You can't sweat out . . .

Posts Tagged ‘Saved by the Bell’

Johnny Utah: 1, Johnny Montana: 0

In Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood on March 25, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Saved by the Bell was, and is, awesome.  Granted, it is also awesomely bad.  Never before or since have characters been so typecast, stereotypes so liberally exaggerated, or plots so ludicrous.  With the Tori Paradox fresh on my mind, I couldn’t help but start to think about some of the other absurdities the show presented.  Screech’s talking robot, Kevin, who not only had the ability to speak, but also had human emotions.  The fact that Slater wore a jersey and/or something acid washed 78% of time time.  Zack’s ability to pause time in order to address the camera or, in one case, avoid a punch.  He could also smooth talk his way out of most any situation, and I suppose if he could escape his way out of detention by getting Mr.  Belding to voluntarily eat chocolate covered grasshoppers, he could charm his way into Yale.  But he could not score a 1502 on his SATs.  It’s mathematically impossible.

Hey hey hey hey WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? - Mr. Belding

"Hey hey hey hey WHAT is going on here?" - Mr. Belding

A recent comment by the Los Man piqued my interest about the order of events in the world of Bayside (though I disagree with him that Zack was interested in Tori for sex.  She presented a challenge.  Also, there was no sex in Bayside.  Only kissing, during which an invisible audience would invariably “whooooooooooooooooo!”).  I was floored to see that in 1991, the show aired back to back on Saturdays.  The first episode of the day would be set at Bayside, leading into the second which would center around the gang’s activities at Malibu Sands, the club owned by Mr. Carosi.

Also, by finally looking into the original airdate of the each show, I was able to end, once and for all, the age old “Johnny State Name” debate.  Who came first: Johnny Utah, the ex Ohio State QB turned F-Beee-Eyeee AGENT, played by Keanu Reeves in Point Break?  Or the teen star Johnny Dakota, who burst onto the Bayside scene in order to film an anti-drug commercial, only for Zack and the gang to discover that he puffed the magic dragon himself?

As I always expected, Saved by the Bell appears to have taken a page from the Ohio State Buckeye playbook, as that episode aired on November 30, 1991, some 5 months after July 12 premiere of Point Break. Was Saved by the Bell taped before the movie’s premiere?  We may never know (I can’t find it on the internet), but one thing is for sure: Johnny Utah was one radical son of a gun.  Johnny Montana was not.

They only live life to get radical.

They only live life to get radical.



Update: 3,333rd viewer is anonymous presumed awesome (APA), and MaineCoast12 looks to Chuck Klosterman for answers about Bayside

In Come on!, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood on March 22, 2009 at 11:24 pm

If you happened to be reading JSF on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, between 4:45 and 5 pm, there is a chance that you may have unknowingly hit the jackpot of luck.  Around that time, the 3,333rd viewer visited the site, earning the right to all the good luck that will surely follow this person like a tail, the massive shout-out, my undying adoration, etc, etc.

In heartbreaking fashion, two of the more serious cases of the Fever came close- Uncle Mike logged in at 3,229, while Joe Sarge was moments too late at 3,334.  Both deserve shout-outs, but the rules were the rules.  Only for 3,333.  So, sadly enough, we will have to wait around for 33,333.  I will be praying that THAT person will actually realize it.  FYI: We’re now at 3,585, so only 29,748 more readers necessary.  Also FYI: that could be a while.  At the current rate at which the Fever is spreading, the number will be reached on approximately August 4, 2011.

More importantly, mentioning Tori replacing Kelly on Saved by the Bell aroused the interest of one MaineCoast12, and I’m happy to report that this issue has been studied and reported on by one of the great minds of our generation, Chuck Klosterman.  In his fantastic book Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, Klosterman expounds upon MaineCoast12’s very question, terming the replacement as “The Tori Paradox.”

The Tori Paradox refers to the show’s last season in 1993.  NBC, the network airing Saved by the Bell, ordered a 13 show final season, with the final show consisting of the six main character’s graduation.  After the season had been shot, NBC ordered more episodes, but the Elizabeth Berkeley (Jessie Spano) and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (Kelly) refused to sign new contracts (stardom as a flashdancer in Vegas and a switch of zip codes to 90210 beckoned).

Instead of just moving on with Lisa, Screech, Zack and Slater, the show’s writers introduced a new character, Tori, to fill the void left by two of the three female characters.  The Tori Paradox, of course, refers to the fact that Jessie and Kelly’s disappearances are never explained, nor is it made clear by Tori shows up.  To make matters more complicated, the show’s final episode was the graduation episode, in which Jessie and Kelly are back.

The lack of commitment to the story from Jessie and Kelly is shocking.  You’re telling me that they could have witnessed heroic performances like Samuel “Screech” Powers inventing a new dance fad, “The Crutch,” to compensate for Lisa’s injury during a dance competition at The Max, and you can’t even finish out the final season?  Come on!

Head Cheerleader + Grade Grubber = Biker Chick (Bayside Class of '93)

Head Cheerleader + Grade Grubber = Biker Chick (Bayside Class of '93)

I’m so excited! I’m so, so scared!

In Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood on January 3, 2009 at 4:24 pm

The following is directly quoted from perhaps my proudest achievement in life: a Facebook group I created back in the fall of 2004 while a senior in college.  Now, I agree that it is kind of sad that the proudest achievement of my life thus far is to create a group that a mere 78 Bowdoin College students are now members of, but this was before Facebook broke down the barriers and let people from other different schools join the same groups.  The group, “I’m So Excited… I’m So Excited… I’m So… So… So Scared,” spread through Facebook like the Fever, with tribute groups quickly popping up at schools like Brown and Michigan, among others.

To get in the mood, take a moment and watch an abbreviated version of the scene again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljtuGoIIKGs.

“This group is for anyone and everyone who, thanks to Jessie Spano, now knows the danger of caffeine pills. You have seen their devastating effects, how they can cause someone to black out for hours, completely forget they took Dewey’s midterm, and miss a crucial performance of their band, Hot Sundae, that night at the MAX. You, like millions of other Americans, witnessed one of the greatest moments in television, nay, world history, when Jessie, in a caffeine induced rage, sang/screamed those famous words and collapsed into Zack’s arms. No, Hot Sundae never made it big. But millions of teenagers learned never to trust caffeine pills. After all, pot and whip its are much safer. Thanks to Zack, Jessie’s life was back on track… for a while. Until she bombed her SAT’s and her worst fears came true, as she was rejected by Stanford. She was last seen trying to make ends meet by stripping in Vegas. And it all started with those pills.”