Category Archives: All The College Years Episodes

Saved by the Bell: The College Years…Reviewed!

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Saved by the Bell is the show that refused to die for over a decade, but perhaps it should have.

With the end of Saved by the Bell, producers decided that the franchise had become too much of a cult hit to just let die. The decision was made to spin-off the series into two series: The New Class, which would continue the story at Bayside with new characters, and The College Years, which followed four of our original characters to college at California University. The College Years was an interesting experiment. After all, it took the show to prime time and tried to make it more adult oriented for the aging target audience.

For this new series, Jeff Melman was brought in to direct. Melman is real television talent, having directed for series such as WingsNight CourtFrasier, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. With that sort talent, and the backing of someone at NBC who I’m convinced Peter Engel had blackmail material on, The College Years should have been a success. It had a built-in audience: kids who had followed Saved by the Bell for four seasons. So what went wrong?

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From the beginning, it seems as if there was one main problem: The College Years had no fucking clue why it existed. Was it a continuation of the original series with light and whimsical fun? Was it a serious adult sitcom following beloved characters into adulthood? The show suffered from a serious lack of direction, and it shows.

The pilot cast were pretty much mimicking roles from the original series. Leslie and Danielle were cookie cutters of Kelly/Jessie and Lisa respectively, Mike was doing his best to be the Mr. Belding-like authority figure, and Alex may have been the most original thing in the series, which is kind of a sad indictment of their creativity and originality.

Character development was arbitrary and came the fuck out of nowhere. Plots were predictable and trite. There seemed to be no direction the majority of the season. All of these are criticisms that could be levied against the original series as well.

The difference? The College Years was boring as fuck!

Some of you have said you think this show is worse than The New Class. Objectively speaking, I can’t agree with this criticism. The New Class has no clue what it’s doing. The College Years is at least following a cookie cutter formula it’s hoping still works. But I’d rather watch The New Class any day over any episode of The College Years. While The New Class may infuriate me with its incompetence, at least I don’t want to fall asleep with every passing minute of most episodes. If I wasn’t doing this blog, I never would have watched past the pilot of The College Years.

We also get absolutely no explanation why Zack Morris, Slater, and Kelly decided to randomly go to Cal U over the schools they were accepted to in the original series. This is, perhaps, the most unrealistic part of the whole thing. How many of us went to college with a close high school friend? We were usually lucky to know anyone at all. I think the series could have worked had they followed one student from the previous series, but all four was ridiculous.

Going into this, I honestly wondered if The College Years would have been cancelled had it aired on Saturday mornings. I think the answer is yes.  This show was destined to die from the beginning. It was a cheap cash-in designed to keep the money train going. It failed. Miserably.


I put off talking about the theme until now because of how long the review for the pilot episode was. The theme song is okay. It’s much more upbeat, conveying a sense of hope and enthusiasm as our characters move forward in life. It’s standard nineties theme song fair. The opening sequence is just scenes of the cast members, what we’ve pretty much come to expect from this franchise. All in all, it’s a good way to set a different tone for this series over the previous. It’s just a shame they couldn’t deliver on the promise of a new direction for the franchise.


Let’s talk characters.

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From the original series to The College Years, Zack Morris doesn’t change at all. In fact, if anything, he regresses, stalking Kelly at one point, and going back to a level of sociopathy we haven’t really seen since the early seasons of the original series. He receives absolutely no character development over the course of this series, and I strongly believe Zack Morris is worse for having appeared in The College Years.

If the producers really wanted to do this series, they should have actually advanced Zack Morris into adulthood. I don’t expect him to be perfect overnight, but, for fuck’s sake, he has no consequences for his actions. Ever. Even when he paints an entire floor of the dorm randomly for a one-off event. What was even the purpose of continuing his character into adulthood if you weren’t going to do anything with him?

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Things were even worse for Kelly. She was only had two major plots through the series: her relationship with Lasky, an obvious rip-off of her previous relationship with Jeff Hunter, and her return to Zack Morris, which was completely out of nowhere and reduced her character. It feels like Kelly was only there to satisfy sad little fan boys and girls who were upset she and Zack Morris didn’t end up together at the end of Saved by the Bell.  On top of this, her sudden desire to practice medicine had no foreshadowing and was completely unbelievable.

If the writers had wanted to actually do something with Kelly, they could have had her get together with Slater. After all, that’s a plot thread that was almost completely forgotten about after she and Zack Morris got together. Show how this effects her friendship with Zack Morris. Take a chance. Do something that could actually propel this show in new and original directions. But this was The College Years and nothing original was ever going to happen.

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Out of our four returning characters, Slater is the only one who truly receives character development. And he suffers the most because of it. Slater’s development, if you truly want to call it that, comes completely out of nowhere in the form of his sudden interest in his Latino heritage and his judgmental disapproval of Zack Morris and Kelly’s upcoming wedding. His relationship with Alex comes the fuck out of nowhere, goes absolutely nowhere, and  was a wasted opportunity to actually do something different with this franchise.

Much of the rest of the time, Slater’s a yes man for Zack Morris’s antics, except when he’s randomly not. I feel like they were trying to mature Slater, and, as usual for this franchise, they told when they should have shown. I needed to see Slater go through this transformation, go from the guy who had no interest in Jessie’s social activism to a person who wanted to make a difference in the world and who had a bigger perspective on the world. Instead, we got a Slater who came off as an asshole much of the time.

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Oh, Screech, you were pointless in this series. No, really, he’s just there to be a dumb ass most of the time. Only one episode centers around Screech, and the events don’t matter to the rest of the series at all. To paraphrase how Dean McMann so eloquently put it: how the fuck did Screech get into college to begin with? Why was he even on this show?

Of course, there shouldn’t be anything unexpected here. Screech doesn’t experience characer development after Good Morning Miss Bliss, and this series is no different. He’s the comic relief that’s not funny but just irritating, and one experiences an unfortunate sadness that his parachute opened when he went skydiving. Seriously, were there people who liked Screech back in the day?

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Leslie was obviously developed as a love interest for Zack Morris before Kelly joined the cast. The pilot pushes his interest in her hard, and it’s clear this was going to be a plot thread over the course of the season. When Kelly returned, though, this was quickly abandoned, and Leslie became the most superfluous member of the gang. Really, why they didn’t drop her from the cast when they got Kelly, I’ll never know.

She does often act as the voice of reason and she hates that her parents are rich. Other than that, she shares her personality with Jessie as the super social conscious, reasonable, and smart one of the gang. There’s no reason for her on the show. Hell, they could have created a love triangle between Zack Morris, Kelly, and her and that would have been so much more interesting than anything they actually did. But interesting isn’t the main concern for this writer.

Anne Tremko continued acting throughout the ’90s and early 2000s with minor roles and guest appearances in various movies and television shows, but she never again had a major role. Information on her today is pretty sparse and uncertain. Her last acting credit was a 2003 guest spot on Judging Amy.

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I said early on that Alex reminded me most of Vicki from season one of The New Class: they’re both bat shit crazy and need to be committed to mental institutions. That’s pretty much Alex’s character. She wants to be an actor and she dates Slater for a time. That’s about it. As I said, it’s a sad indictment of this show that she’s their most original character. I don’t even know what else to say about her other than I almost wish they’d kept Danielle and got rid of Alex after the pilot.

Kiersten Warren has been in a ton of shit over the years and continues to act to this day. You may have seen her as a regular for a season on Desperate Housewives or in movies such as Independence Day13 Going on 30, and Bicentennial Man. She’s married to actor Kirk Acevedo and has two children.

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The producers really had no clue what they were doing with Mike. He started off in the pilot as an obvious Mr. Belding-like authority figure with wisdom to impart to the gang. The longer the season went on, the more he became the seventh member of the gang, not enforcing rules that had played a major role in early episodes, and it was just sad. By the end of the season, he was showing his ass to random college students. I have to wonder what the direction for him would have been by the end of the season.

What’s worse, Bob Golic is, by far, the worst actor on the show. I have to wonder if he could play a corpse on CSI convincingly. It’s obvious much of his role was being taken over by Dean McMann by the end of the season, and I have to wonder whether he would have been a part of a second season or whether he would have gone the way of Max. Would there have been much more they could have done with Mike’s character? I seriously doubt it.

Bob Golic was, of course, a real-life former NFL player. His foray into acting didn’t last much longer than The College Years. He had a couple guest spots on Dave’s World and Charlie Grace and in the 1997 interactive adult movie Dreamboat. He’s since been doing radio sportscasting work, something he’s much more qualified for, and has left the acting world behind, thankfully.

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What else can be said about Lasky that hasn’t been said already? He had an inappropriate one episode relationship with Kelly after making a big deal about how horrible it would be to date a student and enabled Zack Morris’s sociopathic behavior. I was actually quite surprised that he was bumped to also starring late in the season. Was there anything else they could have done with him at this point? Hell, his last scene was so unimportant it was cut from the DVDs. Maybe he would have caused friction between Zack Morris and Kelly. We’ll never know.

Patrick Fabian is a prolific actor and has been in a ton of shit over the years. You may have seen him in his recurring roles on General HospitalJoan of Arcadia, Better Call Saul, and Veronica Mars. Or you may have seen him in movies like The Last ExorcismBad Ass, and, amusingly enough, Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike. He’s also been in a ton of ads and continues to act to this day.

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By the time Dean McMann came around, it felt like the producers were trying to retool the show. Zack Morris needed a real authority figure, not one that was  series desperately trying to be as young as those he was in charge of. Enter Dean McMann, perhaps the best character ever in this franchise. Though she’s written horribly, randomly knowing through psychic ability what Zack Morris is going to do and unconvincingly acting like an asshole to everyone around him, she is the only character who sees the gang for the incompetent buffoons they are. I would have loved to have seen her make Screech cry. That would have made this series so worth it.

I think she would have played a larger role in the second season. She would have eventually had a cliche “connecting with Zack Morris” episode, but she would have provided an actual antagonist for the series.  If she had been introduced earlier and better utilized, there may have been more tolerable episodes of this series.

Holland Taylor continues to be a prolific actor. On television, she’s had recurring roles in The PracticeThe L WordTwo and a Half Men, and All My Children.


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What would have been season two of The College Years? One thing is for sure: it wouldn’t have featured a Zack Morris and Kelly wedding. The cliche of getting quickly engaged has been done so often on television it’s become predictable. My theory is the season premiere would have gone much like when Boy Meets World did this: Zack Morris and Kelly would have realized they were too young to get married and would decide to wait to get married, likely until the series finale. They may or may not have decided to keep dating. But it would have given the writers three more years to tease the Zack Morris/Kelly relationship.

The wedding only became the resolution to the cliffhanger because Peter Engel wanted big ratings for the finale of the original cast. I’ll have more to say about this next Friday. But I can’t imagine a scenario where Zack Morris and Kelly would have gotten married in the season two premiere.

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Peter Engel’s luck finally ran out with this series. He produced a series completely inferior in every way to the original. In response, the collective viewership yawned. Old Saved by the Bell viewers didn’t like what they’d done with the characters. New viewers were horrified by the boring plot lines and horrible characterization. The College Years was destined for the graveyard of failed one season wonders.

As someone said in the comments, the only thing people typically remember about this series is that it propelled Zack Morris and Kelly towards their wedding. It’s completely unbelievable in every way and has no real justification for its assistance. The prime time experiment in the Saved by the Bell universe was a failure, proving that the franchise should have ended after the original series. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the end of the franchise, and it would continue for another six fucking seasons on The New Class, proving that Peter Engel was still getting good use out of his blackmail of someone at NBC.


My Picks

I can’t honestly say there are any episodes in this series I truly enjoyed. I don’t hate them all, but, given a choice, I would never watch any of these episodes again. That being said, there are some I do truly hate. Let’s look at the top five.

Episode 3: “Rush Week”: This episode was just boring. I have no interest in fraternity shit, and they really didn’t need to devote a whole episode to reminding me how shallow fraternities are. On top of this, as someone pointed out, this episode had already been done in Good Morning Miss Bliss, and that episode was shitty, too.

Episode 4: “Slater’s War”: This episode did more to damage Slater’s character than any other episode featuring  the original cast. Slater’s transformation to social justice activist is completely the fuck out of nowhere and makes no sense. I have nothing against activism, but Slater showed no interest in it at all until he could get laid with it. Zack Morris comes off as an asshole as well. Bonus points for the actress playing Theresa using an anglicized stage name after she preaches at Slater for doing the same.

Episode 6: “The Poker Game”: This one nearly put me to sleep. It has nothing to do with anything . It highlights how Mike’s rules are based on his own personal whims and inability to set boundaries with those he’s in charge of. In addition, the subplot with the girls liking their karate instructor is about as cliche as they come.

Episode 10: “A Thanksgiving Story”: They missed an opportunity to do a special Thanksgiving episode where the gang go back to L.A. in favor of watching Mike mentor inner city kids. Yeah, that makes sense. The pointless cameos by NBC stars of the time were stupid and date this episode significantly, and the subplot about Kelly being homesick was so unnecessary it was cut from the DVDs.

Episode 16: “Love and Death”: There’s no reason for this episode to exist. We’re supposed to feel sad about a one episode character dying. Yeah, right. It seems the only reason it was made was to keep the Zack Morris/Kelly relationship in our face until the end of the season. You could watch the previous episode followed by the next and not miss out on anything important at all. It loses points as well for not killing Screech off in a skydiving accident.


And that’s it for The College Years! But stay tuned this Friday as we conclude an era with the final entry for the original series cast. It’s one for the ages!

The College Years Episode 19: “Wedding Plans”

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In the cold opening, Zack Morris and Kelly get all lovey dovey and shit with each other, prompting me to want to vomit my food up. Then we get a recap of events…from two episodes ago. Seriously, the recap just shows the skydiving shit when Kelly radioed up and told Zack Morris she loves him. To listen to the recap, this is when they got engaged, not in the anticlimactic way they actually did last week. So much for the writers forgetting one fucking episode ago.

Well, while we get our inaccurate recap, Kelly calls her parents to tell them the news she’s getting married, and they react about as expected: telling her she’s a fucking idiot for getting engaged to a sociopath during her first year of college. Well, maybe it’s not really that harsh, but, in any case, they say they’re not going to help pay for the wedding, which I’m not sure why they would considering they’re supposed to be the poor family while Zack Morris has a virtual surplus of disposable income.

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After the credits, Zack Morris’s parents have a similar reaction to the news of a wedding, though I’d be a hell of a lot less worried about adding Kelly to my family than Zack Morris. So Kelly worries she’s not going to have the dream wedding she’s always imagined but Zack Morris swears to her they’ll get married this weekend and she’ll have a dream wedding. See, he has $1,800 in savings bonds from his grandmother,which I’m sure will buy a hell of a wedding, right?

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Zack Morris goes in the boys’ room and, after a disturbing exchange where Screech wants Zack Morris to touch his pants zipper, he tries to recruit Slater and Screech to help him put on a wedding. Screech readily agrees because he’s a lemming, but Slater tells Zack Morris he’s too young and he won’t be a part of any of this shit. I swear, Slater in The College Years is a judgmental prick. Even if I disagreed with my friend’s choice, I would have supported them through it. People wonder why Zack Morris and Slater are often paired up in erotic fan fics: because they write Slater like he’s a jealous, jilted lover.

In any case, Zack Morris asks Screech to be his best man just to piss off Slater, and it seems Slater does fill a might jealous that Zack Morris is going towards the old reliable idiot to fill this role.

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In the student union, Zack Morris is taking this wedding planning seriously, even planning Kelly’s dress for her since she’s too much of a girl to know what kind of dress she likes. Leslie and Alex separately ask to be maid of honor and Zack Morris promises it to both of them since we need a wacky subplot that will inevitably lead to conflict.vlcsnap-2015-12-27-19h08m00s238

Back at the suite, Bob Golic earns his paycheck for the episode by having Mike try to talk Zack Morris and Kelly out of marrying but, instead, giving them reasons to marry as he remembers the lover he gave up in college. You were always such a vital part of this cast, Mike. It’s nice to see your final scene for the series is equally useless as all your other appearances.

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After Mike leaves, there’s a knock on the door, and who could it be but Lisa Turtle coming to make a special guest appearance. Yes, after the audience finishes losing their shit over her being back, we find out Lisa flew all the way out from New York to be Kelly’s maid of honor since she’s Kelly’s lifelong friend, or at least lifelong since the great move from Indianapolis to Los Angeles. This, naturally, gets a subplot going where Lisa, Leslie, and Alex fight over who gets to be maid of honor (fuck Jessie since she’s off stripping now) and Kelly’s pissed off because she actually wants to plan a detail like who gets to have the highest honor in her wedding.

Screech comes in and we find out that Zack Morris can’t afford a ring and the chapel is booked for the next six months because plot. This distresses Kelly but Zack Morris promises her the writers will come up with enough contrivances to fix all of this. Leslie throws one more plot point in, though: they need permission from Dean McMann to live off campus, and Lisa naturally guesses that Dean McMann must be the sane character who sees through Zack Morris’s bullshit.

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This gives Dean McMann an excuse to appear and, though Dean McMann initially wants to lecture Kelly on how she’s throwing her life away, she realizes that, time and time again, the man always has to drop out of school and work to support the family. She realizes this is a nice way to get rid of Zack Morris and says she’ll do anything she can to get him the fuck out of Cal U.

She also bumps a professor’s funeral in the chapel for their wedding on the condition the minister wants to meet them. So many questions. Why are so many professors at Cal U suddenly dying? Why was the chapel booked six months in advance if a funeral, which usually has quite a bit less than six month’s notice, was able to be fit into the schedule? And what does Dean McMann have on the minister that she has the power to bump shit like this? These are all questions we’ll never know the answers to as we say goodbye to Dean McMann forever.

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In the girls’ room, find out Kelly and Lisa made a bet when they were ten that the first to get married had to say goodbye to their first love, Kirk Cameron. I don’t think it would have worked out with either of them and Kirk Cameron. After all, why would Lisa want to date the only guy who makes Screech look sane by comparison.

Leslie and Alex come in and they fight some more about maid of honor and shit. Is this subplot over yet?

In the student union, Screech bugs Slater about coming to Zack Morris’s bachelor party. Zack Morris delivers them wedding invitations and Slater delivers some more overly judgmental bullshit.

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Zack Morris, Screech, and Lisa go to see a shady jewelry dealer and Lisa negotiates a price on a ring because she’s apparently an expert in everything having to do with shopping, which doesn’t seem contrived at all.

Zack Morris returns to the suite and shows Kelly her ring she had no say in picking out. He tells her he also got them an apartment without her seeing it.

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This leads into a dream sequence, and it’s not clear initially whose dream sequence it is but it soon becomes clear this is how Zack Morris hopes Kelly will treat him in married life: as the dominate man who controls her every desire.

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He even imagines their kids, Zack Jr. and Zackerina, as well behaved youngsters who are going to bed quietly so their mom and dad can fuck in peace. Run, Kelly, fucking run.

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Zack Morris and Kelly go to see their new apartment and it is, naturally, deserving of being condemned.

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Even worse, their landlord is Stingray, which should be a sign to run as fast as they can, but Zack Morris says it’s the only apartment they can afford so he gives Stingray a deposit, thus ensuring they’ll have zany antics next season with the guy whose status at Cal U is completely undetermined.

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Back at the suite, Zack Morris admits that maybe Slater was right about marriage and shit, which instantly makes Slater come around and decide to be a part of this wedding shit because he was just being a dick for no reason apparently. Slater tells Screech he’s going to be a part of the bachelor party as well.

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In the girls’ room, Lisa, Leslie, and Alex fight over potential brides’ maid dresses so Kelly comes in and says she just wishes everyone could get along and find a way to wrap up this stupid subplot. She marches out and the three decide they need to put together a bacelorette party that won’t cause further conflict at all.

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That night, Zack Morris and Kelly wait for the minister to come visit them, because ministers like to meet in dorms rather than a more professional place like, say, an office, when they’re invaded by a shitty bachelorette party. They try to get rid of it, but the boys invade with a simultaneous bachelor party because no one coordinated.

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A police officer comes in to complain about the noise…

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…but turns out to be Office McNasty, a stripper Slater hired to be mildly provocative. Wouldn’t this have been a perfect cameo appearance for Jessie?

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Wouldn’t you know it: the minister picks that moment to show up and, after he sees Zack Morris handcuffed to the stripper and Alex demands he strip, he declares that Zack Morris and Kelly are sinners too far gone for a university chaplain to marry since they get to refuse anyone who doesn’t live up to their rigid moral standards. Spoiler: once again, Saved by the Bell doesn’t understand something. Chaplains don’t get to dictate moral standards the way a parish minister does. This guy would be fired for refusing to marry them.

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In the boys’ room, Zack Morris is depressed that Kelly’s dream wedding isn’t turning out the way he’d hoped it would but Kelly says none of that matters anyway even though it totally did at the beginning of the episode. She says all that really matters is that Zack Morris is trying to make her happy, and she’s sure The College Years will get a second season to resolve this whole mess. And our episode and series ends with Zack Morris and Kelly deciding to run off to Las Vegas to be married since they don’t have judgmental chaplains there who will turn a blind eye to Zack Morris’s sociopathy.

In the recap, I’ll be talking about how I think the series would have wrapped up this plot had they been renewed, but, for now, let’s just say that this plot has been done a thousand times in bad sitcoms, and this isn’t particularly one of the better times I’ve seen it done.

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During the credits, Mike expresses his love for Kelly.

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And we get a cut scene involving Professor Lasky spitting water when Slater tells him Zack Morris and Kelly are getting married. Sorry, Lasky, your final scene on the show was so inconsequential the writers decided to cut it altogether. Why were you still on this show again?


And, with that cliffhanger, that’s it for The College Years! Stay tuned on Wednesday for a recap of the series. And, well, I guess that’s it for series involving the original cast. Nothing else to see here, right?

Yeah, I know.

Stay tuned on Friday to see the forced conclusion to the wedding plot as we review the final Saved by the Bell film.

The College Years Episode 18: “Marry Me”

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In the cold opening, Zack Morris and Kelly hump while the gang and Mike watch what I assume is a romantic comedy a few feet away. I guess they’re exhibitionists, or else lazy writers have to remind us that Zack Morris and Kelly are a couple again since it’s going to be crucial to this episode.

There’s the expected cliche jokes about Slater thinking emotion is for losers while Leslie, Alex, Screech, and even Mike get all emotional shit over the film. Slater decides they should go get a pizza but Zack Morris and Kelly stay behind so they can fuck in peace.

Out of all the cold openings for this series, this one may be the most pointless so far. Of course, they have one more chance to prove they can be even more pointless.

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After the credits, Slater and Alex set up the subplot: they hate everything the other person loves. I’m pretty sure they’re repeating a subplot they’ve already done because they’re out of things for Slater and Alex to do. After all, Slater’s character has been radically altered all season and Alex’s sole characterization is that she’s just slightly more competent than Screech.

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In this case, Alex doesn’t want to go to a car show but it’s a good thing there’s a one episode love interest available because  Christie here wants to ride Slater all the way to the show.

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Meanwhile, Dean McMann seems overly invested in Zack Morris and Kelly making out…again. Jesus, I’ve heard of public displays of affection but this is ridiculous. Dean McMann is here to berate Zack Morris and also to tell Kelly she’s been selected for the semester at sea program we’re only now hearing about since it’s a plot point. Why am I not surprised that The New Class even ripped off the worst idea for an episode arc they’ve had to date?

The ship leaves Tuesday but, naturally, it won’t be that simple because, though Kelly wants to go, Zack Morris is back to his old, possessive ways as wants his property to stay behind and do his bidding.

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Back at the dorms, Slater walked Christie home and proceeded to kiss her because she likes cars and shit. Lucky for the plot, Leslie just happens to be on the same floor and witnesses the kiss, and she immediately pretends she saw nothing so she can draw out those consequences to another scene.

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We get a scene in Professor Lasky’s office where Zack Morris sucks up for a recommendation letter to the semester at sea program, presumably so Patrick Fabian could collect a check this week. Lasky says he can’t give Zack Morris a recommendation, not because Zack Morris is a shithead who would likely cause an international incident if it let him get into Kelly’s pants, but because he’s already given a recommendation and there’s apparently only one recommendation allowed per professor. Though Lasky is hesitant to say who the recommendation is for, we soon find out when Screech bursts in and reveals that Lasky gave the recommendation to another shithead who’s likely to cause an international incident.

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Back at the suite, Zack Morris pays off Stingray to tell Screech all kinds of horror stories about shark attacks on the semester at sea program. Naturally, Screcch doesn’t question the story of a possibly mentally ill person and runs out scared.

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Meanwhile, Leslie confronts Slater about the contrivance she saw and forces him to address it with Alex. Instead, he tells her a half truth, saying that he was really out with a “Chris” at the dog show and that, no, he’s not a gay homosexual. I swear to god, I wasn’t out with Slater at the car show or I would have tried to convince him not to do two episodes of The New Class!

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Zack Morris attends the orientation for the semester at sea program, for some reason, even though he isn’t even being considered right now. He meets Curtis, a random guy who was talking pleasantly with Kelly and, because he’s not hideous like Screech, Zack Morris instantly goes into jealousy mode, assuming Kelly’s going to jump Curtis the minute the boat leaves port.

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While he’s there, he also changes Dean McMann’s slides to imply last year’s ship sank, further freaking Screech out and causing him to quit the program and run out. Zack Morris assumes this means he’s a shoo in for the program, but Dean McMann says she wouldn’t let Zack Morris represent Cal U in any capacity if he was the last person at the school. Besides, he’s a shithead and hasn’t done anything to endure himself to her since they met.

The only thing: if Dean McMann didn’t intend to let Zack Morris go, why didn’t she tell him to fuck off when he came to the orientation. Well, unless she was just trying to fuck with him, which sounds like a good enough reason as any.

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That night, Zack Morris has a dream sequence, the first one of the series and the first without those nice neon pink borders to remind those too dense to realize the events aren’t happening. Basically, the dream sequence consists of Curtis and Kelly practically fucking on the deck of the boat, and Zack Morris wakes up, sure of what to do.

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He rushes into the girls’ room and tells Kelly his incredible possessiveness won’t allow him to believe Kelly could be monogamous, especially after she cheated previously with the captain of the starship Enterprise. When Zack Morris realizes his patriarchal pleadings aren’t working, he spontaneously proposes to Kelly, waking up Leslie and Alex.

Naturally, Alex and Leslie butt in and take opposite sides. Leslie, since she’s the intelligent one, points out how stupid it is for them to get married given they just started actually dating last episode. Alex, the one just slightly more competent than the character who believed Jaws would be waiting patiently to eat him, says she thinks it’s romantic and they should do it.

Well, Kelly kicks them both out and tells Zack Morris there’s lots to think about, like how they’re going to support themselves and whether there will be a second season of The College Years. She tells Zack Morris she has to think about it and Zack Morris leaves, believing that thinking is stupid stuff that won’t get you anywhere.

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Leslie tries to force Slater to tell Alex about Christie, and this leads to the most natural of outcomes: a wrestling match…

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…which concludes with Leslie appearing to be giving it to Slater just as Alex walks in. She thinks Slater and Leslie are dating…again…and Leslie bursts out that Slater’s seeing someone else.

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Leslie rushes out and Slater says he’s finally realized Alex is an idiot and he’s not sure why the writers paired them up to being with other than convienence. Alex rushes out, upset.

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Zack Morris tells Screech the truth about the semester at sea program off screen and buys him some porn so he can get laid from himself. Screech packs and leaves since apparently it’s possible to opt back into a Cal U program at the very last minute.

Kelly comes in and tries to get Zack Morris to come to the S.S. Plot Contrivance to see her off, but he’s all, “Wah! I’m a little baby and I’m the only one whose feelings actually matter!” Kelly leaves, hurt, and tells Zack Morris she has feelings, too.

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On the boat, Mike makes his second appearance of the episode to see Kelly off, acting as a walking, talking, Lonely Planet guide to what to do in possible international situations. I’m so glad Mike’s around for such important scenes.

The rest of the gang sans Zack Morris are there as well and give Kelly her wishes. Kelly says she can’t leave unless Slater and Alex resolve their subplot so they agree to break up on good terms since it was stupid for them to be together to begin with. Also, Screech decides he gets seasick way too easily and decides not to go on the boat after all, which explains why he later goes on the same program on The New Class. We have final goodbyes and everyone leaves.

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But then Zack Morris shows up with flowers for Kelly and tells her that he’s sorry as he’s never considered the possibility she may have feelings before, and they can wait three months. As Zack Morris prepares to leave, Kelly says she’s decided to throw all common sense to the wind and that she’s going to accept Zack Morris’s proposal for the sake of the end of the series. And our episode ends with the boat seeming to take off with Zack Morris on board because stowaways are completely cool in international situations. Yeah, a random guy without a passport isn’t going to cause problems at all. Maybe it will lead to a movie: Saved by the Bell: Customs and Immigration Style.

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During the credits, Kelly and Zack Morris mess up their lines. How thrilling.

Firsts: Zack Morris and Kelly get engaged.

The College Years Episode 17: “Love and Death”

 

vlcsnap-2015-12-15-18h36m38s119In our cold opening, Kelly blows off Zack Morris to go out with the girls Saturday and Screech is disappointed he doesn’t have a vagina so he can’t go, but he hopes maybe Zack Morris might go out with him instead. Zack Morris’s characterization here is more akin to his early original series self than what I’d hoped he’d evolved into. He’s possessive: Kelly should clear her schedule for him and he shouldn’t have to ask her out; it should be assumed her duty is to him and fuck everything else. Also, the plot thread that’s littered throughout this episode is, “Does she love me or not?” Love in The College Years has not progressed far beyond the original series.

More interesting, we find out what happened between Screech and Linda, his last girl: he “handled” her. I can only assume this means she’s six feet under with Danielle and that Screech will soon be appearing in an episode of Criminal Minds. This is why no woman should touch Screech, ever.

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After the credits, we meet Professor Rich, who conducts his class in the student union because he’s edgy and shit. I haven’t the slightest clue what kind of class this guy is teaching. He mentions Paul Revere, but I don’t think it’s American history as he’s giving the standard Carpe Diem speech, encouraging his students to seize the day and even complementing Zack Morris on not paying attention to him so he can hit on Kelly. It’s the last day of yet another class that every one of the gang is in despite the fact that, at the beginning of the semester, they didn’t look like they’d be in any classes together. I don’t remember being in any college classes with all my friends. Sometimes I was lucky to know anyone at all. But this is The College Years, where a class can be a set of motivational speeches and no one bats an eye.

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Speaking of which, Dean McMann decides that having class is too edgy so she makes sure to tone it down on the Robin Williams impersonation. Inspirational Robin Williams, not cross dressing Robin Williams or Martian Robin Williams. Yeah, I’m pretty sure there’s no university administrator around who actually gives a fuck if the classrooms are used or not. Dean McMann does, though, because she has to appear to be a strict prick. Also, she gets on her phone and arranges to have a bunch of students go to her office and drop their pants.

Zack Morris says he’s going to miss Professor Rich and the strong bond they’ve developed over the last couple of minutes and Professor Rich says not to worry: he’s going to Egypt tomorrow but he’s heard all about the loose boundaries with Cal U’s faculty so he’ll stop by his suite.

At the suite, the gang prepare a surprise party for Professor Rich and we find out Alex entrusted the cake with the only member of the gang less competent than her so it’s late. No introduction needed. Professor Rich knocks on the door and Zack Morris shoos everyone into the girls’ room until the cake gets there.

 

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Zack Morris stalls Professor Rich by listening to Professor Rich tell Zack Morris how awesome he is. Professor Rich says he’s a fake and has played it safe his whole life. He’s never taken a risk. But Egypt will be the first time he’s actually taken his own advice.

On this note, Zack Morris goes into the girls’ room to find out what’s going on and they find out Screech has managed to wreck the cake store because he’s a complete dumb ass. Zack Morris says they can’t wait any longer so they all rush out and throw confetti and streamers on Professor Rich and…

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Kelly pronounces him dead because she works for the student medical center and shit. Yeah, he died in this position and doesn’t move until Screech rushes in and makes an ass out of himself as usual by pushing the late professor over.  I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure someone who died wouldn’t just stay in this staged position. Fortunately, Leslie’s the only one with enough sense to call 911 as the rest just stand around agasp. Kelly, our potential future doctor, doesn’t even think to do CPR because we need Professor Rich to be dead to advance the rest of the episode.

I get really annoyed by one-off characters who die in their sole appearance. Both the original series and The New Class did it, and it frankly always falls flat because we’re not emotionally invested in this character. You know what would have been better? Rather than have Professor Lasky around, whose sole purpose has been to instigate conflict between Zack Morris and Kelly, why not have Professor Rich as a recurring character for the entire season and actually do some character development to make us care about him. That way, we’ll feel the sadness just as much as the gang does. Instead, I’m busy feeling numb because I don’t give a shit about this guy!

But this is Saved by the Bell. What do I expect? Good writing? That’s just crazy talk!

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After a commercial break, we see the gang preparing for Professor Rich’s funeral. Yes, Screech is seriously dressing as a vampire because he doesn’t have a black suit. Why does anyone let him go out in public? A guy they supposedly care about died and the writers are playing it for laughs. How sensitive. And, yes, it gets worse.

Also, interesting enough, Screech tells Slater he’s been to a funeral: for his Grandfather Powers. Yes, the Grandfather Powers we’ll get to meet in season three of The New Class. Oh, Saved by the Bell, it’s so cute how you don’t give a shit about continuity.

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Zack Morris decides that just before a funeral is the perfect time to find out if Kelly loves him or not, and she’s just as appalled at his insensitivity as I am. She finally relents and tells him that she can’t say she loves him because she wants to be a doctor and won’t have time for love, which is complete and utter bullshit of course. If it weren’t for the rest of the episode, I’d suspect that she’s just blowing him off, and not in the good way.

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At the funeral, Mike shows up to fulfill his purpose of the episode: to run around asking if anyone wants to talk to someone who’s training to be a therapist. Yeah, that and pointing out that Screech is wearing high heels are Mike’s only contribution to the episode. I only wish I was joking about this.

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Dean McMann shows up to give the eulogy and drops her cell phone in the casket. So she reaches in and gets her jewelry caught on Professor Rich’s shirt. So now we have Screech dressed in high heels as a vampire and Dean McMann with her hand stuck in Professor Rich’s casket. What a respectful way to send out someone the gang supposedly cared about so much.

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Zack Morris interrupts in the middle of the dean’s eulogy to point out what Professor Rich told him about being a fraud. So Zack Morris says he doesn’t know about all the other chumps but he’s going to go out and seize the day by playing ultimate Frisbee in the cemetery because upsetting grieving loved ones is the perfect way to honor those who have died..

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Back at the suite, the rest of the gang are worried about Zack Morris until he rides in on a motorcycle. Yeah, his idea of seizing the day is driving a motor vehicle in an area with lots of people who could be injured because that’s edgy. Yeah, the writers of this show wouldn’t know edgy if it bit them in the ass.

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At the student union, Dean McMann tells Slater to call security because there’s an idiot climbing down the building.

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Naturally, it turns out to be Zack Morris, who’s decided that repelling down the student union is a great prank, once again proving that the writers don’t know shit about college. Also, he deflates Dean McMann by not caring about being suspended, since he’s figured out that all authority figures in this universe eventually back down because he’s Zack Morris and he must be around until the end of the series.

For whatever reason, the writers decided to portray Slater as the reasonable one and he’s suddenly really uptight and judgmental about Zack Morris’s antics.

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Kelly’s also judgmental but Zack Morris tells her she shouldn’t care since she can’t love him. She says he’s an idiot and could jump out of an airplane for all she cares, and he decides this is a really good idea. He goes to prepare for his ultimate edginess.

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And he leaves Screech hanging outside the student union while the extras look on.  As far as I’m concerned, they can leave him like that the rest of the episode.

Back at the suite, Zack Morris peer pressures Slater to come along with him skydiving, citing his sudden change in characterization, but he doesn’t want to go until he finds out this would make him more pathetic than Screech as our resident moron has decided to jump out of a plane.

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And, without any further delay, we’re on a plane. Yeah, they’re actually going to do it…except Screech and Slater both chicken out. Zack Morris says they’re pathetic and prepares to jump when the instructor starts receiving an alien message from a planet far, far, away.

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No, it’s just Kelly at the airport but the alien thing might be more interesting. And, yes, the airport randomly decided to let Kelly use the radio to let Zack Morris know that she figured out off-screen that she loves him and doesn’t want him to jump out of a plane because I’m sure that doesn’t violate any FAA regulations. Zack Morris decides he doesn’t want to jump after all…

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…but then the instructor almost pushes Zack Morris out of the plane. I have to give it to the producers on this one: at least they didn’t chicken out and do an obviously fake looking set: they actually got real footage in the air. Kudos on doing something right.

Zack Morris tells the instructor to turn the plane around because none of them are jumping. He does without closing the door…

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…and all three fall out of the plane. Geez, this company is a law suit waiting to happen. What would they do if Slater and Screech had taken off their parachutes after they decided not to jump? Well, I mean, Screech could have and it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. Also, I can’t tell whether the three actors actually jumped or if it’s look alike stunt doubles. It’s sad that skydiving may be the best scene of this series so far.

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Back at the airport, Zack Morris and Kelly kiss and declare their love for each other and shit and our episode ends with them practically fucking in the middle of the airport as Zack Morris breaks the fourth wall and asks for privacy.

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During the credits, we get to see the set crew torturing Dustin Diamond, which is totally worth the extra scene.

The College Years Episode 16: “Bedside Manner”

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In our cold opening, it’s the continued adventures of Zack Morris, would-be Kelly woo-er person! Yes, Zack Morris’s only purpose in life at this point is to make sure the series ends with Kelly and him together. It cannot go any other way.

And Screech, the most idiotic member of the gang, wrote a poem to help Zack Morris get Kelly back:

Kelly, you are the girl for me,
Your lips are as red as cranberries.
Your hair is brown, your teeth are white,
Your feet smell like a summer’s night.

Gee, and we wonder why Screech’s only multi-episode girlfriend in the original series left the first chance her daddy found to put her in another series. Zack Morris is naturally unimpressed with Screech’s inability to grasp that poetry is about more than simple rhymes and decides that his way of doing things is infinitely better that Screech’s. Hell, Bud Bundy from Married…With Children had better charisma with women than Screech.

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See, Zack Morris decides he just needs to get Kelly’s mind off Professor Lasky, so he barges into the girls’ room and gets Kelly to look out the window while staring at her creepily.

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And, what do you know, the producers must have been using up some extra money this week because they sprang for a real plane with an “I  (Heart) Kelly” banner attached to the end. Naturally, Kelly assumes that this is coming from Lasky and rushes off to tell him that she wants his hot man chowder as Zack Morris stands there looking like a moron.

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After the credits, Kelly tells Alex about the banner and how fucking awesome it is she gets to continue her inappropriate relationship with a faculty member. Zack Morris finally reveals that it was him and that the guy who had to throw a rave last week to raise money suddenly can afford $400 to rent a plane and print a banner. Kelly thinks it’s totally lame Zack Morris is spending so much on her but Alex thinks it’s awesome and pressures Slater to do shit for her, thus jump starting a subplot for the episode. Kelly and Slater, exasperated by the fast moving events, duck out before they have to resolve these subplots way too soon.

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At the student union, Leslie finds that Lasky’s become a milk junkie. See, he says he has an ulcer acting up because of Kelly-related stress and isn’t feeling so good. Leslie wants to see him about a reading and it seems he’s worried about the cunning wiles of Cal U girls now and won’t see any girls in his office since they all sing a Siren’s song to ensnare his poor, vulnerable heart.

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Meanwhile, and I’m actually shocked that they’re bringing this back up in this series, Screech hangs out with one of his frat brothers, and we get his subplot: that all the new pledges are supposed to get tattoos of their fraternity’s letters on their arm because it’s super cool to get random ink that may not be meaningful in couple years.

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Slater reports these events to Alex, and she says that this is the perfect thing to reinvigorate their relationship: get their names tattooed on their bodies because, if there’s anything this franchise has taught me, it’s that the people you date on Saved by the Bell are your relationships for life.

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At the health center, it seems Zack Morris got a job as an orderly so he could be near Kelly because suddenly he likes to work as well. He gives Kelly flowers and ignores his job, just as one would expect Zack Morris to do.

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Dean McMann comes in to get her flu shot and insults Zack Morris mildly, using her psychic connection to him to realize he’s only there stalking some girl. Geez, I need to ask Dean McMann for winning lottery numbers!

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Zack Morris gives Kelly flowers and, just as she’s about to melt in his arms and accept his love for her, Lasky comes in, suffering from horrible pain. Yeah, this episode confuses me a lot about what the student health center is. It seems to be an inpatient hospital despite the fact that every college student health center I’ve ever been in was basically exactly like a doctor’s office. Something tells me that the producers were more worried about reusing the old hospital set than figuring out what the fuck they were talking about.

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The doctor tells Kelly that Lasky’s condition was brought on by stress, so she proceeds to stress him the fuck out as much as possible, pouring water on him and then trying to change his gown so she can cop a feel of his man bits. Zack Morris tries to push her out so he can see Lasky naked but to no avail as the nurses’ station calls for an orderly. Also, it seems that, in just a couple of minutes, Lasky has managed to accumulate several get well cards and a balloon. I can only assume this is the real reason he was scared to have Leslie in his office: he’s become so popular the girls are falling all over themselves to bring him shit when they heard the news he was ill.

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It seems that Dean McMann had a negative reaction to the flu shot so Zack Morris is assigned to take her to a room since the student health center is a full service hospital. He quickly pushes her out of the way, though, when he realizes Kelly’s in there looking at Lasky’s penis without him.

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Back at the suite, Screech’s plan to look cool with a tattoo is to have Leslie draw the letters on in felt tip marker because Leslie needed something else to do this episode. It’s obvious to anyone with an IQ larger than their age how this will end, but it doesn’t stop Screech from bragging to Slater and Alex about his rocking new ink, prompting Alex to start bugging the shit out of Slater to get their tattoo.

Back at the health center, Lasky needs a sponge bath and Zack Morris wants in on some of that action! Unfortunately, Dean McMann’s bugging the shit out of him because she has wrinkles in her sheets. Zack Morris’s solution is to push the dean out of bed. The doctor fires Zack Morris and he realizes he’s lost his job without ever seeing Professor Lasky in the nude.

At the student union, Screech needs a touch-up on his tattoo because he got it wet.

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Before Leslie can do it, Screech’s frat brothers roll up and discover that Screech is a phony, something people rarely realize on Saved by the Bell. They start making fun of him.

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Fortunately for Mike, this gives him an excuse to have a scene this episode and he tells them that Screech is the smart one because they may not think so much of their tattoo years from now. So what does Mike do? He takes the boys in the restroom and shows them all his ass. No, I’m fucking serious.  He shows them his god damned ass because he got Tweety Bird tattooed on it and now it looks like Big Bird because he gained weight. How does this fucking school keep from getting sued? In any case, Mike’s ass is the end of the “should Screech get a tattoo” subplot.

Back in their subplot, Slater got Alex’s name tattooed in tiny letters on his ankle. This upsets Alex, who wants it bigger than that and says she’s going to get Slater’s name tattooed in giant letters on her.

Zack Morris comes in and catches Slater up on the events of the main plot. He laments that he can’t stalk Kelly anymore because he’s not supposed to be on the premises, so Slater suggests Zack Morris become ill.

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Which he does, but is horrified to discover that, now that Screech’s subplot is over, he’s taken a job as an orderly. Yeah, turns out Screech was turned down for a job by McDonald’s for being too incompetent so he figured holding people’s lives in his hands was a better fit. And this is the guy who’s going to shape teenage lives for the next six seasons. In any case, the doctor sends Zack Morris off for tests.

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After she bugs him some more, Lasky tells Kelly that she needs to get pissed off at how he treated her: mildly uncomfortably after he realized how bad of an idea it was to date him. Besides, she needs to somehow forcibly get over him or else we won’t be able to have a film finale about her wedding. Zack Morris comes into the second bed and feels horrible after his barrage of tests. Screech comes in to get Zack Morris for another round and Zack Morris says that he’s been tested everywhere.

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And, ladies and gentlemen, here is the look Screech gives Zack Morris when he suggests there’s still other places to test Zack Morris. And people wonder why I think Screech is hot for Zack Morris: he wants to see Zack Morris’s penis. Zack Morris rushes off before Screech can sexually assault him.

Kelly gets mad at Lasky that he doesn’t want her the way Zack Morris does and proceeds to berate him and then hit him with a pillow. After all, stalking is so romantic and she should be grateful to have someone so obsessed with her that he’s willing to insert himself into every moment of her life to make sure she doesn’t get it on with another guy.

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Back at the suite, Alex reveals she chickened out on the tattoo when she saw the needles. Slater says that’s okay and that she can make it up to him by watching Sylvester Stallone films with him. This is how you know this is fiction. In real life, Slater would have asked for a lot more than his girlfriend to watch Rambo with him. But this makes Alex reconsider and she rushes off to get a tattoo, thus ending our tattoo subplots that made no sense.

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Kelly comes in the boys’ room to tell Zack Morris she’s instantly over Lasky and that she should have realized his creepy ass advances were what she wanted all along. She says she wants to go slow but she wants to give them another try.

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And our episode ends with the two of them kissing, because when I think going slow, I always think of kissing passionately enough for the audience to lose their shit. What am I saying? This is the audience that would lose their minds over a little elbow being shown the Amish way. And what’s next? Is he going to ask Kelly to marry him in like two episodes? God, what am I saying, even this franchise isn’t that ridiculous.

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During the credits, we get to watch Mark-Paul mess up his lines, because that’s hilarious.

The College Years Episode 15: “The Rave”

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In our cold opening, Kelly decides an episode is enough to get over her passionate two episode relationship with Lasky, so she comes and asks to be back in his class so she can be a part of the wacky hijinks sure to ensue. Lasky says now that he’s had his turn at being unethical so he’s back on the straight and narrow now that the plot demands it. As such, he’s placed Kelly with another professor so he won’t be tempted to jump her again. She totally shows she’s over Lasky by running out in a hissy fit, proving how mature and shit she is.

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Lasky tries to make up with Zack Morris and Zack Morris is all, “I don’t like you because you’re my rival for Kelly now and the writers figured I need some conflict in my life.” He sits next to Slater, saying he has to figure out a way to get Kelly back. Slater tells him the obvious way is to go to Cancun over winter break and fuck her. Zack Morris says he has no money but, since the episode is titled “The Rave,” he’s sure he’ll think of something plot related to earn thousands of dollars from poor college students.

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After the credits, Mike barges in and tells the gang he’s going to visit his mother after she broke a bone kicking a bull so the Dean of Students will be watching the dorm. As with most of Mike’s scenes, it’s pointless and not funny, and, on top of that, we have to listen to Screech talk about masturbation. No, really, he says he explores his body all the time. It’s time to call my therapist and up my medication to make the night terrors disappear.

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Zack Morris says he’s thought of the perfect way to raise money: he has an abandoned warehouse and he’s going to have a rave and charge $20 admission, which still won’t come close to the thousands of dollars he told Slater he could raise, but never mind things like consistency with what you just said in the previous scene. Leslie’s all, “Oh no! Raves are illegal and shit!” since she’s turning into Jessie the longer she’s a part of this franchise and says she won’t be a party to doing anything illegal. The rest of the gang sans Kelly agree to advertise for the rave.

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At the student union, Zack Morris says he can’t use the warehouse because they’re turning it into a Wal-Mart because Wal-Mart often buys random abandoned warehouses and repurposes them for new stores. He tells Slater that, instead, with Mike gone, they’ll have the rave at the dorm by moving all of Mike’s stuff out of his room and painting it to be a dance floor. If this wasn’t Saved by the Bell, I’d say this is going to come back to bite Zack Morris in the ass, but it’s Saved by the Bell, where Zack Morris never experiences any consequences for his actions. He puts Screech in charge of changing the location on all the fliers.

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And meet Jason, our subplot conflict for the episode. Jason wants Screech to get him and his friends some nitorus oxide because all the kids at raves do nitrous oxide. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not what rave kids did, even before the invention of ecstasy.

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Back in the suite, Leslie’s mesmerized by a flickering light because she has the intelligence of an amoeba and Zack Morris and Slater have moved all the furniture out of Mike’s room.

Kelly asks Zack Morris why he’s going to so much trouble, and he takes her into his room for hot talking, telling her that he’s planning to take her to Cancun and fuck her. She tells him that’s just super-di-duper  and can’t wait for Zack Morris to have his way with her.

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And in walks Susan McMann, our dean of students, who’s listed as “also starring” in the episodes she’s in. It seems like the producers were desperately trying to save this show by adding new characters to try and fix the many problems this show had.  Dean McMann makes a positive first impression, first meeting Screech and wondering how a complete dumb ass like him could make it into college.

Dean McMann’s looking for Zack Morris. She broke into Mike’s room and wants to know why there’s no furniture in it. Somehow she psychically realized that a random student named Zack Morris who she’d never previously met did something wrong. The gang tell Dean McMann they’re planning on painting Mike’s room while he’s away and, while Dean McMann doesn’t buy he story, she’s got to let the plot play out because otherwise Zack Morris would never get to do anything.

Dean McMann’s characterization is all over the board. In some ways, she’s the most sane character on the show, as evidenced by how she realizes Screech is a complete dumb ass. In other ways, she’s just as bat shit crazy as they are, as evidenced by her practically sucking Leslie’s cock when she finds out who Leslie’s parents are or by the fact she takes pleasure in randomly punishing students. In any case, I’m guessing they were intending her to be the authority figure they wanted Mike to be but utterly failed at.

Leslie tells Zack Morris that he better think twice about having a rave but he says that he wants to fuck Kelly too badly so the rave is on!

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And, yeah, it’s time for our rave because why waste anymore time with preliminary shit? And, yeah, the lighting is so horrible that it’s difficult to believe these are the same sets used for the dorm. Take Mike’s room. We’ve seen it clearly and we know there’s a kitchenette. But, unless the gang took out Mike’s kitchen sink with the furniture, it’s not the same set. Jesus Fucking Christ, the producers of this show just assume that everyone is so stupid they won’t notice that they’re just using a different set.

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And, to make matters worse, Alex is the DJ, because when I think rave music, I think the second craziest person on this show. God, Alex even says her “rap name” is “Snoop Allie Dog.” Shoot me now. As if this isn’t enough, we get a gag about a doberman eating a Chinese exchange student named Wing Wing.  Shoot me now.

Screech acts like a dumb ass during the rave and Slater calls him a moron so what’s the best way to handle the situation? Why, get Jason his nitrous oxide of course because that will prove he’s cool. And this is the character they decided to carry over to The New Class…. vlcsnap-2015-12-07-19h13m08s17

At the student union, we get another thing about Dean McMann: that she wants to have wild monkey sex with Professor Lasky. Yeah, the longer she’s in this episode, the more she seems like a horrible caricature.

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Dean McMann is really there to have dinner with Leslie so she can suck her cock some more. But she hears students talk about the rave despite Leslie trying to keep fliers from her and says that, if Leslie wasn’t rich and shit, she’d be expelled. And Dean McMann must be psychically linked to Zack Morris because she says she’s on her way to bust Zack Morris and kick his ass out of college since he’s the only person in at Cal U who ever does anything. This episode can’t seem to decide if Dean McMann is a horrible person or not.

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Back at the rave, Leslie gets a message to Zack Morris through this creepy guy who wrote it on his underwear that Dean McMann is coming. Yeah, this guy is Stingray and he’ll make two more appearances on The College Years before becoming a recurring character on California Dreams. It seems he’s so stupid he regressed and started hanging out with high school students.

So what will our gang do about the rave?

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Why, move the rave to the lecture hall of course, because there’s apparently no campus security or locked doors at Cal U to prevent anyone from getting in any time.

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Dean McMann busts into Mike’s room but only finds the doberman and the joke’s supposed to be the doberman is afraid of her. How hilarious. I forgot to laugh.

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Back at the lecture hall, Screech tells Slater he really is a moron and got the nitrous oxide for Jason. He goes to get it back but finds out he’s an even bigger idit than he though because he got them helium instead. And so ends Saved by the Bell‘s closest attempt to have a very special episode on drug abuse since Johnny Dakota.

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Lasky rushes in wearing a bath robe and breaks up the rave. How sad. I guess he really does live in his office, which is apparently in ear shot of the lecture hall in case of students doing stupid shit.

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Dean McMann rushes in to bust Zack Morris but Laskey says it was part of a class project. Dean McMann says she knows Laskey’s lying but, since a professor is telling her something, she can’t use her common sense. As there are already so many plot holes in this episode, she leaves but tells Zack Morris she’ll be keeping her eye on him through their psychic connection. Laskey tells everyone to leave and the rave’s over.

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Back at the suite, Zack Morris thinks he has a chance at Kelly until he overhears Kelly gush to Leslie over how Lasky covered for Zack Morris and says she could just keep loving him forever, or at least for two more episodes, as he’s just that irresistible.vlcsnap-2015-12-07-19h23m13s176

And our episode ends with Zack Morris upset that the writers are drawing out this plot even longer and that he won’t get to fuck Kelly in Cancun since he had to give refunds on the rave, which I’m pretty sure he really wouldn’t be compelled to do since they did get to have a rave for at least a little bit.

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During the credits, we get a bonus scene where Mike comes back and discovers his room. After threatening to kick the shit out of Zack Morris, he’s chased around the halls by the doberman, which must be pretty hungry by now since I guess Dean McMann just locked it in Mike’s room for god knows how long.

Firsts: Dean Susan McMann, Stingray.

The College Years Episode 14: “A Question of Ethics”

Note: The issue with commenting now seems to be fixed. Apologies to everyone who tried to comment in the last week and got an error. It seems WordPress updated to a new version and caused one of the Plugins I use to be incompatible. Thanks to Jonathon who messaged me on Facebook to alert me to the problem. If anyone has any further issues, please feel free to message me on Facebook or through the contact me page.

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In the cold opening, Zack Morris enters to the audience exploding in orgasm at his mere presence. He brags about being in a class other than Archaeology, Ethics! Fortunately, it’s in the same lecture hall as Archaeology, too, so there’s no need to build another set. He says the professor is super easy, but that would make for a boring episode so Slater comes in and announces that their professor won the lottery and ran off with the soccer coach, because it’s apparently ethical in the Saved by the Bell universe to ignore a teaching contract as long as it’s convenient.

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In her place is what has to be my all time favorite character from the Saved by the Bell franchise, Dr. Arthur Hemmings, played by Robert Guillaume. Guillaume is most famous for two roles: Benson DuBois on the ’80s series Benson, and the voice of Rafiki in The Lion King and its related spin-offs, which makes me wonder whether casting for The Lion King was really group therapy for ex-Saved by the Bell guest stars.

But why is Dr. Hemmings my favorite character ever? Oh, just you fucking wait and see! Oh, and Dr. Hemmings is greeted as ominously as he deserves by the power in the lecture hall blinking as lighting strikes. Already he’s more bad ass than most one shot characters.

After the credits, Dr. Hemmings tries to ask those in his class paid to speak for that episode, Zack Morris, Leslie, Slater, and Alex, basic questions about ethics such as would you steal someone’s idea if it would benefit you. Rather than answering the damned question, they act like the complete thoughtless morons they are, answering a simple theoretical scenario with idiotic remarks about Slater not wanting to design fashion and shit.

Now we see why Dr. Hemmings is my favorite character ever. He tells Slater he’s such a fucking moron he’ll be hauling manure for a living one day, Alex learns she has no intellect to speak of, Leslie is told to shut the fuck up and quit sucking up, and Zack Morris is an idiot for not knowing who Machiavelli was. Okay, maybe that last one is a bit of a stretch, but, still, the other three are spot on! Dr. Hemmings tells the class that fifty percent his classes fail because Cal U is full of complete morons who can’t reason out basic ethical dilemmas.

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Back at the suite, the gang study all the new books Dr. Hemmings assigned. Now, I only had one professor ever quit a course and, as I recall, their replacement had to use the old professor’s syllabus because it was considered unethical to force the class to change course midway through. What about that: a class on ethics acting unethically. Oh, Saved by the Bell, you never cease to amaze!

In any case, the gang whine and complain about how unreasonable it is that Dr. Hemmings wants them to actually learn about ethics and shit, unlike lottery woman who just wanted them to pretend they were astronauts I guess. Slater says that there’s so much work that he’s lucky that, in their universe, they can randomly get someone to cover work for them when they have other things to do, so he looks long and hard within the suite for someone to cover his job at the student union.

Well, he’s doing his best to ignore Dumb Ass by asking Kelly, but she says that she doesn’t like waiting tables anymore because it’s icky. I suspect she’s really still having flashbacks about the mild mistreatment she received at the so-called sleazy restaurant she worked at in “Dr. Kelly.”

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Since the producers aren’t springing for any guest stars that could fill the role, that leaves Screech, and he insists he’s not such a complete dumb ass that he can’t wait tables.

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Unfortunately for all of us, Screech is such a dumb ass he doesn’t know how to wait tables and quickly annoys Clara, one of the waitresses, who’s returning after previously appearing briefly in “The Poker Game.” She wants to murder Screech but hasn’t found the right opportunity yet.

Slater complains to Mike that he doesn’t have enough time to study for the ethics midterm and Mike tells him to just ask for an extension since professors are people, too.

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But when Dr. Hemmings walks in, Mike has a flash back to his own time with Hemmings when he was forced to do horrible things involving thinking! Either that, or Mike’s passing gas in this scene. It’s hard to tell with Bob Golic’s acting.

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Leslie approaches Dr. Hemmings in her mascot costume and asks him for an extension on her midterm. Dr. Hemmings tells her no immediately after insinuating Alex might be a crazy woman in a bird costume. Oh, Dr. Hemmings, how right you are! Yeah, not giving an extension is supposed to be an unreasonable thing here, but every university I’ve been associated with has refused to give extensions without extenuating circumstances. How horrible Dr. Hemmings would expect people to do their work and not let extra-curricular activities get in the way!

Yeah, the writers are trying their damnedest to make Dr. Hemmings out to be an unreasonable tyrant but, really, he just comes off as being one of the more enlightened in this franchise’s history. It’s just a damn shame Screech isn’t in his class so we could hear the truth about what a fucking dumb ass he is.

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Speaking of which, Kelly tries to help Screech out by showing him how not to be an idiot and carry his food so it doesn’t get squished. Instead, Screech sends Kelly to deliver the order and, no kidding, she continues doing Screech’s job for him for no pay most of the rest of the episode. Kelly, I know you’re not always the character in this franchise with the most common sense, but why do you not punch Screech in the fucking face!

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In lecture the next day, Dr. Hemmings tries to teach the class about Immanuel Kant. Unfortunately for him, his class is still in full-on stupid mode and can’t answer basic questions. Hemmings basically says Zack Morris is too much of an idiot to pass his midterm. Oh, my, yet another truth spoken by this very wise man!

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As you can tell by this screenshot, Leslie has a mature reaction when Hemmings says he won’t tutor Leslie, even after she drops that she’s a Burke and they donate lots of money to Cal U. Now, this might be the only unreasonable thing Dr. Hemmings does in this entire episode, but even this is well within Dr. Hemmings’s discretion to not give up his free time to tutor morons who have done so many unethical things over the years.

Zack Morris is next to suck up and Hemmings basically tells him to fuck off with his self-entitled idiocy.

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As he leaves the room, Dr. Hemmings drops a paper, and Zack Morris soon realizes it’s a copy of the midterm. Of course, he will do the ethical thing in Zack Morris’s world and share the midterm with everyone who has a speaking role in the class.

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Back at the student union, Screech, doesn’t know how to take basic orders. Mike jumps over the counter out of frustration and takes the next customer’s order, which leads Screech to make a remark to Clara that might be considered sexual harassment if it came from someone other than Screech. As Mike points out, Screech couldn’t sexually harass himself. This is the most fucking self-aware episode in the history of the franchise, I swear.

In any case, like Kelly, Mike continues to work for free most of the rest of the episode because he gives a damn about Screech for some reason.

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In the suite, Slater, Leslie, and Alex find out about Zack Morris’s copy of the midterm. Slater and Alex want to use it but Leslie takes it, tears it up , and throws it away, declaring that it’s the ethical thing to do. She even takes the trash can to the dumpster to make sure they don’t look at it.

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At the student union, the manager promotes Screech to assistant manager because he’s more awesome than she originally thought he would be. She obviously doesn’t know Screech very well, but it’s kind of scary how his performance as assistant manager mirrors his later performance as Mr. Belding’s administrative assistant.

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One by one, Zack Morris, Slater, Alex, and even Leslie sneak out to the dumpster looking for the midterm, declaring that they can’t fail this exam.

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But then Screech comes in, singing the Sesame Street theme song, and dumps garbage on them. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d type. In any case, I suspect that Screech’s version of Sesame Street would be rated MA and restricted to viewing by only the criminally insane.

While covered in garbage, Zack Morris monologues about slimy he suddenly feels about it all.

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Back at the student union, it’s Fiesta Day, and Screech managed to scare off every single customer because he sucks so much ass. One by one, Kelly, Mike, Clara, and the extras all quit because they’re tired of working while Screech stands around looking like a dumb ass, and Screech fires himself when the manager comes around trying to figure out what the hell this subplot was actually about.

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In the most predictable and cliched resolution to the main plot, Dr. Hemmings reveals that the real test was to see whether the students would cheat. See, he strategically placed copies of the midterm for every student so they would have to make an ethical choice. Except…he didn’t leave one for Slater, Leslie, or Alex. He just assumed Zack Morris would show them a copy. Maybe he’s psychic, too.

Well, the rest of the episode is the gang debriefing their experience on this. It turns out Zack Morris was the only one that didn’t actually cheat and, in his only definite misstep, Dr. Hemmings says that’s because Zack Morris has character. Yeah, that’s why he’s exploited all his friends and random strangers throughout his time in this franchise. Well, I guess even someone as awesome as Dr. Hemmings has to be wrong sometimes.

In any case, Dr. Hemmings needs to guest star on The New Class and tell them how stupid and derivative they are and how Screech needs to crawl in a hole and never emerge.

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During the credits, Mark-Paul and Robert Guillaume mess up their lines in the most unfunny goofs ever released.

The College Years Episode 13: “Kelly and the Professor”

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The cold opening consists of Zack Morris recapping the events of last week’s episode, just in case you forgot why you’re still watching this show.

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After the credits, we jump right in with Zack Morris revealing to Kelly he knows Kelly kissed Lasky. She gets mad that he was spying on her but immediately dialogues about how in love with Lasky she is. Seriously, I’m not sure why any of this is such a shock to Zack Morris. This is the third time she’s gone for an older guy and the first it’s not statutory rape. Kelly swears Zack Morris to secrecy and he promises because he wants to impress Kelly with how he can bring this back in later.

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In the student union, Kelly and Alex introduce this week’s plot contrivance, their sorority’s annual masquerade ball. And, yes, Slater mentions the time he danced with Screech at a masquerade ball. Gee, I think the writers must have eaten a big, fat helping of continuity this week! Go figure!  And it makes the Toriverse theory even more complicated. In any case, none of the others want to go but they threaten to show off underwear to everyone unless they buy a ticket so they give in.

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Since Mike needs something to do, he has a subplot involving doing compatibility tests for a psychology class. Supposedly, this test will help Slater, Screech, Leslie, and Alex see who their perfect mates are. I hope there isn’t a predictable subplot involving contrived conflict

Oh, yay, it starts almost immediately as Slater finds his answers are more in line with Leslie while Alex’s are more in line with Screech. Surprise that the second biggest dumb ass on the show is similar to the biggest.  Interesting enough after the hissy fit Slater made about posing shirtless a few weeks ago, he says the first thing he looks for in a girl is how she looks in a swim suit. Hypocrisy, thy name is Saved by the Bell.

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In Lasky’s office, Lasky’s had a stroke of professional morals and tries to tell Kelly that he can’t date her while she’s a professor. Kelly says that she doesn’t want to hurt Lasky’s career so she’s dropped his class and says they’ll be discreet in their relationship.

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They then kiss so the audience has a chance to envy what it’s like to be touched by a real woman.

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In class, the gang not in the know about this week’s plot try to figure out why Kelly dropped the class. Zack Morris comes in and, finding out what happened, loudly outs Lasky as dating Kelly. We cut to commercial break in complete silence as the audience tries to figure out how they’re supposed to feel about this since they’re usually expected to believe Zack Morris isn’t a sociopathic jackass who constantly breaks his promises. 

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After the break, Leslie and Alex obsess over Kelly’s sex life as Slater spouts random sexist stereotypes. So, the usual Saved by the Bell bullshit I take it.

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Mike brings the results of the compatibility tests. Predictably, Slater and Leslie are matches, as are Screech and Alex. Alex runs away in abject terror as she begins to realize just how much she sucks as a character and no one likes her. After all, she is the character closest to Screech, which says a lot about why people try to forget she was ever part of this franchise.

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At the student union, Kelly and Lasky come in after a roller blading date and are quickly uncomfortable by how much everyone’s up in their business, probably because this is the only student union on the planet that never sees any faculty or staff besides Mike.  Unbeknownst to them, Zack Morris and Screech spy from a distance, Zack Morris becoming uncomfortably obsessed with Kelly’s love life and proving he didn’t learn a damn think from the whole Jeff Hunter thing. At least he had a good motivation to be obsessed over that one!

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Zack Morris sends Screech to look up women’s skirts and finds out that Kelly’s asking Lasky to the masquerade ball, but Lasky seems uncomfortable with the whole situation.

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Back at the suite, Alex dances around dressed as Tinkerbell and throwing glitter at Slater. So, a typical Saturday night for Alex. Slater’s upset when Alex suggests he dress as Peter Pan since he’d been planning on going as Tarzan. She goes into full hissy fit mode when she finds Leslie’s dressing as Jane and Screech as Peter Pan, because all of that proves that Mike’s compatibility test results were accurate, naturally.

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Lasky shows up looking for Kelly and Zack Morris meddles some more in their relationship, proving once again he has a future in spousal abuse. Zack Morris’s meddling is enough to convince Lasky to go to the masquerade ball with Kelly because he wants everyone to see them all of a sudden.

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In the boy’s room, Slater asks Screech to switch costumes with him so he can end this stupid subplot with Alex which means…we have to see Screech in a loin cloth. Why does the universe hate me so that it inflicts me with this bull shit?

Meanwhile, Zack Morris found out Lasky is dressing as Zorro so he’s going to wear the same costume and trick Kelly into a sexual encounter.

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At the masquerade ball, Slater finds out that Leslie and Alex switched costumes as well because they’re all in sync and shit. Why won’t this subplot end?!?!

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Zack Morris sends Screech to distract Lasky with his loincloth. I keep waiting to see Lasky vomit in the punch bowl over this horrible fate that’s befallen him and me.

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While Lasky’s busy trying to keep his dinner down, Zack Morris swoops in and tricks Kelly into kissing him, an act that a season three episode of The New Class will point out is sexual assault, but it’s Zack Morris doing it so it’s completely okay! Lasky catches them as Zack Morris reveals it’s him. Kelly, naturally, mildly tells off Zack Morris. Oh, yeah, she’s supposed to be pissed off at Zack Morris for outing her relationship with Lasky earlier, though we never see this. I’m pretty sure this is a cut scene, which leads me to believe those who cut the episode are incompetent since it would have made a lot more sense to cut something from the subplot than an integral part of the main plot.

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Kelly finds Lasky outside and he says he’s breaking up with her because he realized he wasn’t jealous seeing Zack Morris manhandle his girlfriend. Lasky actually acts rather maturely and Kelly responds as you would expect: by pushing Lasky over a wall. The moral: no one should ever break up with you for any reason. Your first relationship is the one you will be in forever, and, if your significant other doesn’t see it that way, they’re just a jerk.

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Back at the suite, we finally resolve the subplot, we finally resolve the whole subplot with Screech being the voice of reason, pointing out how much they like each other. How humiliating when Screech has more common sense than other characters.

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Zack Morris apologizes to Kelly for being way too creepy in trying to get together with Kelly. He comforts her about Lasky and immediately tries to hone in on Kelly. Kelly says they have a few more episodes so she wants to draw this whole thing out as long as possible. Zack Morris pretends to be okay with being her friend.

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But our episode ends with Zack Morris declaring he will get Kelly before the series ends as a dalmatian head looks on. Part of me would like to see that dalmatian come to life and bite Zack Morris in the ass. That would be so much more emotionally satisfying than this sudden, forced romance between Zack Morris and Kelly is turning out to be.

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During the credits, Zack Morris practices a bad impersonation of a Latino person, because Slater’s heritage plot earlier in the season didn’t set back Latino rights enough decades. Fortunately, for us, Zack Morris has trouble keeping his sword up.

The College Years Episode 12: “Teacher’s Pet”

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In the cold opening, Professor Lasky introduces us to our very special guest star, a chimp owned, for some reason, by the archaeology department. See, the writers of The College Years don’t seem to know the difference between archaeology and anthropology so they’ve decided to do what they do best: pull shit out of their asses.

The chimp’s name is Lucy and Lasky says they’re trying to teach it sign language but failing miserably. Maybe that’s because you’re a fucking anthropology department! God, did they look at National Geographic specials on Jane Goodall and think, “Gee, she really is a good archaeologist? Is that what she is? Yeah, that sounds plausible!” There is a good part, though, as the sight of a monkey causes Alex to run off stage in hysterics, since getting Alex off the set is always a positive accomplishment for this series.

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Naturally, who should start bonding with Lucy but Screech. After all, with Alex gone, Screech is the only cast member in the room stupider than the chimp. Lasky says they’re thinking of giving her to the zoo because a bunch of archaeologists, for some strange reason, can’t figure out how to get a chimp to sign. Lucy signs for Screech, but Lasky won’t believe him because he’s figured out by now Screech is a complete dumb ass. Screech puts Lucy in her cage sadly, for some reason upset at the life of being well taken care of a zoo would provide.

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While Screech is busy obsessing over a chimp, Zack Morris obsesses over Kelly. See, it turns out they’ve been going out a lot off camera despite the lack of actually showing us this, and he says he thinks he’s found the girl of his dreams, again. The whole Zack Morris and Kelly getting back together thing is really being forced down our throats I have to say.

Of note here is that Patrick Fabian has an “Also Starring” credit beginning with this episode, something he didn’t have in his previous two appearances. I have to assume this means they were planning on doing more with Lasky though, after the story line they’re throwing at him beginning this  week, I have no idea how he could have been taken very seriously as a person for the gang to look up to.

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After the credits, Zack Morris tells Kelly that he’s cooking dinner tomorrow night and, though she’s initially skeptical given that this is not a trait he’s ever displayed before, she remembers that the writers of this franchise tend to shoe horn in shit as needed so she agrees.

After Zack Morris leaves, Kelly asks Lasky if she can talk to him about her term paper. He tells her to come by his office around 3:00 and she seems to have trouble understanding that professors have offices.

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Lucky, by next scene, she resolves her mental dilemma and catches Lasky as he’s having a nervous breakdown, crouched on his desk imitating the Big Bad Wolf from the Three Little Pigs story.

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No, that might actually be interesting. Instead, we find that Lasky’s ex-wife has suddenly and without warning had to leave town so he has his daughter, Abby, and since he lives out of his office for some reason, they’re making themselves at home. Thankfully, they got a child actress who’s a marginally better performer than the Olson twins, but it’s still painful. In any case, she immediately starts sucking up to Kelly because that’s Abby’s entire personality and when Lasky is about to cancel an adult ed class he apparently teaches so he can be with her, Kelly offers to babysit, which Lasky relents to in order to further the plot.

Also, we find out that Kelly has a niece old enough to be starting kindergarten, though wasn’t she supposed to be the oldest child at one point? I’m honestly wondering i the writers mixed Kelly and Tori up in a weird drunken stupor.

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Back at the suite, Zack Morris cooks dinner as he tells Slater he’s planning on asking Kelly to go steady with him since he’s still into stupid high school bull shit. Slater’s disturbed as this means Alex might want to go steady as well which would mean he might get stuck with the second biggest idiot on the show for the rest of the series.

Zack Morris says that, though he’s dated other girls since Kelly, none of them have compared to Kelly. That must be comfort to Stacey, Tori, and Andrea. In fact, didn’t Zack Morris tell Slater the exact same thing about Andrea? He really is bipolar when it comes to getting laid, isn’t he? It’s nice to see he’s over Leslie as well, though Leslie doesn’t seem to be upset about losing her only purpose on the show: to be Zack Morris’s love interest.

You know, some episodes it seems like they’re really struggling to find ways to put Mike in the episode. This episode, it’s that he’s having allergy problems because someone brought a cat into the dorms and he needs some of Screech’s allergy medicine. No, really, that’s Mike’s only subplot this episode. Is there a reason he’s on this show at this point?

Kelly starts to rush out to babysit, having forgotten about dinner. We finally get to Zack Morris asking Kelly to go steady. She says she can’t because the writers want to draw out their relationship a bit so they’re putting in another contrived relationship, and Kelly leaves to babysit.

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After a commercial break, Zack Morris suspects everyone of dating Kelly and really becomes obsessive. No, really, why is he so concerned about who Kelly’s dating? Is he going to murder them and take Kelly back for himself?

Screech comes in and finds the damned chimp followed him back home. Yes, this is Screech’s subplot.

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But it’s still the coolest chimp ever as it jumps in Alex’s arms and freaks her out. Unfortunately, she’s soon singing a a Whitney Houston song, which she need never do again on penalty of me ripping her voice box out.

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Kelly reveals to Leslie and Alex that she bought Yacht Club cologne for a mystery guy she’s after. This leads to Alex telling this to Slater and Slater telling Zack Morris. What’s Zack Morris’s reaction?

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Why, to wander around campus sniffing guys of course. No, really, this is what he does, hoping to figure out who Kelly’s dating, and I have no idea why none of these men call the police. Several want to murder Zack Morris and at least one wants to date him but he’s no closer to figuring out something that’s really none of his business. Zack Morris wonders if babysitting for Lasky is really a cover so he rushes over to see if he can catch her not there.

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In Lasky’s office, Abby has Kelly and Lasky play mom and dad with her and even makes them kiss goodbye when he leaves. It’s okay, though. Lasky can just tell the chancellor that his five year old daughter wanted him to kiss one of his students.

Zack Morris runs into Lasky and finds out Kelly’s really babysitting. He smells Lasky’s cologne and realizes who the mystery man really is.

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After a class full of a rousing lecture on chip stone tools, we find out Kelly’s going to dinner with Lasky and Abby so Zack Morris tells Lasky that Kelly loves him. He promises to talk to her tonight as if it’s any of Zack Morris’s business.

Back at the suite, Kelly’s trying to look older for Lasky.

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Meanwhile…we’re dressing up with the damned chimp. For fuck’s sake. Mike comes in and finds the chimp and then Lasky comes in and says it’s his, sees it sign to Screech, and says they won’t send it to the zoo on the condition Screech work with it to learn new signs. Of course, I can’t help but wonder if the chimp got sick of Screech and had him transferred back to Bayside to get him the hell away from him and back in Mr. Belding’s hair.

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Lasky tries to talk to Kelly and tells her how inappropriate a relationship would be and shit. Kelly tells him that she really loves him and, besides, she has a history of inappropriate, boundary crossing relationships, including her boss and her grandfather’s lawyer, so he’ll just be the latest in a long line. Lasky tries to resist the urge but plot contrivance says he can’t resist the power of bad writing.

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And our episode ends with a contrived kiss between Lasky and Kelly as Zack Morris catches them and the words “To be continued” flash across the screen. Well, that progressed fast but what else did I expect from this franchise?

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During the credits, Zack Morris and Kelly loose it on several takes talking about the chimp, because that was such a hilarious subplot.

Firsts: Kelly and Lasky date.

The College Years Episode 11: “A Thanksgiving Story”

I swear, it’s complete coincidence this is the episode for Black Friday. But, in any case, now that you’ve had a good Thanksgiving meal (at least if you’re reading this in America), let’s ruin it all with Thanksgiving, Saved by the Bell style.

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In the cold opening, the boys are packing to drive home for Thanksgiving when Kelly rushes in, excited that Thanksgiving weather in LA is going to be in the nineties. Well, what the hell do you expect? Los Angeles isn’t exactly known for cold weather. You act like it’s the first time you’ve been there. Screech pontificates about being eighteen and just sounds like an idiot.

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Mike’s not going home for Thanksgiving, though, because he has twenty underprivileged kids coming for Thanksgiving dinner. He has four Raiders tickets to give away and gives them to Zack Morris after he gives them a bull shit story about having a brother in the Peace Corps who just got home from Guatemala. Naturally, after Mike leaves, he tells Slater he’s planning on scalping them for some major money because Zack Morris is just like that: a complete jack ass. Oh, Zack Morris, never stop being a selfish imbecile.

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After the credits, we find out Alex is going home with Slater because, when you date someone for a short amount of time in college, it’s obviously love and you need to introduce them to the family. I get the idea that none of the writers for this show have ever been to college.

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Kelly tries to follow their example by offering to take Leslie home to meet her family, but Leslie says that Thanksgiving has never been a big deal around her place because of rich people shit. Instead, she’s going to stay and help Mike with the decorations for his Thanksgiving.

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At the student union, Leslie makes stupid little decorations that Mike says these kids will murder her for. Also, NBC Sports is sending Marv Albert over to do a pointless cameo since viewers of football halftime shows enjoy seeing washed-up NFL players doing random things.

Meanwhile, the boys are ready to go and, since Cal U’s staff have no boundaries, Mike loans them his truck to drive back to LA, all the while making them promise not to allow Dumb Ass in the driver’s seat.

Now, Mike knows Screech is a complete idiot but he still waits for Zack Morris and Slater to go outside and asks Screech to help him move the pool table.

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Of course, this leads to Mike injuring himself when Dumb Ass doesn’t lift the pool table. Had this show been renewed for a second season, Screech would have killed Mike. After all, he did kill Danielle to make room for Kelly.

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Zack Morris and Slater go back to the suite where they discover Screech continuing to injure Mike by pushing him into a vending machine. Screech tells them he has to stay and help Mike since he’s pretty much responsible despite Mike’s protests that he doesn’t want the dumb ass anywhere near him considering bad things only happen when Screech is around.

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The remaining four strike out for LA singing the classic Thanksgiving song, “La Bamba.” It wouldn’t be Saved by the Bell if something didn’t go wrong, though, so, in the midst of Alex worrying if Slater’s family will like his new psycho girlfriend, the truck breaks down.

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So Slater works on the truck as Zack Morris and Alex scare everyone by recounting fake Twilight Zone episodes. It’s to the point that Kelly won’t even go to the restroom in the woods.

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Back at the suite, Leslie nurses Mike but is horrified when he tells her he won’t be able to cook dinner and that it will fall to her since, you know, she’s rich and shit so she doesn’t even know that tsp. is the abbreviation for teaspoon. I’m sure nothing could possibly go wrong with this plan.

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Mike’s horrified when Screech says it’s time to take Mike’s temperature and he pulls out a turkey thermometer. When he discovers Mike’s not into having his ass probed, he says he intended to use it for the turkey, which will make absolutely no sense in a few minutes when we find out Mike’s ordering the turkeys in already cooked.

Back at the truck, Slater discovers the oil pump’s out so they don’t know what they’re going to do given they’re somehow in the middle of nowhere in between San Francisco and LA. So, Zack Morris and Kelly naturally talk about all the good times they’ve had in broken down cars over the years since that’s what I would want to talk about.

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They see a car coming and Alex does the idiotic thing, threatening to shoot them with a flashlight if the strangers help our idiot. Yeah, she’s citing a fake Twilight Zone episode again because it’s cool to pretend to know something about classic sci-fi without having to actually do any research.

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We discover that the student union is just like The Max: as long as you’re in the opening credits, you can do whatever the hell you want to, including hosting Thanksgiving meals. Leslie’s majorly failed at cooking dinner and the kids are due any minute.

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And Mike’s still not learned his lesson about Screech’s idiocy as he put Screech in charge of ordering the turkeys. Mike intended them to be fully cooked but Screech, being a complete dumb ass, ordered them frozen.

Lucky for Mike, the competent members of the gang show up, along with Alex, and kick into high gear to salvage the dinner Screech and Leslie nearly ruined, and just in time because the kids have arrived! Also, we find out Zack Morris got himself onto stand-by for a flight by pretending to be a doctor since the theme of the episode is Zack Morris being a jack ass.

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In the kitchen, Screech tries to thaw out the turkey with a hair dryer as Mike realizes it’s time he depended on someone who has at least a measure of competence. So, he sends Zack Morris to find any open store and buy food.

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Kelly helps Leslie with the vegetables as she tells Leslie stories about how important Thanksgiving’s always been for her family. Leslie’s sad she’s never had this experience because, you know, rich people shit.

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Leslie tries to entertain the kids with a rousing game of “Simon Says” but this group of inner city kids who are only troubled because the script tells us they are say no fucking way to subjecting themselves to the whims of a moron.

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Slater tells Alex she loves her even if she is a complete moron and his family will love her. He prepares to kiss Alex as one of the kids from The Sandlot looks  on, hoping to get some pointers.

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Back in the kitchen, Zack Morris returns with items procured at a 7-11 and proceeds to bring some racism into the episode by imitating an Indian convenience store episode. Oh, that old Thanksgiving tradition of casual racism! They work to see what they can salvage out of the items Zack Morris bought.

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But Mike has more important things to worry about, like the fact that Marv Albert’s arrived and everything sucks. Alex acts insane around Marv Albert because it’s what she does and Mike tries to hurry along the interview but Marv is determined to see everything.

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And everything he sees as the gang reveal a feast of turkey jerky. Marv Albert realizes this story sucks and switches to commercial so he can go wonder where his career went wrong that he’s on a Saved by the Bell spin-off.

Zack Morris has a ticket back to LA but everything sucks at the dinner. Fortunately, though, it’s time for pointless cameos, each of which Kelly nearly has an orgasm over.

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First, it’s time for an old alumni of the franchise, Jonathan Brandis, bearing a turkey because…you know, he’s famous so he just happens to have extra turkeys.

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Marsha Warfield, who was on Empty Nest at the time, shows up with a second turkey because, you know, she’s Marsha Warfield.

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Six from Blossom brings some pumpkin pies.

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And, in the contrivance of contrivances, Mr. Belding just happens to be in San Francisco visiting his mother so he brings some potatoes and obsesses over the celebrities so he can have an opportunity to appear in every Saved by the Bell series. Yeah, they were all watching Marv Albert’s broadcast and all happened to have extra food lying around and all happened to be in San Francisco so they all decided to stop by Mike’s Thanksgiving. They also all invite themselves to dinner because, you know, why the hell not.

Yeah, there’s absolutely no reason for any of these cameos except to give NBC the opportunity to say, “Hey, here’s a bunch of other celebrities from other NBC series! That makes it a special episode!” At least Marv Albert’s appearance kind of pushed the plot along. The rest of the cameos barely last a few seconds. Even Mr. Belding’s.

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Kelly gives a speech about how she now has a shoe horned lesson about learning you can having Thanksgiving wherever you are and not just at home, especially if you have random celebrities show up with food to save the day at the last minute.

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And we have just enough time for one more cameo, franchise alumni Brian Austin Green coming in with cranberry sauce so he can have the opportunity to be an asshole to Dustin Diamond again.

Zack Morris takes Kelly aside and tells her he’s giving his ticket to her because he’s selfless all of a sudden and shit. The description of this episode in the box set says that Kelly was homesick so Zack Morris bought her the ticket by scalping his Raiders tickets. As usual, the writers for this franchise were incompetent and forgot to actually depict either of these things so we’re kind of left with it feeling like it came the fuck out of nowhere.

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But our episode ends with the real reason Zack Morris bought Kelly the ticket: so he could get a little something something from Kelly before she leaves. Of course, the really interesting story is Jonathan Brandis and Brian Austin Green mobbing Mr. Belding to ask him whatever happened to their old sixth grade teacher as Mr. Belding pretends to not know what the fuck they’re talking about.

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During the credits, we have more incompetence with food. How fun. In any case, Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! May you have a meaningful Thanksgiving with lots of random celebrity appearances!