Wednesday, November 27, 2013

SBTB 02.01 - The Prom

Welcome to a new season! And what do we see first? Kelly's terribly decorated room. This is a huge change of pace, as we normally get a Zack-centric beginning. The episode sets a great tone in focussing more on the group instead of Zack's exploits.

So what are these exploits? Well, the dream sequence is alive and well.
As Geraldo Rivera
Here is Screech acting like Geraldo Rivera. The reason I bring this up is because younger viewers may not realize that Geraldo was not always a lame news reporter (if that is what he still does). Many of us cut our teeth on the Geraldo name via his trashy daytime talk show. That mustache. It haunts me.

Let's move on to something a bit lighter: Guest stars.
John Mansfield
Say hello to Frank Kapowski (played by John Mansfield), a character so pathetic that he can't even keep a job after appearing on screen. Mr. Mansfield was a television mainstay throughout the 90s and only made one jump the big screen in the movie "Space Marines." Oddly enough, he played the role of both Doctor Reston and Doctor Ballard in the same season of "Santa Barbara," playing one, then the other, then back to the other. Good job?

The other notable guest star is Dion Zamora, who plays Alan Fairbanks.
Dion Zamora
You have absolutely seen this guy before in previous episodes and you will likely see him again in future episodes. Sadly, you won't see him in much else outside this fine program. Strike that. Reverse it. He was the bully in "Beethoven's 2nd." Again: Good job?

But, what is this? More guest stars? Why not.
Meet Nardino and Mankuso. Because Smith and Jones weren't believable enough fictional names?

And here is Robert:
He is uncredited. It is most likely because his line about taking marshmallows to the fire in the lab was so bad. Way to be a waste of space, pal.

Then again, he was asked to help fill out the crowd in the movie theater. So he is the exact opposite of a waste of space. Robert is a filler of space. Huh.

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

Monday, November 11, 2013

SBTB 01.16 - Save That Tiger

Season finale and we had another Rhonda Robistelli sighting. You don't care? You should, because that tomboy now looks like this:
Never underestimate the sporty tomboys. (I say this as if she was really Rhonda as a teenager. Sad.)

Principal Elliot Stingwell is played by Ronnie Schell. This guy has been in a little bit of everywhere. For me, however, his best work is in voice overs. Peruse his work on IMDB and see the voice work he's done. Recess. Rugrats. Scooby Doo. Smurfs. Not bad, man. Not bad.

As to the other prominent guest stars, the Clegg Cousins Dan and Stan are played by C.W. Hemingway and Mark Clayman, respectively. C.W. struck out after only four appearances in Hollywood. It is interesting to note, however, that his gig right before his jock on Saved by the Bell was as a nerd in "Head of the Class." Mark has a much better acting portfolio, in that he returns to Saved by the Bell as Moose, as well as acting in other productions. He later branches out and works on the production crew for "Just Shoot Me."

And, once again: Shut up, Dustin Diamond!

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

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

SBTB 01.15 - King of the Hill

It should be fairly obvious that this episode is incredibly out of order. This was supposed to be the first episode of "Saved by the Bell" ever. Yet here it lies, fifteen episodes into the first season. We get introduced to A.C. Slater... fifteen episodes in. We meet heartthrob Kelly... fifteen episodes in. We find out Jessie is Zack's best friend... even though fifteen episodes haven't really proven this yet. We also meet Mr. Dewey and Mrs. Simpson... again. But, you know what? Things happen and snafus like this are some of them. To get your mind off this chronal anomaly:

In the course of this blog I have discovered that I need a segment devoted to the instances in which I can yell at Dustin Diamond to shut up about his experience on Saved by the Bell. Once again, he has a magical moment with a lady.
So, here it goes: "Hey, Dustin Diamond. Shut up!" That feels good.

Another segment could appropriately be called "Mr. Belding's Very Inappropriate Moments" because it seems he has one every episode. Here, he tells Zack "You haven't seen 'Dirty Dancing' until you've seen [Mrs. Belding and I] underwater." What?

And did you see this guy in the background try to keep a straight face? He fails.

Finally, some people get bent out of shape calling the double-straw in Kelly's Coke a production goof. Sure, Zack walks over with one straw in the cup but then there are conveniently two, allowing him to take a sip from Kelly's cup. I see this as further evidence of Max's stupid magic. He had already performed two or three stupid tricks before handing the cup to Zack. Why not a stupid trick straw that doubles for pretty ladies? It's plausible and perfectly in line with the character. I'll let it pass. Max is stupid.

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

Monday, November 4, 2013

SBTB 01.14 - The Zack Tapes

Yeah, yeah, this is one of those iconic episodes for Zack's use of subliminal messages embedded in a Bo Revere song (which is a fake band whose song is available on the "Saved by the Bell Soundtrack"). Almost everyone knows how the episode goes. For me, though, this outfit is what makes this episode shine:

And I feel cheated with the guest stars in this episode. For starters, Miss Wentworth has already been introduced here. In that episode she is an animal sex education teacher. Here, she teaches about subliminal messages. I'm not sure if she teaches science, English, or a hybrid. Secondly, the nerd with the laugh has already been introduced here. And the laugh is stolen from Crater Face Charlie Coburn from this episode. Lastly, there is a guy named Derrick credited at the end of the episode. I watched high and low throughout the episode and could not discover who this guy is. Then there was this:

Derrick is supposedly played by Nicholas Read, an actor with decent acting credits with a few recurring roles in television shows. Oddly enough, Saved by the Bell is his first television appearance, one in which he makes absolutely no appearance. (My guess is that he is the victim of a deleted scene.) IMDB does list Nicholas as having acted in "Suburban Commando," a fantastically campy Hulk Hogan movie that I definitely saw in the theater.

Speaking of campy: Mr. Belding. And how about another round of Mr. Belding being creepy?
"We're still meeting with my favorite California girl: your mommy." Either that is a very poorly delivered "Yo Momma" joke or a very, very strange relationship with Zack's mother. The episode tries to deliver it as a pun based on the conversation. I don't buy it.

Shifting gears, Saved by the Bell has a lot of fun with itself. Take this lightbulb Jessie gets as she realizes Zack's subterfuge:
The only issue here is the very awkward tilt and zoom that occurs after the lightbulb leaves. The director should have made the shot shorter so as to do the tilt and zoom as the lightbulb left. As it is, there is all that dead space that lasts for a second or two longer. It feels weird.

Another fun thing is this [seeming] homage to the Star Warks Gonk droid:

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