Well, my wife and kids are out of town for the weekend (yay for new jobs that won’t let you go negative on vacation time) so it’s time for another patented AltonBrownsBalls drunken liveblog. I recently discovered the podcast Go Bayside so this time we’re breaking down a few random episodes of Saved By the Bell. The first one is Season 5 Ep 13 and is available on Netflix, entitled Mystery Weekend.
23:26: Jesus, these opening title graphics are bonkers. It’s like if someone asked you to create a FunnyOrDie sketch that takes place in the early 90s. “So random tetrahedrons and clip-art good for everyone?”
Note: I spent ten minutes looking for a clip of the title sequence and the closest I got was one someone recorded with their phone camera VERTICALLY. NBC is apparently very diligent with their intellectual property despite being terrible at everything else.
21:35: These timestamps will be running in reverse order since that’s how Netflix rolls (or I’m too lazy to change that setting). We start with the gang showing up at a weekend “murder mystery” house...you know, a thing that teenagers do. Vincent Price’s non-union equivalent is the “owner”.
21:20: Apparently Lisa won this weekend in a radio contest. Lisa is the richest person on the show and apparently tried very hard to win a radio contest for a murder mystery weekend that no one younger than 45 wants to do. There’s a reason this setup worked better on The Golden Girls.
19:49: While every guy is wearing super loose and tucked-in 90s fashion, I need to take a moment to comment on how ridiculously high Screech’s elastic waisted khakis are. They’ve got to be at least half a foot above his belly button. On the other side of things, Kelly is wearing possibly the most banging mini-dress of the entire series.
18:50: There is an odd woo from the audience during a confrontation between Jesse and the maid...it’s like the anticipation of a catfight crossed with “oh no you didn’t”. Classic Saved by the Bell woo-ing.
16:51: The murdered piano player (did I mention him?) is still in plain sight and clutching his neck as paramedics wheel him out. I’m assuming this is prior to the era of body bags or the decency to not wheel a corpse through the dining room. “Not through the kindergarten!”
Also we’ve had a costume change and Kelly is still rocking a banging mini-dress.
15:45: As alluded to earlier, the Bayside gang are the youngest people at this weekend by 30 years. No wonder the maid wants to bang Zack.
12:47: An inspector comes in and is just about to reveal the murder when thunder crashes and the front stage lights go out. There is still plenty of light to make out everyone’s silhouette and no way for someone else to enter unseen...The inspector ends up with a full quiver of arrows in his back, despite the fact that the windows are closed and he’s 3 feet from the back wall and that the blackout lasted less than 5 seconds. It’s the details that really make this show special.
11:40: Shit is now going crazy, one of the old lady’s necklaces is missing and not-Vincent price was almost killed by a falling ax except that Lisa (dressed like she’s going to sweet sixteen) pushed him out of the way. THIS IS NOT PART OF THE GAME!
10:26: The size of nearly everyone’s hair in this episode is amazing. I’m not sure if Slater’s jheri curl mullet, Jessie’s teased up mega-perm, or Screech’s jew-fro take the cake. It was a low time for the straightening iron.
9:09: Everyone is leaving because a real killer is on the loose...Zack is going to not-Vincent Price’s (NVP) office to get vouchers for another weekend (because most people would want to return to a mansion that was the site of a multiple homicide) and it’s been ransacked! The most jarring thing is that NVP is chain smoking inside this entire episode. Who’s the real killer here, Johnny second-hand?
7:36: The lights go out again and NVP disappears. The vouchers he had given Zack were actually the prize money! Everyone thinks Zack is a killer including his high school friends. Given his history on the show I’d probably have secretly assumed he was a sociopath so there reaction isn’t too unexpected.
6:28: There is montage here where the gang tries to stick up for Zack but ends up shitting on him. It is literally the only time that previous episodes continuity is mentioned in the show.
5:34: There are jokes in this show which aren’t actually jokes. I mean, they have the cadence of jokes and they push the laugh button, but literally nothing funny was said. “I’m sorry for saying things” uproarious laughter
4:36: Zack is found in possession of the old lady’s missing pearls and Lisa’s watch (who is also now missing). The rest of the gang are disappointed, but disappointed in the way you’d be if a friend got a DUI. Not the way you’d be if you thought your friend robbed and killed two people, one of whom had been his friend since Kindergarten. “Oh that Zack, such a troublemaker.”
2:00: Zack solves the mystery and saves the day. Everyone is actually fine. The game never stopped and Lisa was in on it. Somehow Zack figured out that the two characters introduced in act three with no explanation were actually NVP and the butler. I think his hair actually did most of the solving.
0:31: Why did I watch this every day after school?
Since that was a non-traditional episode I’m tackling the next one, at least until I run out of bourbon. This one is Season 5 episode 14 entitled The Fight.
23:06: True confession, when I was a kid and heard the lyric “by the time I grab my books and I give myself a look; I’m at the corner just in time to see the bus fly by”. I legitimately thought “why doesn’t he just not give himself a look? Then he’d catch the bus. He could always just fix himself up in the bathroom at school”. This might be why I’m an engineer.
21:20: The gang are apparently Seniors. We’re given this information by Zack breaking the fourth wall and addressing us directly, as he is want to do.
21:14: Zack and Slater just tricked a freshman (who appeared to be about five years older than them) into buying a “go anywhere” pass. Then they both made the retard hand gesture. Not cool, bros...not cool.
21:13: Am I even allowed to say retard? I mean, they’re the ones who did the *durrr* hand gesture. It’s cool right? I feel the same way quoting rap lyrics with the N-word in them.
19:00: Nothing interesting has happened but just to keep you apprised of the plot. Mr. Belding had an inappropriate interaction with the kids and is now wearing a wig. Zack meets a semi-attractive new girl wearing mom-jeans.
18:45: New girls name is Joanna and she’s got a nice rack.
17:45: The “easy teacher” Mrs. Taylor has been replaced with a hardass not unlike Leopold from the Simpsons. We know this because there is a test on the first day of school, which is totally a thing that happens. The class, whose subject is never explained, takes place in the only classroom in the school which is near all of the kids’ lockers directly across from Mr. Belding’s office.
17:12: Lisa now sees a new kid she’s interested in. Amazingly enough he’s also black and is wearing a coogi sweater. It was either him or that black nerd with the frog in his throat I guess.
16:24: Classic TV trope where Zack and Slater are both talking up the same girl to each other. Oh, you kids!
16:00: We’re at the Max, the gang bullies a bunch of freshman out of their booth. Coogi sweater (whose name is apparently Darren) joins the freshman and Kelly, looking foxy in her waitress outfit, finds out that Darren is a FRESHMAN. This causes everyone to lose their goddamn minds. I’m more confused as to why people are studying on the first day of school.
13:46: From the writing on the chalkboard apparently Leopold is teaching Earth Science. I don’t know about most schools, but at mine Earth Science was the most basic science. It was for the kids who got made fun of earlier in this post who I’m not sure I’m allowed to make fun of. It certainly isn’t Senior level. If it’s just a throw in why not make it Physics or Chemistry? The writers of this show clearly slapped it together with no thought whatsoever so they could hit up happy hour right?
12:56: What fucking climate is this school in? It’s supposed to be in the Palisades (near Santa Monica) and yet in this scene both Darren and Zack are wearing sweaters over button-downs on the first day of school. Meanwhile, Kelly is in mini-skirts. It’s almost like this entire school is located on a small sound stage on the Universal lot and that they couldn’t even be bothered to film or use a stock footage establishing shot of the outside of the building.
12:33: I’m getting tired of pausing this, but Slater is wearing double-waisted light washed jeans. I think there are literally two sets of buttons on the front. Don’t worry, he’s got a two sizes too big shirt tucked into them so the proportions really make sense. Look at these things!
11:30: Kelly and Jesse tell Lisa that Darren is a Freshman. Shit, lost.
11:03: Making a note that Zack still has a Magic Johnson poster on his door despite the fact that by this point in the series Magic Johnson has come out as having HIV. Kudos to you Peter Engel.
10:00: The plot is moving so fast that I can’t keep up but Slater comes over to interrupt Zack and Joanna’s study date and ends up sucking up Zack’s homework with a leafblower. Despite the fact that leafblowers, as indicated by their name, blow instead of sucking.
7:21: Zack is paying off Screech and an old lady to ruin Slater and Joanna’s date in the smallest theater in the world with three rows of folding chairs for seats. Unlike previous episodes they are not not watching “Two Shots and a Scream”.
6:15: Shit just got completely real between Zack and Slater. This is the realest fight in Saved by the Bell history. Principal Belding is extremely cool with it despite the fact that they’re both roughed up and Zack is bleeding. Any other school the cops would have been called; at Bayside an anecdote (which Zack interrupts with assholish commentary) is all the punishment needed.
3:30: Plot points: Joanna rejects both Zack and Slater in favor of really high-waisted jeans. Lisa had previously told Darren she couldn’t take him to the senior party. Inexplicably after the act break she’s totally cool with it and shows up with him. (Audience woos) This was the 90s people, a time when things happened with no explanation and we didn’t need one.
1:30: Zack and Slater fight over the punch bowl until they knock off Mr. Belding’s wig and they laugh. That fixes everything. Just like in real life.
0:23: WHY did I watch this every day after school?
I can’t believe I might do this again tomorrow since I’m bored as shit. See you then, possibly!