A Deadly Scorpion and Caffeine Pills
So why did I watch Saved by the Bell? As I said, it was often the only thing on. Well, to be more specific, the least worst thing on, in my view. I wasn't going to watch baseball and I sure as hell didn't want to watch Perry Mason or soap operas. So Saved by the Bell was often my last choice. And yes, it was a bad show. It was a terrible show with awful, unfunny writing. Yet, it was somehow vaguely entertaining, as well. As I covered, Full House was an awful show that I hated watching, but I didn't really hate watching Saved by the Bell, even though I realized it was bad.
So I'm searching around for more information on Saved by the Bell and I stumble across this site called X-Entertainment. It offers up an excellent summary of why I watched so many episodes of the show:
I've gotten a veritable ton of e-mail from readers demanding to have their senses shattered and processes of logical thought inundated with another review of Saved By The Bell, and who am I to deny? By this point, I've covered the show enough that I'm gonna skip the few thousand paragraphs it'd take to properly prepare you for the continuous, bold lines of flagrant stupidity found in each and every episode. We've all seen the show, we all know it's dumb. Doesn't mean it wasn't charming and worthwhile in it's own way...an analogy: you step on a thumbtack. It's a pretty bad situation, but you look down and notice that you could've stepped on a desert scorpion that's crawled into your bedroom and is just steps away from your bruised and battered foot. So yes, stepping on the tack was bad, but stepping on a scorpion would be worse. Saved By The Bell was bad, but a half hour later, you could've been watching something far worse like California Dreams instead. In this mighty pathos play, where Zack and Company play the thumbtack to Sly's deadly scorpion, I'm happy to say that Bayside High might be annoying, but it won't outright kill you.
Perfect! The analogies don't get much better than that.
By all means, click through and read the full article that quote is taken from. It goes on to review one of the few Saved by the Bell episodes I remember and is absolutely hilarious. A key quote:
Mr. Belding's here too, roaming the halls trying to solve his latest problem that involves the students but in no way the school: he needs to find a date for his niece, Penny Belding. Calling her 'Penny Belding' isn't redundant, because if I'm not mistaken, that's what everyone calls her for the duration of the episode. Even when Mr. B's talking about her, he nails lines like 'Slater, as your principal Mr. Belding, I'd like very much for you to date my niece, Penny Belding.' Later in the show, even during a face-to-face meeting, I'm pretty sure Kelly lands the knockout punch of icebreakers - 'You must be Mr. Belding's niece, Penny Belding!' You'd swear that her real name was Pennybelding Belding, but swearing that would be impossible, because you'll be too busy wondering how they let a dwarf play the principal's niece.
There are many more reviews on the site, including character profiles. They are all done by Matt, it appears, and he is a very funny man. He hits the absurdity of Saved by the Bell right on the head. In his character profile of Jessie, he nails her:
Her role on Saved By The Bell was pretty simple - very intelligent feminazi who had more convictions than strands of hair. Basically, Jessie was the smart one. And the one who complained the most. Since most people on Saved By The Bell made statements that a five year old could negate, Jessie had a lot to say.
[. . .]
Jessie was also pretty contradictory. In several episodes, she made negative comments about cheerleaders. Ironically, Jessie appeared as a cheerleader in at least four episodes. No one ever explained it, but Jessie did look a little guilty.
But the reason I love Jessie, is because deep down...she's a nutball. Seriously, all the classic SBTB moments are of a result of hideously overacted lines by Jess. I've linked to this before, but it bears repeating. Jessie may very well have the best line, ever, on any television series. Trust me when I say you've never heard anything like this. It all started when Jessie got hooked on caffiene pills. When Zack confronted her about it conflicting with her dance routine, Jessie went insane. Now, I don't mean she got a little upset....she went insane. This clip is *legendary* amongst my group - it's something that links us all together, something we all turn to when we need to break the ice after not seeing each other for awhile.
I remember that episode--which was also a Very Special Episode--and I greatly recommend you click through and check out the .wav file that Matt put up of Jessie going crazy on drugs. It's hilarious because of how melodramatic it is, especially when you consider that she was taking caffeine pills. I mean, it would even be a little over the top if she was hooked on speed, but caffeine pills? Genius.