Friday, September 4, 2009

Top Ten Inconstancies on Saved By The Bell

10) The most obvious inconsistency was the morphing of Zach Morris' Indiana junior high to a California high school. It's hard on a kid to uproot like Zach Morris had to (especially after all the work he did to be a member of the uber-exclusive Rigmas). Of course, transition is easier when you can bring two of your best friends, your principal, and your physical school building. The good news was that the California location enabled the school to be called "Bayside." And that led to that brilliant cheer, "B Ba B Ba Ba Ba B. B Ba B Ba Ba Ba B " Go Bayside!" That must have taken dozens of seconds to write.

9) Speaking of best friends, the show makes reference to Zach and Jessie being friends their whole life. She must have taken 8th grade off because she wasn't around when the show first started. Kind of like the time she took senior year to test pilot season. Uh, I mean model in France. Traveling like that can be so exciting. So exciting. And scary.

8) Zack should be in jail. While we're made to believe he's just an incorrigible prankster, Zack has committed grand theft auto, kidnapping, racketeering, forgery, identity theft, mail fraud, and destruction of public property. The nicest thing he's ever done is cheat on his girlfriend.

7) No one can hold on to a family member for more than two episodes. Perhaps Mr. Belding's hipper younger brother Rod moved back home to Indiana. Maybe Jessie's bastard New Yorker half-brother Eric isn't talking to her anymore despite the gang convincing him to stay at Bayside. Maybe Kelly's parents didn't let her watch her baby brother Billy after Zack lost him. Maybe Zack's powerful yet uncaring father Derek was too busy with mergers and other businessy terms to spend time with him. Maybe Slater's tomboy/bombshell sister JD was sent to a convent. And maybe Kelly's sister Nicki disappeared when writers remembered that Kelly only had brothers. As if the show had writers.

6) Beloved pets don't exist until it's announced that they're beloved. First, there's Screech's parents' prized beagle Hounddog. Screech's parents named the dog in honor of Elvis, who they were such big fans of that they mentioned it in one whole episode. In the hundreds of scenes shot in Screech's room, Hounddog never existed - perhaps Screech's robot Kevin was a bit jealous of Hounddog. The real ridiculous one was Slater's pet chameleon Artie, who only existed in time to die.

"This is the most important thing in my life. I promise. Um, why don't any of you know about it? Well, Maybe there are a lot of things you don't know about me. YOU DON'T CONTROL ME!!!"

By the way, Screech having built his own robot is not an inconsistency. If there's one thing we know about dorky 15-year-olds in the 90s, it's that they can all build robots. Maybe next Screech can build Zach a cell phone smaller than a two-liter bottle (which he somehow kept in his back pocket, while sitting down).

5) Bayside can somehow afford a football team, track team, cheerleading squad, swimming team, oil rigs, auto shop, teen hotline, home ec kitchen, student store, ski trip, water polo team, ROTC, wrestling team, radio station, and yes, a restaurant. They must have saved all that money by only hiring seven teachers. And not building a second floor. 

4) When AC Slater's father was stationed in Germany, Slater apparently was inseparable from fellow army brat and then girlfriend Jennifer. Bayside must be in an army town because Jennifer became a Tiger for an episode. That's right " her father moved her across the world to the same town as her ex-boyfriend. Maybe in the one episode he existed, AC's dad told Jennifer's dad all about how wonderful the school was. What with the a football team, track team, cheerleading squad, oil rigs, auto shop, teen hotline, home ec kitchen, store, ski trip, water polo team, ROTC, wrestling team, radio station, and restaurant. Yes, a restaurant.

3) Mr. Belding has a secretary he keeps paging, yet the door to his office opens directly into the hallway. This door must not lock, since those wacky kids are always sneaking in and switching the files. The school's files, which are efficiently kept in a single, three-drawer filing cabinet. Probably because there are two-dozen students in the entire school and one of them is named Muffin Sangria.

2) Inconsistencies often happened within one episode. This is the least forgivable offense, as episodes really should be written by the people who freaking write them. One example is the gang's murder mystery. At one point, Zack suggests that "the butler did it." About ten minutes later, he refers to Screech saying the butler did it. How did NO ONE on set notice? I can forgive Lark Vorhies; she was probably busy, already planning how to destroy her face with an insane amount of plastic surgery.

And of course, there's the Johnny Dakota anti-drug ad. We see the gang shooting the end of the ad, and then they role the entire thing " but the end of the completed ad looks different than what we just saw. How drugged out do you have to be not to simply use the footage you shot? Come on guys " there's no hope with dope.

1) And speaking of drugs, the most memorable episode of the series was easily Jessie's freak out. Forget about the girls not being able to tell that the Irish old lady janitor was actually Screech. Forget about the fact that the girls suddenly became famous for a crappy ten-years-too-late rip off of "Let's Get Physical." Let's concentrate for a moment on Jessie Spano, the smartest girl in school, freaking out over basic trigonometry. IN HER JUNIOR YEAR. Good math students master trig in 9th grade. And she expected to get into Stansbury (The Harvard of the west). While we're at it, Zack got an impossible 1502 on his SAT. I actually got a 1502 and a half. And boy, was I so excited.

Other Applications of the Five Second Rule

We all know the 5 Second Rule " if food has fallen on the floor for five seconds or less, it's still edible. Because it takes at least five and a half seconds for dirt and bacteria to realize there's any food around to cling to. Why don't you just say what you mean?

"Eating food off the floor is okay, as long as you're hungry and no one has stepped on it."

Tasty? Sure. Logical? Of course not. So I applied that logic to other situations, and I bring you larger scale applications of the five-second rule:

Poisonous Gas and Radiation
As long as you've been exposed to toxic fumes for less than five seconds, you can't get sick or become a zombie. See, if the Incredible Hulk had simply moved out from in front of the military microwave a few seconds earlier, we never would have had two see two horrible movies. Note: Exposure to Hulk movies for even three seconds can be lethal.

You didn't cheat on your girlfriend at a party, your tongue just fell in some girl's vagina. No big deal, Brah - it was just a few licks. Just dust it off and put it back in your mouth. Your tongue, not her vagina.

Everyone knows that getting hit by lightning for ten or fifteen seconds can kill you. But getting hit for just a few is adorable. It's like rubbing socks on carpet and shocking your friends. Provided your carpet and socks produce 300 kilovolts. Pay no attention to the sound "kill" in that last sentence.

Hate Crimes
What's a little gay bashing and racism between friends? If it's less than five seconds of it, Tom Foolery! Or maybe Tom DeLay, I always get those confused. Anyway, grab your truck and your chain - because if you're considering a hate crime you probably already own a truck and a chain. And five seconds of hate speech against democrats is not a hate crime either - it's a promo for Glenn Beck.

Child Abuse
Keeping a kid in a bunker and raping her for 18 years is wrong - but five seconds of torture? What's the harm? Just knocking the kid around with a few swings isn't child abuse - it's a life lesson. They'll thank you for it some day. Provided you haven't also been raped for five seconds by your cellmate.

One sniff can't kill you. Unless you do something that can kill you while you're on cocaine. But the good news is that if you do enough cocaine, everything you do thereafter will take less than five seconds.

Everyone knows that losing your virginity is a big deal. But not if you get to keep it! Just have sex for less than five seconds and you've never had sex at all. Pregnancy, STDs, even emotional attachment all take at least six seconds. And sorry if I've confused anyone whose never lasted more than five seconds.


A few seconds of arson isn't dangerous, it's pretty. As long as the fire doesn't spread, it can't hurt anything. And if there's one thing we know about fire, it's that it rarely spreads. Right, California?

Indecent Exposure
An old guy walking around naked is disgusting. But just flashing some school children? A hilarious prank. An image of a wrinkly nut sack next to a wrinklier thigh needs time to get burned into your memory forever and ever. Like the one you're imagining now.

Sexual Abuse By a Family Member
You can't prosecute anyone if they only raped you briefly. So next time you're haunted by the image of your uncle forcing you to have sex against your will, put down that strip club job application and remind yourself, "five second rule!"