate for story concepts on a stupid rip off of Saved by the Bell four years from now.

At The Max, Johnny and Kelly are on their first date when Lisa and Jessie walk in to interview Johnny for the paper. The only purpose of this scene is to emphasize how much Johnny gives spontaneous orgasms to Lisa and how much Johnny loves underage girls. Zack Morris comes in to waste some more time by asking for an autographed photo for Mr. Belding’s wife. Finally, Johnny invites six underage kids to a party at his house where I’m sure nothing will go wrong.vlcsnap-2015-01-16-17h40m22s76

Time for the party, and Screech dresses as a retarded version of Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs. A recurring gag in this scene is that girls won’t give a second look at Slater which, why does he care? Isn’t he dating Jessie?
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Johnny hooks Zack Morris with two women too old for him. Statutory rape all around!vlcsnap-2015-01-16-17h41m42s117

Jessie and Lisa are excited because they got to dance with Storm Sutherland and Luke Diamond, obviously two of the hottest hunks in Hollywood no one who hasn’t watched Saved by the Bell has ever heard of.vlcsnap-2015-01-16-17h42m30s75

And, much to Slater’s dismay, Screech’s Buffalo Bill get-up actually makes a girl think Screech is attractive. Miracles do happen! Screech tries to impress the girl by pretending to be Johnny’s stunt double, and he manages to throw his back out falling off the back of a couch. Bravo, Screech. Your stupidity level just rose by 500 points.

Slater, Jessie, and Lisa decide to take Screech home since they’re not getting laid and Zack Morris helps them carry him out. vlcsnap-2015-01-16-17h43m49s112

This leaves Johnny and Kelly alone at last. Well, as alone as you can be with a house full of extras. Time for some underage groping!vlcsnap-2015-01-16-17h44m04s253

But Johnny’s groping of Kelly is interrupted by a random guy with a joint. Yeah, this would have been really great with Stevie! Show how much Stevie’s gone down in the world since she met Zack Morris!

Johnny offers the joint to Kelly, and we cut to commercial with an implication that Kelly’s considering it. Yeah, as if Kelly would do even the softest drugs. This is the goody two shoes who sees the best in everyone, even Screech!

After a commercial break, Zack Morris comes back in to find Johnny’s friends actually peer pressuring Kelly into trying marijuana. Yeah, there’s your real very special episode: adults with inappropriate senses of boundaries who hang out with and try to force stuff on teens. Zack Morris rescues Kelly and takes her home.

The next day, it’s time to shoot the commercial, but Zack Morris confronts Johnny about his marijuana use. Johnny’s defense is basically, “It’s my life. Fuck off.” He has a point. Johnny’s biggest sin, besides his propensity for underage girls, is his hypocrisy. If he wasn’t shooting PSA’s telling kids not to do drugs, I’d be rooting for him right now. But Zack Morris doesn’t give a damn. He wore Johnny’s jacket just so he can take it off and give it back to him, much like when the Rigmas humiliated him back in Good Morning, Miss Bliss.

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The gang one by one decide to walk out on Johnny as Mr. Belding wonders what the hell is going on. The straw that broke the camel’s back is when Kelly walks out on him, and Johnny’s all, “I can’t believe that, in the early ’90s, someone is calling me on anti-drug hypocrisy!”

In Mr. Belding’s office, the gang explain what happened, and Mr. Belding tells the gang he’s proud of them for being the squarest possible students in the world. The gang decide that NBC probably won’t be shooting the PSA at Bayside, but Mr. Belding says he knows someone who might be able to help.vlcsnap-2015-01-16-17h47m11s69

And Mr. Belding’s solution is some fictional guy named “Brandon Tartikoff,” who’s supposed to be the “President of NBC Entertainment.”  Yeah, as if anyone would believe this guy was real! They might as well have brought Johnny back in to shoot the PSA!

Yes, I know Brandon Tartikoff was real before the comments section blows up. What the hell is he doing at Bayside, though? Well, turns out he grew up with “Dick” and wanted to be a high school principal while “Dick” wanted to go into show business. They were both chasing after the same girl but “Dick” got her and put his dick in her. She was the school superintendent’s daughter, which apparently got Mr. Belding a job as Bayside’s principal and Brandon couldn’t get a job..

That is the weakest, stupidest excuse for Brandon Tartikoff to be at Bayside I could have possibly imagined. He dropped everything because he credits Mr. Belding with pushing him towards show business! Well, nothing else has made sense in this episode. Why start now?

There’s also a meta reference where Brandon Tartikoff suggests doing a sitcom about a principal and his kids. Way to make a joke that none of the kids will get since they’ll have no idea Good Morning, Miss Bliss was originally Tartikoff’s idea.

The gang watch the PSA and it’s one of the most infamous scenes in the franchise. So what do I think of it?

First of all, the audience doesn’t seem to know how to react to this as there’s some nervous laughter over the part with Screech being in his locker. Second, this is the worst propaganda I’ve ever seen. There’s no reason not to do it in the PSA. Just some rhetorical peer pressure. “Oh, no! Not the dreaded drugs!” Third, and this annoys the hell out of me, they conflated all drugs into one horrible very special episode. Even Jessie’s caffeine pills make an appearance. Some drugs are dangerous, as they do actually point out. But marijuana and caffeine pills are not the evil this episode makes them out to be. Like people who are drinking alcohol, many people can do it safely and responsibly, but a small percentage can’t, and that’s okay. But don’t fucking blanket generalize everyone!

Also, they totally fuck up the last sequence which we just saw them shoot. In the first scene, Brandon Tartikoff was sitting on the desk and the gang joined him. In the finished product, Zack Morris was sitting on the desk and everyone else, Tartikoff included, joined him. Come on, it couldn’t have been that hard to get simple staging right!
vlcsnap-2015-01-16-17h49m18s37So my mistake in approaching the couple smoking marijuana? Taking fucking advice on drugs from Saved by the Bell. I swear, if this episode were full of any more propaganda, I’d expect Hitler to jump out and do a waltz while shouting anti-Semetic phrases.

Saved by the Bell Season 3, Episode 20: “Hold Me Tight”

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Our episode opens at wrestling tryouts, where the writers remembered they did an episode last season where the gang worked for the school radio station, KKTY, the best country music in Douglas, Wyoming! For some reason, Zack Morris is there covering tryouts on behalf of the radio station because…radio stations apparently cover tryouts, and he witnesses Slater apparently assaulting a random boy who was cutting through the gym. Unfortunately, his engineer happens to be a complete dumb ass who didn’t broadcast throughout the interview. Three guesses who that character could be.

In comes a girl to sign up for the wrestling team and Zack Morris is all, “WHHHHHAAAATTTT! A girl on the wrestling team? Don’t be preposterous! Just get your pretty little ass in my kitchen and cook for me!”vlcsnap-2015-01-09-20h44m52s185

Mr. Sonski, the auto mechanics teacher from “Wicked Stepbrother,” is the wrestling coach, and he agrees with Zack Morris’s misogyny as he suggests the girl, Kristy Barnes, should just go to the home ec room and make some brownies so he can keep his weight on. Also, there’s a match with Valley scheduled for next week. Isn’t a week after tryouts a bit soon for a match with your major rival? I mean, I know we often stretch believability on this show, but wouldn’t that give the team no time to prepare?

Zack Morris suddenly has a brain storm that the best way to get laid is to support women, so he suddenly wants to help Kristy get on the team. He takes her to the radio station and introduces her to Jessie and Lisa. Of course, Jessie’s quasi-feminism kicks in and she wants to help bring Kristy’s case to Mr. Belding.
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Unfortunately, Mr. Belding chooses that moment to come in and completely be an unreasonable jackass by saying he heard from Mr. Sonski that a girl wants to be on the wrestling team! A girl! Sexism is so hilarious!vlcsnap-2015-01-09-20h47m08s10

At The Max, the gang listen to Jessie broadcast a show that actually reminds me quite a bit of Bill O’Reilly in that she not only broadcasts news of Mr. Belding and Mr. Sonski’s sexism, but also plays some pig sound effects to emphasize that her attacks are ad hominem. It all makes sense now! After her failed stint as a stripper, Jessie became conservative and turned into Elizabeth Hasselbeck!

vlcsnap-2015-01-09-20h48m24s251Well, Jessie’s broadcast motivates every female extra the casting department could find to go to the gym and protest Mr. Sonski’s sexism. Mr. Sonski doesn’t seem very moved by the dozen or so protesters the producers could afford but the girls won’t be moved.
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In walks Mr. Belding, and the girls surround him, presumably to sacrifice him to a golden image of Betty Friedan. Okay, this is ridiculous. I’m a feminist, yes, but this isn’t the way to achieve change. A school protest covered by the school radio station isn’t going to bring the level of public scrutiny necessary to change the minds of two very prejudiced men. We had a school protest my freshman year of high school and you know what happened? The principal suspended every single person involved. This would not work in real life.

But Slater decides that he’s seen enough of this bullshit and that, if no one else is going to do it, he’s going to be the voice of reason. He convinces Mr. Sonski to give Kristy a chance.vlcsnap-2015-01-09-20h50m20s127

And Kristy promptly wrestles an extra identified as one of Bayside’s best wrestlers to the ground, instantly winning the approval and admiration of both Mr. Sonski and Mr. Belding. Gee, it’s nice to see that bigotry is so easily overcome. Considering Mr. Sonski called over the wrestler named Rodriguez with Speedy Gonzales’s catch phrase, “Andale!” I think Bayside’s insensitivity is in no danger of dying anytime soon.

Also, safety is not first at Bayside since no wrestlers wear protective gear in this episode. Seriously, how does Bayside keep from getting sued constantly.vlcsnap-2015-01-09-20h51m08s101

Kristy is grateful to Zack Morris for helping her and tells him she’s got a little something something in her pants for him later.vlcsnap-2015-01-09-20h52m10s213

At The Max, the gang celebrate with Kristy as Slater shows he hasn’t lost his sexist edge by doing a kissy face on Jessie. Slater asks Kristy where she learned the move she used and she says from him. Turns out she watched Slater use it on Niedick, the Valley wrestler from “Pinned to the Mat.” Whoa, whoa, there, Saved by the Bell. You’re remembering way too many things from past episodes! You better slow down there or people are going to think you have continuity or something!

Anyway, Kristy’s admiration of Slater’s wrestling of course triggers Bitch Jessie, who instantly believes that Kristy wants to jump Slater’s bone. Slater and Kristy go off so Slater can teach Kristy some new moves, which Jessie thinks is obviously code for, “Fuck like porn stars.” Also, bizarrely, we learn that Screech likes eating wax candles and cupcake wrappers. It has nothing else to do with this episode, but I think the producers are on a mission to make Screech as oddly stupid as possible.vlcsnap-2015-01-09-20h53m19s104

Zack Morris sneaks in the girl’s locker room to a startled Pamela Anderson changing for Baywatch. His stated purpose is to interview Kristy, so his interview consists of him hitting on Kristy.  Lisa, meanwhile, sneaks in and overhears Zack Morris asking Kristy out.vlcsnap-2015-01-09-20h54m52s35

Mr. Belding hears Zack Morris’s broadcast and tries to catch him while covering his eyes to keep from seeing high school boobies. Zack Morris sneaks out and, instead, Mr. Belding gets an arm full of Pamela Anderson who’s wondering why all men at Bayside are complete perverts.vlcsnap-2015-01-09-20h55m03s159Lisa takes the news that Zack Morris and Kristy are dating to her gossip show, but she doesn’t name names. She only refers to them as the lady wrestler and school hunk dating. vlcsnap-2015-01-09-20h55m35s216

Jessie reacts as expected: by completely flipping out in a jealous rage and turning into the Incredible Hulk.  vlcsnap-2015-01-09-20h56m11s61

Slater shows Kristy some square dancing moves, and Jessie comes through and screams, not approving of their love of traditional country dancing.vlcsnap-2015-01-09-20h57m27s55

At The Max following Zack Morris and Kristy’s date, a random Valley student comes in talking shit to Zack Morris and tries a wrestling move on him. Kristy jumps in and saves Zack Morris and suddenly Zack Morris feels his penis shrink up into his body.

Back at the radio station, Jessie becomes the sexist she despises by giving an editorial about how women shouldn’t be allowed to wrestle after all because they might try to steal her boyfriend. Slater comes in and calls Jessie’s hypocrisy. After Jessie expresses her jealousy, Slater calls her a fucking insane bitch and leaves.

At The Max, Zack Morris breaks off a date with Kristy. She quickly figures out that he’s feeling emasculated that she saved him from an evil Valley student and says she’s fucking tired of these assholes and that she’s quitting the wrestling team.vlcsnap-2015-01-09-21h01m33s158

Zack Morris convinces an insane Jessie that Kristy wants Zack Morris and not Slater. They both decide they were idiots and Zack Morris decides he has to keep her from quitting the team.vlcsnap-2015-01-09-21h02m17s145

He does this by sneaking in the girl’s locker room again at the risk of running into Pamela Anderson again. Zack Morris says his gender stereotypes briefly overpowered his desire to get laid and he feels stupid that almost turned down a chance to get laid. They make up and Zack Morris agrees to take her to the movies.vlcsnap-2015-01-09-21h04m19s66

Oh, boy! It’s time for the big wrestling match with Valley! Slater quickly beats his opponent in less than ten seconds because we’re running short on time. After Jessie apologizes to Kristy and Slater, Kristy has some trouble with her opponent. Zack Morris tells her to use the move she used at The Max, and it turns out Zack Morris is a better coach than Mr. Sonski because this helps her win. Since Kristy and Slater are the only two people on the wrestling team that matter, that means Bayside wins the meet. Yay.vlcsnap-2015-01-09-21h05m32s50Kristy gets carries away and wrestles Zack Morris to the floor, ready to rip off his clothes. Our episode ends with Kristy remembering that lots of people are watching and letting Zack Morris up to make a comment about her being his fuck for later that evening.

Saved by the Bell Season 3, Episode 19: “Palm Springs Weekend, Part 2”

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Welcome back to Marriott’s Desert Springs Hotel, still a very likely place Jessie’s father might own. Seriously, could they not have asked to take down the Marriott name for a day? That simple act would have saved so many continuity problems in this show, not that this franchise ever cared about continuity to begin with, but you know what I mean.

We open with Zack Morris recapping the events of part one, including the fact that the whole Screech falling in water while trying to impress Lisa thing was actually supposed to be a subplot. I think, in this case, the writers may be mistaken as to what the central events to part one that need to be recapped are.
vlcsnap-2014-12-31-13h42m26s106In the fitness center, Lisa practically wets herself over Zack Morris kissing Kelly. She thought it would be at least two more years until they got married, but maybe Zack Morris and Kelly can just have a double wedding with David and Leslie!
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Slater tries to show Screech how to impress a girl with his physical vigor by lifting a dumbbell for these two random women obviously too old for him.

vlcsnap-2014-12-31-13h43m25s182Screech tries to impersonate Slater and ends up looking like Popeye if the sailor man was in the latter stages of dementia.

Meanwhile, Jessie assures Zack Morris that she’s not really going to try and stop her father’s wedding. She promptly delivers a note for Leslie in David’s name cancelling a dinner date between the two of them that night. Is it just me or is Jessie more unlikable than Screech in this episode?

Christina comes in and invites Slater to have dinner with her father that night. He’s all nervous because he’s never had dinner with the king of a fake country before. Though Christina assures him he can just be himself, Slater is the one guy in the world who would possibly ruin his chances with a beautiful princess over insecurities.
vlcsnap-2014-12-31-13h45m11s222 Jessie sweet talks her father into letting her join Leslie and him for dinner, the same dinner that the stupid bitch just cancelled because her quasifeminist principles don’t extend to classism and elitism.

Lisa tries to convince Slater to quit being a fucking nut job about Christina as the fake princess arrives to take Slater to dinner.vlcsnap-2014-12-31-13h46m48s153

At dinner, Slater layers on as much bullshit as he possibly can in an effort to charm Christina’s father. He ends up declaring his father to be a “General Colonel Major,” his mother to be a movie star turned United States Senator, and his grandfather who owned California. Jesus, there’s no sense at all that lying to them might put them off. Poor Slater. He’s only upper middle class and a star athlete. Cry me a river.

David wonders what’s happened to Leslie when she randomly comes up to the table. They figure out David didn’t send the message as we go to commercial break, but, don’t worry, it doesn’t come up in the episode again so nothing to worry about.vlcsnap-2014-12-31-13h49m23s180 At the pool, Screech actually manages to find a girl who thinks he’s attractive and he tries the stupid advice of his book as he tries to be as creepy as possible. He drops the book in the pool and, without the book’s advice, complements her on her big nose and her big butt. She promptly pushes him in the water, thankful to be spared any more of his idiocy.vlcsnap-2014-12-31-13h50m14s161

The rest of the gang watch David and Leslie having fun in the water, and Jessie is all, “How dare they have so much fun together! They act like they really are in love or something!” The gang, sans Slater, join David and Leslie in the water where Jessie challenges David to a race. When David brings Leslie into the race, no joke, Jessie tries to drown Leslie to keep her from winning. Jessie needs to be locked in a mental institution. Immediately. The caffeine pills are still eating her brain cells!vlcsnap-2014-12-31-13h51m25s121

Meanwhile, Christian invites Slater to play tennis with her father and her, which, I assume, is code for “hot incestuous monarch three-way.” Slater tells Christina he can’t see her anymore because he’s a commoner and she’s royalty and he doesn’t know how to act around her…

Seriously, was this episode designed to make me believe half the characters on this show are raving idiots? Because, if it was, it’s working. I already believed Screech was an idiot. Now Slater and Jessie are both looking like morons themselves. Let’s see how many more characters we can diminish by the end of this episode!vlcsnap-2014-12-31-13h53m08s112 At dinner that night, Lisa has a girl boner over how Zack Morris and Kelly are getting back together. But, wouldn’t you know it, Kelly finds the waiter attractive and that somehow is getting in the way of her getting back with Zack Morris because women obviously aren’t allowed to find more than one man at a time attractive. If they use this as an excuse for them not to get back together, my brain might explode. When Zack Morris takes a break in dancing, she tells the worst possible person in the building about her feelings: Screech. She only wants to be Zack Morris’s friend because…she’s scared of cheating on him again? I don’t know. This subplot makes even less sense than Slater’s princess problems.vlcsnap-2014-12-31-13h55m45s162

Speaking of which, Christina finds Slater and tells him it’s whack that he’s being so stupid about her leadership position in a non-existent country and I think threatens to declare war on the Slater household. Slater kisses her, though, and makes everything all better because plot. He also asks her to be his date to the dance since Jessie is being even more psycho than him this episode. We also get a hint of Lichtenbourg’s native language, which seems a horrible mix of French and German. It’s obvious the writers of this show never took a linguistics class.vlcsnap-2014-12-31-13h58m05s24 And now, here’s where Jessie loses her remaining brain cells. Lisa’s taking pictures of Jessie and Leslie in their dresses when Jessie just suddenly burst out that she can’t smile because her father is about to marry “this gold digging bimbo.” Leslie storms out, pissed off, and Lisa tells Jessie she better be glad Jessie didn’t say those things to her or she would have slapped the shit out of her and then slapped even more shit out of her for good measure for being a stupid spoiled whore. Lisa tells Jessie she needs to get the fuck over this whole stupid plot because it’s not up to her who her father marries. See, it’s times like this I love Lisa because she’s the only one with brains enough to call this plot out for the bull shit that it is. It’s like the writers were self-aware how stupid it sounded and vented their own feelings through Lisa.

David comes in and tells Jessie that it’s tough shit she doesn’t want him to marry Leslie so Jessie storms out, saying she won’t be at the wedding.

Kelly comes up to talk to Zack Morris but, before she can, Screech spills the whole thing because you should never trust Screech with anything. They agree to be friends because they need something to do on The College Years and thus ends our “Zack Morris still likes Kelly” subplot. So, I guess that means this episode is also trying to make Zack Morris and Kelly look like idiots. Scary as it is to admit, is Lisa the sanest member of this cast?

Lisa runs in and tells the gang the shit that’s been going down with Jessie. Zack Morris runs off to find Jessie as the rest of the gang stall the wedding by…kidnapping the minister and taking him on a tour of the hotel. No shit. They take the minister and just lead him around the hotel. I couldn’t make this stuff up.vlcsnap-2014-12-31-14h01m52s245 Zack Morris finds Jessie walking towards the bus stop with a single bag in hand and convinces her she’s jealous of Leslie because she’s scared her father loves Leslie more than he loves her, which is bullshit because she’s just a massive hypocrite. Less than thirty seconds of talking with Zack Morris convinces Jessie she’s been unfair to Leslie, and they race off in a golf cart to make the wedding, apparently causing a random guy on the green to lose a $1,000 bet.

As they race towards the hotel, the minister finally manages to get away from the rest of the gang and prepares to start the wedding. Oh, and Christina is nowhere in sight so I guess she figured out how stupid this entire episode is and decided she wanted no further part of it.vlcsnap-2014-12-31-14h05m06s134Zack Morris and Jessie make it back just in the nick of time. Our episode ends with Jessie apologizing to Leslie and David, making everything just fine because Leslie is apparently a saint to have put up with all the stupid crap she did over the last two parts.

Saved by the Bell Season 3, Episode 18: “Palm Springs Weekend, Part 1”

vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h18m41s123 This week, we’re at Desert Springs Hotel, a luxury hotel in Palm Desert owned by David Spano, Jessie’s father. Yeah, Palm Desert, not Palm Springs. In case you were wondering, Palm Desert is a real city fourteen miles east of Palm Springs. So, in less than a minute, the writers have turned the title of this episode into a misnomer. Way to go, guys. Also, way to go on establishing Jessie’s father as the owner of the Marriott chain of hotels.  Yes, that’s seriously a Marriott logo above the Desert Springs name. They were too lazy to cover up or remove the Marriott name to keep people from being confused. Wow, this episode just has everything going for it so far.

A Zack Morris voice over informs us that David is getting married this weekend and has invited all his daughter’s friends, for some reason. Guess her mom didn’t invite the gang earlier this season because she’s frightened of their various psychoses.

The gang sans Jessie admire the hotel as Zack Morris and Slater admire girls. One thing this season that I am completely confused about is Slater and Jessie’s relationship status. Some episodes they seem to be a happy couple. Other episodes, like this one and the Malibu Sands episodes, they aren’t together and Slater is pursuing other women. So what is it? Are they a couple or not?

The gang meet up with Jessie, who gives an exposition dump about how she’s never met her soon-to-be stepmother. David and his bride met at the hotel and fell in love really fast because that was the best way to foster conflict in this episode. Alas, the gang is to have dinner with David and his wife tonight.

Zack Morris sees a pretty girl and instantly gets an erection. Jessie says she’s just an aerobics bimbo with no brains because some women apparently aren’t worthy of her quasi-feminist protectionism.vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h21m07s50

Also, Screech decides that the only thing keeping him from getting laid is a book, so he buys Everything You Need to Know About Girls, a book that I’m sure will help him land his first fuck.vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h22m21s29

Zack Morris, Screech, and Slater decide to go work out so they can check out scantily clad women. There, Zack Morris meets Leslie, the aerobics instructor, who, surprisingly, doesn’t seem to fall for Zack Morris’s bullshit.  vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h23m11s10

She insists he do a warm-up to prove his knowledge of aerobics. Instead, he ends up in a contortion. Oh, the hilarity never stops on this show.vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h23m45s94

Meanwhile, Slater meets Christina, who obviously has a European accent. She leaves almost as soon as he starts hitting on her. Oh, that is such a good sign for the prospects of dating.vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h24m18s172

Oh, and Screech hits on this horrified girl, who turns the speed of his treadmill up. The producers don’t even try to make it look like the treadmill has been turned up, though, instead opting for Dustin Diamond to march in place very fast for a minute.vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h25m54s110 David meets the girls at the hotel restaurant, including a nervous Jessie, who wants to make a positive impression on her new stepmother. The boys soon join them, Zack Morris complaining about pain after trying to impress Leslie in an aerobics class off screen.

Up comes Leslie, and, wouldn’t you know it, she’s David’s fiance. vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h28m23s65

After a commercial break, Jessie tells all about how horrified she is that her father is marrying a woman who doesn’t live up to her expectations. In sitcom cliche number 5,432, Jessie hates the fact that Leslie is a woman much younger than her father because Leslie doesn’t live up to Jessie’s quasi-feminist standards.

David, Leslie, and the rest of the gang soon join them. Leslie asks Jessie to be her maid of honor. Jessie tries to wiggle out of it but soon discovers that Leslie’s anticipated every excuse she may have. David suggests that they take a boat ride to see where the wedding will be. Jessie is all, “I don’t want to be in a boat with Leslie because plot so I have a headache and need to leave.”

After Jessie leaves, David and Jessie tell the gang about how they met, which is not interesting at all but eats up a bit of running time. Speaking of eating the running time, we quite literally get to watch as a boat approaches the dock and all the passengers disembark. No dialogue. Just watching passengers getting off a damned boat. Oh, but Christina was on the boat so I guess that’s supposed to make this slow-moving scene worth it.

I…just realized. My standards for believability on this show have been lowered so greatly I barely questioned why there’s a fucking boat or a boat ride in a hotel. I just went with it. It’s more believable than Zack Morris being Native American or Jessie’s caffeine pill freak out, but just a little less believable than Screech being mistaken for an alien by a government agent.

Slater convinces Christina to join them on their boat ride.vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h30m56s52

Meanwhile, Screech comes running up wearing a horrible boat captain uniform because book. Is it just me or does he look like a little kid wearing a bad Halloween costume?
vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h31m58s149 After the boat ride, they all walk along the pier. Leslie says this spot is where David asked her to marry him. Screech, in his usual display of brilliance, asks what she said and then proceeds to congratulate David, even though he is there for a wedding. I mention this only because Slater utters the most brilliant, perfect line regarding Screech ever uttered on this show: “It’s amazing. He just keeps getting worse every year.” Slater is my hero for this episode and maybe this season because of this prophetic line. It’s as if the writers were trying to explain future events in The College Years and The New Class before they happened.

Slater and Christina go off by themselves where Slater tries to grill Christina for more information. We find out Christina is from Lichtenbourg…

OH HELL FUCKING NO! They created a country for the purpose of…I don’t know why! Not only that, they took the names of two countries in Europe, Lichtenstein and Luxembourg, and just squished them together and expect us to buy this bull shit! I…I’m speechless. It’s bad enough they created fake colleges like Cal U and Stansbury, basically for no reason, but to create a fake country…

Oh, and she tells Slater she’s a princess, which he dismisses as being sarcastic. I’m sure this is the excuse for creating a fake country, but I call bull shit. They could have picked a real country that has a monarchy. I hate it when a show claiming to be realistic set in present day does shit like fake geography.vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h34m01s121 Meanwhile, Kelly gives Zack Morris a shoulder rub for his sore shoulders while she talks about wanting to get married. She gets cold so Zack Morris gives her his jacket, and she says that he’s still a gentlemen, just like when they were going together. That’s why he tried to cheat on her with the school nurse: because he’s a gentleman.

Screech tries to offer Lisa his jacket but, of course, falls in the lake.

In the lobby, Zack Morris, Kelly, and Lisa meet Jessie, who gets pissed off that her friends don’t share her ageist prejudices regarding Leslie. She storms off back to her room with the others following.

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But we don’t get to find out what happens next because it’s the next day and Slater and Christina are playing golf. Oh, nineties fashion. You make me feel embarrassed to admit your decade composed half of my developmental years.vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h37m13s250

Zack Morris, meanwhile, teaches Kelly to swing a club because women can’t play golf! There’s obvious tension in the air and, gee, I wonder what the subplot about them will be.vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h38m03s224A random man comes up clapping for Christina’s shot. Turns out he’s her father, the king of Lichtenbourg, and this suddenly makes Slater realize she really is princess of a made up country. This makes him nervous and nearly hits her father with a golf club when trying to hit the ball.
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At the pool, Kelly and Zack Morris are still chumming it up.vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h39m31s86

Screech comes riding up, still reading his stupid book. He says the book predicted Zack Morris and Kelly would get back together because it specifically named shoulder rubbing and the gentlemen giving the lady his jacket as steps to getting together. Um, contrived much? What if it had been a massage therapist giving Zack Morris a shoulder rub? Would he be getting together with her right now?

Screech says the next step is for the lady to buy the gentleman a drink so, of course, Kelly walks up with a drink for Zack Morris because we have to believe Screech’s stupid book is predicting something.vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h40m25s111

Slater tells Lisa all about how much it sucks that the princess of a made up country finds him hot. Lisa makes things all better by telling Slater to grow some balls and just be himself. If only all of life was that easily solved.vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h41m09s36

Leslie joins David and Jessie in the pool and Jessie gets hella pissed that Leslie thinks her father is attractive and feeds him chocolate kisses.vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h41m52s215 Zack Morris and Kelly hop out of the pool and soon find themselves kissing because we couldn’t see this subplot coming from a mile away. Kelly walks away and Jessie soon takes her place, raving like a madwoman about how she’s going to stop David and Leslie’s wedding.vlcsnap-2014-12-29-19h42m34s115And the episode ends with Zack Morris wondering how fucking psychotic the women in his life will be in part two of this episode.