Posted by: jspiegel | June 9, 2009

#38: Questioning the Logic of “Saved by the Bell”

saved by the bellAn overwhelming majority of the unemployed’s time will be spent sitting on their respective couches and either mindlessly scrolling through photo albums on Facebook, or watching an inordinate amount of television.   All the while, they will pretend not to notice their increasing waistlines and indendations made in their couch cushions.  There will eventually, however, be certain moments of revelation and introspection where the unemployed may ponder deeper and more existential questions such as: “What am I supposed to do with my life now?” or “Does G-d have a plan for all of us?” and even, “How come nobody noticed they replaced Jesse and Kelly in the final season of ‘Saved by the Bell’ with that biker chick, Tori?”

Truly, the television phenomenon that is “Saved by the Bell” has offered up a classic anecdotal sitcom that provided its audience with a romping teenage hijinx, combined with important public service annoucements for teenagers, usually offered up by the school principal/resident patriarchal figure, Mr. Belding (who ironically serves as a resident pedophile in real life).  Although many sitcoms of the late 1980s and early 1990s forced its viewers to suspend their disbeliefs as it related to logic and continuity, “Saved by the Bell” walked the line a bit more gingerly than others.  Although the audience for this long running show, and its spin-offs, certainly consisted of both employed and unemployed individuals, it is the unemployed people who have the time to ponder the deeper, more perplexing questions behind this hit television program.

The following is an example of some of the more mind-numbing mysteries of science and logic that surround the sitcom– questions only those who are unemployed would have the time and creative wherewithal to come up with:

– Did the producers of the show think that Bayside, California, an actual unincorporated community in Northern California,  just sounded like it would belong in the Pacific Pallisades area?

– What was the purpose of the Max’s Original owner, who was (creatively named) Max?  What kind of restaurant owner does magic tricks that seem to impress the studio audience more than the castmembers?  And why did he disappear without explanation after only one season?  Was he the victim of his own disappearing act?  He must not be a very good magician.

– How did all of them coincidentally end up being in the same classes?  Didn’t Bayside High have curriculums based on intellectual level placement like the rest of the country? (i.e. the “Earthquake” episode where Zach schemes to get out of a physics test.  PHYSICS?!  Why would he take such a demanding class?)

– In “Running Zack”, Zack finds out that he is part Native-American…….do I really have to say anything else?

– While in Mr. Belding’s office, the audience oftens hears, presumably, a secretarys voice informing him of some outlandish series of events that has just occurred.  Where is this mystery secretary and why do we never see her?  Furthermore, where is this mystery intercom and where is it being broadcast from?  Shouldn’t the secretary’s office be right outside the principals?  It seems the physical placement of the administrative staff is not condusive to Mr. Belding’s privacy.

– In the third season episode, “Wicked Stepbrother” the gang convinces Jesse’s red-headed stepchild of a brother to stay in Bayside.  They seemingly were successful, but he is never seen again.  Why?  Was he not happy with the lack of a stable curriculum?

– Throughout the series, Lisa Turtle, the token African-American on the show, seems to only date white males.  Is this due to a lack of affluent black males at Bayside?  Does she simply prefer “white meat?”  Why is it that the typical challenges faced by interracial couples do not apply to her?

– At one point, Mr. Belding mentions to Zack that he tried to sell the school to the Japanese (“What was wrong with ‘Honda High School?'”).  How could Zack, a C-student who can’t even pass physics, come up with a worthy business plan that would impress the unnamed potential Japanese buyers?

– In “A very special Christmas” episode, Zack falls for a surpisingly clean-looking homeless girl.  Where does she shower?  How did she get a job at the mall?  Did she give a fake address on her employment application?

– In the same episode, Zack’s family ends up taking in the homeless family until they back on their street, and yet we do not hear from them ever again.  We are left to assume they came to their senses and dropped them off at the nearest shelter.

– “Zack Attack”– really???

– Slater’s pants– see above.

– Zack somehow ends up getting into Yale all because he got a 1500 on his SATS.  I guess they overlooked his lack of any extracurricular activities and sub 2.0 GPA.  Hello!  THE KID COULDN’T EVEN PASS PHYSICS!

– In the final graduation episode, Screech invites Zack up to give an emotional impromptu speech about friendship.  At one point did the graduation committee flip through their programs and realize that this was not on the agenda?

– In the brief spinoff: “The College Years” half of the gang ends up at California University.  Why would Slater turn down his scholarship to Iowa?  Didn’t Zack get into Yale?  Something tells me these kids parents don’t have a keen eye on their childrens futures.

There are literally hundreds of other questions, flaws, and conundrums one could come up with as it relates to this entertaining, yet strikingly illogical TV sitcom.  If you unemployed, this activity should carve out a good chunk of your day.  If you are, in fact, employed then you have way too much time on your hands.

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