Season 2, Disc 1, Episode 1: “The Prom” (!)
12:20am: PIZZA and Saved by the Bell. And the episode that’s the turning point for the series.
12:21: Oh. That old theme song again. Stop it.
12:22: Zack looks taller. Slater looks greasier.
12:23: Fifteenth fantasy sequence: Geraldo Screech. Looks like the same wig from the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless.” They wasted no time getting to the fantasy sequences in Season 2.
12:24: Slater has upgraded from tank tops to athletic shirts.
12:25: This exchange between Kelly and her father always gets to me. Hey, Dad, maybe next time do a better job saving money!
12:25: No, Kelly, don’t cry!
12:25: This might have been the moment we fell in love with Kelly Kapowski/Tiffani Amber Thiessen.
12:27: Didn’t really care for how mean Zack was the Alan. Or maybe I really liked all those fat jokes. Probably the latter.
12:28: First Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson references! Took them long enough.
12:29: Slater and Jessie dance together! About time! And we haven’t seen any dancing since the first episode of Season 1. Had we made a drinking game then we’d be stone cold sober by now.
12:30: Look in the background at the movies: it’s Big Pete!
12:31: First Alan Thicke reference!!!
12:33: Slater’s back to his classic look.
12:35: I think we have our first B.U.M. Equipment clothing sighting!
12:36: Jessie and Slater are back at it.
12:37: It’s amazing how vividly I remember this episode. And it’s incredible that this was over 20 years ago.
12:39: “Zack and Kelly’s Prom” outside the gymnasium. As an eight-year old this is what I thought love. Still do. Still what we’re all searching for.
Episode 2: Zack’s War
12:42: “Madonna’s the new school nurse?” – There’s a joke that kind of holds up.
12:43: Wow, that’s a really fancy tank top, AC.
12:44: Literally LOL’d at Alan.
12:44: Louise, you’re not fooling anyone with those thick white glasses. You’re really pretty.
12:45: High waistlines pretty much come with the territory on this show, but Screech’s clown pants might be setting a new bar.
12:47: Sixteenth fantasy sequence: General Screech
12:49: Lisa, you can dress as slutty as you want but the Lieutenant is not going to fuck you.
12:50: I don’t think watching Zack do push-ups is an effective use of class time.
12:51: Kelly even looks good in a necktie.
12:54: Looks like you’re stuck with the nerds, Zack. Beaten at your own game!
12:55: This is a lot like that episode of the College Years when Professor Lasky makes a deal with Zack that if he completes a special project he’ll get a passing grade and not have to attend class anymore, but Zack decides to keep going because he wants an ‘A.’ This is just like that.
12:59: Lisa, even if the Lieutenant wasn’t married he still wouldn’t fuck you.
1:03: This is an incredibly lame obstacle course. For some reason we didn’t realize that in 1990.
1:04: Zack’s staying in the core. See? Told you that it’s just like that College Years episode.
Episode 3: Save the Max
1:06: Weird alternate theme again. Other other roommate just heard it and was totally disoriented. It’s completely unsettling.
1:07: First Beatles reference!
1:07: KKTY: Bayside!
1:08: Good to see that Slater hasn’t abandoned the Cavariccis.
1:08: Mr. Belding was the “Master Blaster.” Ew.
1:10: AC Slater wanted to be a sportscaster, and Mario Lopez hosts beauty pageants. Eerie.
1:10: Wait, why is Max serving small burgers? The costs of meat went up? What happened to MAGIC?
1:12: Shouldn’t they be in class and not running a radio station?
1:12: The only other show that ignored class time so egregiously is Friday Night Lights.
1:13: “Right, math majors?” – Slater. Um, you’re in high school, dummy. No majors. Did you major in being a dummy?
1:14: Slater stinks!
1:15: Second Paula Abdul reference!
1:16: It makes a lot of sense that the school district owns The Max. In fact, that’s the only thing that makes sense, since it seems to be on campus and that’s where they hold all their major events.
1:19: New sports reporter: Ronald Geekman. Who’s a geek. Subtlety was never their strength.
1:22: “Zack Morris…help me find the old me.” A special moment between Zack and Mr. B. As dramatic as this show gets.
1:23: Another Big Pete sighting!
1:23: Screech’s dead-on Al Bundy impression. Seriously, it’s really good. We’re surprised Dustin Diamond never tried to make a living off impressions and not sex tapes.
1:24: Slater pledges his life savings, $100. People seem to donate their life savings a lot on this show. And yet a few episodes later they have more to give. Must be nice to get an allowance.
1:26: Slater to save the day! Mario Lopez nailed this when he reenacted it on Jimmy Fallon.
1:27 Although here Mario Lopez appears really uncomfortable with the microphone. Holding it really far from his body and kind of staring angrily at it. You’ll never make it as host of Miss American if you keep that up!
Episode 4: Driver’s Education
1:30: Mr. Tuttle is back!
1:32: Stop sucking up, Slater!
And here is where we were derailed for three hours by a thundersnowstorm, as decided to venture outside and help stranded drivers dig out and get home.
4:55am: Oh, man! Slater’s car sucks!
4:56am: Oh, man! Slater’s car rocks!
4:56am: Oh, man! Slater is old!
4:58am: “Pushy, pushy. Move your tushy!” – Mr. Tuttle. Always hated that line.
5:00am: seventeenth fantasy sequence: At the drive-in.
5:02: This scheme is one of Zack’s more prickish ideas.
5:03: One question I’ve always had: how does driving a golf cart prepare one for handling an automobile. Anything more than a Zipcar and you’re screwed.
5:07: This show sure has a lot of people pretending to have amnesia or mental problems or a terminal illness. And Zack may be a dick sometimes, but he usually gets his comeuppance.
5:09: No, Kelly, you don’t watch this much heat.
5:10: “I was in the seat, I’ll take the heat.” Slater, you look a lot less cool admitting to crashing the driver’s ed car when you do it with a rhyme. “I was behind the wheel, so here before you I kneel.”
Episode 5: “House Party”
5:18: We’re getting to the real good stuff now. Also, ramen is good. So if this episode is good and ramen is good is this episode ramen?
5:20: First appearance by Violet Bickerstaff! Man, Tori Spelling is unrecognizable! (except for looking totally like Tori Spelling outside of the glasses and pigtails)
5:21: Really starting to wonder what happened to my Frank’s Red Hot.
5:23: In case any of you babes out there are wondering, wearing neon tank tops and socks and dancing to the Beach Boys is totally what us dudes do when we’re alone.
5:24: In Screech’s room. Where’s Kevin??? Oh no!
5:24: Eighteenth fantasy sequence: Mrs. Powers is dead!
5:26: Screech and Violet are totally going to be a couple for the remainder of the series. FOR SURE.
5:28: Gambling! Been too long since they broke the law (unless you count Grand Theft Golf Cart).
5:31: Where’s Mr. Powers???
5:35: “How can we make money to replace the statue we broke because Screech had people over when he wasn’t supposed to? Oh, yeah, have more people over to Screech’s house.”
5:36: That a boy Screech! Way to assert your geek superiority!
5:38: Oh, by the way, Slater, awesome vest.
Sleep, more snow shoveling
Episode 6, “Model Students”
3:08pm: Does Kelly need this job at the school store because her dad is still out of work? Get it together, Mr. Kapowski!
3:09: It was always kind of weird that Screech was a nerd, but was not a part of that very defined nerd clique. Well, I guess he was more of a dweeb, but still. He just didn’t fit with the cool kids. Then again, I guess the gang is the only group at the school that is not homogeneous.
3:11: Well, Zack just called the nerds who run the school store “dweebs,” so Screech definitely should have been one of their constituents.
3:12: The sport seasons on this show are so undefined! Volleyball one episode, swimming the next, football after that, then track and field, then football again, then wrestling, then track and field again.
3:14: Big Pete!
3:15: Pretty sure those are Baywatch swimsuits.
3:15: Pretty sure Bayside only has 25 students.
3:16: Always wanted that Girls of Bayside calendar. Still do.
3:15: You know that this photographer is shady because he has a goatee. Tell tale sign!
3:18: Those other 8 girls on the swim team might as well not exist. Oh, wait, they don’t.
3:18: Child pornography?
3:20: Of course, Kelly got the modeling gig! Did you really think you had a chance, Jessie?
3:21: “Whoa, Paris, Texas!” – Screech, evidently a big Steve Zahn fan.
3:22: Fat joke!
3:23: “Zack, who are you talking to? Seriously, you’re always just talking to no one. There’s no one there. Seriously, it’s weird.” – the question no one ever asked.
3:24: Child pornography
3:27: I was wrong about you, shady photographer. You’re an okay guy after all.
3:28: “Do you have any t-shirts with longer sleeves?…Perfect!”
3:29: I wonder if they raided AC Slater’s closet for Tony Soprano’s wardrobe.
3:29: Remember that time Kelly took that month-long modeling job in Paris? And they made any mention of it on later episodes of the show? And She wasn’t around for a few episodes because she was off in Europe? And her modeling career is a plotline that runs through the remainder of the series? You don’t? Really? Cause that all happened.
Episode 7: “Blind Date”
3:31: This fucking song.
3:32: Really wish these discs had chapter selection.
3:34: You’re going to get Kelly back, Slater? When did you have her?
3:40: “That Max was booked.” C’mon, how is that possible? It pretty much exists for your friends and your friends alone.
3:50: Nineteenth fantasy sequence: Blind Date Game. Sucks to be Jessie!
3:52: Jessie doesn’t mind that this guy is 30?
3:53: OH NO! HE’S A SHRIMP! NOOOOO!
3:54: I like this Screech so much better than the even dweebier, more abrasive Screech of later seasons. This guy’s kinda loveable.
3:55: Just hanging out in the bathroom stall, standing on a toilet, eh, AC? Not weird at all.
3:56: I’m not sure that tube top meets dress code requirements, Kelly. Not that we’re complaining.
3:56: Jessie, you’ve been KellyLisa’d!!!
3:58: Ladies and gentlemen, Jodi Petersen as Penny Belding, better known as Ben Seaver’s girlfriend Laura-Lynn. It seems odd that this aired the same time as Growing Pains. It felt like this came later. And Saved by the Bell actually holds up better.
4:00: Jessie and that wittle guy are so cute!
4:03: Fuck you, Slater! Talk about your all-time backfires.
Episode 8: “Rent-A-Pop”
4:06: The school doesn’t have any money? Maybe they stop having 12 dances a year The Max.
4:07: First appearance of James. Which means we’ve seen the last of Max.
4:07: Oh, no! They might not be able to go on the ski trip!
4:10: Ladies and gentlemen, Derek Morris (#2).
4:11: Zack, I can see where you get your good giant cell phone looks from.
4:12: Twentieth fantasy sequence! Grounded for life.
4:13: Alluding to sexagenarian sex. Nice!
4:18: Ha, “Dick Belding”
4:20: I know this sounds crazy, but Screech’s sandwich with a walkie-talkie inside looks really delicious.
4:23: 1 twin!
4:24: Pretty sure that a kissing booth is not appropriate school fundraiser (high school prostitution).
4:24: Nor are rigged Carny games prudent.
4:27: I can’t believe Michael Douglas totally ripped-off Derek Morris in Wall Street.
4:27: “I learned from watching you, Dad!”
4:28: “Zack, you are forbidden from going on that ski trip! We are going fishing!” Tough love, Mr. Morris.
For the rest of our live-blogging we’re going to switch to a new time stamp format, instead of noting the time of day for each comment, we’re going to give you the episode time. However, we will indicate when we being the episode.
4:42pm: Season 2, Disc 2, Episode 9: “Miss Bayside”
01:00: Of course they’re in the front row.
02:00: That one kid who likes Mr. Belding seems like a pretty cool dude. Is that Casper Van Dien?
03:00: We wonder if Jessie would be a Tea Partier today.
04:20: We bet AC Slater actually knows a lot about panty hose.
04:30: Finally, some more gambling!
5:00: Little known fact: All those sodas at the Max were actually Guinness.
6:00: Screech definitely has the coolest room. By far.
07:35: Cool jeans, Kelly.
09:40: Jessie totally wouldn’t approve of Showgirls.
10:15: Can’t believe they put ice cubes in Guinness.
12:00: If they donated the wardrobe from this show to charity there must have been a ton of homeless people in LA wearing pink.
13:00: More pink.
14:15: Out of respect for Max, no one else on this show should try magic.
15:00: FINALLY, Mario Lopez back on the drums.
17:00: Child pornography.
18:00: Child pornography.
19:30: If Tiffani Amber Thiessen didn’t make it as an actress she totally could have been a professional cheerleader.
21:30: Did Dustin Diamond get his teeth fixed between Seasons 2 and 3?
22:00: Foreshadowing Dennis Haskins karaoke career.
5:06pm: Episode 10: “Jessie’s Song”
00:43: Oh, boy, here we go. This is the one. The one.
1:30: Jessie’s drinking coffee? Hope she doesn’t develop a drug problem!
02:50: It’s really lucky that there’s an instrumental version of that song on the jukebox. And that the volume decreases as soon as they’re done singing.
03:45: Mr. Dewey!
04:15: “I’m off to my tryout for American Gladiators.” The #1 all-time Mr. Dewey quote.
06:45: When are those girls going to learn that any stranger in the girls locker room is Screech in drag.
08:00: Why do the caffeine pills make Jessie horny???
09:30: Twenty-first fantasy sequence: Surf University
11:50: This music video is totally feels like a Kids Incorporated rip-off. Which is totally okay (oh, hey, Mario Lopez).
13:00: Little known fact: the choreographer for this sequence also designed all the fight sequences in the Bourne trilogy.
15:30: Cause caffeine pills have the exact effect as cocaine.
17:30: Um, Jessie, you’re kinda freaking everyone out.
18:00: Simultaneously the high and low point of Saved by the Bell. Ladies and gentlemen, for your consideration:
18:20: Jessie needs to get one of the time-freezers that Dumbledore gave her Hermoine (and they said I couldn’t connect Saved by the Bell with Harry Potter).
19:00: I think even at 8 years-old I was like “Um, c’mon. This is silly. That’s not a real drug problem.”
21:00: We all went over to Steve’s house after he had surgery to repair his broken nose and was on recuperating in bed. That was a real problem.
22:00: We always appreciated how they followed Jessie’s recovery process throughout the course of the series.
6:22pm: Episode 11: “1-800-CRUSHED”
01:30: A 900 number? Isn’t that kind of racy for a kids show.
03:00: Oh, hey, Kelly’s sister. But whatever happened to her baby brother Billy??? OMG, did they lose him???
04:00: Twenty-second fantasy sequence: Zack picks little Nicky (in a hip-hop version of Cinderella). Possibly the only dream sequence from the mind of a non-main cast member.
05:45: Jessie and Slater, just make out already!
06:30: Looks like Stan from Valley made it to college. Go CAL!
07:00: Terrible advice, Lisa.
08:00: Zack basically just gave Nicky the ol’ “BFD, engaged ain’t married.”
10:00: Robbing the cradle, Zachary!
14:30: Uh, oh, Zack, you just fucked up BIG TIME.
15:00: It must have sucked being a set dresser on this show. “Okay, change the set from a carnival to a math classroom to a studio apt to the gym to art class. By lunch.”
19:30: Kelly in disguise looks a lot like Zack in drag.
19:45: Kinda mean that Zack’s idea of being repulsive is to act exactly like Screech.
21:30: Should have taken that chance to make a Kodak moment Zack.
6:50pm: Episode 12: “Running Zack”
01:00: This is how we all learned about Native Americans as kids.
02:00: I’m sure that Kelly’s sister will appear again in this episode. At the least she’ll reappear often. For sure.
02:40: Saved by the Bell: The only Saturday morning sitcom with the courage to tackle slavery.
04:00: Wait, so what class did Ms. Wentworth teach?
05:00: It would be great if Lisa actually never forgave Jessie for her ancestors being slave traders.
06:45: I didn’t think Zack’s presentation was that terrible. It had visual aids.
08:30: How whoever this guy his who played Chief Henry didn’t win an Emmy we’ll never know.
09:30: Top-notch principaling, Mr. B.
10:30: They’re called reparations, Jessie. The soda you want to buy Lisa is called a reparation.
12:40: First reference to the Arab-Israeli conflict!
14:15: An “A?” Screech’s presentation wasn’t even that much better than Zack’s.
15:50: Although Zack better not get an “A.” His new presentation was worlds better, but having to re-do it should incur at least a one-letter grade penalty.
17:20: If you thought slavery and the genocide of Native Americans weren’t complex enough subjects, here’s death!
19:35: Twenty-third fantasy sequence: Chief Henry haunts Zack’s dreams. Like that episode of Growing Pains when Mike keeps dreaming about dead Uncle Bob (AKA Mr. Powell from Charles in Charge).
20:50: Chief Henry died and became a used car salesmen.
21:41: Jessie’s all like “Slavery was bad, but not bad enough for me to buy you a car.” Way to draw your line in the sand!
PIZZA BREAK!!!!! (yep, more pizza. But it’s from a different pizzeria this time so it’s totally acceptable. And it’s pepperoni, not just plain cheese, so it’s basically a completely different meal)
7:13pm, Episode 13: “From Nurse to Worse”
01:30: Did the concept of “going steady” ever exist anywhere outside of TV?
03:43: Nancy Valen as Nurse Jennifer. Although she had a one season run on Baywatch, I’ll always remember Valen for her role here. I can recall even as an 8 year-old thinking to myself “man, she’s pretty.” And, just like Zach, I was torn.
05:00: I really don’t think that Ms. Simpson is fit to teach. This the problem with tenure.
08:45: Fun fact: Nancy Valen also played a health care professional on Boy Meets World.
10:04: Since when does Slater have a mother?
11:21: Although I had enough sense to know better than to throw things away with Kelly. Even if all things were equal, Kelly was the better catch.
12:05: Twenty-fourth fantasy sequence: Doctor Morris, Nurse Jennifer and Nurse Kelly. Every man’s boy’s dream.
14:00: Mr. Belding has nothing better to do than call students to their physicals?
15:00: Those white heels are really inappropriate, Jen. Not that we’re complaining.
20:30 I actually think Jennifer was more attractive in the white coat.
20:50: Second Hulk Hogan reference?
21:15: Really, an oversized purple t-shirt is not that appealing. Go ahead, put a belt around it, it’s not a dress.
22:50: I think the fact that these episodes aired out-of-order really messed with my emotions. One week Zack and Kelly they’re dating, the next they’re not. Although, I guess that made pull for the two of them even more.
And thus concludes Season 2 of Saved by the Bell. What has stuck with me most is Zack and Kelly’s relationship is stating to take center stage, if not in actuality at least in terms of my investment in the show. This is only going to continue as the show progresses, as their ups and downs will define the series and our youth.
Also, we’re coming up on the Malibu Sands episodes!