In keeping with the trend started with yesterday’s post, we’re talking about Saved by the Bell again. But this time we’re responding to Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s comments to Yahoo News about Saved by the Bell, telling them“It’s not a great show.” This statement seemed to promote outrage among the blogosphere, viewed as heresy committed by the biggest star of the legendary, landmark, immortal teen sitcom. But we’re here to say that not only is Mark-Paul not guilty of treachery, he’s downright accurate.
Now we feel comfortable saying we adore Saved by the Bell as much as anyone. There are two reasons to marathon the entire series, as we did last year: 1) Masochism or 2) Genuine appreciation for the show. While watching all five seasons wasn’t a completely painless experience, our feelings clearly place us in the second camp, SBTB acolytes. But just because we volunteered ourselves to watch every episode – and enjoyed much of it – that doesn’t mean the show is infallible. In fact, having recently viewed every minute of it, much of Saved by the Bell is terrible. The acting, the writing, the jokes, the sets, the music, the lipdubs, all bad. But whether or not we appreciated that camp factor at the time (and we doubt we did, considering how invested we were in Zack and Kelly’s relationship, to this day the most important relationship in our lives, real or fictional), we certainly do now. It couldn’t be less like a realistic portrayal of high school, the opposite of Freaks and Geeks. But that’s fine. It was the perfect show for Saturday mornings in 1991 and weekeday afternoons in 1993. It wasn’t the high school experience we had, it was the one we wanted.
Just because something is bad it doesn’t mean it can’t be really, really, really good.
Tonight brings us the long-awaited return our beloved Community, the show that is, if you ask us, far and away the funniest, most innovative show on television (or off television, as the last couple months would have it). While we still had Parks and Recreation, and welcomed back 30 Rock with open arms, Thursday nights just weren’t the same without the Greendale study group, just not as magical.
However, even though we dearly missed the show, and do worry about its chronically low-ratings and tenuous chances of renewal, we were not in panic-mode like some others were over its benching. First off, the show was not canceled, and even though there was no definitive return date when the hiatus was announced, there was never a doubt that it would return this season. Even if the show pulls in dismal ratings (which it unfortunately does), it wouldn’t make much financial sense for NBC to produce a full season and then never air the back half. It’s not like Community will fare much worse than any of their other comedies, save for The Office. So the hiatus was not a punishment, or a really even a threat. Just a business decision, one that NBC scheduling has now applied to Parks and Rec, as that equally wonderful show takes a break til late April.
The bulk of our daily search terms continue to be Survivor: Redemption Island related – Phillip, Survivor Phillip, Former Federal Agent Phillip, Kristina boobs – so we’re going to work with the odd man out in the group, “jumped the snark.” And we’ve previously established that when our search term is “jumped the snark” it’s a wild-card day, we can post anything our little R2D2 Mr. Potato Head heart desires. And our little R2D2 Mr. Potato Head once again desires to honor the work of Judd Apatow.
This past weekend brought us the long-awaited Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared reunions at Los Angeles’ Paley Center (which you can read much more about here). It’s truly amazing to see these kids grown up, truly amazing that they’ve almost all gone on to successful careers as adults, and perhaps most truly amazing of all is that none of them have developed a serious drug problem (excluding an apparent affinity for the wacky tobaccky). We frequently mentionFreaks and Geeks on this blog, so we’re going to shine the spotlight on Undeclared this time around.
Here’s a clip from the series’ third episode, “Eric Visits,” which contains probably our favorite Undeclared exchange. At about the 30 second mark please enjoy Seth Rogen’s thoughts on a certain Tom Hanks romantic comedy.
Well, maybe not exactly. It’s possible he still hasn’t seen it. Or maybe just took a cursory glance. But he definitely saw our Tweet from last night, linking to the Judd Apatow Chart in commemoration of the Blu-Ray release of The Cable Guy. How do we know he saw it? Because he retweeted it:
We did it guys! Nearly two years later, we finally got through. Now we can say this blog was not created in vain.
So, Judd, thank you so much for taking the time to click “retweet.” We know that sounds sarcastic, but we certainly don’t mean it that way. Just the fact that you paused for a second to acknowledge our work gives us renewed inspiration. So to all you new Jumped the Snark readers, brought here by Apatow’s retweet, welcome and get ready. We could retire now and be satisfied, but we’re not going to stop here. Hate to break it to you, every out there, but now we’re emboldened to do even more.
And, why not, let’s end this with a little Gordon Crisp. Possibly our favorite three seconds of all-time.
Today’s search term is “snl pegasus mural,” which means that someone was looking for this middling, often painful, somewhat baffling Saturday Night Live sketch:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
But it’s not our job to just give you what you asked for. No, our job is give you what you didn’t even know you wanted. To show you something better. To light up the path towards brilliance. And with that in mind here’s a far superior Pegasus-related clip from last night’s phenomenal Dungeons & Dragons-themed Community:
From the first ten seconds of this episode you could tell it was going to be special, and it was just another example, in what has become a long line of examples, of how Community is totally redefining what it means to be a television comedy. The way they play with genre while still keeping the characters consistent is a marvel, their ability to reinvent themselves without sacrificing the greater story arcs truly remarkable. Basically, they’ve gone ahead and blown up our conception of a network sitcom, truly breaking new ground, blazing a trail. Freeing Draconis and shining a light on brilliance.
Perhaps there hasn’t been a show that has mixed this much deft comedy with as much genuine heart since Freaks and Geeks. Which is why we would be remiss not to bring you that one of a kind show’s own Dungeons & Dragons-centric moments. In many ways, these stories are two sides of the same coin:
Now if we could only see a showdown between Carlos the Dwarf and Hector the Well-Endowed.
With the snow keeping us indoors we thought it might be a good time to go through our drafts and let some of these long-languishing, somewhat unfinished posts see the light of day. First up, our best shows of the 2000s, which we held off publishing until we could embed some video evidence. But, at this point, we’ll put that responsibility in your hands.
My belated best TV shows of the 2000s! (in a semi-particular order)
2. The Sopranos: The Godfather of dark, fearless cable shows with flawed central characters. Might be responsible for killing network TV.
3. Arrested Development: Simply the smartest sitcom of all time. It was probably to clever for its own good. It was basically teaching a master class in comedy while throwing out an impossible amount of sight gags, call backs and cutaways. We should just be thankful that we got 3 seasons of this masterpiece.
4. Veronica Mars: Could have put it below Freaks and Geeks, but I give it the edge for somehow making it to season three (even if that was a neutered, watered-down version of VM). I’d put the first season up against any season from the last decade.
5. Freaks and Geeks: The most gut-wrenchingly accurate depiction of high school ever. 18 episodes of achingly beautiful growing pains [editor’s note: just watched much of IFC’s Freaks and Geeks Holiday Marathon, and if we revised this list today we’d be tempted to put this show at the top of this list. It’s that fucking good].
This might start getting a little more difficult tomorrow, but it’s another gimme tonight, one more of our search term stalwarts, “rashida jones.” And, in the spirit of the season, we’re going to give you a Rashida Jones Tuesday 2 for 1:
…as Karen on Freaks and Geeks…
…and as Karen on The Office (and season appropriate!).
In things-that-I-love-meeting-other-things-that-I-love news, reports indicate that Rashida Jones is close to joining Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller’s forthcoming Muppet motion picture, The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made (in addition, the adorable Amy Adams and the cute Chris Cooper are also in talks to come on board). Now that Jones appears to be in, we can only assume that Paul Rudd will not be far behind. And when you have Paul Rudd and Rashida Jones there’s a pretty good chance that you’re eventually going to see Judd Apatow and at least one member of The State. Rudd, we all know, is one of the key faces of Apatowian comedy, as well as frequent a collaborator with State members David Wain and Ken Marino (see: Role Models, Diggers). Jones, in addition to appearing in the Apatow-esque I Love You Man with Segel and Rudd (plus State member Tom Lennon), had a small role in Apatow’s masterwork Freaks and Geeks, and has shown up in State related productions Stella, The Ten and Wainy Days. So from there it’s only a matter of time before Jones, Rudd, Segel, Apatow, The State and the Muppets all team up. We already know that The State and the Muppets have a history together:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
One complaint: Sources say that Jones would portray an ABC exec in the movie. Between her roles on The Office and The Social Network, we think we’ve seen enough of her in business attire. No more blazers!
Okay, so above the comparisons were mostly lies, but, as already been oft-said, British import The Inbetweeners is a like a sitcom version of Skins. It’s to Skins as Undeclared was to Freaks & Geeks. Which means it’s good, if a little lacking on dramatic depth. The quick cuts and camera work also evoke shades of Arrested Development, if Arrested Development took place in the UK, featured teenage boys, and dispensed with the self-referential gags and cutaway jokes. So, basically in no way like Arrested Development other than that it’s a one camera, handheld comedy. Oh, and it has a narrator.
The first two episodes aired Monday night on BBC America and they were fit! Below is my favorite scene from either show (stolen from PopCandy)
As my roommate so astutely pointed out, doesn’t series star Simon Bird look just like a young John Oliver. Uncanny!
Catch a new episode tonight in its regular 9:30pm time slot on whatever channel BBC America is on your cable provider. Don’t ask me to look it up for you. You have the internet.