Wednesday, October 23, 2013

SBTB 01.13 - The Election

Last blog's celebration came too soon. That stupid theme song/version was back. This abomination is sung by Michael Damian. It is horrible. I just pulled up his music on Spotify and listened to his most listened-to song, "Rock On - Ver. 09." It is also horrible. Seriously, listen to it all the way through. Then tell me you didn't laugh at the background guy saying "James Dean." Then again, he did get a song on two C-movies: Flicka 2 and Marley and Me: The Puppy Years. He also had a role in the Young and the Restless. That doesn't make me like him any more. But maybe a little less.

Let's move on to a winner.

Nope. Nope. Nope. That is pure, gross Failure. Why is Mr. Belding wearing this? Better question: Why isn't Mr. Belding wearing more of that shirt? I don't know why he is allowed in the student locker room, especially when looking like a gross creep.

The winner I meant was Patrick Thomas O'Brien, the guest star who plays Mr. Dewey.
Now this guy is pure awesome. He captures "9th Grade Algebra Teacher" like no one else - dry as sin and boring as all-get-out. His resume includes plenty of other heavy hitting shows, like Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Caroline in the City, Married with Children, JAG, 7th Heaven, Baywatch, and a host of others. I think the fact that he has appeared in many high profile shows (and some movies) goes to show how well he is regarded for making memorable enough characters.

And speaking of memorable enough characters, any one else get an Annie Hall vibe from Jessie in this episode?

Feel free to share what stood out to you in the comments below.

SBTB 01.12 - The Mommas and the Pappas

Oh, thank goodness! That horrible version of the opening credits theme song lasted only the last episode. We are back to normal.

What isn't normal, however, is Bayside's definition of "alphabetically." The couples are supposedly made up by last name, as Mr. Belding explains to Lisa that her pairing with Screech was all done alphabetically. Well, I guess that Slater and Spano are kind of alphabetical in the sense that their names start with an "S." A true alphabetical pairing, however, would have looked like this:
  • Boys
    • Zack Morris
    • Screech Powers
    • A.C. Slater
  • Girls
    • Kelly Kapowski
    • Jessie Spano
    • Lisa Turtle
So, the first couple was done by everyone-else-in-the-world's alphabetical standard, but the majority of the couples in the show were done by Bayside-specific alphabetics. By this logic, Lisa's name change to Ziggowitz would avail her nothing.

Now, I realize that some people reading this may be from a younger generation and may not have understood this scene:
This is called "aerobics." It is how women and girls of the eighties and early-nineties worked out. They wore these types of workout clothes and danced along to video tapes done by Kathy Ireland or Richard Simmons. You may think this looks dumb, but it's not far off from what you look like in Yoga.

And, with no guest star to malign, allow me to say again - Shut up, Dustin Diamond! You got lady love, man!

Feel free to share what stood out to you in the comments below.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

SBTB 01.11 - The Friendship Business

What happened to the theme music on this one? I don't know if it is just the Netflix version or if each episode will have this song from here on out (I don't remember this terrible rendition) but it is so bad! I have noticed that some of the video used for each character has changed from time to time in the title sequence, but the song change is unbearable. I hope it doesn't last.

What else may not last: Our guest star's careers.

Mr. Tuttle is played by Jack Angeles.
This role would be his longest stint in Hollywood. It would also be his highest profile stint (unless you count "Mousehunt," in which he played a kennel worker). His star fizzled amazingly fast.

Mr. Angeles is not alone. Edgar Poindexter, the lovable nerd, is played by William Joseph Barker.
The character pops in from time to time in the show and Mr. Barker does an amazing job as a nerd. Sadly, this is really the only thing he would be known for, as his other acting credits go along the lines of Boy in Classroom for an episode of "Family Matters," Student #2 in "Growing Pains," and simply Actor in "California Dreams." Sad.

One of the aspects of this episode that I thought was weird was this locker room scene:
Uh, why is Mr. Belding pumping iron in front of a young student? And why is his shirt so tight around those biceps? It's kind of creepy from just this snapshot. But then you learn that it's actually Zack that is wooing Mr. Belding - with a Buddy Band. It's a funny, albeit odd, youth-and-elders scene.

And speaking of lockers -
how are you supposed to open that corner locker? As you can see by my marking, part of that corner locker is covered. Whomever has that locker is hosed, as they can't freaking open it! I know, I know. Who cares, right? Well, this is exactly why I am doing this blog - to find production curiosities. Case in point:
Incredibly obvious boom mic!

Feel free to share what stood out to you in the comments below.

SBTB 01.10 - Beauty and the Screech

I can't help but make the connection between Zack Morris and Jerry Lewis's "The Nutty Professor."

And, I can't help but think that terrible singer Keith stole his X-Factor clothes idea from Mr. A.C. Slater.

But now let's talk about a real nerd: Dr. Mertz. Well, at least he was an actor playing a nerd.
Avery Schreiber played the science teacher. Then again, what hasn't he done? This guy has been a little bit of everywhere. He shared a comedy stage with Jack Burns. He added vocals to cartoons. He acted in movies and television up to his death in 2002. Homeboy was in Second City. Not a bad resume. And that mustache is excellent.

Sharing co-guest duties is robot Kevin, a machine that pops in from time to time. Kevin is voiced by Mike Lavelle, who pretty much does nothing else of note in Hollywood life. But at least he will have a Slinky neck to his credit:
I would not sleep with this in my room.
Goofs: I'm not sure if you noticed, but when the girls are eating lunch at the Max and talking about Screech, the camera uncharacteristically pulls out while on Lisa. It is weird. It then wobbles a few seconds later, again when on Lisa. I don't know if this was an isolated incident dealing with the one angle or if the camera in question was just allergic to characters with one-dimensional characters.

Later, Kelly picks up a menu with new crush Screech despite clearly having already ordered food (as seen in her conversation with the girls). She really must be smitten.
Not only does she already have food but, before she can order with Screech, Max brings out another item Kelly had ordered - a freaking malt.

And I have said it before and I'll say it again:
Dustin Diamond was not mistreated on Saved by the Bell. He canoodles so many freaking ladies.



Even President George H.W. Bush was impressed.

Feel free to share what stood out to you in the comments below.

Monday, October 14, 2013

SBTB 01.09 - Pinned to the Mat

Oh, thank goodness that the wrestling episode is over. Three singlets in one episode is a bit too much, especially when these dudes are involved:
The Mass is Marvin Nedick, played by Gino de Mauro. The guy worked before Saved by the Bell and even got nominated for some young actor's award. He did not work after his Saved by the Bell appearance. (Sure, stuff was released, but it was probably filmed around the same time as Saved by the Bell.) Essentially, Slater killed Nedick's wrestling streak and acting streak in one fell swoop of junk-to-trunk action.

A few wrestling notes: First off, Screech would never be considered as a replacement for Slater. Wrestling is done by weight class. There is no way in any alternate Earth or dimension that Screech and Nedick are in the same weight class.

Also, Zack says that he bets against Nedick every year but Nedick has gone undefeated. Well, Zack is a freshman, so he must have been gambling at least since 7th grade (at least) for this to work, which means Nedick (who must be at least a Junior) has been gambling - and taking things from - a little kid. I don't think the writers cared enough to have worked that all out.

As to the Cooking Club instructor, Mrs. Cummings is gloriously played by Bunny Summers.
Ms. Summers did a lot of stuff with her career, though nothing really stands out as anything you would have recognized her from. She did do a spot on Norm, an old sitcom by Norm MacDonald. For any of you who are a fan of the man (you all should be), there is little surprise that Ms. Summers was cast as a Norm character called "Large Woman." Use his voice as you read that role. Perfect.

Moving on, did you notice the first time out used on the school at large?
I love the gal stumbling up the stairs.

Did you notice that the 19" inch television was super-sweet since it was cable ready?
We have sure come a long way.

Lastly, did you notice all the butts in this episode? Belding butt:
Wrestler butt:
Whatever this is:

With all this objectification, it's no wonder Kelly feels a little exposed and has to adjust herself in front of everyone.

Feel free to share what stood out to you in the comments below.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

SBTB 01.08 - Cream for a Day

I mentioned before that I don't like the character of Max. Well, I do love when magicians/jugglers mess up. Watch with the eyes of an eagle because Max drops a juggling ball when we enter the Max for the Homecoming Pep Rally.

Aside from being the Kelly-has-an-unfortunate-red-face episode, this is also where we meet the classic character of Crater Face Charlie Coburn.
Oh my goodness, his laugh is terrible. I hate that we had to hear it three times in the episode.

It may come as no surprise to many to learn that this guy, Scott Fults, did very little by way of acting. He had about a four-year stint and then called it quits. You may be surprised, however, by this little nugget: Scott Fults was born in 1961. For this episode, this "kid" was about 28 years old! Creepy.

Feel free to share what stood out to you in the comments below.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

SBTB 01.07 - The Substitue

What a joy of an episode. Let's start off with Miss Simpson. Played by Pamela Kosh, Miss Simpson is the fantastic hard-of-hearing joy of a teacher and a fantastic character.
Miss Simpson is memorable because she has great timing with her jokes. Sure, she could have phoned in a deaf person, but her delivery of the material is just great. She's not dumb. She isn't irritating. She's the perfect blend of an oddball character and well delivered lines. I believe she appears in later episodes and I look forward to it.

Sadly, Miss Simpson throws out her back -
- and we get stuck with the substitute teacher, for whom the ladies swoon.

Tony Crane is the dashing substitute and is played by Hank Stratton. Sadly, this guy didn't quite make it. He had bit roles here and there and a recurring role on the short-lived show The Unit. (I'm not that bummed about this. I can't seem to separate myself from my younger self and how I felt when I was crushing on Kelly back in the day when this doof swoops in and steals her for an episode. Petty, I know.)

The other guest this episode was Bess Meyer who played Vicky the actress.
This girl has actually had quite a few recurring roles in shows like Normal Life, Parenthood (1990), Room for Two, The Boys are Back, and Brother's Keeper. I have never heard of these but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

And (finally!) a goof or two to show. Check out the dude in the back of this scene who didn't seem to realize that the cameras were rolling.
Seriously, the guy stretched for a while (a while in TV land) and looked ridiculous. And check out this other kid in the background dangling a french fry, which he doesn't eat but continues to play with throughout the scene.

Feel free to share what stood out to you in the comments below.

SBTB 01.06 - Aloha Slater

It is becoming abundantly clear as I watch this season that the NBC version of this show makes far less goofs for me to exploit. But we must carry on!

One thing to note at the outset is some semblance of continuity between this series and the last, "Good Morning, Miss Bliss." Mr. Belding explains to Major Slater that he was a member of the Fighting 55th, a National Guard unit in Indiana. So, while we may never know how the class was magically transported to California and why Kelly and Jessie were never around in that first season, at least we know that Mr. Belding himself was from Indiana. Sweet.

And speaking of Major Slater (what a boss name!), let's talk about Slater's dad. He is played ever-so-unconvincingly by Gerald Castillo.
I mean, this is one of the most non-stereotypical portrayals of a military father that I have ever seen. That either makes this the most ridiculous portrayal, or the most brilliant portrayal. I side on ridiculous. Though I do appreciate the fact that he wanted what was best for his son.

Gerald had a rather unremarkable Hollywood career. He had some recurring roles in some shows, but nothing that he ever built a name on. Obviously. But, he was in Deathwish 4: The Crackdown. Because one Deathwish is never enough. Also, Delta Force 2 with Chuck freaking Norris. That's something to hang on your wall.

We also learn in this episode that, besides Bolivia and Germany, the Slaters have lived in Iceland. Homeboys be gettin' 'round, yo.

A notable thing about this episode is the Zack Morris timeout. He has been addressing the audience from time to time away from his friends, but this episode marks the first time he does so in front of a friend by literally freezing time.

Harking back to the beginning of this post: Another thing abundantly clear about these early episodes is that Screech was actually a very cute kid. His antics are less annoying and more lovable. That makes these types of scenes less creepy.

Then again, we did get an early version of Gollum:

Feel free to share what stood out to you in the comments below.

Friday, October 4, 2013

SBTB 01.05 - Screech's Woman

This episode is all gimmick. No guest stars or anything fancy, just pure goofiness. And it was uncomfortable.
Like I said, there were no guest stars so you are wrong in thinking this is Reba McEntire.
Things get awkward, as Zack is merely trying to help Screech feel better about himself by being a girl that is attracted to the dweeb. A kiss is threatened, but nothing will scar a first time cross-dresser quite like this:
With so little going on this episode I think it incredibly appropriate to tackle one of my least favorite characters in all of Saved by the Bell: Max.
Max owned and ran the Max. His character (played by Ed Alonzo) combined two of my least favorite things in humans: a Joey Gladstone vibe and a love of magic. Even worse, his character was built around magic. For some odd reason, the show runners decided to make Max a show regular, which meant that he was supposed to have lines in every episode. He added almost nothing to the show itself, but at least gave the gang a cool place to hang out.

After Saved by the Bell, Ed continued on with his magic. This gig has kept him busy, as he's played magic shows all over the place. Cruises, clubs, and even on Britney Spears's "Circus" tour.
Good for you bud. May I never have to speak of you again.

Feel free to share what stood out to you in the comments below.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

SBTB 01.04 - Fatal Distraction

I don't know about you, but I thought Mr. Belding was completely pathetic this episode. The sad thing is, it was the funniest line of the show. As Zack is explaining Kelly's mania, he says: "She gets these headaches - " To which Mr. Belding interrupts: "They all get headaches, Morris." Sad! Belding has had this line used enough times that he can comment on it without any sense of shame.

Another sad thing is the guest star for this episode. We are made to think that this girl, Rhonda Robistelli, is an annoying jock-type. My thoughts outside the episode: Not bad looking.
Sure, she's tall. She is freaking tall. But at least her face makes the effort of peering up at her worth it. Rhonda is played by Kirsten Holmquist. You may have heard this name in different yet related circles. Kirsten is a noted realtor who ended up with her own show called "Property Ladder." She has a book published called "Flipping Confidential: The Secrets of Renovating Property for Profit in Any Market." Besides being a real estate guru, Kirsten seems to also be trilingual.
Nice job, lady.

And, why couldn't this happen to me on first dates?
Maybe I would have my lips touch a girl's lips before I was 23 if I had had a little Rhonda in my high school.

Feel free to share what stood out to you in the comments below.

SBTB 01.03 - The Gift

Nobody from the 80s will be able to mistake the man playing Mr. Testaverde.
John Moschitta, Jr. is regarded as one of the fastest talking people on the planet. His scene dictating is not exaggerated by much. He is probably most famous for these commercials:
Even more impressive is this stint on Sesame Street.
Not too shabby.

Other notably antiquated things in this episode:
A CB two-way radio, on which Zack pretends to be Elvis in hiding. (I just do not remember Zack being this lame.)

The brick. We called this a mobile phone. The great thing about this prop is that Zack tried, on two occasions, to put the antenna down as a form of being cool. Maybe you can't tell, but that antenna is freaking rubber.

Feel free to share what stood out to you in the comments below.