Saturday, March 29, 2014

SBTB 03.11 - Pipe Dreams

I wasn't sure when I saw this scene:
Is that our troll to the right? The facial structure looks correct. The bangs. I'm almost positive -
Boo yah! Molly the Troll. Two on-campus episodes in a row. This makes me very happy.

Moving on, let's meet the man who plays Mr. Phelps.
Hiram Kasten
Do you recognize this man? Maybe not, but he is a regular showman. This is Hiram Kasten. He's been around. Not only has he been on some of the funniest shows on television (do I need to say more beyond "Seinfeld?"), but he has also had Vegas shows, most notably the "The Rat Pack is Back." His comedy act has opened for Jerry Seinfeld. He also tutors on showmanship. Nice.

How about the other guest star? Can he live up to the hype of Mr. Kasten? Maybe.
Gary Lahti
This is Gary Lahti, the man who played Dan Grayson, the oil man. His resume seems less impressive, but only because it is pretty short. Mr. Lahti made some uncredited appearances on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" in the early days, which gave him exposure to then-writer Louis C.K. This exposure earned Mr. Lahti a spot in Louis C.K.'s indie movie "Tomorrow Night."

Speaking of comedians, did anyone get a 90s movie ping when they heard Screech claim to be an H2O Distribution Engineer? Yeah, Adam Sandler claimed this title as a team's waterboy in "The Waterboy" (though I think he just claimed to be a Water Distribution Engineer). Ah, SBTB continues to influence pop culture.

One thing I do want to note/applaud is the stronger - albeit cheesier - writing of this episode. Normally we get a pretty straight forward problem and Zack-genius solution. For this episode, however, things are strung out a bit. First, Zack makes a connection with a duck when he takes it home for the weekend. Then, the school finds oil. Then it all comes back to the duck getting hurt by something Zack was totally supporting. It's not until then that Zack is able to hatch a plan and save the school/ducks. Kudos, writers. But let's not be so sober next time. I don't watch SBTB for morality lessons!

To end, let's examine the final scene's high five. You have seen this numerous times in the show's opening. The one thing that has always stood out to me is the person who misses. For the life of me, I could never tell if the hand was Kelly's (perish the thought!) or Screech (serves him right?). Having finally reached this episode, I thought we could take a moment to analyze the high five and come to a determination as to who missed. Here is the scene:
Let's take a look at the pre-five:
Note that Screech is wearing something on his wrist while Kelly's is bare. Now the high five in action:
Is it just me, or does the goofy hand have something on its wrist? Furthermore, if it were Kelly's hand that shot too low then why is she looking up as if her hand were sky high? I think it is safe to say that Screech is the one that misses the high five. This almost makes me feel bad for picking on him in all my other blogs. But not really. If it is any consolation to Screech, it seems that Kelly's hand has also missed, as it isn't actually fiving anything but just sticking out the back. Her's just made it close enough for us not to make a big deal out of it.

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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

SBTB 03.10 - Boss Lady

I've got to pause from the episodic stuff for just a moment and alert my dear readers that Lark Voorhies, the famed Lisa Turtle, has recorded music and placed it on the interwebs for us all to hear. Check it out on Spotify (under her name) or HERE.

That is really what was in her heart that she just had to share with the world? Amazing.

Back to the issue at hand. As in, this episode.

Why oh why did Mr. Fletcher get a credit for this episode? Well, I guess it's because he had plenty of Hollywood work before this episode appearance. After? Not so much.
John Welsh
John Welsh plays the do-anything-for-daughter father Mr. Fletcher. You may recognize him as the sometimes recurring white guy "Big Earl" Barnett from "What's Happening!!" Or the smattering of other things he'd done before this episode seemingly killed his career. But that's all I got.

You want more? Okay. How about calling bull on this scene with Slater burning... something.
This is the guy that almost missed a wrestling match because of his flawless baking in HomeEc. This should have been a Lisa scene, but only because she assaulted my ears at the beginning of the blog.

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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SBTB 03.09 - Fake ID's

Terribly, terribly tragic.
We are supposed to believe that Screech (and everyone else in class, for that matter) can develop pictures in the light? I don't think so.

Now, we've got three women to talk about this time around. We'll start out with the sweetest of the three.
Melody Rogers
Zack's mom is played by Melody Rogers. She had a small load of Hollywood work but mostly made her name as a broadcaster, earning some Los Angeles Emmys for a show she hosted called "2 on the Town." She and her husband, Pat Kelly (another broadcaster), have recently written a book that chronicles Pat's struggles with dealing with MS. The book is called "And There Will Always Be Termites." She is currently a real estate agent.

The next lady: Danielle, the USC student who can't spot a 16 year old.
Julie St. Claire
Julie St. Claire came to Saved by the Bell fresh off a run on the old soap opera "Santa Barbara." I assume that she was recognized by savvy media watchers when the episode initially aired, but I don't recognize her at all. She later went on to act in every episode of "A.J.'s Time Travellers," a Saturday morning show on UPN that I never saw. (Remember UPN?) Then, between other acting jobs, she did something that I love: She acted on the same show as a different character. On the terrible "V.I.P.," she had a role as Carmen and then two years later as a character named Mona. But give her credit, she also stepped behind the camera to direct "The Legend of Cryin' Ryan." Right...

Our last dame:
Is that...? Could it be...? It is! Troll! Molly the Troll has made a triumphant return! It has been so long since we've seen her. Maybe even the whole season. Welcome back, dear.

Lastly, I'm sure Zack was going for the arms, but he missed. Badly.
Big time.

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

Edit: As with other attractive ladies, I'll use this space to show off other appearances.

1) In 1989, Julie costarred with another SBTB alum in an episode of "Freddy's Nightmares" called "Do You Know Where Your Kids Are?" (That other alum is Suzanne Tara. Her write-up is here.) Julie's role is that of the best friend named Heidi who mainly just makes out with her boyfriend. She ultimately dies of a scissor wound and her body is dragged down a flight of stairs by a crazy girl.
Julie St. Clair - Freddy's Nightmares
Goodbye, sweet character Heidi. We hardly knew you.

(Note: This episode stars another SBTB alum in Suzanne Tara. You can find her write-up here.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

SBTB 03.08 - My Boyfriend's Back

In case you were wondering, the KLF300B3 was totally real. It was an ATV model made by Kawasaki in 1990. This is an instance in which product placement didn't hit the viewer over the head.

I normally like to harp on the poor production quality of Saved by the Bell, but these Malibu Sands episodes are pretty well done. The writing is fun and there are no booms in the shots. (Yet.) So, I'll tell you about Craig Strand and we'll call it a day.

Craig Strand! Wow.
Benjamin King
Craig Strand is played by Benjamin King. Homeboy is the perennial eastern citizen: Rich in Boston and a frat boy at Yale. Tall. Good looking. Stuck up. (Yup, that's how we westerners look at you loafer-wearing easterners.) Benjamin King has a laundry list of appearances in shows and movies, but his most notable(?) gig - at least his longest television job - has come recently on "Liv and Maddie," a Disney show about twin girls, one a pop star and the other a jock. So good job, Benjamin King. You could be the next Miley Cyrus, sans wrecking ball.

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

SBTB 03.07 - Check Your Mate

So, guess where this brilliant idea originated...
That's right, Lisa and Kelly were inappropriately used cheerleaders before Will Ferrel and Cheri Oteri began their Spartan Spirits routine. Granted, the SNL version was far funnier with better cheers, but the SBTB girls had midriffs. So... no contest.

This episode focussed on chess. Too much so, in that it forgot that guys like me would be too focussed on other aspects, like this little continuity conundrum:
As we look down upon the chess match we see that pieces have been won by both Screech and Peter the Russian. Screech has four and the Peter has three.
As Screech wins, there are no more pieces to the side. I don't know where they could have gone. Maybe the producers know.

Something else the producers may know is how the nerds of Bayside are so prepared. Peter Breschnev asks for his pants. Zack looks down and sees that he is still wearing Peter's pants. "No problem," we pretend an off-camera nerd says.
"Here are some pants." Problem solved! Peter wears the mystery pants and then loses.

Speaking of Peter Breschnev, the actor isn't credited for the episode. So, while I don't technically have to give any information about him, I will say that he pops up as Travis in "Saved by the Bell: The New Class" in the "Wanna Bet?" episode. Maybe he'll get covered there...

Who does get the credit? Why, that would be Miss Hilary Hayes, the actress who plays Allison Fox.
Hilary Hayes
Why is she standing like that? Well, for all the charm she brought to the show, the only other notable acting she got was as Ruby in "Star Trek: First Contact." Other than that, she is a complete Hollywood wash.

Now, I have some of my favorite segments. This next one is not one of them. I hate character breaks, but Season Three seems to be rife with them. And is it any wonder that they usually involve Screech?
Screech, you just got hit with a lady's bathroom door. Stop stifling that smile and act like you just got hit by a lady's bathroom door.

Screech turns away from the camera just as he breaks into a big grin. Zack, however, can't turn away from the camera to hide his goofy grin because his character is supposed to avoid Mr. Belding. What we get is an awkward face, like Zack has just conquered a bout of explosive diarrhea, but a little bit still slipped out.

And now (hooray!) we move on to one of my favorite segments: Shut up, Dustin Diamond!
This, of course, is before Tori Spelling looked like this:
(Uh, what are those boobs doing?)

Back to Screech, don't tell me he was disappointed at this much-better-than-Tori-Spelling view:
So let's all say it together: Dustin Diamond - Shut up.

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

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SBTB 03.06 - Fourth of July

Slater was a perfect buffoon in that race. He fell; he faltered; he lost. Worst of all, he hit his head on the limbo bar. It was lovely.

All-in-all, this was a good episode for Lisa. These Malibu Sands episodes have really seemed to let her character breathe a little more.

Stacey Carosi is obviously becoming a bigger character in these episodes, so let's finally take a look at the person playing her.
Leah Remini
Stacey is played by Leah Remini. She has always seemed to have work, but never in something all that great. She has had recurring roles in many series throughout her career, but the only one that seemed to last was on "The King of Queens." She played the hot wife of a fat guy. Yup, that's where you've seen her. As of now (2014), she is in "The Exes."

As to the other guest star on this episode, Jacquelyn Hyde plays Madonna Schwartzkauf. Uh, she does? Despite being credited in the credits, there is no Madonna named in this episode. There is no prominently shown old woman in the episode (because Jacquelyn Hyde would have been old in order to be in this episode). I wonder if she had a scene that got cut at the last minute. Oh well.

And now for the triumphant return of my favorite segment:
Shut up, Dustin Diamond!

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

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

SBTB 03.05 - The Surgery (Operation Zack)

Let's turn our attention to this pivotal scene:
This was obviously a terrible blow to the Bayside Tigers basketball team. Zack tears some cartilage in his knee and needs surgery. Mr. Belding causes this mishap. Chaos reigns. But there is more to this scene than just this horrible accident. Do you recall Slater holding a basketball? Of course you do; you watch the show and soak in every detail. So then you will recall that he tosses the ball to the side before heading out for layup drills. (An odd decision, as the team needs a ball to do the drill.) Despite the importance of this scene, the extra on the far left of the frame decides to go after that loose ball. I don't know if he thought it would add to the scene by recovering the ball or if he just wanted something to do since he wasn't getting paid a ton for this non-speaking part. Knowing of the import of the scene, however, he should have ignored that ball to be more readily at his captain's side when the knee gave out. For shame, Extra. For shame.

More shame? How about Zack being unable to keep a straight face while Screech dangles a frog leg in his face?
Don't you smile, Zack! You are in incredible pain.

And who will help him fight this pain? Why, Dr. Turtle, of course.
Susan Beaubian
Lisa's mom, a.k.a. the best surgeon in L.A., is played by Susan Beaubian. Not only does she do a great job on Zack's knee, but she dispenses motherly advice to her daughter like a true champion. The only thing I want to say about Ms. Beaubian is that of her 28 acting credits on IMDB, 11 are medically related. She plays doctors and nurses 39% of the time. Saved by the Bell was her first.

And now for the most inappropriately hilarious moment of the show:
A woman grabs fake-doctor Zack and proclaims: "Heal me with your kisses!" After which he is dragged into a room and made out upon. This was terrible and funny all rolled into one.

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

SBTB 03.04 - The Game

Volleyball. Malibu Sands. Dark Sevier.

Dark Sevier? What does that mean?
Dark Sevier
That would be this guy. This guy with the tragically short pants and even more tragically short shirt. Granted, he is 6'10" and won't fit in most uniforms when hired so brashly. The tallness, however, is no excuse for the hair.

Dark Sevier tried to be an actor. Tried. You may have noticed from this episode that his performance is a little wooden. You may not have to teach seven feet in the game of basketball, but six-ten still needs acting lessons. Hollywood didn't need this guy and he didn't end up doing anything else of note.

So, what has a man named Dark done since this episode? Well, he emceed in Hawaii at the rRed Elephant in 2006 for a string of shows featuring comedy, drama, and weirdness (their words). Also, it looks like he is trying to be a photographer and filmographer. Yet, check out this insanely boring video and judge for yourself if things are working out for him. It's said he shoots from the hip so as to get more in-the-moment type shots; to catch people when they are least expecting it. Right, he's just adjusting so as to shoot on a more normal level. Good luck, Dark. May your career be better than the other guy with a similar name - Darko Milicic. That shouldn't be too hard.

Let's go polar opposite:
Ernie Sabella
Hello, Leon Carosi, you short, fat, convincing actor guy.

Ernie Sabella: You know this guy. You probably saw him in the last Malibu Sands episode and tried to place him. He's been in a ton of stuff, but you should mainly know him for two reasons. First, he is the voice of Pumbaa from "The Lion King." He and Nathan Lane team up to make one of the greatest comedic tandems in movie history. Second:
He is the naked guy on the subway on "Seinfeld." You cannot unsee this.

I'll tackle Stacey Carosi during the next Malibu Sands episode so that I don't overload you with person after person since there have been fewer production gaffs as the series matures.

Then again, how do you explain this?
Standing that close to the net, Tad should not have been beaned and defaced in such a way. Not unless Zack has such wicked spin on his serves. I don't think he does. Sorry Tad. You got served? (Nope, I couldn't commit to that slight.)

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

Saturday, March 1, 2014

SBTB 03.03 - The Aftermath

Doesn't this episode make much more sense as the follow-up than that Malibu Sands episode? Right? Why did they do this? As far as I can tell, two episodes aired on the same day. The first of the set was the regular school setting where all the Zack and Kelly drama unfolds. The second episode seems to be a summer experience shared by the gang. These episodes switch off for the first half of this third season, so every other episode will be a Malibu Sands one. Confusing? Indeed. But so is the rest of the Saved by the Bell chronology.

As for this episode, the only curiosity I found was the guy behind Screech at the Max. Either he is taking four consecutive bites of his burger or he is totally making out with that thing. You decide?
Due to the tenderness with which he holds that burger, my vote is for a burger make out.

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