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A Terrible Revelation: Saved by the Gel

22 Mar

As I followed my usual morning routine of getting ready for work while watching the ever-corny Saved by the Bell, Jessie’s unwarranted verbal attacks on Slater reminded me of something I had recently watched. But what? What other television show highlights a dysfunctional relationship where fighting is the foundation and name-calling masquerades as a display of affection? Ah, yes. That modern-day classic: the Jersey Shore.

Then, I had an epiphany. A total OMGWTF?! moment. The Jersey Shore is just a guido-modified version of Saved by the Bell. Allow me to demonstrate the parallels between Seaside and Bayside:

Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola, a.k.a. The Sweetest Bitch You’ll Ever Meet, is Jessie Spano. Let’s be honest, if Jessie had a nickname, it would be the same as Sammi’s. Both take crazy pills, one on-screen, one off-screen. Both are in incredibly unhealthy and sometimes abusive relationships with juiceheads. And both are wildly irrational. C’mon Jessie, using Cut Day to protest styrofoam? Which reminds me, Graham and Arvin are one and the same: relationship- and life-ruiners.

Ronnie Magro-Ortiz, a.k.a. Ronnie, is A.C. Slater. Both are gorillas, both are in relationships that neither will ever understand, both have scary dads who make appearances on the shows. And try as they might, both have dorky names. Ronald and Albert Clifford? [Insert clever line about McDonald’s and British people.]

Paul DelVecchio, a.k.a. DJ Pauly D, is Zack, or should I say, DJ Mark-Pauly G. (MPG, you can thank me later.) Both are comical protagonists and fresh-to-death playboys of their respective shows, and believe it or not, both have superpowers. For instance, Zack can stop time and freeze people into one position, and Pauly can stop gravity and freeze his hair into one position. Zack has been saved by the bell, and Pauly has been saved by the grenade whistle. Boom! Got ‘em!

Jenni, a.k.a. JWOWW, is Kelly. Like Kelly, JWOWW is the most attractive, most popular, and coolest female on the show. And Tom is the total equivalent of Johnny Dakota. Dirtbags.

Nicole Polizzi, a.k.a. Snooki/Shnooks/Snickers, is Lisa. Like Lisa, Snooki thinks she looks stylish, spends carelessly ($300 for THOSE sunglasses?!), drinks too much alcohol and has to face the consequences, and is the high school cheerleader that nobody paid attention to. Lisa’s last name is Turtle, Snooki loves her Crocadilly. There are also physical similarities, you know, with their skin color. DISCLAIMER: I am not racist.

Mike Sorrentino, a.k.a. The Situation, is Jeff, with one glaring difference: Jeff is good looking. Both are WAY too old to be smushing with their younger girls, and both are major sleazeballs. Karma is just an updated version of The Attic.  Also, I’m sure if Jeff did a Comedy Central Roast, he would be booed off-stage, too. Yikes.

Vinny Guadagnino, a.k.a. Vinny, is Screech. Kind of awkward, endearing, and… that’s all I’ve got. There were just no characters left. Unless I’m forgetting that Vinny also built a robot named Kevin?

Angelina Pivarnick, a.k.a. Jolie (what?), is Tori. Both are aggressive outcasts, and neither really had a place being on their shows. Thankfully, they only had brief stints in their overall series before packing their garbage bags and heading home. In Season 1 of The Jersey Shore, Angelina’s explanation for not showing up to work? “Honestly, like, I’m sick. When you’re sick, like, honestly, like.” And Tori’s explanation for not showing up to class on the day of her big presentation with Zack?  She “overslept.” Good one, guys.

Gratuitous Rod Belding Photo

Danny, the store owner, has the looks of Rod Belding and the managerial skills of Mr. Richard Belding. The guy gets no respect but has to try to put the gang into place anyway. Sad. (Aside: Mr. Belding is the most inept principal I’ve ever seen. He’s also wildly inappropriate. Why is he hanging out in Zack’s bedroom eating pizza with three teen dudes talking about girl problems?)

We also have our fair share of juicehead gorillas (Ox, Moose, and Brandon Tartikoff), grenades (Wendy and Margo), landmines (Violet and Louise), hyenas (Rhonda and that oily duck, Becky), and DTF bids (Stacey, Ginger, and Robin). And who doesn’t love a good sangwich and glass of Ron Ron Juice at the Max?



27 Oct

An addendum to this blog’s first post. Yet another ridiculous aspect of Saved by the Bell has come to my attention.

Does Zachary Morris have superpowers? The teen can FREEZE TIME at his convenience. This is like the original Twix commercial. Need a moment? Have Slater punch Mr. Belding’s face instead of yours. Need a moment? Shove a piece of paper between Kelly’s lips and a boy she’s about to kiss. It’s strange to me that certain situations warrant Zack’s “time out” powers while others don’t. Por ejemplo, why didn’t he stop time during Testaverde’s exam, or before he was about to crash his car while driving drunk, or during Senior Cut Day when he’s trying to be in two places at once? C’mon, Morris. Use your 1502 SAT brain next time.

This show is obviously not meant to be the most realistic high school portrayal. Here are just a handful of examples: Hot Sundae’s music video, Johnny Dakota and Brandon Tartakoff, Rod Belding, Casey Kasem, Max’s magic tricks (they’re my illusions, Michael), the Rockumentary, and the murder mystery house. But at least Mark-Paul Gosselear can poke fun at himself and his absurd character, as seen in this wonderful video:

Until next time, time in.

the reason i created this blog.

29 Sep

i could say i created this blog because i had something very important to say to the world, or because i wanted to see how i evolve and develop over time. but those things are simply not true. the real reason i started this blog is because of something that has been on my mind for years. stuck in my brain, hesitant to leave because it had not yet been properly recorded. well, cyberspace, here it is. here’s the reason for my entry into your culture.

saved by the bell.

yes, saved by the bell. this show has been both a gift and a curse to me, much like spiderman’s great power and great responsibility are to him. a gift: it brings me back to the good ol’ days, the days before dustin diamond became a creepy, porn actor (“saved by the smell”?!?!), before elizabeth berkley became a creepy, stripping actress (seriously, these “showgirls” quotes are disgusting), and before tiffani-amber thiessen cut her hair (just as blasphemous as the aforementioned transgressions). a curse: because i recently started rewatching this show while getting ready for work, just as i used to watch while getting ready for middle school. but now, i SEE things that just didn’t appear to me before. very. strange. things.

exhibit a: jeff hunter. for those who don’t recall, the homewrecking hottie is responsible for the zack and kelly break-up. he is the new manager of the max, and he does not hide his affections for miss kapowski. what i thought back then: jeff is a good-looking, successful, and somewhat older man, and while i feel bad for zack, kelly has the right to make her own choices. what i think now: jeff is a good-looking, creepy older man who should probably be put in jail. let me break it down: he ultimately gets caught cheating on kelly at the attic, an over-18 club, which the gang gets into with their fake ids. so how old is kelly? how old is jeff?! oh, 13-year-old robyn, you were a fool. kelly did not have the ability to make her own choices because she was not old enough to consent to being in this inappropriate relationship. on a side note that brings us back to reality, the actor who plays jeff has received hate mail for years for his role in the zack/kelly break-up.

exhibit b: we all remember the “good morning, miss bliss” days, for better or for worse (emphasis on the latter). upgrading to bayside was a better choice for SBTB than sticking around in indiana, and everyone knows it. but let’s fast forward for a moment: i’m watching the other morning, and as usual, zack is climbing into jessie’s window. let’s ignore how unsafe jessie’s room is and move on. zack alludes to the fact that they’ve been best friends for a long time, and he’s been coming through that window for ten years. …what? what happened to living in indiana before you knew jessie? this is a complete oversight in the show. you know jessie is not your lifelong friend, zack. what happened to mikey and nikki? while the show is better off without them, you still threw them away like trash, and now you’re lying about it. some friend you are.

exhibit c: there is so much wrong with the college years. why is the RA a former NFL player? why is kelly going after a much older man yet again? (shame on you, jeremiah lasky!) why did slater get offered a full-ride wrestling scholarship to iowa but go to this terrible school instead? what about zack’s perfect SAT scores? i will stop before i get to a level of angry that is known as “the new class.”

exhibit d: who on this show is intelligent and who is dumb? i still can’t figure it out. screech can build robots and zack relies on him for projects and tests, but he lacks all social skills and common sense. i know there’s a difference between street smart and book smarts, but this is ridiculous. not to mention that screech was the rightful valedictorian and still ended up at the same college as zack, slater, and kelly.

exhibit e: tori scott. she arrives at bayside out of nowhere, and disappears without warning. good riddance, i say; she is terrible. but where is kelly during this year? jessie? the show’s final season alternates episodes, some featuring tori, some featuring kelly and jessie, but never featuring all three together. it’s what chuck klosterman refers to as the “tori paradox.” yes, saved by the bell has paradoxes.

if my blog ends after this one post, i will still feel great relief for allowing these discrepancies to come to light. i’m sure as i continue to watch this show every morning, i will discover more nuances that plague my existence. and you can be sure i will be sharing them here.