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The ravings of a madman about a show for kids

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Episode #83 – ‘Slater’s Friend’ [Apr. 27th, 2010|09:09 pm]
The ravings of a madman about a show for kids
[Current Music |The Chameleons]

I know it’s common for me to say I don’t know when the next time I will be able to update this blog is but today I mean it more. It’s my last day at my current temp gig so I could be writing in this blog as soon as tomorrow, possibly Monday, or maybe..never again. No, not never again. I could never stay away. This blog is the Ike Turner to my Tina. No matter how much of a pain it becomes to maintain, no matter how much it hits me with a coat hanger, I’ll never leave it. It has my heart. Speaking of lifelong fidelity, did you know Slater’s best friend up until he was seventeen years old was a chameleon? Yikes, right!? Let’s get going with an episode I’m almost positive was secretly directed by David Lynch. Episode #83 – ‘Slater’s Friend’

Just to give you a little perspective, this episode is a senior year episode. Yep, after drunk driving crashes, drug abuse, breakups, jaunts to Paris, and two hit Zack Attack singles, the writers were clearly bankrupt for ideas. Rather then having Screech go trenchcoat mafia on Bayside, the writers toned the pathos down for this one. We start out in speech class that’s currently being taught by Coach Rizzo (an actor who looks uncannily like a Stallone but that IMDB assures me is not ((good thing too because that would make the success to failure ratio of that family 1:2, and two out of three IS bad)), because the regular teacher is sick and the writers thought it would be HILARIOUS to have a speech class taught by a guy who a’ talks a’ likea this! ‘Eyyyy! Elements of Style, capeeeesh!!?? Anyway, the hot button issue the kids of Bayside are being asked to speak on is the topic of “my best friend.” Coach Rizzo makes Slater go first because he’s probably seen curly Conan naked numerous times and, like when my little league coach also happened to be my pediatrician, you do whatever the guy with intimate knowledge of your testicular circumference says without question. Knowledge is power. So Slater steps up and goes on and on about this alleged friend who’s been there all his life throughout numerous moves and shower rapes. He notes that this friend is “true blue…except when he’s green.” He then reaches into his pocket and produces a live chameleon! Ewwww! Yep, Slater’s ‘best friend’ is a lizard that eats mealworms, occasionally turns from brown to green, and has a life expectancy of three years max. What a bleak childhood poor Slater had to endure. We cut to The Max where Slater is making goo goo eyes at his pet chameleon “Artie.” Predictably, Kelly thinks it’s cute, Lisa and Jessie hate it, Zack thinks Slater went up like a billion points on the homo scale, and Screech is eager to have it mate with his tarantula. Slater then announces he’s going out of town with his dad for a few days and would Screech mind watching Artie for the week? Screech says “sure” but one could ask who was taking care of Artie these past three years when Slater was off on murder mystery weekends, or palm springs, or at the Malibu Sands beach club? Or why Slater never mentioned Artie until now? I digress.

So with Slater gone for a week Zack is free to con Kelly into sex without any interference. Hey, it always makes for a useful subplot. Jessie was supposed to help Kelly with her speech class assignment but remembers she promised her mother she would go protest an oil company with her. Zack bodychecks Jessie out of the way and let’s Kelly know he’s free to help her study. Tonight. Alone. In his room. Kelly, naïve waif she, says “sure.” Later that night Zack is once again readying his love den by lowering the lights, putting music on, making sure the door to his bedroom locks from the inside, etc…when who should come bursting in but Screech. There’s trouble in lizardville. Screech’s other pets LOVE Artie – they’d love to eat him. He’s gonna have to pawn Artie off on Zack. Zack says what the fuck ever just leave the shoebox with the shitty lizard on his bed and would he mind touching a lot of stuff in his room before he leaves in case the cops dust for prints later? Kelly comes in, babbles at Artie before tossing his shoebox home under Zack’s 125 watt desk lamp. Just as Zack was about to do the patented Morris back massage into boob grope, Jessie busts in through his window. Yes, Zack’s bedroom is the most popular destination in the greater Los Angeles area right then. Jessie says that her and her hippie mom and hippy friends got halfway to the protest when they ran out of gas and her mom refused to fill up the tank. Once again, the idiot apple doesn’t fall far from the idiot tree. Kelly is psyched because she can now go over to Jessie’s and practice her speech like they initially planned. She loves it when a plan re-comes together. Zack, realizing he will not be coming together with anyone that night, jumps into bed and settles in for a long night of jo’ing to the mental image of Kelly and Jessie coming together. Which is pretty gross when you think about it.

The next morning at Bayside, Zack’s shaking Artie’s box because Artie won’t wake up. The gang tries to diagnose the problem but they have no idea what the fuck is wrong with the stupid lizard until Screech rolls by, takes one look in the box and says Artie’s fine…except he’s dead. Da da dunnnnnnnnnnnnnn.. On cue, Slater walks up to the gang (that was a quick). The gang asks him why he’s back so soon? Apparently, he missed Artie so much that he obviously did some Planes, Trains, and Automobiles type shenanigans to get back early. Man, that is bleak. He also pulls a tiny bone out of his pocket and says he wants to give Artie his new bone shaped chew toy. Because they don’t make toys for chameleons because they’re stupid lizards who just sit there and then die within a month, god knows what it is he’s actually holding in his hand. The horror. Anyhow, the gang says Artie is..um…napping and they’ll bring him by The Max later. Once Slater skips away the gang dispatches Screech to the pet store to buy a new chameleon. Later, at The Max, Slater can barely sit still. Zack and Screech roll up with a brand new chameleon. Slater instantly starts kissing and hugging it (some best friend…can’t even identify him from millions of similar lizards). The gang is almost home free when Jessie and Kelly, acting as wild rogue agents this episode, come in with their own chameleon they claim is also Artie. Slater may be dumb but he’s not..yeah, he’s still dumb because he doesn’t put two and two together even after the gang fess up that something happened to Artie. Slater pre-empts them and says “awwww, he probably just ran off and is hiding in your room. I’ll stop by after wrestling practice.” Regardless that the gang all but said his stupid lizard is dead, Slater refuses to adhere to logic and skips off. Later, in Zack’s room. Slater bursts in and begins tearing the room apart looking for Artie. He also starts shouting “here Artie. Here boy” which, I mean, I give up..Slater deserves to have his best friend die. Zack tries to get Slater to calm the fuck down for a second so he can talk to him but Slater is busy digging under Zack’s bed when he unearths Zack’s life sized cut-out of Kelly. I hope he washed his hands later. Ewww. The rest of the gang walks in and they finally get Slater under control long enough to tell him Artie shipped off to the big chameleon’s banquet in the sky. They present the rotting corpse of Artie to Slater who looks in the box and asks why everyone is upset? It’s just a stupid dead lizard. He then runs off home to weep into a pink tanktop. That night, Zack can’t sleep. We get a glimpse of his Twin Peak’s esque nightmare of guilt where him and the gang are being brought up on charges of murder. The one doing the finger pointing is Slater dressed in a phenomenally shitty lizard costume (which he accents by creepily jetting his tongue in and out in random intervals) who is side by side with Belding wearing a Southern sheriff’s outfit. Lizard Slater runs down the line trying to figure out who killed him (this is really happening). He points to Kelly and inquires if perhaps it was because she left him under a hot desk lamp? Her sentence, to spend the rest of her life standing barefoot on a giant frying pan (again, I’m serious). He then comes to Jessie and says maybe it was her leaving the window in Zack’s room open all night that did him in? She is sentenced to spend her whole life in a bathing suit on a block of ice. Or was it Lisa who merely just did not like Artie that killed him. Probably not but she’s sentenced to lifetime of wearing polyester. The look on Lisa’s face says she would probably prefer to be in the frying pan. Or, finally, was it Zack who just failed to do his friend a favor? Zack tries to plead his case but both Slizard and Selding descend on him to no doubt do unspeakable man / animal mating but Zack wakes up before the scene goes fully off of the deep end.

Back at school Slater won’t talk to the gang. In speech class Kelly goes up to do her speech on her best friend which she reveals to be her dog. Is owning a dog really that wise when you have eight kids?? Slater, having lost everything he’s ever loved, goes into asshole mode and loudly berates Kelly during her speech. Coach Rizzo tells him to pipe down and when exactly did he become a comedian? Slater responds “since about Tuesday at two o’clock!” which I never understood. He warns Slater who finally presses Coach Rizzo into sending him to Belding’s office. In Belding’s office he’s concerned because Slater’s usually a good kid who’s only ever guilty of some harmless butt cheek taping together every now and then. But now Slater is all moody and pouty like he was in that Greg Louganis movie. Slater says he doesn’t want to talk about it. Zack tries to come in to explain to Belding but Slater tells him to “butt out.” Still, Zack tells Belding Slater’s all in a pissy mood because his pet lizard died. What a baby. Slater confesses that’s the reason he’s got permanent gas face today but moreso because his so called “friends” killed his lizard. Belding understands. He tells Slater about his two parakeets he had when he was younger, Sunny and Cher. One day he was cleaning their cages and left their door open. When he came back, Sunny was there but Cher had flown the coop (you youngsters may want to Wikipedia that reference). He then gets all serious and tells Slater blah, blah, blah..death is tough, etc, etc…it all ends with Slater hugging Belding and openly weeping into his chest. I’m seriously not kidding. Belding suggests they have a funeral for Artie so Slater can better cope with his grief. Plus, it’ll fill up the last six minutes of this episode. We cut to a classroom where Coach Rizzo is presiding over Artie’s funeral. I wonder if he got paid overtime for this? The gang all says something about Artie and then Slater gets up and says that, for a long time Artie was his only friend. But now he has multiple friends so good riddance to bad rubbish. He doesn’t exactly say that but you get the drift. Man, this episode is really fucking dumb isn’t it? The funeral service ends with the gang singing a modified version of “Oh Danny Boy” made more lizard-centric as they carry his shoebox tomb to the mens room to flush him. Does it bear repeating that I’m deadly serious about all this? See you guys later.
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Good Morning Miss Bliss Episode #11 – ‘Stevie.’ [Apr. 13th, 2010|07:34 pm]
The ravings of a madman about a show for kids
Ok, this past absence is through no fault of my own. Someone write a letter to TBS now that they’re cash rich from the recent signing of Conan O’Brien and tell them “no more Good Morning Miss Bliss episodes!” Seriously. This series sucked and I don’t want to write about it that much. Case in point, yesterday’s episode involved Miss Bliss and her fellow teacher / best friend Miss Paladrino moving in together where all sorts of wacky roommate antics ensued until they discovered that maybe they shouldn’t be roommates after all. That’s all well and good until you remember Haley Mills and whoever played Miss Paladrino are FORTY FUCKING YEARS OLD!! No shit you shouldn’t have a roommate you goddamned life failures!! Jesus Christ! This show revels in misery and human tragedy worse than the College Years. However, today’s episode is a bit of anomaly because it involves scenarios that SBTB will eventually return to in the real series as well as predicting the Hannah Montana craze about twenty years too early. GMMB Episode #11 – ‘Stevie.’

The episode opens with the young gang in homeroom losing their shit because globally famous fake teen singer, Stevie (an amalgam of Debbie Gibson, Cyndi Lauper, Tiffany, and, for some reason, 1986 Tina Turner) will be performing the last show of her farewell tour at JFK Jr.High! Why, you ask? Could it be because she has the shittiest management team known to man? No! She requested JFK Jr.High because it was where she went to Jr.High and because she wants to see her favorite teacher, Miss Bliss. I swear to god. As I said, the JFK Jr. High kids are losing their minds not only because Stevie is playing her last show there but, BUT she’s also going to bring a special kid up on stage and sing to them. Lisa, president of the Stevie fan club (an accolade curiously never brought up again), hounds Miss Bliss for dirt on the young Stevie. Miss Bliss cites her as a remarkable student with a lot of promise. She wanted to be a teacher but settled for being a multi-billionaire rock star instead. Miss Bliss seems generally disappointed in her for that. I’m not joking. We’ll get back to that but now young yet still money hungry Zack is gonna make a wager. He bets Nicki that not only will he be the chosen person to join Stevie on stage but he will also kiss her. Everyone calls bullshit and his bet is taken and covered tenfold. We cut to the..uh..it’s not quite Mr.Belding’s office but it’s that area outside the principal’s office where the administrative ladies sat and gave you disappointing looks when you signed in late. You know what I’m talking about right? Disney never coughed up the scratch to make Belding’s office but , most likely due to budget constraints, numerous scenes in GMMB involved several adults having to be in the same room at once so they built this quasi-reception area whenever the teachers and Belding needed to not be in a classroom but still be in the school. You get it. So, Belding’s there when in walks Stevie who calls Belding “Mr.Schmelding.” Belding, of course as we will see in the actual series, flips out. He flips out when anyone even remotely famous comes to Bayside. He even sort of lost it when Miss Bliss brought in that dude who does Abraham Lincoln impersonations. Anyway, Belding begins blowing Stevie and talking about how much he and his wife love her and are proud of her and blah, blah, blah…meanwhile, Stevie still seems unsure who this puffy, balding man is. We then go to Miss Bliss’s classroom where Stevie busts in on her. Like other famous people on the actual SBTB series, Stevie needs no bodyguards, publicists, managers, or sycophantic entourage members around her. They trust she’ll be safe wandering the halls of a Jr.High school alone so they obviously decided to hang back at the Radisson Inn and use some of that Stevie money to locate the one drug dealer in all of western Indiana. Stevie and Miss Bliss embrace and shoot the shit. Stevie says she’s retiring because she wants to go back to college or something yet has no idea how. Miss Bliss says say no more and not only is Stevie welcome to stay at her place as to avoid all the hubbub going on at her hotel but that she will help her apply to college as well. See, it’s moments like these when a manager or publicist would be useful so they could intervene by knocking Miss Bliss the fuck out and getting Stevie as far away from this place as possible. Yet, the very next scene Stevie is all checked in at casa de Bliss and the two are hard at work on college apps despite the fact that Bliss said to her, straight faced, “I will be your parents while you are here!” Shudder. Team Stevie deserves to lose their jobs.

Back at JFK Jr. High, Lisa has been allowed an exclusive interview with Stevie for the school paper. She’s shitting her pants and has no idea what to ask! Nicki could care less. Her heroes are Rosa Parks and that monk who set himself on fire. She probably goes home and watches PBS and buys tickets to Melissa Ethridge concerts. Thank god she never made the move out west because at least Jessie Spano developed a drug problem to make her interesting. Nicki just sucks. Still, Lisa wants Nicki there to catch her if she faints and / or shoots Stevie. Meanwhile, Zack is concerned that he may have gotten in over his with this bet and needs some inside dirt on Stevie to ensure victory. He presses Lisa for info and finds out Stevie’s likes are carrot covered yogurt balls (gross!), cherries, and lost causes. Screech believes himself a shoe in as he is all of those things (poor Screech). Zack inquires as to what “lost causes” entails and Lisa assures him it’s only “earthquake relief, world hunger, and children’s hospitals.” That’s right! Fuck aids victims! The scheming lightbulb above Zack’s head explodes and he excuses himself on the grounds “I gotta go see my doctor. I’m not feeling too well.” Back at Bliss’s, Stevie (now sans wig and makeup and looking relatively like an actual human) runs into Bliss’s living room and tells her she got accepted at Notre Dame. That fast? Didn’t anybody tell her famous celebrities are supposed to go to Columbia or NYU?? I also always assumed celebrity applications to college are like crayon scribble on a napkin reading “Me Want to sKooool N0w” accompanied by a million dollar check. Bliss asks her the reasonable question, “what about your career and your shit-ton of money?” Stevie replies “That’s what my manager, publicist, and lawyers asked and I told them, cheer, cheer, cheer old Notre Dame!” Bliss may be satisfied with that response but unless there’s some cult deprogrammers bee lining to Bliss’s house, her management team truly does deserve to all be thrown out on to the street. Then again, it’s the late 80’s and given the preponderance of teen singers and groups at the time, the next Another Bad Creation could very well be at the Muncie Greyhound station waiting to mug them right now!

The next day Stevie walks into that nebulous administrative zone and tells “Mr.Grelding” that she has reviewed all the contest entries and has chosen the special child she will sing to, Zack Morris. Belding laughs but Stevie produces a doctor’s note indicating that Zack is dying and that his last wish is for Stevie to sing to him and to kiss him. So, either Zack was a master, Catch Me if You Can-type forger by age thirteen or Indiana doctors will do ANYTHING for money. Or perhaps meth. My guess is the latter. Belding announces this over the intercom and Screech is heartbroken as he was certain he would be the one picked. Zack heads off to Belding’s office where Belding hugs him (gross) and apologizes for disciplining him and offers to also erase every black mark on his record. Sure. We go to the auditorium where Lisa and Nicki are about to interview Stevie. Stevie shows up and Nicki nearly barfs on her. She’s so starstruck she’s acting like an Asian person in a Michael Jackson concert video. Lisa is, of course, totes cool brah. Oh, irony. Meanwhile, Miss Bliss calls Zack into her classroom after hours. While all signs indicate she doesn’t want Morris to die a virgin, she actually wants to find out what exactly he has? Zack says “deskorisis.” Way to think under pressure, Preppy. Bliss says that her uncle had that and that there’s a cure. She then makes Zack jump up and down and flap his arms like a chicken which is probably illegal to do to an allegedly sick kid. For some reason, this Guantanamo-ish torture tactic makes Zack confess to faking the illness. His alibi is “what does Stevie care? I’m just some random kid!” To which Bliss responds “Stevie cares!! She cares a lot!!” Yikes. Settle down. That night, Zack appears on Miss Bliss’s doorstop. The writers cleverly let you decide how the intervening hours probably went down. Either Zack was so racked with guilt he felt the need to apologize to Bliss again or Bliss demanded he come by her home late at night and service her in ways only written about in banned books you have to have shipped to you in black plastic bags. You choose! Stevie, once again without makeup and wig, answers the door. Zack has no idea who she is. I told you they were on to the Hannah Montana thing years before! So Stevie, who introduces herself as Colleen, Bliss’s niece, invites Zack inside and gradually gets him to admit he’s the one who won the Stevie contest on false premises. Stevie-that-Zack-does-not-know-is-Stevie says that Stevie was probably pretty upset. Totally unprompted, Zack goes on a tangential yet sensible tirade about how Stevie is foolish to retire because she’s young and rich and has her whole life ahead of her to do dumb shit like go to college or marry one of her back up dancers! Stevie-not-Stevie counters back that “Stevie spent all of her time going from airport to airport and having no privacy!”(How attending a huge university will solve the privacy issue is anyone’s guess). Zack gets scared wondering while this total stranger is defending a celebrity and decides to beat it out of there before he’s murdered but not before telling her to tell Miss Bliss he’s sorry. Fake-evie says she will and then kisses him. Psy-cho! Sweet merciful Christ we’re finally at the Stevie concert in the auditorium! Stevie comes out in full on Stevie-ness which is a gold, sparkly blazer and min-skirt complete with bright red, huge, Tina Turner fright wig. She sings her “hit” “Hotline to Your Heart” which ain’t that bad for a song most likely concocted by two under-employed tv writers in their mid-30’s ten minutes before this scene was to be filmed. Screech joins her on stage to the delight of the audience who appear to enjoy fairness even more so than the songs of Stevie. Stevie jumps into the crowd ala Iggy Pop and dances and gyrates on everyone, ushering in puberty for no doubt 87% of the student body before passing by Zack and whispering to him “my friends call me Colleen.” Zack flips out and starts screaming “I kissed Stevie” to the laughter of his fellow students. We can only presume they hate lying as much as the fact that this is Stevie’s last show and stomped him to death. Let’s also assume Stevie’s bus hit a patch of ice near the Missouri border, skidded off the road, and everyone on board was killed before Stevie grew old enough to realize the mistake she made, made embarrassing attempts to get back on the charts, and then descended into the world of crack cocaine and amateur pornography. It’s only fair for someone so concerned with carrot covered yogurt balls and children’s hospitals. Goodnight sweet prince.
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Episode # 46 – ‘Rocumentary’ [Mar. 23rd, 2010|06:04 pm]
The ravings of a madman about a show for kids
As a counterpoint to yesterday’s episode, I fucking LOVE today’s episode. Casey Casem makes a return to the SBTB universe to take us on a pre-Behind the Music-esque journey through the dark heart of rock n’ roll and how sex, coke, booze, women, and publishing rights can ruin even the best of friendships. Let’s just get going with it; Episode # 46 – ‘Rocumentary.’

The episode begins with the voice of Scooby-Doo explaining that he’s backstage at the Zack Attack reunion tour (boo! Sellouts!!). He speed walks down this seemingly endless, Spinal Tap-like hallway in an attempt to talk to the members of Zack Attack as they head to the stage. As he tries to get in a word with Zack he is LITERALLY attacked by mobs of pussy and spiritual advisors. Yet Zack shoves all this trim to the wayside and keeps marching towards that stage. He is suddenly flanked by Lisa and Kelly wearing sparkling mini-dresses and Slater wearing a two-big, two-toned blazer and bolo tie (remember, he’s chicano! Caliente!). Screech joins this speed walk only he’s dressed as the pope (he actually looks like that evil arch-bishop from the Omen but, as we’ll see, NBC broke the bank on this episode in terms of sets and costumes so forgive them if they paid a clergyman $10 to swap clothes with Screech for five minutes while they shoot this scene). This proves to be enough to stop the race to the stage. Everyone asks Screech why he’s dressed like that because, as we later find out, either Lisa or Bob Mackie spent a lot of time making these non-matching, non-coordinated outfits he’s supposed to be wearing? He replies it’s to avoid getting noticed. Da na na NA na na NA….doinnnng! Slater threatens to beat the holy fuck out of him and he quickly loses the papal garb. The gang’s roadies suit them up with guitars, drum sticks, keytars, bumps of heroin, etc…and the Zack Attack take the stage. Casey Casem turns to us and let’s us know that it took a long time and lot of hard work for the gang to get here. It actually didn’t but the flashbacks have already taken ahold and we’re whisked away to the future past of Zack’s (I guess?) garage. We see the gang practicing. We can plainly see the group already has an advantage over every other hopeful garage band in the world as 1.) Zack’s garage is the most acoustically tuned place in the world, rivaling the Sydney Opera House and 2.) the gang has been blessed with pipes so golden they don’t even need microphones to project over their instruments. They’re jamming on a Zack penned composition (there’s sheet music visible on the ground so maybe his 1502 SAT score wasn’t so nuts considering he’s able to transcribe his guitar parts for keyboard, bass, and drums. He’s a regular Mr. Holland’s Opus Zack is!) called “Friends Forever.” The gang rocks it out flawlessly on the first go around and Slater (who deserves some props as he appears to be the only actor who can actually play the instrument his character is pantomiming on) says the title is “cool.” Yeah, man. All those kids rocking out and shooting themselves to “Better By You Better Than Me” and “To Kill A Hooker” will totally dig on the crazy anthem of anarchy that is “Friends Forever.” Screech ruins the good time parade by saying out loud the private, nagging thought of anyone who ever picked up an instrument hoping to one day make it big – “what’s the point of all this practicing if no one but us is ever going to hear this song?” I hear ya buddy! When I was in high school I had me a skiffle young combo called Mr.Satisfier which we named after a dildo. We would practice in my parent’s attic every so often where we spent hours and minutes working on such tunes as “I Ain’t Right” and “Bobba Fett Love” with the hopes that someday, one day, kids everywhere would hear these songs and say “yeah man! This shit is the bomb diggity doo soul brother jive cat number one! Utmost respect!” and that we weren’t just wasting our time in a fruitless exercise. And you know what?, people DID finally hear our songs. Those people were my parents. And they told me we sucked. Because we did. Then we gave up and went to college. Zack Attack appear to be on this same trajectory when, as Casey Casem informs us, fate intervened. Brian Fate, super producer of such notable acts as The Beach Buddies, happened to be jogging around Zack’s house and heard ‘The Attack” (as us super fans call them) practicing and wants to sign them. Turns out, the Beach Buddies ain’t buddies any more and clearly whatever label he works for is so cash poor they send their top producer out to do A&R work and that they need to fill that slot in their fake band roster pronto and basically anything that sings and has tits will do. But what of the logistics of them being underage and how are the royalties divvied up and does Brian fate get DOUBLE points on the back end for both signing them and producing their album and will someone please by these guys microphones!!?? SBTB has no time for your logic mortal! Zack Attack get put on the slow roll where we see them playing in some kind of jazz club / stand-up comedy room (there’s a big fucking brick wall behind them) performing their b-side “Did We Ever Have A Chance?”, a decent ballad no doubt inspired by Zack and Kel-Kel’s breakup yet, we’re never quite sure because this is an “Elseworlds” SBTB episode (the only other episode to actually take place in a whole different continuity is the one where future Belding watches the time capsule video with the Bayside Class of 2014 or whatever) where they kind of play fast and loose with SBTB history (where’s Jessie and Mr. Belding?? Jeff?? Rod Belding??) ((p,s, Do you find it weird that the Belding’s parents named their kids ‘Dick’ and ‘Rod?’)). Regardless, the unstoppable single that is “Friends Forever” b/w “Did We Ever Have A Chance?” has shot to number 1 with a bullet on the Billbox Top 40. They say it sold, I’m not lying, five hundred million copies. Literally, every person in American and half of Asia would have had to buy a copy. Clearly, home taping is NOT killing the music industry in this world.

The gang is at a press conference where, instead of hounding the group with rumors about peyote abuse and illegitimate children, the press is just sucking the group off. The group defers all questions to their new publicist, the so-so attractive Mindy. Who also happens to be evil. We don’t know that yet but she talks in an uppity French accent so how could she be anything but? Mindy makes ‘fuck me’ eyes at Zack who, even in this alternate reality, is compelled to stick his dick in anything that talks to him longer than :45 and soon they are conflict of interesting all over Zack’s twenty-room Malibu mansion no doubt. Hey! We’re at the Grammy Awards where Michael Jackson and Madonna impersonators are presenting Zack Attack with the award for single of the year! Kelly blurts out that she loves America, Lisa thanks her stylist and her makeup person..oh..and her grandma, and Zack thanks all the fans for supporting his, whoops, he means ‘their’ music. Ha ha, one too many eightballs in the men’s room beforehand. Later at the Grammy afterparty taking place apparently at a Red Roof Inn cocktail lounge, the group who has just won single of the year cannot get one person to look their way. Seriously. It’s really fucking embarrassing because, come on, the whole point of starting a band, becoming successful, and winning a shit ton of awards is so that men or women (whatever your preference may be) will let you do whatever the fuck you want to their bodies. If someone won’t let you smash their teeth in with a tack hammer why you pour burning hot wax on their best friend while your bassist films it you might as well quit and become a CPA or some shit! Am I right ladies!? Screech cockblocks Slater by telling groupies he has a bizarre foot fungus and some sweaty, puffy guy asks Kelly out on a date which she (for god knows what reason) accepts but this dude can’t believe it so he runs out of the room. Lisa is not doing lines and making it rain with the rest of her band, instead, she’s busy designing the band’s new outfits. What?! Does anybody in this stupid $$#@!$%’n band know how to be famous!! You have people who do this shit for you!! Zack and Mindy point that out to Lisa (Mindy moreso) and Lisa dejectedly walks away. Man, being famous fucking sucks dick. Zack feels bad but Mindy whispers to him that he doesn’t need them and that they’re just glorified back-up singers. This appeals to Zack’s damaged self-esteem as denoted by the knowing stare he gives off into space. We visit Zack Attack in the studio who are under immense pressure to top their quadruple platinum last single. Slater, Lisa, and Kelly have gotten together and made a power play by writing a song themselves. Their potential “hit” single is a shitty song about an issue all kids worldwide can relate to, why can’t they just make school be on the beach? Seriously. Fuck racism, global warming, trade embargoes, and ripping pictures of the pope up – us kids want to learn while we burn! Goddammit! Zack and Mindy piss all over their shitty song and say they’re going to record the song that him and Mindy wrote. Yeah, Mindy co-wrote a song! How many people in Zack Attack’s entourage have to pull double duty here!! I saw a Dateline special on Taylor Swift and you know how she has enough to buy and sell god six times over?? Because her entourage is three goddamn f’n s my d’n people!! Somebody get this group a decent manager who’s not trying to slobber on the singer’s knob while she Yoko’s the band out of a career! The gang reluctantly cuts Zack and Mindy’s song (making pained faces throughout) because Brian Fate demanded they do so. After all, the shitty one room studio they are in is costing them “mucho dinero!” This record label manages money worse than Bayside does!

We get a Batman-like spinning newspaper with the headline “Zack Attack Attack’s Each Other!” Then we’re in some NBC dressing room that I guess is supposed to be a “backstage” area (why the backstage area is filled with nothing but barber chairs and vanities I don’t know. Maybe that’s on Slater’s rider?) Zack is demanding to know which one of his turncoat band members gave this scandalous interview that no doubt makes the Beach Buddies demise look amicable by comparison? Why he’s not mad at, you know, his publicist for not doing damage control I don’t know but because he’s not fucking Slater (yet), the band gets the brunt of his outrage. It comes to pass that Screech gave the interview when the paper bribed him with a free pass to Disneyland. Unless Lou Perlman is running things, Screech should have enough money from his cut of the 500,000,000 records sold that he played on to tear down the Magic Kingdom and build a 400 foot tall Kevin the Robot in its place if he wanted to so the fact that he sold out his band for roughly $30 in 1991 dollars makes the Screech of this universe more in line with the Dustin Diamond of our current reality than any rock star NOT brutally addicted to meth. Zack is furious and walks out on The Attack five minutes before show time. Kevin the robot would have come in handy here. Casey Casem materializes out of nowhere to inform us this is when Zack Attack broke up. Slater went on to become Dale Ernhardt –seriously- he becomes the world’s first Latin American race car driver. Aye yi yi! Screech goes on some hippy-dippy spiritual quest where the he’s told (no doubt after shelling out millions and millions of dollars) that the secret to happiness is to marry a cheerleader and live on the beach. Hey! No shit dummy! Meanwhile, Zack is a Justin Timberlake styled mega-star. Mindy WAS right in that the gang was just holding him back. His current incarnation has him wearing MC Hammer’s cast off outfits and having his hair poofed to the sky. He is supposed to be aping Vanilla Ice here. Hey Vanilla Ice! SBTB is fucking make fun of YOU for being lame! Holy shit! Kill yourself bro! Zack, a real artist, complains to Mindy that his new solo gig appears to be less about song craftsmanship and more about an awesome lazer gun on stage with him that blasts girl’s shirts off. Mindy can’t fathom what the fuck he’s complaining about. Honestly, neither can I. Lazers are fucking cool. The final straw is when Zack receives word that Slater is in the hospital and Mindy forbids him from going as they have a flight to Japan in like ten minutes (pre-terrorism, folks). Zack rips his fake wig off and him and his principals run off to go see about his former bandmate. I hope Slater’s well-being is enough to make up for the millions of dollars Zack will no doubt lose thanks to the SECOND recording contract he’s breached inside a month. At the hospital Slater is all kindsa fucked up thanks not to an accident he had whilst racing, no no no – he was driving 275 mph down a crowded street and failed to stop at a stop sign. I imagine the hospital morgue downstairs has a bit of an overflow problem now. Also, Slater is totally going to prison! At his bedside is Kelly dressed like a nun. Don’t worry, she didn’t spiritually close up shop downstairs, she’s just an actress on some lousy daytime soap. Man, Kelly Kapowski actually became real life’s Tiffany Amber Thiessan!? This is the second bleak future they’ve accurately predicted in this episode. The horror. Lisa became an American Gladiator. And here we all thought Jessie would be the first to go full on lesb – never mind. Screech is there with his cheerleader wife and finally, sparkly pants Morris comes rushing in. Zack sort-of apologizes for, you know, contracting what we in the business refer to as Lead Singer Syndrome (an offshoot of down syndrome) and that now that they’re all broke and have to humiliate themselves for money, maybe they should get the band back together? It’s been six months after all. They all agree, even Slater whose arm is clearly broken and who will have to piss through a catheter for the rest of his life. That’s going to make a weird drum set-up. Meet Rick Allen, Slater. So we’re back at the beginning with Zack Attack on their reunion tour (Boo on the new stuff! Play the hits!! FREEBIRD!!) and we’re left with the parting words of Casey Casem that The Attack will always be, in theory, friends forever. Suddenly, we’re back in the cold , harsh reality of Zack’s garage. Yep, turns out this whole episode was just a fever dream from the mind of Zack Morris who nodded off from rocking too hard it seems. The band walks in and this Sartre play of an episode restarts itself as Slater counts off “Friends Forever” and metaphorically counts down their fates. Their Brian Fates if you will. Man, even Zack’s wildest fantasies involve him fucking shit up royally and apologizing to his friends profusely. Someone get this poor guy some help.
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Episode # 41 – ‘Check Your Mate’ [Mar. 22nd, 2010|05:59 pm]
The ravings of a madman about a show for kids
Egnh, fuck it. I’ll write one of these today. Today’s episode, in my opinion, is a fairly dull one. Though it involves all the great things about SBTB (outdated stereotypes, Valley High, beatings, kidnappings, extortion, Kelly in a cheerleader outfit, etc…), I’m just not down with this episode. It could because all of that fun stuff I mentioned orbits the nerdtastic solar body of a chess tournament. Yep. Let’s get on with SBTB’s own personal Rocky IV, Episode # 41 – ‘Check Your Mate.’

The episode opens with a rare callback, Zack acting as KKTY dj. He is stationed in the gym where a great majority of the school, including Lisa and Kelly as cheerleaders, are all screaming their heads off watching Screech play in the semi-finals of a chess tournament. Regardless that the average competitive game of chess moves at about 1 move every five minutes with games lasting at LEAST three hours, the school is in a frenzy. We can assume (well, hope, actually) that everyone got excused from class to go watch this. I refuse to believe school spirit is this overpowering. Despite chess requiring a great deal of silence and concentration, Screech is representing one time for the mind all over this asian kid who is most likely COMPLETELY distracted by all of the screaming and shouting going on around him. Zack, no doubt a 45th level grandmaster at the game, is doing the play by play on the radio for anyone tuning in to hear a complete moron incorrectly narrate a high school chess game. I imagine that person already has the gun barrel in their mouth and the radio is on solely to dampen the sound of the gunshot. Screech wins the game to thunderous applause and it’s announced that this victory will put him in the finals against Valley! Before we go on let me just say, I don’t hate chess. It’s a game I have great respect for. It’s also a game I suck complete dick at. I’ve attempted to become “good” at chess since I was nine years old. Chess always seemed it was right up my alley because it allows bookish nerds (like myself) to win at something, it involves learning a lot of difficult Russian names, and it’s the chosen game of wisened old sages / homeless people who live in the park. Like all geek affectations (D&D, ham radio, C++ programming, compiling six hours of your favorite porn scenes on to a single VHS tape, etc.) it says both “ this thing I’m doing has nearly zero application to anything real-world related” and also “I’m smarter than you. Nyah!” Harboring an obnoxious sense of superiority to your peers is every nerd’s right and chess gives you quantifiable evidence of intellectual superiority in the form of wins. Because it’s a game of strategy, you have to win by “out thinking” your opponent as opposed to physically besting them or paying them a lot of money to throw the game. The winner truly is the smarter of the two players. That’s why it’s the sport of kings (or is that roller hockey?). That is also why in the twenty years I’ve playing this game including reading that Bobby Fisher Teaches Chess book (well, the first chapter anyway) and taking a community college course on chess playing, I’ve won exactly one game. Don’t ask me. Anyhow, Screech and the gang are stoked because if there’s one thing they like more than when one of their own succeeds, it’s the chance to beat Valley High at something arbitrary and inconsequential. It also means Zack can exploit his friends for money once more. We cut to the Max where Slater and Zack are peddling Screech t-shirts at $10 a pop. They start selling like hotcakes which proves that Bayside is clearly the most non-winningest school in all of California. Violet buys twelve of them because she’s a “fool in love.” Zack takes her $120 without blinking an eye because he’s a “shitty friend.” As the Screech merchandise madness reaches a near fever-pitch, in walk two Valley toughs Screech identifies as the “Goon Brothers” or something like that. Their names are Vinny (of course), and Guy Guy (the SBTB writers must have also been 1980’s Japanese video game programmers. Nerd joke. All your base are belong to us, etc…) they tell Zack and Slater that they arrived at the Max via the street thugs preferred choice of transportation (garbage truck) to challenge Zack and curly Conan to a bet. They say Valley will win the chess tournament and are willing to put up $100 to prove it. Zack questions why a school filled with braindead dolts would believe their chances in the finals of a chess tournament are so good they’d put up a hundred smackers when in walks their secret weapon, a large Russian kid whose name I can’t remember and that is not listen in Wikipedia. Screech, still bursting with confidence from being metaphorically hand jobbed by his fellow students all day, rolls up to the dude and asks what he would do if he had his rook cornered with a knight to F5? The Russian guy says he’d use the Spasky Bishop Block. Screech basically breaks down because, we’re to assume, only the 99th percentile of nerds know about the Spasky Bishop Block and / or Screech’s whole strategy revolves around that move. To further compound the pain, Russian dude says that he knows the move because Spasky was his uncle. Oh shit!! Screech retreats to a nearby booth to vomit where Zack and Slater try and prop him up with a pep talk that involves a lot of chanting. Violet comes over to say she believes in him and, if he wins the tournament, he can put it anywhere. This emboldens Screech so much that he goes up to the Valley thugs and triples Zack and Slater’s bet! It’s amazing how caviler you can be with someone else’s money.

The next day Zack and Slater are cheering Screech on during chess practice. I should point out that not only is the Bayside chess team like forty students deep, they all have to train in official Bayside Chess Team sweatsuits. Once again, it’s amazing to see what Bayside chose to blow its budget on. Slater looks like he’s about to gouge his eyes out from boredom when in walks a so-so looking blonde woman. Zack’s brain shifts from exploitation to fuck time and he all but leaps on this lady. The lady says she finds him as appetizing as shit pizza (I don’t think I’ve used that descriptor in some time) and that she’s here to interview Screech for Chessboy magazine. A subsidiary of Teen Fashion magazine no doubt. She (metaphorically) massages Screech’s dickhead a bit before saying she’d like to meet him at The Max later for an interview. At The Max this woman continues to Cleveland Steamer Screech (figuratively) when Violet walks in and starts going ‘Tori Spelling in Die Cheerleader Die’ on the Chessboy magazine lady before Screech clams her down and explains she’s a reporter. Oh, that’s totally cool with Violet. Screech introduces Violet to the woman and says she’s his girlfriend and the one who gave him his lucky beret that without which, he would never win a game. Lucky beret you say!!?? Can the Chessboy reporter try it on? Can the Chessboy reporter attempt to run the fuck out of The Max with it on? The answer to the last two questions are ‘yes’ until Zack grabs it off her head last minute. Foiled , Chessboy lady (yikes!) blows Screech some more (no, she literally blows Screech in this scene) which pisses Violet off again and then disappears. Zack, suspecting foul play may be afoot, tells Screech he should hide his beret in his locker for safe keeping. Later, Violet is in the girl’s locker room crying her eyes out that Screech is going to leave her for a semi-less gross looking female reporter. The girls of Bayside assure her that Screech in NO WAY knows what “hitting on him” would be even if she was smashing his face between her tits. This comforts Violet for some reason who runs off to apologize for acting insane to Screech when she happens upon Screech trying on bathing suits for Chessboy woman lady. Violet runs off and Screech takes off after her. Chessboy person grabs Screech’s beret and makes a collect call on the payphone in the hallway to the Valley thugs. Yep, Chess thing man woman child guy is actually one of the Valley thug’s girlfriends! Oh the twisted web we weave. We go back to The Max where Screech is despondent having lost both his beret AND his baby mama. Man can only take so much. Zack tries to console him when Valley thugs show back up and ask preppy if he wants to bail on the bet now that Screech’s lucky beret is gone? Zack, in typical retard fashion, not only says the bet is still on but that, instead of money, he wants one of the Valley dude’s motorcycles. Who cares that you need a license for that!? Zack will work out the details later!! The next day, Zack has found Screech’s lucky beret! Problem solved! Screech is elated! As soon as Screech leaves Zack pulls out a box of similar berets and begins selling them to whomever wants one. You’d think common sense would have Zack wait until AFTER the tournament to blow his cover but Zack has always been one to rush head first into danger. Screech approaches Violet in hopes he can win her back after showing her he found her lucky beret. Violet inspects the beret and admonishes Screech for not knowing that she had written her name inside his beret and that this one is a cheap knockoff! To be fair, that is somewhat of a major league brohener on Screech’s part.

Finally (fucking finally!) we’re at the chess tournament finals. Screech tells Zack and Slater there’s no way he can win without his lucky beret and that they should just give the Valley guys $100 and hope the naked photos he took for Chessboy magazine can make up some of the shortfall. Zack tells Screech not to worry because they’ve got one last trick up their sleeves…senseless violence! Slater, having learned much about forced rape during his time in Germany, convinces the Russian guy to take a pre-game photo with him and Zack. They lead him into a janitor closet (cleverly marked “press room”) and shut the door. What happens next is a variety of otherworldly sounds until Zack and Slater emerge from the janitor’s closet with Zack dressed exactly like the Russian guy. If we didn’t later find out he’s wearing a wig and fake eyebrows you could seriously believe that in addition to beating the shit out of this guy, they also scalped him and ripped his eyebrows off. Man, the Russian dude must look a LOT like Slater;s father to deserve that. Belding introduces the chess finals (yep, taking place at Bayside) and makes a bunch of bad ‘glasnost’ related jokes. Slater, doing the announcing for KKTY with Jessie, is not so PC and tells Screech to ‘kick that commie’s butt!’ USA! USA! Zack as fake Russian guy walks out and immediately surrenders to Screech citing ‘he’s too good.’ Curiously, this is accepted and Screech is all but awarded the trophy when a semi naked Russian guy runs out half tied up with rope and with tape over his mouth. Belding frees him and he rats Zack out as his attacker. Zack admits to some good natured, inter-school joshing / abduction as well as a friendly wager between the two schools. Belding tries to suspend everyone in the gymnasium but Zack grows his five minutes of conscious per episode and asks that the game be allowed to continue because neither Screech nor the Russian had any clue what was going on. Belding agrees but Screech is distraught still having no beret and woman. Violet enters just in time to tell Screech he doesn’t need a lucky beret to win. He just needs her love and the thought of getting to fuck her on a pile of Omni magazines later. That’ll work. Screech and the semi-naked Russian go at it with Screech naturally winning. The Bayside crowd erupts but Zack is not done shilling. He turns to the camera and recommends everyone out there in tv land buy the breakfast cereal he’s selling, Screechio’s! I imagine it tasting like a cross between hot cat food and failure.
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Episode # 78 – ‘The Video Yearbook’ [Mar. 16th, 2010|06:05 pm]
The ravings of a madman about a show for kids
I have a feeling I may not be able to finish typing this today. When you’ve worked in the administrative field for as long as I have you get a bizzaro sixth-sense in regards to when a shit pile of work is about to be dumped on you. It’s like how old time-y farmers can sense the rain coming in their bones or how my best friend knows when his coke dealer’s downstairs before he calls. You eventually just become one with what you do. It sucks. I base my expectancies of not finishing this entry today on a few things, 1.) I had NOTHING to do this morning. 2.) My boss did not come in until like ten minutes ago 3.) Instead of using this morning to write in this blog I spent it farting around on random websites and messageboards 4.) 99.9% of the time when those three things occur and just as I’m pulling up Wikipedia to see what episode number I’m about to write about, boom, I gotta book vacations for nine people or do three hours of data entry or go buy stool softening pills (I wish I was joking) and this blog gets put off yet another day. Then again, I just spent twenty minutes writing about how I may not be able to keep writing. We’re through the looking glass here folks. I won’t delay any longer. Today we have yet another episode wherein Zack dabbles in being a pornographer at the expense of his friends. Zack came so close to being Joe Francis so many times it’s almost heartbreaking. Episode # 78 – ‘The Video Yearbook.’

The senior year episodes mainly focused around Zack shifting his all consuming desire to go to Hawaii to an all consuming desire for a car. It’s too bad nobody told Zack he already has a car from when he won a volleyball tournament the previous summer. Further proof that the Malibu Sands episodes happened only in Zack’s rapidly deteriorating mind. The episode opens at The Max with Zack and Screech flipping through the white trash bible known as Auto Trader magazine. I can’t hate, I’m a teensy, tiny bit of a car guy myself ( I also love pro wrestling and one of my favorite bands is non-ironically, Def Leppard. My collar may be white but I’m constantly combing my inner mullet.) so I kinda love when they discuss cars on SBTB if only to make me furious about how cheap old cars were back in the early 90’s when everyone just wanted Impala’s or Jeep Wranglers. I digress. Further evidence of Zack’s beaten and left to die on the side of the road self-esteem comes from his conviction that, unless he gets a hot ride, his chances for poony are as good Screech’s. Actually, they’re worse considering Screech had Violet heels up on Kevin the Robot for most of last season. I’ll give you a moment to throw up if you need to. Zack forgets he’s still “top dog” at Bayside and can basically have any girl he wants. To Zack, it’s buy a $185K Ferrari or die a spinster. He’s probably bulimic too. If only Jessie had leant him some body image acceptance literature we’d have no Tori to talk about today. Zack laments to Screech that his $10 a week allowance from daddy will not provide him enough capital to buy a car before high school’s over. Instead of making fun of Zack for still receiving an allowance at age seventeen, his friends suggest he ask his dad for a raise. Don’t his friends know Zack only sees his dad about once a year? Screech suggests Zack get 2,000 more dads. Well, he’s had three so far so that suggestion is not entirely implausible. Zack continues to pout and whine as Kelly busses his table (and I assume, does her best not to drown this spoiled baby in filthy mop-bucket water) when Jessie bursts in the door. Surprise, surprise, she’s stressed out and complaining again. Say what you will about her drug addiction, no one can deny that those pills at least made the stick fall out of her ass for a good sixteen hours. Mr.Belding has charged her with coming up with some Earth shattering theme for this year’s yearbook since she is the head of the yearbook committee. Isn’t Stanford off the table at this point? She’s headed to Surf University right? Why doesn’t she drop some of this shit? Anyway. Because Bikini Kill isn’t a theme, Jessie is clearly stumped. Back in Belding’s office, the yearbook committee is brainstorming. No surprise, Zack’s on this committee too but is nose deep in Auto Trader. The black nerd guy who talks like Stephen Hawkings suggests they make it holographic. That pretty cool idea is shot down. Most likely because he was black. Belding finally turns to Zack and demands an idea. Zack casually thows out that the yearbook should be on video instead because, you know, reading’s for fags and shit. But what of the senior pages where kids write all sorts of embarrassing shit that will haunt them for years!!?? You can’t just get rid of that institution??!! But, because the Bayside gang can do whatever they want, yes you can. Video yearbook is go.

Bayside magically turns the driver’s ed classroom into a professional video shoot studio complete with the requisite purple cloudy pastel backdrop. Zack and Screech are, of course, in charge of this whole operation. Why wouldn’t they be? Everyone shows up dressed in the uniform of whatever sports team they are on. Slater’s in his too small football uniform and when Zack turns the camera on and tells him to start talking he chokes like he’s already on the California University wrestling team. Talking to a camera in an almost empty room nearly gives big, bad Slater a heart attack. One could see this as the writers taking more swipes at his outlandish masculinity but I choose to see it as residual flashbacks to basement rapes by weird uncles back in Germany. Kelly comes in wearing her cheerleader uniform and is filmed jumping and cheering and then flirting with Zack. Zack’s metaphorical beej gets cut short (ooh!) when Kelly reminds him that his parents are going to have to drive them to their date this weekend. Ha ha! Burn. This sends Zack deep into castration anxiety so he flees the scene leaving Screech to film the rest of the students for the yearbook. Lisa comes in dressed like a retard and says she’s founder of the Fashion Team and the Shopping Squad. It’s cool Bayside lets students just make up crap they did. I trust Maxwell Nerdstrom came in next and said he was vice-president of the Big Dick Society and captain of the Bangin’ Sluts Brigade. I would have. Also, Lisa lists her hobbies as “dating guys” and “dating guys.” It’s cool to know that when her future grandchildren watch this they’ll know grams was a whore. Ahhh, who are we kidding. The shelf life for VHS tapes from the early 90’s was like three years. Should have gone CD-ROM Zack! Screech, very conveniently to the plot, remarks that lots of dudes will probably want to date Lisa after watching this! Yup, Zack’s money and car lusting brain suddenly gets an idea. Zack says they’ll turn the video yearbook into a video dating service tape like service thing! In case you’re too young, pre internet, wackos and social introverts like myself too terrified to answer personal ads in the back of supermarket circulars let alone actually talk to people had one choice when it came to finding someone to bump uglies with, video dating. You essentially filmed yourself talking about yourself then the agency you did this through would let anybody with $5 grab your tape out of a box, watch it in private, clean themselves up afterwards, then obtain your phone number. If it sounds like more trouble than it was worth, you are 100% correct. But it still sounded like a good idea in the early 90’s so Zack and Screech shift the questioning of female students from “what hobbies do you enjoy?” to “what do you look for in a guy?” and “anal. Yes. No. maybe?” Shockingly, none of the ladies seem to find this disturbing line of questioning, uh, disturbing. Maybe because Blonde Bimbo #1 says she wants a man who’ll blow all his cash on her and Joan Jett-esque Goth Rocker # 3 says her dream date is Jon Bon Jovi – setting her hair on fire. Seriously. I’m turned on. Anybody else? We go to Valley where Zack and Screech are selling tapes in the hallway under a large sign reading “Girls! Girls! Girls!” Thank goodness famous people only casually walk into Bayside so there’s no chance of Vince Neil swinging by to pick up the swim team and drop off a subpoena. The tapes are really moving as I guess all Valley girls, contrary to popular opinion, are prudes. Not the girls of Bayside as we shall soon see. Zack notes that they’ve already made a shit ton of cash and have several more schools left to hit up including St.Marys Reform School. Shoot, so what if one of his friends gets brutally raped and murdered? He’ll pour a little liquor out of the window of his future Ferrari in their honor.

The next day we see the girls of Bayside all talking about how many random guys called them last night. Rather than the natural response of being creeped out and terrified, the Bayside woman are over the moon that so many men are interested. Zack catches wind of the girls talking about this but then, to his horror, notices Lisa and Jessie talking about all the random guys that called them too! Lisa is stoked about how many dates she has lined up. Man, Lisa is desperate / suicidal. I imagine one will be able to eventually piece together a hard copy of the Bayside yearbook just from the back’s of milk cartons alone. Zack grabs Screech by the ear and demands to know why Jessie and Lisa were put on the tapes and, more importantly, was Kelly on them? Of course she was because Zack gave explicit orders to Screech to include “only the hottest girls” on the tape. Considering there’s only seven girls at Bayside total (with the gang comprising three of them, four if you count Slater), what the fuck was he supposed to do? Zack demands to see Kelly’s tape. Screech has edited Kelly’s tape in such a confusing, hurkey-jerky way that any dude who calls her no doubt has human skin hanging up as wallpaper. Zack loses it. Suddenly, Belding and Jessie burst in wanting to see how the video yearbook is progressing. Zack, in a blind panic, rips the dating tape out of the vcr and, whooooops!, fumbles it into a big pile of normal yearbook tapes. Both tapes being unlabeled (sigh), Zack just hands one to Jessie and flees the room. We cut to Jessie watching the tape of her (billed as Jessie “legs” Spano) with basically half of the school. The other students are pissed. Slater threatens a beating. Belding threatens an expulsion. All of these are justified but Kelly suggests, getting even. Belding and 86% of the student body agree to this illegal action. We go to the men’s locker room where Zack and Screech are arguing that their stupid plan may have gotten a touch out of hand (mainly because Zack’s relationship could be threatened, fuck everyone else) when Slater storms in all pissed off wearing sky blue jeans and a shirt made of what can only be described as alligator skin if you tye-dyed the alligator first. To offset his ridiculous attire he rips the door off of a locker and screams that if he finds out who gave all these dudes Jessie’s number he’ll “pluck their nose hairs out!” Um..you know, a lot of people PAY for that service? Anyway, this freaks Screech and Zack out so they run out into the hallway where Jessie and Lisa are sulking about the fact that Lisa got her phone taken away because of all the incoming calls she was getting and that Slater broke up with Jessie and is beating every guy he sees up in a jealous rage. Zack says she’s bluffing when, on cue, the bell rings and all the dudes of Bayside walk out into the hall dressed up in fake bruises and bandages. How they coordinated a school wide prank under Zack’s nose is a testament to the solid educational foundation and life skills learned at Bayside. Bayside High – Where Tomorrow’s Crooked CEO’s Are Ripping You Off Today. This unnerves Zack who is mercifully called into Belding’s office. Beliving he has found momentary sanctuary, Zack relaxes only to see Belding with a black eye the result, he says, of an “earlier incident” with Slater. Come on, you can fucking punch the principal of Bayside out and not be arrested?? How Zack could still think Belding is allowing a rage fueled, sexually confused Slater to roam the halls kicking the shit out of everything he sees requires stupidity I’m fairly certain not even Becky the duck possesses. Yet, here we are. Kelly walks in now all punked up ala her future role in Son In Law with some JV-Jake from California Dreams rip-off who she introduces as Vince Montana. Son of Joe. Cousin of Tony. Presumably. In addition to her new look, Kelly now has a “bad ass” attitude and tells Belding to shove it as she begins to make out with Vince. Zack pleads “what about us!!” to which Kelly replies “Oh yeah, we’re through.” Zack barely has time to work up some sniffles before Slater all but kicks Belding’s door down, grabs Zack’s shirt, and rears back for a punch. Backed into a corner, Zack “times out” the world and makes a break for it. When the world “times in” Slater actually does knock out Belding since Zack is no longer in his way. This brings up a few disturbing possibilities in that 1.) this is the first time Zack has “timed in” and not been in the same position as he was when he “timed out” so everyone in Belding’s office must be wondering what the fuck just happened and 2.) if you’re a fan of time travel theories, Zack has just made the world collapse in on itself. In all other “time out” instances, Zack could have accomplished what he intended to do only with less ease. In this instance, Zack was gonna get punched. Destiny decreed Zack was going to get punched. By “timing out”, Zack has altered the course of time in such a way to create a new timeline where getting knocked out by a dude in ugly clothes does not occur .If you subscribe to the theory that time can only move forward , Zack just made it take the exit ramp, screwing up all future time based on Zack getting knocked out. In fact, the simple act of freezing time is akin to ‘pausing’ a tape which implies that the timeline has already been written and you’re editing shit in post which would, in theory, fuck up the rest of time. Wow! Nerd alert! Kelly’s in a fucking mini-leather jacket and DTF in this episode and I’m talking about fucking non-linear time??!! Get it together dude!

The conclusion of this episode finds the gang and a few select random students back in the video yearbook room. They all received invites to meet Zack there at 3. If there’s one thing Zack’s great at aside from making cardboard cutouts, it’s making index card sized invitations. Everyone’s there yet Zack is nowhere to be found. Screech comes in with a tape from Zack he instructed him to play. On the tape, Zack tells everyone he f’d up bigtime and , after finishing up the video yearbook, enrolled himself in military academy (he can’t do that but I digress) so they’ll never have to see him again. He tells Screech to give Kelly (who’s still with Vince Montana here which makes me think that they extended their “fake relationship” long after the joke was over. Makes me think Vince extended something else too if you catch my drift??!! I’m talking about his penis.) back his friendship ring. Kelly starts to cry which is sooooooo not punk rawk. Meanwhile, Zack has snuck into the room dressed as the ugliest woman imaginable so he could watch his friends weep over his departure. Slater immediately recognizes Zack and begins pointing him out to everyone. The tape ends with Zack saying so long to Bayside to which everyone in the room cheers! Zack, who has not noticed everyone in the room pointing and giggling at him, goes to the front of the room, rips his wig off and yells “come on! I’ve done worse than this!!” The entire populace of the rooms points at him and yells, collectively, “gotcha!” Episode over. Though Zack admits to personally using all money made from pimping the video tapes to finishing the yearbook, the problem remains that a billion strangers still have these girls numbers and these tapes are very much still in circulation. And will be. For a long, long time. Without knowing it, in addition to Girls Gone Wild, Zack also invented “sexting.” And why couldn’t he come up with an idea for econ class again? Hey! I got through this without any interruption. The worst is clearly yet to come. Pray for me.
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Episode XX: The AV Club says I killed Irony or Something to That Effect [Mar. 12th, 2010|06:15 pm]
The ravings of a madman about a show for kids
Hey! Two updates in one day! No, don’t get your hopes up that I’m finally going to tackle the wedding episode, I’m writing this missive to address this:

http://www.avclub.com/austin/articles/saved-by-the-bell-and-the-decline-of-ironic-apprec,38221/

First off, why did no one tell me I was getting free press!!?? In case you don’t want to bother clicking the above link, it is an AV Club article citing the recent swell of SBTB nostalgia as the final nail in the coffin of irony. My blog gets singled out via a link alongside Chuck Klosterman’s “Being Zack Morris” essay and a few other like-minded blogs that tackled the ‘bell a time or two. Despite the fact that Graydon Carter claimed it was terrorists who effectively killed irony back in 2001, the author of this article says it’s people like me. As a lifelong appreciator of the ironic and insipid let me first say, my bad, and secondly, the claim that people like myself are merely pointing out the obvious to a group (I guess a readership of five counts as a “group”) of like-minded people who already know the obvious and discussing it in a way that makes it seem, to quote him, “as if the show ever had a critical standard its creators had intended to measure up to” is slightly erroneous. Okay, sure. You got me. I’m wasting countless man hours detailing the nuances of a show written by coked up writers who couldn’t get gigs on the staff of Empty Nest that was nothing more than pabulum to sell Ninja Turtle action figures to sugar buzzed pre-teens on Saturday mornings. I’m aware. The sub-head of my blog says as much. But the consensus about SBTB from those I have spoken to about it is what differentiated it from 90210 or My So Called Life or The New Adventures of Beans Baxter was that at its uncool and horribly out of touch core was a great big beating heart. As I have pointed out many a time in my blog, the writers definitely did their best given what little they were allowed to work with. They addressed many issues long considered taboo at that time and did so via shows about glee clubs and driver’s ed. I honestly believe there’s a shit ton of subtext going on in these episodes (well, most of the episodes), moreso than I ever thought first going into this blog. I honestly believe the writers were hoping a thought or two would creep in to the heads of America’s children in between commercials for Honey Grahams. If Alf can be written by a heroin addicted paranoid madman, who the fuck’s to say the SBTB writers didn’t have their own (possibly drug fueled) agendas? I’m 99.9% certain they did! The actors also seemed to be having a great time during the course of the series and they attest to this fact in numerous interviews you can find online. I also cite the young actors never really having lives outside the show that helps it retain some of its charm. NBC never did a “I Hate Kelly” week. The whole effect created a product that’s not unlike mom’s meatloaf: it’s warm, comforting, and reminds you of a more innocent time. It may not always be what you want but you find yourself often going back to it. SBTB is not “so bad it’s good.” It’s on level all by itself. To say otherwise is selling the whole enterprise short. We are truly one the first generations to not only be raised by television but to have our expectations generated by it as well. Don’t tell me when you went to your senior prom you didn’t think back for a moment about the gang’s senior prom and smile knowing , no matter how bad it turns out, at least you’re not stuck in the boiler room. Don’t tell me when you first got your driver’s license that you didn’t think of Slater driving doughnuts around Bayside’s hallway in a golf cart. And don’t tell me for even one second that when you’re funneling PBR and doing bumps with your buddies on the weekend that someone doesn’t burst out a line of “ “I’m so excited!”

The author argues that if everyone in the world (including the cast members) acknowledge SBTB as ridiculous, what can be ironic or funny about it? If no one truly believes there was an ounce of sincerity involved in any part of SBTB then all of us writing essays about it are merely spinning our wheels in a vacuum (is that even possible) and mocking a target that’s already a walking joke to begin with. It’s like making fun of the fat person in the pink sweater with a large picture of a dog on it only to find out that that fat person is making fun of themselves to someone else. Yeah, I don’t understand my metaphors either. In sum, I’m not trying to discredit the author or get weirdly defensive about my dumb blog but I take issue with the fact that our generation can only see something patently ridiculous from our past through rose colored glasses. There was tons of shit we grew up with that sucked ass that still sucks now. Uh..rollerblading, for one. SBTB was like our own personal Amish family. Its appeal WAS in how out of touch it was. It was shows that tried to “get real” that were normally taken to task and raked over the coals. SBTB was left alone because there was absolutely nothing harmful about it. Our generation doesn’t always need everything to be super serious and have a deep, resonating meaning. The Cohen Brothers can’t direct everything! Sometimes we don’t want pho from that hip Vietnamese restaurant. We just want mom’s meatloaf. And sometimes we like to point out how fucked up the onions in it look.

Also, thanks to this publicity I can get back to the main reason I started this blog- to get a book publishing deal so I don’t have to work anymore!! Hey! Random House! Look over here! This dude says the window is closing for funny SBTB shit! Cut me a check and I’ll have a first draft to you within the week. I un-ironically love money. This I can assure you.
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Episode #26 – ‘Model Students’ [Mar. 12th, 2010|06:06 pm]
The ravings of a madman about a show for kids
I’ve returned! Release the doves! Stop the human sacrifices! I’m back after an extended absence due to work crushing my soul and injuring my fingers with hours and hours of data entry, leaving me with no time to talk about Needick or Becky Belding. And it’s hard to communicate to my employer how writing about the Bayside / Valley prank war is pretty much the one thing keeping me from Michael Douglas In Falling Down’ing everyone and everything. Like parents, they just wouldn’t understand. But you people do! You, my three faithful readers that keep the torch of this madness lit night after night day after day second by second minute by minute because love is alright tonight and…What the fuck am I typing!? See what happens when I don’t get to complain about Tori for a week or so! Anyhow, today is another episode in which Zack exploits his friends for money. No surprise there. Episode #26 – ‘Model Students.’

The episode opens at the school store. Why NBC tossed big bucks at the set designer to create a Bayside school store for one single episode yet couldn’t drop $35 to maybe make, I dunno, Slater’s room or a library or some shit is anyone’s guess. I take it the writers framed the entire series in the mold of an Edward Albee play and minimalism is a big part of that framework hence Zack introducing the GMMB episodes from inside a Mondrian painting. Anywhosits, the school store is run by, who else, nerds. We also see that our working class hero Kelly is forced to serve under them. Not literally. Nerd love. Gross. Instead of popping boners at her all day, the nerds delight in making her dust shit and pick up Warhammer pieces that have fallen on the ground and paying her seven cents on the dollar, etc…Kelly is not happy about this arrangement but as she says to the gang who all decided to stop by to see if Kelly wanted to join them for lunch ( I still don’t get how six kids were able to all swing the same lunch period?), she needs the money the school store is paying her. Yeah, she gets paid to work at the school store. I worked at the “school store” in my middle school which consisted of a table set up in the hallway where I sold pencils for a quarter a piece and my only payment was getting to operate the tiny lcd sign in the hallway that rattled off who had a birthday that day. And I was stoked on that shit! But here Bayside is doling out $10 an hour to seven people so they can peddle framed pictures of Mister Rogers and seashell clocks to broke and disinterested high school students. Again, it’s really no wonder why the school has no budget for proms and ski trips when their funds are repeatedly sunk into the most cash losing ventures imaginable. If I didn’t know better, and I don’t, I’d say Bayside was privately owned by big time coke dealers as a means to launder money and the “students” are paid to act the part. Hmmm..this is an interesting third theory. So the gang is telling Kelly that her gig here sucks and that all the shit they sell is retarded when Zack’s blonde brain and low sense of self-esteem whisper to him that this store would be so much more awesome were he running things. Because the Bayside gang can do whatever the fuck they want, Zack marches into Belding’s office and demands he be put in charge of the store. Belding says no. The word “no” has never meant anything to Zack or the numerous date rape charges his future self will inevitably face so he presents Belding with some hard evidence to back up his case – the school store’s sales report for last year. Belding opens it up only to find it’s nothing but blank pages! Doh! In your face Belding! Point made! Boom! Sometimes you get the thunder!! Belding sheepishly tells Zack that the school store costs them approx $0 to maintain and all it does is let the kids who routinely get beaten up in the showers feel some small sense of importance in their otherwise worthless lives so maybe he should just leave it the fuck alone. That answer is unacceptable so Zack sets about buttering Belding up with visions of transforming the school store into like Walmart meets Target in terms of turning out big money profits. Belding, drastically underqualified for his job, finally agrees.

A couple thousand dollars later the school store is brand new and loaded up with Christmas lights and tons and tons of neon apparel sure to appeal to the Ocean Pacific loving thrall that studies at Bayside High. Yet for all their good intentions not one of the dumb shit gang realized that NO student is currently walking the halls with sixty bucks burning a hole in their pocket looking to purchase an XXL Bayside Tigers sweatshirt and neon pink backpack. The whole point of school stores since time immemorial is that they sell nothing you want and almost nothing you need. Zack fucking with this system has thrown their karma wayyyyyyyyy off. But, shit, it’s not their money they’re throwing away right!? While Zack thinks of who he can exploit to get more customers into the store (pppst..preppy..you don’t get paid on commission here. Relax.), Kelly and Lisa announce that they have to go to swim team practice. Oh, and Bayside has a swim team btw. Screech then announces that he’s running late for photography club. A club the writers just invented for Screech to be in so they can move the plot of this episode along. If one were to perform an MRI on Zack’s brain they’d see that it’s cleanly divided into two halves with one devoted entirely to cruelly profiteering off the sweat and misery of others and the other devoted to getting his fuck on. These two halves meet in this episode and devise a plan. Later in the hallway Screech, wearing an entire scuba suit, tells Zack he was able to take underwater photos of the swim team without being noticed. If that was truly the case, the swim team deserves whatever perverted shit Zack does with those pictures. The next day the school store is swamped with customers. Kelly and Lisa wonder aloud why all these people are in here and fate gives them the answer in the form of Girls of Bayside calendars offset by two giant cardboard cutouts of Kelly and Lisa posing in swimsuits (again, Screech went undetected when snapping these candid shots mind you. Ahem…). It was pointed out elsewhere that these are like the third or fourth cardboard cutouts Zack has had made of his friends, especially Kelly. He better pray that the people at Kinko’s have a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy in place. Kelly and Lisa are, of course, furious. Lisa moreso because Miss December is Belding’s head on Lisa’s body. Hawt! The girls rush to Belding’s office to presumably lodge, and rightly so, a complaint of sexual harassment and exploitation and general grossness because the entire student body of Bayside is now collectively jerking it to full color pictures of girls who wouldn’t normally spit in their direction if their teeth were on fire or something. Belding agrees because, after all, JO’ing to your fellow students is what propels sales of yearbooks but right before he can enact justice, Adam Trask, photographer and teen model scout and no doubt convicted sex offender walks into his office. Adam just happened to be cruising high schools I presume and picked up the girls of Bayside calendar and noticed that between all the wildebeests in it, there were like three semi-decent looking girls in there and he’d like to shoot them for ..uh..Teen Fashion magazine or whatever fake business he’s running out of his apartment this week. Once again, the prospect of making some scrilla causes the girls to forget any injustice towards then and they promise they’ll keep letting Zack sell the calendars if he makes sure it’s them three who get to be in the photo shoot. Zack, no stranger to shaking hands with the devil, enthusiastically agrees.

We cut to the ‘Teen Fashion’ photo shoot taking place in the Bayside hallway. Jessie, getting ready for her groundbreaking Showgirls role, descends the stairs as a sexy librarian and flips her hair around and ties up her shirt to reveal her stomach and deep throats a banana whole (sorry..that didn’t happen here..my mistake) and generally tosses all of her feminist principles out of the window (remember, this is the same Jessie who nearly burned down the school because they wanted to host a beauty pageant) in exchange for a slim chance at fame and very little money. You go girl! Kelly and Lisa are dressed normally, well, normally for the early 90’s while the photographer shouts all manner of typical fashion photographer like phrases at them such as “that’s it!,” “turn to the left!” ,“more energy”, “I promise I’ll pull out!” etc. Later at some point in the nebulous future, the gang is cold chillin’ at The Max when Adam Trask comes in with some news. We’re to assume the girls of Bayside calendar is long out of print and that their Teen Fashion photoshoot has long been published and that Jessie has to resort to selling beaver shots in the parking lot for cash because the girls practically stomp each other to death to be the first to hear who Teen Fashion magazine chose as their cover model and who will get to go to Paris for the photoshoot. No surprise, they pick Kelly. No surprise x 2 , Lisa and Jessie are pissed city. For someone with the worst luck in the world, Kelly also manages to have the best luck in the world. God is dead. Zack reacts to the news that his non-girlfriend has been chosen to go to Paris for a month for a photoshoot in the predictable Morris way; he becomes paranoid, jealous, and insane. Zack manages to convince himself that Kelly will meet some super handsome dude in Paris over the course of three weeks and never return to Bayside again. If you ever cared about Kelly Kopowski, Zack’s nightmare is really the best thing that could ever happen to her. But Zack is only ever looking out for number one so he goes about taking Kelly on the most fucked up guilt trip imaginable. He points out that if she bails for Paris, the swim team is fucked because she’s their best swimmer. The volleyball team is dead in the water. The school store will have to put Screech in charge which will no doubt result in the deaths of hundreds, and she’ll be abandoning her family who desperately relies on the $36 after tax money she brings in every day from her jobs at the school store and The Max. There’s clearly no way she can go be awesome for eighteen days with so much at stake. Because Kelly is slightly dumb, she begins to agree with Zack’s manipulative thought process and tells Adam Trask she’s probably going to have to bail on gay Pari. Adam, having fucked his way through a mountain of would be, pollyanna-ish teen models, senses that Kelly’s reluctance to accompany him to France is the result of a jealous boyfriend with a small penis. Adam steps to Zack and tells him it’s fucked city Africa to deny Kelly the chance to make a crap ton of money to provide for her white trash family and that she’s going to be gone for under a month. That’s barely enough time for her body to adjust to ingesting gross French food let alone meet some atypical, beret wearing, baget carrying Frenchman. Stop being a bitch. It’s a bad look, son. Zack reluctantly sides with Adam who will no doubt be fingerfucking Kelly on the LAX tarmac before they even have to put their tray tables up. I apologize for being so crass but I am, above all else, a realist. Kelly agrees to meet Zack one last time at The Max so he can apologize. He says he was being a douche and Kelly, blindsiding everyone, says she knew and that she was going to go regardless of how Zack felt. Psst..Zack…red flag #1!! Not to be outdone, Zack anticipated Kelly going anyway and arranged for the rest of the gang to run in for a surprise going away party! It’s no wonder these two nuts eventually get hitched since they know each other’s manipulative, back biting ways so well. Awwww. With all apologies accepted and all wounds healed Kelly, uh, goes to Paris I guess. I dunno, she never mentions it again. Ditto the school store. Ditto the student body’s desire to see more scantily clad pictures of Jessie, Lisa and Kelly. I want to assume tragedy befell all of these things but I’m trying to stay positive. Until next time.
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Episode #81 – ‘Earthquake’ [Feb. 17th, 2010|06:38 pm]
The ravings of a madman about a show for kids
Again, this missive comes to you under extreme duress though not from any malfeasance on the part of errant technology, no, this time it’s because I ate five slices of pizza last night, went to bed, woke up, went to work where I drank two cups of coffee before realizing I never did my due diligence if you catch my drift? I failed to flush the pipes and reboot the system as it were. It’s like in those horror movies where the heroine knows she’s in danger and sets about boarding up the windows and loading the shotgun and hiding deep in the closet when it suddenly dawns on her, she forgot to lock the back door! That, of course, is where the killer enters to wreak havoc. That is what is happening in my stomach right now. Normally I’d set about letting a few go but that’s where the central problem with keeping this blog updated in a timely manner comes in, I’m literally ass to elbow with my co-workers. There’s not even the slightest chance I could pretend I didn’t smell anything or blame the sweaty guy in the next cubicle. The second it’s dealt is the second I’m branded with the scarlet letter of “it.” Such is my lot in life. As it were (is?), I will soldier forth and attempt to alleviate my gastrointestinal distress by writing about today’s shockingly apropos episode where Becky Belding craps out a baby in the Bayside freight elevator. I feel you sister. Episode #81 – ‘Earthquake.’

The episode begins with Belding walking the Bayside hallway breathing like he has cardiac arrhythmia. Zack catches wind of this and asks if Belding, once again, mixed chili into his coffee? The fact that we learn Belding has apparently done that before makes the fact that he’s about to reproduce all the more horrifying. Belding assures Zack he won’t get fooled again by food products and tells him he’s practicing Becky Belding’s breathing exercises in preparation for her birth in about two weeks. At this point, I’ve seen so many television and movie based births that I’m pretty sure I can skip paying for a Lamaze class because all birthing a child really entails is a wacky race to the hospital (preferably involving a non-English speaking cab driver), breathing stupidly, sneaking into the delivery room, fainting in a hilarious manner, and then handing out cigars as your wife cradles your newborn child lit by picture-esque sunlight streaming in through the giant picture window in the private hospital suite you were able to afford on an administrative assistant salary. Got it. Zack asks if the baby is still on schedule to be born on the 15th? Belding assures him all systems are go. With Belding back in the office Zack breaks out his giant Belding baby calendar pool and starts taking bets. In a turn of generosity he gives Screech today and tomorrow and all of last week. He also charges a $5 handling fee that either makes Zack the best or worst bookie imaginable? Zack, naturally, has placed money on the 15th and its surrounding days. Slater says that that is a good strategy but, alas, money will not buy you a pass from their huge physics midterm today. Oh dear. Zack forgot all about it. In class the teacher, Mr. Heimlich (the stupid name is for a dumb pay off about ten minutes from now) promises the test has been made extra hard thanks to Screech’s pandering. Zack tries to pretend he’s having a stroke to get out of it. Seriously. Teach says ‘no dice.’ Thankfully, Zack is god in the SBTB universe and suddenly, an earthquake drill occurs. Everyone gets under their desk (Zack asks the two girls next to him to join him under his desk((see! Told you Zack rules all!)) except for Tori who’s probably originally from Detroit and well equipped to deal with a home arson but totally lost when it comes to earthquakes. In fact, she comes across as this is the first time she’s ever even heard of an earthquake! Zack suggests to the teacher that they evacuate to the football field and postpone the mid-term until tomorrow. Teach agrees. On the way back from the football field, Zack runs into Belding who asks what everyone is doing? Apparently, Belding passed out again from his breathing exercises. Seriously. Again, he’s about to spawn a kid. God help us all.

We go to The Max where, instead of studying because he was granted a 24 hour reprieve from his midterm, Zack is hanging with the gang. Tori walks in with a motorcycle helmet on and begins testing the foundations of The Max. The gang asks her why she’s being retarded? Yep, bad ass Tori is afraid of earthquakes! What a baby! All earthquakes have ever done is kill thousands of people and ruin millions of dollars of property. She’s an idiot to even be slightly concerned. Her idiocy is furthered when she reveals her earthquake survival kit which is basically four packages of hot dogs stuffed into her backpack. Screech, who’s actually pretty witty in the senior year episodes, tells her that’s smart because she can cook them on any of the numerous, unstoppable gas fires left in wake of any given earthquake! Har! Slater then addresses the camera in case any impressionable youths are watching and says that a real earthquake survival kit has a flashlight, batteries, and canned goods. Egnh. I’d rather have a shit ton of hot dogs. Suddenly, Mr. and Mrs.Belding walk into The Max sending everyone into a frenzy of worry. Despite the gang being five of the eight people at The Max, Zack hopes Belding doesn’t notice them. Screech of course, asks the couple if they’d like to join them. Belding says they were driving home from birthing class when Becky got a craving for French fries with hot fudge. Gross. The gang asks if she’s had a baby shower yet? Becky says she’s had about ten of them which makes me think a.) she’s a greedy bitch or b.) she doesn’t know what a baby shower is. As expected, Zack’s scheming brain begins whirr and buzz and he suggests the gang give Mrs.Belding a baby shower! Tomorrow! During seventh period! When they’re supposed to be taking their midterm!! Zack could not have shown his hand more yet the gang is still not quite picking up on it. Zack then says that they couldn’t do that because Mr. Heimlich is a scary teacher and Belding probably couldn’t stand up to him. With his manhood called into question, Belding says he can easily “out maneuver Heimlich” (groan) and that it’s settled! Tomorrow they are free to skip their mandatory midterm and attend his wife’s impromptu baby shower regardless of how illegal that is!! The next day a majority of the gang is setting up the shower in Belding’s office. With that done they set about their normal school day which for Slater, involves a three hour shower in the boys locker room. Zack and Tori bought some ridiculous baby basket filled with shit that necessitated them using the freight elevator to bring it into the school. Because Becky Belding is expecting, she too is allowed to bend the rules and take the freight elevator with Mr. Belding (Wait! Isn’t Belding’s office on the ground floor?). Tori is, of course, still babbling about earthquakes when god finally has enough and causes a 5.5 quake to occur entirely on Bayside property. This is the most effects laden episode ever as the camera man shakes the camera vigorously from side to side as the cast flails about in the opposite direction. Lisa and Screech run for cover in a doorway. Slater jumps out of the shower and braces himself in the locker room doorway moments before a whole row of lockers nearly collapse on him. I should point out that because he’s wearing only a towel, even though his life was very much in danger, the editors still felt the need to make the audience track go “whoooooo!!” Harsh. The shaking finally stops and Zack turns into John Locke and makes sure everyone is safe and uses the elevator’s emergency call button to alert anyone that they are trapped in an elevator, starts cooking some of Tori’s hot dog’s using a lighter and a pocketknife, etc..Meanwhile, tough guy Tori is huddled in the corner of the elevator crying her eyes out on her stupid xxl leather jacket. Zack tells her to calm the fuck down and they just have to sit tight and wait and hope no aftershocks happen. Aftershocks!!?? No one told Tori about that so she doubles up on her shaking and crying. A crying Tori is one thing but having labor induced by a mega-quake is a whole ‘nother. Yep. All that rattling and rolling busted open Becky Belding’s flood gates and Dick Belding Jr. is coming down the hatch! Zack cannot deal with this shit. Do you have any idea how long it takes to clean placenta out of white Reebok’s? Mercifully, timid Tori just happened to be her older sister’s Lamaze coach (that’s right! Tori’s whole goddamn family is so nineties that even her older sister is a single mom, raising a kid, being a civil rights lawyer, eating vegetarian, and still rocking out to Mudhoney before they got popular! Grrrrl power!) and thinks that somehow will enable her to successfully deliver Becky’s baby using only a stork blanket and packs of hotdog’s. If you ever want to scare the shit out of yourself, rent The Business of Being Born and try to wrap your head around how sensitive and prone to disaster the birth process actually is. That said, I’d sooner shove the baby back in, duct tape that shit up and drag myself to the nearest hospital before letting the school dyke and the school delinquent put their grubby hands near my bleeding maw. I apologize for that last sentence but, seriously, you would as well right? Not these two! The Belding’s, seeing no other option, agree to let Tori take the reigns of their child birth (hey! Might as well save some scratch right?). But Tori, like Jessie, is still so..so…scared!! Zack, using his ‘sensitive’ voice, talks Tori into overcoming her fears lest they have dead fetus on their hands in which case, they’re DEFINITELY going to have to makeup that physics midterm. Actually, he babbles about how they have a “bigger problem now” and that he “believes in her” and that she should “believe in herself”, etc…

Zack’s Tony Robbins speech gives Tori a newfound sense of courage and she all but rips the baby out of Becky using her bare, unwashed hands. Despite the fact that Tori did 99.9% of the work, the Belding’s decide to name their child after Mr.Belding’s arch-enemy, Zack. Seriously. Before you can ask stupid things like who cut the umbilical cord and how did they do it and do babies really pop out of their moms totally clean and fourteen months old?, the freight elevator magically starts up and the doors pop open where the rest of the Bayside gang is waiting for them (Slater is still in a towel mind you). Screech reminds Zack that he won the baby pool. Yeah, Screech. See you in court about that. They oogle the baby and Zack and Belding hug and the episode ends before anyone thinks to call the hospital as Becky Belding is assuredly dead from blood loss by now. Enjoy lunch everyone!

PS) It was brought to my attention that a teenaged Zack Belding actually makes TWO guest appearances in episodes of The New Class. Unless he’s driven to school on the short bus, I call bullshit.
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Episode #64 – ‘The New Girl’ [Feb. 16th, 2010|06:04 pm]
The ravings of a madman about a show for kids
I am writing this under extreme duress as the internet message board I commonly frequent to help while away the hours is currently out of commission as is the portion of the company website I need to use to do 99.9% of my job. Furthermore, my company id is being renewed so I cannot even go hang out in the cafeteria and enjoy a $3 cup of coffee as I watch the kitchen staff pull various hairs out of the lasagna they’re going to serve for lunch. With about six hours of the workday still left to kill I turn to my beloved SBTB blog which always seems to move the clock along. Today’s episode is the first of the Tori episodes. As stated before, Tori was the last season replacement brought on after Jessie and Kelly walked off the series. As with most outlandish continuity shifts in the SBTB universe, the writers chose the tried and true method of ignoring it and carrying on with business as usual. One day Kelly and Jessie are wandering the halls of Bayside and grossly making out with Slater and the next day it’s Kelly and Jessie who? I think I may have also postulated that the Tori episodes are nothing more than the psychotic fever dreams of Zack Morris brought about by his inability to get over the devastating heartbreak Kelly caused him a season back. In a pique of madness, Zack concocts an Earth 2 version of Bayside where he is still top dog and where even the most hideous, non-Zack liking girl is no match for the Morris charm. This theory is bore out by having some final season episodes involve Kelly and Jessie where Zack is a broken shell drinking or harvest dancing his problems away, terrified of what the future will hold (and as the College Years showed us, rightly so). Today’s episode marks the beginning of the six or so episode relationship between Zack and Tori that starts of contentiously and ends..well, it just ends. No wrap-up, no goodbye Tori or poor Tori drove her motorbike off of a bridge. She’s in and out in a flash. Further proof for my Morris madness theory. Let’s get down to it. Episode #64 – ‘The New Girl.’

We begin with Morris storming the Bayside hallways, outraged that some nogoodnick has parked their motorcycle in his unofficial, official parking space! He screams to the heavens, “why, oh god, whyyyy!!??” when, like the similarly god-petitioning Margret, he gets his answer in the form of a Junior Varsity Jo-from-Facts-of-Life girl wearing a motorcycle jacket that’s 8 billion times too big for her. Sensing he’s discovered the culprit, he confronts this hideous beast about parking in his space. She says she didn’t see his name on it. Ooooh, well played. Zack counters that everyone at the school knows that is HIS parking space. Tori says she’s new and doesn’t care. Then she walks away thus concluding their meeting the same way Zack and Slater’s first meeting went. And we all know what eventually happened between those two right? Hot! Down but not out, Zack rushes off to Belding’s office where, conveniently, there is a fall dance committee meeting of which Zack is a part of, already taking place. Zack usurps the meeting and uses it to express how students should have reserved parking spaces. Belding, having suffered almost four years of Morris (five if you count the GMMB season), essentially puts his head down on his desk and hopes everyone just goes away though not before giving Lisa 100% autonomy over the fall dance. Lisa takes to this newfound power like Hitler and immediately begins ordering her friends around like slaves. I was about to say this could be viewed as ‘comeuppance’ but, let’s just say “slaves” was a poor word choice on my part and move along. Later, in the class the entire gang (well, minus Kelly and Jessie) is conveniently all together in, the teacher assigns a two-person group project where they have to develop an ad campaign. I was about to ask what kind of bullshit class is this but I then remembered that you basically just take nonsense electives your senior year since your grades no longer matter. Zack hopes to be paired up with his new non-Kelly crush, the SECOND hottest and equally dumbest girl in school, Ginger, but, as fate would have it, he’s paired up with the mannish Tori. At The Max later that day, Zack and Tori brainstorm about how to effectively advertise their assigned product which, in case you were wondering, is a computerized date book – basically an early Palm Pilot which, I’m not going to lie, for 1993 standards was probably cutting edge technology only available in Japan at the time. True to form for young, burgeoning love, they spend the entire time insulting each other. Tori’s angle is that, from mere observation, Zack dates a lower class of nitwits to which Zack roughly counters, unless she plans on quickly starting a Bayside chapter of GLAAD (hey, Slater would join), her datebook looks to remain empty. Seeing no way around this ideological impasse, they agree to split the project in half to avoid having to interact with each for the remainder of the week. One table over, Lisa is commanding her fall dance charges with Napoleonic like fury (she clearly never got over the whole ‘buddy bands’ incident). She forbids them from eating and demands they delegate every waking hour to this dance. When Slater brings up a retarded idea he is called ‘incompetent.’ Ooooooooooooooh. Slater knows when he’s not wanted and tells Lisa to stuff it and walks out along with the rest of fall dance committee (that includes a now presumably tobacco and punk rock free, Ox). Having seen the result of unchecked power, Lisa begs the nearest person to her who doesn’t know how much of a shitty person she really is, for help. This person is, of course, Tori. Tori tells Lisa to pump the brakes and that if she is to help her with fall dance planning, she is to be treated with respect. Lisa, sensing Tori a no-nonsense women of the nineties (in fact, Tori’s catchphrase for her six-episode stint is actually “it’s the nineties!” when one of the gang brings up a hilarious, outdated notion such as , I dunno, that maybe boy’s high school sports generate just a bit more income than say, women’s ice hockey. You go girl.) agrees to treat her as an equal and Tori agrees to help staple dead leaves to the gym wall tonight.

So it’s presentation day. Slater and Screech start things off presenting their ad campaign for grossly oversized sunglasses with wipers on them. Slater and Screech honestly seem to be enjoying the shit out of telling the class all the dumb shit these glasses can do and why you should buy a pair even though they make a relatively good looking person like Slater look like a fucking asshole. Naturally, they get an A. The teacher announces that Zack and Tori are up next despite the fact that Tori is MIA. Zack grabs his stomach in pain for some unknown reason before telling the teacher that Tori is not here yet. The teacher responds, “oh, in that case, YOU FAIL!” This is probably that same teacher who gave Kelly detention for being :30 late to class because she was performing the Heimlich on Screech. Zack suddenly cares about his grades and informs the teacher that he can do this report himself. He stammers through a speech using giant notecards on which he’s written things like “students and executives” and “radio and television” (presumably he expected Tori to do the lion’s share of the assignment). After he repeats for the eighth time that their product is marketed towards students and executives and that they will advertise on radio and television, the teacher has about had it with Zack. Suddenly, Tori walks in and says she overslept. Zack, always quick on the come up, says that that wouldn’t have happened had she had an electronic datebook (unless it has an alarm function, yeah, it still would have happened). Tori says that is true and that she’s going to buy one “right now!” The teacher is delighted because he honestly though the duo was actually unprepared but, instead, are actually marketing geniuses! Good thing they weren’t stuck with the wiper equipped sunglasses. After class Tori tries to explain her absence to Zack but he proceeds to get far more angry than necessary and tells her he never wants to see her again! Because she’s an independent woman of the nineties (who, most likely, “ain’t too proud to beg” and who “shoops” and to whom you’re “never gonna get it” but will “go down on you in a thea-ter”) Zack’s order to never speak to him again gets cast aside as she tracks him down at The Max where he is sitting by himself, pouting into his Diet Coke. Tori tries again to explain her absence and apologize but that gets all Buzz Bin’ed up in her mouth and comes out as further insulting Zack’s taste in women. The two scream at each other some more when Zack runs off just short of jabbing Tori in the eye with his spork. Tori seeks refuge in the only place a “all the women, independent women, throw your hands up at me” woman can, the girls locker room. She storms in on Lisa (who is wearing a denim body suit with “boots” written all over it complemented by, as her body suit dictates, red cowboy boots. Seriously.) and begins kicking shit and yelling and screaming about Zack. Lisa, an intuitive Earth-mother type, correctly guesses that this man-beast has a crush on Zack. Tori sheepishly replies in the affirmative. Tori explains that her normal courtship ritual of brutally insulting her suitor has had no effect on Zack. Lisa tells Tori that if she wants to win preppy’s heart she’s going to have to “soften her image” (aka “stop dressing like a bull dyke”). Tori, once again because she’s all Van Halen’s “Right Now” and Ray Charles’ “You Got the Right One Baby (Uh Huh)”, tells Lisa she REFUSES to compromise her high powered feminist stance for any man! Lisa says she doesn’t have to just, you know, stop dressing like KD Lang already.

We cut to later at the fall dance where Belding congratulates Lisa on a decorating job well done (just to make things clear,”decorating” entailed stapling dead leaves to the gym wall and making a banner that says “fall dance.” Oh, she did kick things up a notch by walking around with a tray full of turkey slices). Slater says the same thing and Lisa apologizes for acting like how the white man normally acts. Meanwhile Zack is sitting on the bleachers with the nerds next to his date Ginger is who is extremely concerned about her teeth vis a vis, is there lipstick on them? Zack attempts to direct their conversation to such topics as “what do you want to do after graduation?” but Ginger will not be swayed from her teeth crisis. Defeated, Zack sullenly walks back to the punch bowl for his umpteenth glass. Suddenly, Tori walks in wearing a blue mini dress with shoulder pads so huge she looks like a defensive tackle for the Smurfs (hey! Fuck you! Like my metaphors are always going to be “A’s”). On Lisa’s urging she tries to make “feminine” small talk with Zack who basically begins their conversation by laughing in her face about her dumb ass dress. Because Tori was raised by wolves who knew auto repair, her idea of acting feminine is to simply agree to everything Zack says regardless if was a question or not and nod a whole bunch. Zack, now believing Tori is retarded on top of being a bitch, tells her to fuck off. Tori clops out of the gym in her high heels. Lisa gets up in Zack’s grill piece about being a jackass because Tori was only late to their project because she was up all night with Lisa helping her decorate the gym. If there’s one thing Zack understands it’s shirking one responsibility for another and he rushes out of the gym to find Tori. This time, Zack tries to apologize but, yep, that descends into another screaming match. Zack man’s up and tells Tori they should start over. Tori aggress and they reintroduce themselves as Zack pounds her on the shoulder and says “nice meeting you, pal!” before walking away leaving Tori with the worst case of blue balls imaginable. So begins the tentative love affair that will last approximately five more episodes. Hawt!
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Episode #55 – ‘No Hope With Dope’ [Feb. 11th, 2010|07:15 pm]
The ravings of a madman about a show for kids
Come on, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Admit it! I’ve returned not with the episode featured this morning on TBS but an episode they showed last week that I have notes about but which work that pays the bills prevented me from writing about. So I’m going to do it now because it’s better than the episode they showed this morning. Today’s episode throws the Bayside gang further down the pit of adulthood and into the seedy world of drug abuse. Specifically - marijuana. Pot, weed, wacky tobacky, sticky icky, skunky funky smelly green shit, the stuff dreams are made of, the stuff white folks are afraid of, etc..Though, to save time, the cast uses the catch all term ‘dope’ to describe it, a term I’ve never liked because I’ve heard basically every drug from Tylenol to bug spray doused PCP described as ‘dope’, confusing me greatly. Especially when I’m at my dealer’s. What? But it makes for a nice rhyme. The episode does a pretty good job showing how drugs permeate all aspects of society from suburban high schools to the penthouses of the rich and famous. If you’ve never gotten around to watching the movie Traffic, the ‘No Hope With Dope’ episode of SBTB is 99.9% the same thing.

The episode tips its hand to the fact that they’re gonna start dabbiling with the doo early on when Zack tells us that, basically, it’s mid-semester and everyone at Bayside is bored as shit. Boredom is to recreational drug abuse as cake is to a fat kid’s mouth, before long, they’re gonna find a way to each other. Mercifully, the doldrums of Bayside are broken up when Lisa alerts everyone that fake movie star Johnny Dakota has been spotted in their hallowed halls. You’d think a major movie star would have one of his entourage pick up his underaged trim for him but I digress. Belding greets the movie star and his director friend Dean and they tell him they were cruising, looking for a place to shoot an anti-drug commercial for NBC. Too cheap to hire location scouts NBC? This is obviously a lie. Any grown adult can see that this is an off the cuff excuse by two rich drug addicts who totally wandered into a high school after dropping acid that morning, looking to get laid. Thankfully their quick thinking skills were still in tact. Belding is honored and Zack’s all-consuming desire to hobknob with the rich and famous goes into overload as he rally’s the gang to convince Johnny that Bayside is the perfect setting for his anti-drug psa. They gorge him on gross cafeteria food and freestyle the worst rap imaginable and yet, shockingly, none of that convinces him! He’s about two seconds away from picking up a tranny hooker off the street and filming the damn commercial himself in the backseat of his car when Zack unleashes the big guns – Kelly. Yessir, if the hottest girl in school can’t convince a famous, multimillionaire who can have any girl he wants to stick around a public high school in the boonies of CA, nothing can.

Almost immediately, Johnny Dakota sets up shop at Bayside High. Zack immediately sets about exploiting the situation by opening up a stand in the hallway that sells, amongst other things, doorknobs touched by Johnny. Thank god genital herpes aren’t airborne. More pissed that Zack and Slater are taking advantage of their famous guest than that they have destroyed tons of school property, Mr.Belding orders them to shut down shop. Bummed, preppy and Conan head off to the mens room to commiserate. Seriously. In the bathroom they discover that – dun, dun, dun – someone’s been smoking in the boys room. Yep, they discover roughly 1/3rd of a joint (how either one of them are able to discern a burnt up joint from a cigarette leads me to suspect they’ve both been “bored” before if you get my drift) which they identify as a “roach” (their knowledge of out-moded drug lingo ((a ‘roach’ is the tail end of a joint that necessitates a paper clip aka: a ‘roach clip’ to hold it whilst you finish smoking as to not burn your little piggies)) also belies their supposed straight-edge stance). Suddenly, Johnny Dakota bursts into the mens room and catches Slater and Zack with the burnt up doobie and with all the self-righteous fervor of Nancy Reagan, begins to tear into them about the dangers of drugs. Z & S swear up and down that they just found the joint there and this makes Johnny Dakota want to work on the anti-drug psa that much harder (as opposed to just trying to fuck Kelly) since the epidemic has apparently affected Bayside. ‘Work’ on the commercial consists of the gang, Johnny, and a group of random extras sitting in a circle in an empty classroom talking about drugs. One of the extras – who happens to be about 34 years old – recounts the tale of her heroin addicted brother who used to shoot up then take the two of them stunt riding on his Harley (ummm?). Now, she says dramatically, it is she who takes him riding…(pause)…because he’s in a wheelchair!! Slater brings up some non-cool people who died of drug overdoses (if only Kurt Cobain and River Phoenix had listened to Brandon Tartikoff!!) and Jessie pipes up about her retarded, sixteen hour addiction to No-Doz. I’m sure the girl whose brother lost his legs to heroin applauds Jessie’s bravery. It should also be noted that that is one of TWO call-backs to older episodes in the entire history of SBTB whose past is normally forgotten almost as soon as it happens. After the anti-drug talk, Zack and Slater head BACK to the bathroom (how many handjobs do you need to get through six fucking hours of high-school!!??) where they spot resident punk rawk tough guy, Ox, smoking. I guess Johnny Dakota had been blasting some Chain of Strength records at their meeting because Zack and Slater pounce on him and demand he stop smoking drugs before they beat the shit out of him. Ox tells them to settle the fuck down because he’s just smoking a cigarette. Slater grabs it out of his mouth, rips it in two, stomps on it (seriously) and tells Ox “these can kill you too genius!” I guess Slater’s motivational speech worked because the next time we see Ox, he’s on the varsity football team.

Meanwhile, Johnny Dakota is begging Kelly for sex. Kelly keeps brushing him off (why!!?? Is she saving herself for George Michaels??) but finally aggress to go to The Max with him for lunch. For such an allegedly famous guy, nobody seems to give two shits that Johnny Dakota is walking around their town, nor the fact that he is blatantly dating a fifteen year old. At The Max, Lisa cockblocks Kelly by conducting an interview with him for her gossip column during their lunch date. I assume she meant “gossip radio show” but, again, history is non-existent at Bayside. He admits gross things like he sleeps in his underwear but only kisses on the first date if “the girl is special” which he says as he eye fucks the shit out of Kelly. The Bayside gang dudes then happen to walk in on the date and Johnny, sensing his hopes of a bj in The Max’s bathroom is now shot to shit, invites the gang to a big commercial wrap party in his penthouse suite that night. It’s interesting to note that just two episodes ago, the gang had to jump through numerous hoops just to spend a school night at Screech’s yet have no trouble convincing their parents to let them go to a big time Hollywood orgy of decadence. Deus Ex Machina is signing the permission slips here. At the party, the gang is all wearing their mega fancy duds akin to the insane outfits they wore to go to that murder mystery weekend. Thankfully, all the Hollywood types there are dressed just as poorly. Slater cannot get a girl to look his way (it’s probably because he’s the one minority at the party and all the women think he’s the help) while Screech is getting ‘tang left and right after pretending to be Johnny Dakota’s stunt double. Zack walks in from somewhere with two girls on his arm (congrats Zack! Your first drug filled ménage-a-trois! They grow up so fast these days!) just in time to see Screech demonstrate a stunt and, whilst doing so, throw his back out falling off the back of a sofa on to carpet. Someone check what exactly they’re serving in the Bayside cafeteria that’s making their student’s bones so brittle. Zack and Slater offer to help carry Screech home. With the dudes out of the way, Johnny Dakota makes his move and him and Kelly begin making out. What could make this situation sweeter you ask? How about some dank kind bud?! Thankfully, one of Johnny’s puffy and sweaty entourage is nearby with a J-dog. JD blazes the hot shizat before passing the dutchie to left hand side to Kelly. Everyone at the party turns their attention to see what Kelly is going to do. “Take a hit, Kel” Johnny encourages. Apparently, peer pressure is still a big currency amongst Hollywood types because they all giggle when Kelly refuses the drugs and remark “awww…looks like she’s just saying no!” Thankfully, Zack walks back in just before the party goers start telling Kelly she has cooties. He demands to know what’s going on! Johnny says they’re just having fun and that Zack should take a hit of this fine herb they have here. Zack refuses. He doesn’t “mess with that” and thought neither did Johnny. Johnny tells Zack to relax “it’s just pot” (to be fair, Zack is being a bit extreme. To paraphrase Kat Williams “drugs you gotta do stuff to. Add baking soda, mix it up. Weed is a plant. It just grows like that!”) but Zack grabs Kelly and they flee before Johnny demands they shoot horse tranquilizer into their eyes!

The next day NBC is at Bayside ready to shoot the commercial. Kelly is nowhere to be found. Johnny approaches Zack and asks what’s going on as the clock is ticking and union rules say time and a half if they go over the schedule!? Zack says she’s not coming. Johnny says ‘whatev’ and tells Zack they’ll do the commercial together. Zack kiboshes that and says he doesn’t want to be in an anti-drug commercial with a hypocrite (this is Zack Morris suddenly taking a moral stance mind you. The same guy who ten minutes ago was selling doorknobs to people. Respect the hustle Zack!) Zack gives Johnny back the sorta-gay maroon bomber jacket Johnny gave him and leaves. Johnny begins a Christian Bale-esque on set meltdown and screams that he don’t need nobody maaaaaaannnn!! He grabs Lisa in a bear hug and says they’ll do the commercial together. Lisa apparently finds lying worse than plaids and florals mixed together and rebuffs him. Screech, in solidarity, tells him that “tonight, all my Johnny Dakota action figures become lawn mulch!” Johnny continues his descent into madness and tries to fire the entire student body of Bayside before storming out of the school. Back in Belding’s office, he’s totally cool with Bayside losing a lot of revenue because five of his students want to take a moral stand. He also says that he happens to know a bigwig at NBC and thinks he can still get the commercial made. We then see the Dakota-less commercial featuring the gang in various poses saying things like “dumb”, “stupid”, “crazy” to the camera when who should appear but vice-president of NBC programming, the late, great Brandon Tartikoff. He’s got a great idea for the new fall season “don’t do drugs. There’s no hope with dope!” Presumably you can meth your brains out during the summer then as all that’s on anyway is reruns. Belding thanks Brandon for taking the time to come down. Belding explains, completely unprompted by the gang who could care less, that him and Brandon were in high school together and, thanks to some shenanigans involving a girl, Brandon, who wanted to be a high school principal, became head of programming at NBC and Belding, who wanted to not have a demeaning, menial job when he grew up, became Rod Belding’s brother. This is the second high school friendship Mr.Belding has alluded to being destroyed by a girl. Look, I’ve seen Becky Belding, she ain’t all that. Brandon is so impressed with the gang that he wonders out loud if a show about a bunch of kids in high school and their principal wouldn’t be a good idea? He then adds “Nahhhhh!” Oh, Brandon. If only you lived to see your idea realized just with less principals and more fucking as The OC. The gang laughs and a dedication to Brandon Tartikoff appears on screen. All this drug talk reminds me I have to get some pipe cleaners on way home tonight for purely unrelated reasons. 420 brosephs!
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