TGIF Month: A Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper Live Blog

It’s Friday and you know what that means: pay day!!! Yes, but also the continuation of our month-long TGIF celebration! We’ve revisited Family Matters. We looked back at Step by Step. And now, we’re watching the pilot of another classic show from ABC’s old school Friday night lineup: Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper! Get your pencils out boys and girls, it’s time to take notes on this 90s fave.

Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot

Original Air Date: 9/22/1992

Pilot Plot: Mark is hired as a substitute teacher, but his roommate Robin must teach him how to control his students. Alan Thicke guest stars.

T: I’m 99% I’ve never seen this pilot. I would’ve remembered Alan Thicke. Pour one out.

M: I watched Hangin With Mr. Cooper but remember less about it than ANY TGIF show. Holy cow, it was on for 5 seasons?! Anyway from what I recall, Mark Curry is not-a-parent who is the cool adult/neighbor to Raven-Symone and a boy.

T: WAIT. Alan Thicke shows up as Alan Thicke, the star of Growing Pains, whose show was recently “retired” (you don’t say cancelled, you say “retired” or “rich” after seven seasons). All these shows from my past blur in my mind. It’s crazy to think Growing Pains ended before Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper began. I have no concept of time. ALSO THIS IS SO META WHAT IS IT DOING IN THE PILOT. MARK LITERALLY LOOKED DOWN THE BARREL OF THE CAMERA.

M: Alan Thicke just showed up to KOOL AID MAN THROUGH THE FOURTH WALL. Mark Curry is Mark Curry, preparing to star in HWMC & Alan Thicke is Alan Thicke, retiring from Growing Pains, talking about Mark taking over Alan’s time slot. Who thought this bit was at all good?

T: Alan legit just said “Good luck here in the ‘hood… if you ever need a white guy…” HUH?

M:  I’m going to say it. It’s the worst cold open I’ve seen in my life.

T: I was about to say, “the opening credits are very En Vogue-esque.” Never realized it was actually En Vogue.

M: This is our first TGIF pilot so far to feature a cold open, so it was a little trickier to clock the theme song time. AKA I had to do simple subtraction. One minute … of excellence. We should do a post about 90s R&B theme songs.

T: I have no recollection of Mark’s house being the exact same as the Seaver house. The living room at least. I have a completely different picture in my head when I think of the Cooper home.

M: Is it Martin? Because I was picturing the house in Martin.

T: This guy Holly Robinson Peete is going on a date with isn’t “fine”, he’s “foine”. I get this on a deep leve.

M: “He’s got a butt that makes me with I was his wallet.”

T: THIS IS LEGITIMATELY THE SEAVER HOUSE THO. WHAT’S GOING ON.

M: Did they change the set later? I do not remember Growing Pains well enough to be able to picture the house. I didn’t think the house was so beige and blah.

T:  Yes Mark, this warranted a “DAYUMMNNN”

M: It was probably the most “language” that had been used on TGIF to date. Holly looks smashing.

T: Omar Gooding, actor and brother of Cuba Gooding Jr. is one of the students in Mr. Cooper’s class, which makes sense since he’s a 90s TV staple.

M: Always wearing this exact outfit. Honestly, all the teens look so cool but ESPECIALLY the girl with the floral dress, black boots and blossom hat. That was 100% my dream look c. 1992.

T: As soon as the kids find out Mark’s a sub, they act up and start throwing papers at each other but Mark immediately lashes out and yells at them to stop, citing the fact he just got out of prison and I am DYING. On the verge of tears crying it’s so funny to me.

M: I rewound to watch it again!

T: Why is there a random boom box on the table next to Blossom?

T: Oh it’s so they can listen to Boyz II Men in class and dance to it.

M: Partially serious question, did ABC option the rights to Motown Philly? Because it also figured prominently into a Full House episode, which I’m sure you all remember.

T: Am I the only one finding this pilot is incredibly predictable? He picks unnecessary fights with Vanessa (because he likes her). He gives into the students’ wishes to have a dance party (and the principal walks in). He sits down in the chair after Omar/Earvin walks away from it (because he pulled a prank & did something to the chair). I’m not complaining, I’m just saying it’s typical ’90s fodder.

M: It’s like putting all the things that happen in 90s sitcoms in a hat and pulling them out. You can also tell from Episode 1 that it’s all about the Mark/Vanessa chemistry.

T: Mark was the kind of student that bullshitted his entire way through high school.

M: I can’t remember if they kept the Belding-esque principal and that Zach Morris-esque Omar Gooding character beyond this episode.

T: Do people actually work out in silence by themselves in their home? Also, she’s not even overweight in the slightest and she’s complaining about not being as sexy and thin as Vanessa.

M: Yeah you saw Vanessa in that mustard yellow dress, though. (Seriously, I DO remember it just being a very 90s thing that ladies in sitcoms/romcoms would talk about needing to lose weight but they never actually cast a fat person? It was v. Cathy comics.).

T: “Couch Potato or Stockbroker? Stud or Spud?” The live audience really loved that line.

M: Mark has said “dayumm” for the third time, proving the writers were really referencing the sitcom guidebook.

M: Vanessa bought one of that dress in every color, I think: comes down in a blue version. Mark is super weird with Vanessa’s date William, a boring stockbroker who will probably not be back. I realized why this wasn’t my fav sitcom until Raven-Symone and the little boy came into the scene: this is 100% about adults. Also Vanessa and Mark mention sex, which I bet means this was on my mom’s no-fly list (to be fair I was 6).

T: Coop shows the kids who’s the boss (not Tony) by supergluing Earvin’s chair, because that’s how you teach.

M: Confirmed: that’s Earvin’s only outfit, or all his outfits look the same.

T: Just before the show ends, there’s a scene where Mark introduces himself as Mark Curry… what is all this realism business? I don’t think I like it.

M: Makes no sense. I guess this is how you had to find out who people were before IMDB.

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TGIF Month: A Step by Step Live Blog

It’s Friday during TGIF Month, and you know what that means: gonna have some fun, show you how it’s done, and liveblog another TGIF pilot from Hulu. Up today: Step By Step, the blended-family sitcom that we liked, but which didn’t gain the nostalgia foothold of a Full House or even a Family Matters. Like most TGIF sitcoms, it starts in the aftermath of something bad happening to a nuclear family. It’s the ’90s!

Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot

Original Air Date: 9/20/1991

Pilot Plot: While vacationing in the Caribbean, Frank and Carol get married, and when they return, have to deal with the conflicts between their children.

T: Definitely did not remember this show took place in Wisconsin. Definitely DID remember and will never forget this theme song/opening credits. Pitch: Step by Step cast reunites but they only recreate the opening credits as adults. That’s it. No episode. No series. Just that.

M: Yes, into it. For years I thought of the roller coaster every time I was (rarely) on one.

T: Port Washington, Wisconsin is a real town just north of Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. However, at the end of the credits when they zoom out on the roller coaster, the tide is so freaking strong it’s like the Pacific. What’s going on there?

M:  Before you @ us we grew up on a Great Lake, they’re massive and you can’t see across them but there’s not a TIDE.

We should have clocked the opening songs starting with week 1 of TGIF Month…  but this one was 1:51. Almost TWO MINUTES. Out of a sitcom episode’s 22 minutes. Just walking around a theme park in coastal Wisconsin.

T: I DON’T THINK I’VE EVER SEEN THIS PILOT. I have no recollection of ever being at Frank’s pig sty of a house before he moved in with Karen.  

M: If I saw it it was once, in maybe 1991. PS, I was always HORRIBLE at remembering which kids are bio-sibs. That’s why the Brady Bunch color-coded the kids’ hair.

T: I feel like there’s always a science project on the kitchen table.

T: Tag yourself, I’m Dana with a hint of Mark.

M: I’m also a Mark/Dana, with a bit of the littlest brown-haired boy who nobody remembers. Brandon or whatever. [Ed. note: Brendan I guess.]

T: That Suzanne Sommers sure is a fox.

M: Wait there was always a hair salon hooked onto the house? I have exactly ZERO recall of that. This is some Steel Magnolias nonsense.

Also, Suze and her blue kitchen both look GOOD and she knows it. I have the hugest crush on this kitchen.

T: Frank went on vacation. Carol went on vacation and met a man. Frank is Carol’s customer and they’re secretly dating/got married in Jamaica. You’re telling me that the premise of Step by Step is loosely based on Grease? Also is a marriage legal if you only get married in Jamaica?

M: What the hell sort of single parent who lives in a hair salon is going on freewheeling vacations to Jamaica? If they’d just throw us a line about Carol winning a radio contest this would make so much more sense.

T: Suzanne is classic 90s overacting and I AM SO INTO IT.

M: The music cues are every bit as dramatic, too.

T: LAKE MICHIGAN UPDATE: Found this on IMDb. Apparently I’m not the only one who noted this issue:

In the opening credits the amusement park is intended to be in Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Michigan. However at the end of the credits the body of water can be see to have rather large waves on a calm day. These waves are much too large for Lake Michigan in the absence of a storm.

M: Yeah, those were some Edmund Fitzgerald-looking waves. (SEE, WE KNOW THE GREAT LAKES. Traci even worked at an amusement park right on one, like in the credits!)

T: Patrika Darbo’s outfit is so 90s that it’s in right now. 

M: This happens every week, but I am floored by how young the kids are, particularly JT who always seemed like basically an adult.

T: Guys, I’m genuinely enjoying this episode.

M: It’s so much fun! Which is weird because Step By Step gets a lot less nostalgia cred compared to a lot of other 90s sitcom.

T: “My God, here comes the Joad family,” a reference I do not understand.  I have not read Grapes of Wrath.

M: I can’t believe that was a reference that in the early ’90s, writers of a family sitcom just assumed their audience GOT.

Frank & Co. move in with random chairs and wooden things strapped to the top of their vehicle.

T: 14:00 The fashion in this show is on point.

“I don’t think this is gonna work. Our kids hate each other. I’m a nervous wreck and to tell you the truth we just don’t like livestock all that much.” – a Carol line I actually LOLed at

M: Suzanne Somers, in addition to being a total fox, has good timing and delivery.

T: Do we think Frank and Carol are actually still together in 2017? Discuss.

M: Well. I actually paused my TV to think about that and I’m of a few minds. I could see them being one of those couples that gets together after divorces than stay together forever. On the other hand I could see them both leaving for greener pastures when that random little blonde girl they had later went to college.

T: CAROL IS WEARING A JUMPSUIT.

T: Also, do families still have breakfast together?

M: I think my siblings’ kids do? Not in a formal way, but they have cereal or whatever. Bleh. Leave me alone in the morning.

T: Al looks like Steve from Blues Clues’ sidekick.

 

M: I’m in Al’s corner. She goes from zero to moving in with this random family with a giant blue kitchen and getting taken to the doctor by her dad’s hairdresser. Adults are the pits.

T: Like Family Matters, are we going to get an explanation on what happened to Frank and Carol’s significant others? This is not a detail I’ve kept in my head for 25 years.

M: I decided they were divorced, but did the exes just disappear? This is probably addressed somewhere. It’s been decades.

The twinkly music starts while Carol and Al have a touching convo about blended families and appendices.

T: “I’d like to be your friend because that’s the first step in become a family.”

M: “You and I have something in common. We both love your father.” YEESH.

T: I can’t get over how into this aesthetic I am.

M: Future post: Step By Step Is Our Aesthetic. I keep thinking about that kitchen with stars in my eyes.

T: Note to self: visit exterior of the Lambert house in Pasadena.

M: Carol has the cutest tortoiseshell glasses!

T: The audience was actually clapping at the end like it’s a live theater play. They really don’t make shows like they used to.

M: For better or worse.

T: I think I’m going to keep watching to find out what happens.

M: I could consume an unhealthy amount of this show without even realizing I was doing it. It’s like the Goldfish crackers of 90s sitcoms.

T: EDIT: HULU AUTOPLAYED THE NEXT EPISODE AND URKEL CRASHES THE DINNER. LIKE LITERALLY HAS A JET PACK ON AND CRASHES ON THEIR PICNIC OUTSIDE. I CAN’T. (I am and I will).

 

TGIF Month: A Family Matters Live Blog

Welcome to the first installment of TGIF Month! Every Friday through October (and the first weekend of November), we’ll be watching and live blogging the pilot of five beloved sitcoms that aired during the iconic ABC TV block of programming, TGIF. Why? Because we can. Also, because a lot of these shows are now available on Hulu for the very first time, so we’re taking advantage of the nostalgia while we can.

First up is Family Matters, which centers on the Winslow family, a middle-class black family living in Chicago, Illinois. It is one of the longest-running non-animated sitcoms featuring a predominantly black family, having run 9 seasons. It was one of the biggest shows to come out of the TGIF lineup, and brought us one of the most iconic characters on TV history. #DidIDoThat. Let’s take a look back at the very first episode featuring the Winslows.

Season 1, Episode 1: The Mama Who Came to Dinner

Original Air Date: 9/22/1989

Pilot Plot: Mother Winslow asserts a little too much authority when she comes to live with her son Carl and his family.

T: Did we all know that Family Matters is a spin-off of Perfect Strangers (another TGIF program available on Hulu)? Because I definitely forgot that fact.

M: Definitely never knew it in the first place. We compared notes of our Perfect Strangers memories, and both of us just remember the opening credits. To be fair we were like 3.

T: There’s no cold open in the pilot, and it launches right into the opening credits with the unforgettable theme song, “As Days Go By”. It was catchy like a lot of the other TGIF theme songs – which makes sense, because many of them were written by a dude named Jesse Frederick, who’s probably super rich rn. Also, this reminds me of when we did our Cheers recaps because it LOOKS like the ’80s.

M: I still get warm, cozy feelings watching this theme song. It feels like being home after school during the winter when it was dark out early, to name a very specific cozy feeling.

T: This is an extended version of the theme song!!!

M: You know what doesn’t happen anymore? Those opening credits where (A) it’s a long – and I mean LONG – song and (B) they show little clips of the characters from the episodes.

T: Everything in their house looks so dark? As in the wood trim and paint look much darker than I remember? But that just might be a result of the TV pilot structure, when a lot of things are different than when they are in the rest of the series.

M: Funny enough, this came up in our Cheers recaps too – that it was so dark, not in tone but the actual palette. It is also of a fuzzier quality than I remember. I specifically remember watching ’70s sitcom reruns and being super-proud of the better picture quality of our early ’90s shows.

For what it’s worth, I’m sure the paint was brighter later. It’s a very dingy beige. The house is all shades of brown, like a McDonald’s meal.

T: I probably haven’t seen this show since I was living at home at watching reruns on Nickelodeon, but I don’t remember Carl having such an adverse reaction to his mother being around? Or is my memory just horrible and that was the entire premise of the show?

M: In my memory, the grandmother was BELOVED.

T: Is everyone overacting? Was that a 90s sitcom thing?

T: I’m V into Harriette’s sweater.

M: It’s the brightest thing in that whole drab house, is what it is.

T: Remember extemporaneous daughter Judy? I barely do.

M: In my memory she was Aunt Rachel’s child and they both moved, leaving Richie behind for whatever reason. Wrong. Just a childhood head-canon to make sense of Judy’s departure.

T: Eddie’s adorbs.

M: This show started when we were LITTLE (age 3) and as a result I always saw Eddie and Laura (and Judy for 5 seconds) as big kids. Oh my god, they are all absolutely adorable.

T: Wait, are they living in an apartment??

M: In later episodes the front door came from outside/the front porch, but here it definitely looks like an apartment hallway. Which is weird, because the house is, like the Full House house, ENORMOUS with extraneous doors and hallways everywhere.

T: Kind of upset this episode doesn’t have Urkel in it. Didn’t realize that he wasn’t introduced until halfway through the first season!

M: That’s right…  he wasn’t planned to be a big part of the show, but audiences loved them some Jaleel White.

T: Do they ever reveal why Rachel is a single mother?

M: Now I’m picturing 1990 execs suddenly realizing they had put a single mother on TV and pulling Rachel during hiatus.

T: This is the type of outfit I always picture Mama to be in.

M: I like how old people on TV always used to be stuck in another century. Speaking of which, I IMDB’d it and Rosetta LeNoire (Mama) was born in 1911. WHAT. Time is a crazy thing. We’re youngish adults in 2017 reminiscing about a lady who was born when the Titanic was still a promising venture. And her godfather was Bill Bojangles Robinson!

T: UPDATE: Rachel’s husband Robert died so that’s why Rachel and Richie had to move in with Carl and fam. It’s like Full House but Danny Tanner is a supporting character.

M: True Story: My brother and his kids moved in with my parents after my sister-in-law died and I always refer to our family situation as “a real Miller-Boyett production.” Also, why does Rachel ask Laura if she “remembers” an event that had to have happened a couple months ago, and is a huge deal? (Exposition, is why.)

Harriette: Girls, don’t argue at the dinner table.

Laura (to Judy): Ok, let’s take it outside

Do not mess with young Laura.

T: THIS BOLO TIE ENSEMBLE

M: If I was several years older I’d have been all about Eddie. Despite those pleated slacks.

M: Mama says “it’s almost the 90s.” Did we know that “it’s the 90s” as a catch-phrase started before the 90s even did?!

T: Carl’s heart-to-heart with Mama included a musical cue of emotional music as soon as he hit the main talking point in his conversation, which I just realized is a common denominator in all these 90s family sitcoms. Danny Tanner assuring Stephanie he still loves her after accidentally driving a car into the kitchen? Cue the emo music.

M: My main thing is when the emotional music is THE THEME SONG SLOWED DOWN AND INSTRUMENTAL. Full House always did that, but the Brady Bunch perfected it first. “it’s the sto-o-o-ry of the lovely la-a-a-dy”

T: Eddie moved to the attic to let his grandma stay in his room, but it still looks like an attic? Like they couldn’t have cleaned it up and moved the misc. furniture and knick knacks to another location?

M: And they live in Chicago, so that attic will be hot in the summer and freezing in the winter. And there’s a grandfather clock in the attic and downstairs. How many grandfather clocks does a family need?

T: Of course Harriette, Rachel and Mama are singing He’s Got The Whole World in His Hands and OMG THEY JUST PANNED OUT THE SHOW THE FAMILY IN THE WINDOW SURROUNDING THE PIANO AND SINGING, WHICH IS IN THE CREDITS!

M: During the credits I almost said “this show involves far fewer family old-fashioned piano parties than the credits would have you believe.” Which was all-the-way wrong.

T: I feel like I’ve never even seen this episode before, and despite the fact that it’s corny like most 90s sitcoms, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

M: I also don’t remember this one (and haven’t watched Family Matters since I was a child), but I could see putting on episodes as sort of soothing background TV now that it’s on Hulu. Love those Winslows!

Nickelodeon’s Making You Feel Young/Old Again

There had been rumors that the head honchos over at Nickelodeon were conjuring something up – specifically aimed towards millennials – over this past month, and then last week, it was confirmed. Starting on October 5th, there would be a block of programming called The Splat from 10pm to 6am on Teen Nick. To kick it off, Kenan & Kel had a surprise reunion on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon by revisiting their iconic Good Burger sketch (despite the fact Kel said Kenan refused to ever be seen with him again?).

They couldn’t have had a better way to get people excited for The Splat, which will of course be showing reruns of Kenan & Kel and All That. Not to mention repeats of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Salute Your Shorts, Rocko’s Modern Life, Legends of The Hidden Temple, and more. So for all your college kids who are already staying up late writing those papers, here’s another excuse to keep procrastinating in the early hours of the morning.

Of course, we’re excited for this new programming (we did have an entire week dedicate to SNICK already), but I’m particularly excited after finding out they’re also showing old promos and interstitials that originally ran in the 90s/early 00s. Have you guys ever gone back and watched commercials from back then? It’s amazing and a black hole that is very hard to come out of when you’re trying to go to sleep (but if you want to waste time, RetroJunk.com is where it’s at).

Before The Splat actually kicks off next week, here are a few choice promos from old school Nickelodeon that will make you simultaneously get nostalgic and make you feel real old at the same time. Just remember that 1995 was 20 years ago, NOT 10.

Until The Fat Lady Sings

I feel like this particular bumper was played a lot, and one of the more memorable scenarios from the 90s. Watching it now, I’m just thinking how that actress must have haaated her life with that enormous wig on her head for hours.

A Cautionary Fruit Tale

First of all, these fruits remind me of those erasers from the 90s that you think would smell like whatever fruit it’s shaped like, but instead just smelled like plastic. Second, kids love a good pun. I mean, I love a good pun, but “orange you glad” is a classic. Add on the fact they’re singing, and you’ve got a catchy tune. Just ignore the fact they fall to their deaths at the end.

Whatever Happened to Porkchop?

Speaking of catchy tunes, any 90s kid can hum you the theme song to Doug. Moreover, the opening credits were also unforgettable thanks to its simplistic nature. It was only natural for Nickelodeon animators to create a bumper in its style.

Get Those Harmonies

Do these barbershop singers look like they’re three heads on one body? Also, why are they singing at night? And why are the billboard workers putting the posters up at night too?

Here With My Friends

I just realized Nickelodeon got to a point where they were like, ‘Hey, ya know what really works for us in these bumpers? A trio of random people/animals/things that sing our theme song in beautiful harmonies.’ This also reminds me of that All My Friends Are Dead book. THAT’S THE HARSH REALITY, KIDS.

Made on Windows Movie Maker

This looks like a commercial for Mad Gabs.

Akin to The Little Mermaid

They stepped up their game and added a lead singing fish. They got a bigger budget.

The Prequel to Chicken Run

Guys, we hit the jackpot. A whole gospel choir full of singing chickens!!

 

Watch Your Back, Michigan J. Frog

Um, was Nickelodeon throwing lowkey shade at WB? Actually I don’t think WB existed yet, so probs not? Still. This also looks like the croc from the Crocodile Dentist game, which I had to Google as “Alligator Game” then “Crocodile teeth” then finally “Crocodile Dentist”.

Where Are Your Parents?

So you’re telling me this kid fell asleep in the living room while watching Nickelodeon, was dreaming about Nickelodeon when he started sleepwalking back to his bed, where he slumbered and continued to dream about Nickelodeon, but only in orange splat form? Ok, just wanted to be clear.

If You’re Thinking About My Baby

The kids’ version of Michael Jackson’s Black or White.

Questions, Comments, and Concerns: The Unauthorized Full House Story

Another day, another unauthorized story of a 90s TV show from those fine folks at the Lifetime network. This past weekend it was all about Full House, that TGIF (and TBS/WGN/ABC Family/Nick at Nite) favorite that was a staple in our adolescence. We grew up with the Tanners-Katsopolis-Gladstone clan in our living rooms as we watched them grow up in theirs. We saw Rigby the Rhino, Tommy Page, the Beach Boys and even Little Richard come through the doors, and now, we get to see what really went down behind the facade of the Full House. In theory, that is.

Lifetime describes the movie as “the rise of the cast of one of America’s most beloved family sitcoms and the pressures they faced in balancing their television personas with their real lives”. But according to the FH cast, the movie wasn’t exactly how it went down, and to be honest, I’m more inclined to believe them.

Why? I had a lot of things going through my mind while watching it, so if you tuned in or even if you didn’t (probably better that you didn’t), let’s discuss The Unauthorized Full House Story

Question: Why is the VERY first shot of this movie a bush?

Photo Aug 24, 12 45 28 AM

Comment: We start in 1987, when they shoot the pilot, but I’m distracted because the fake Full House set looks like Becky’s house on the real Full House.

Photo Aug 24, 12 35 03 AM

Comment: The cameramen are laughing at the show. While it’s filming. This isn’t how television works.

Comment: We flashback to 1985 for origin stories, starting off with Bob Saget, who is doing stand up and taking about tampons. He sounds like Seinfeld shouting, ‘What’s the deal with tampons?!’

Question: Bob and Dave knew each other before the show? The world of standup comedy is smaller than you think, so it makes sense these two knew each other before FH.

Question: Dave Coulier was almost on Saturday Night Live? Really, how did I not know this? Apparently he was hired then Lorne and co. were like JK, you’re too similar to Dana Carvey. Ok… But tbh, he seems like a better fit for Full House than sketch comedy.

Photo Aug 24, 12 37 37 AM

Comment: John Stamos is played by Justin Gaston. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he used to date Miley Cyrus. Now he’s playing John Stamos playing Uncle Jesse in a Lifetime movie. Miley is hosting the VMAs on Sunday.

Concern: Bob’s wife tells him she’s pregnant. He says he’s happy about this. His face says otherwise.

actual snapshot of fake bob saget

Comment: Creator Jeff Franklin’s first pitch to ABC was a show called House of Comics (three men/comedians living in a house together, shenans ensue).

“The Cosby Show is doing so well. So the network really wants more of a family show.” Exec who clearly doesn’t know the shit that goes down with Jell-o man in 2015.

After the exec says that quote ^^ Jeff makes up a new show on the spot, which is the plot of Full House. And to think, Full House is all kind of Billy Cosby’s doing. ::insert joke and side eye here::

Comment: Candice Cameron, was only known as Kirk cameron’s little sister at the time. When she went in to audition for Deej, she overhears the casitng director say she was “only okay”. However Candace later redeems herself after a pep talk from her stage mom, and eventually gets the part. Being Kirk Cameron’s sister didn’t always help, folks.

Concern: Paul Reiser was the first choice for Danny Tanner, but he was busy with My Two Dads. What’s that show you ask? Well it’s where the girl from Step by Step is adopted and raised by the dude from Mad About You and straight George Michael. It only last three seasons, so is Paul Reiser upset? Probably not. He went on to Mad About You.

Question: John was already a star. At least with the daytime mom crowd, and he was getting hounded by crazy General Hospital fans. By the time he was approached by Jeff about FH, John was ready to find a new demographic. He was so eager about the new gig that he told Jeff the vision he had for “Uncle Adam” – he pitched that Elvis had a twin brother whose name was Jesse and died at childbirth, and he wanted to be Jesse. Uncle Adam became Uncle Jesse. I still don’t get why he wanted to paid tribute to Elvis’ dead brother?

Concern: MK & A just happened to be sitting in the waiting room of the casting office because their mom’s friend took her kids to the audition. How PISSED is that friend now?

Question: John Posey was originally cast as Danny, because Bob wanted another job on CBS or something. The pilot was shot with this Posey dude. The network picked up the show w Posey and Jeff Franklin (EP) wanted to reshoot the pilot w Danny. This is what one in the biz calls a “Shitshow.” More importantly, where is this footage with Posey as Danny Tanner???

Concern: Justin Gaston is like, significantly younger than the guys who play Bob and Dave.

Photo Aug 24, 12 56 47 AM

Comment: The dude who plays Bob is like *almost* nailing the real Bob Saget’s voice to a point, however it also sounds like he has a frog in his throat the entire time.

Question: Why does the guy who plays Bob have more chemistry with his sister than his wife?

Photo Aug 24, 12 52 00 AM

His sis convinces Bob he needs to bond with his co-stars

“If looked like him (John) I’d never get out of the shower.” – Bob

“So start there” – Sis

“In the shower with Stamos? – Bob

“No, you know what I mean” – Sis

Cue: boys’ trip to Vegas.

Comment: It’s interesting that they keep portraying Bob as a serial monogamist, seeing as how he decided to play blackjack instead of hanging out with John, Dave, and three hot ladies in Sin City. However, back on set, he’s still got a pottymouth and basically told Jodie Sweetin she hopefully won’t grow up to be a stripper. I mean, good advice, to be fair. He even pitched to Jeff that Danny get OCD or terets (so he can curse). The Olsens twins and Cameron’s moms hate this about him and decide to talk to Jeff about it.

Question: Did Dave Coulier really single-handedly convince MK&A’s  mom to stay with the show? She is basically juggling being a stage mom all by herself since her husband is not in sight, but Dave assures her everyone can help raise them, and even offer to help find them a nanny, just so they don’t leave the show.

Comment: Dave farts during tender moment about season 2 pickup. This I can believe.

Question: WAIT JOHN AND LORI DATED ‘A FEW TIMES’ BEFORE SHE JOINED THE SHOW??

“We went on a date to Disneyland before we were both married. In real life, when we were 18, 19 years old… No disrespect to her family and her husband now, I would say that she could be the one that got away. She’s one of my dearest friends, and that’s good enough. I really do adore her.” Real Stamos saying OTP could’ve been real {x}

Question: Why is Danny surprised when he gets fan mail dumped on his person? Like, he’s shocked that the bag of fan mail dumped on his person is all for him and not for the Olsen twins.

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Concern: Andrea Barber (Kimmy Gibbler) runs into the on-set classroom to tell Candace she got upped to a series regular, and Jodie Sweetin looks on at their friendship longingly and a lil jeals. I feel like maybe this would’ve been true on a nine-year-old kid level, but not for realsies.

Comment: The guys find out MK&A are the most popular stars from the show, so Dave lit’rally runs to Jeff’s office so he can campaign for more scenes. Bob and John look at each other and say, “Should we tell him the EPs office is that way?”, in a way that easily could’ve been in the real Full House – it was that corny.

Question: Because MK&A were getting popular by the second, their parents decide to negotiate their contract to get more money. They ask to DOUBLE their salary. The twins are THREE YEARS OLD. Aren’t the other cast members a lil pissed about this??

Comment: Network execs are hoping to tie-in more of their programming with the super popular Full House by asking Bob to host a new show called America’s Funniest Home Videos. His response: “Americas Funniest Home Videos? That seems ever more sophmoric than Full House. Just kidding, that’s not possible.” They are really making it look like Bob had so much disdain for the show.

Question: Did John really set up a rehearsal space for his band in the.. green room on the FH set? And were there actual fam jam sessions

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Question: They keep giving a behind the scenes look at Bob’s marriage with him juggling a marriage (that’s clearly disintegrating), three kids and two jobs setting it up for disaster. Also how does this effect the show?

Concern: If this is how people gathered to watch TGIF in 1990, I really missed out.

The book on the coffee table, The Century, was published in 1998. Full House ended in 1995.

Comment: Instead of a talking woodchuck Joey has a talking dog.

Did somebody say…. BONES? (idk, i’m not good with dog jokes)

Comment: Dave announces he’s engaged to some chick, and for some reason, John mystericously jealous about this.

Concern: Candace goes crazy looking for Lori because she got the new script and found out she has to have her first onscreen kiss. Lori enlists “Stamos” to show Candace how to kiss. I feel weird about this.

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Question: Were John Stamos and Paula Abdul a tight enough couple that they almost got married? I always forget they dated, but per the movie, Stamos says, “I really like Paula I think she might be the one.”

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Except she wasn’t because in the next scene he says they break up. Wah wah.

Comment: Execs see Bob molesting a mannequin on the closed circuit video feed of the set, so Jeff chastises him for being inappropriate. Again with the ‘Bob Saget was an overly dirty man on a set about pure family values’.

Concern: Candace has a heart to heart with John after seeing an article in a tabloid that says she’s chubby. Stamos gives her advice to not let it bother her. She says, “My brother thinks I need to be closer to God.”

if you don’t get this picture, read this immediately

Question: WHY IS THERE NO COMET??? I just realized no dog has come on my screen yet!

Concern: I feel really bad for Dave, who says, “The truth is I’m not so good at being a grown up,” a notion we all can relate to. He reveals he’s getting divorced and his sister just died, so things aren’t going swell.

“Wouldn’t it be great if real life was more like Full House? No matter how big your problem is, you knew that everything was going to be okay?”

“And anything could be solved with a few bowls of ice cream and some hugs.”

Concern: Candace starts going to public school in ’93 AND SHE IS A NEW ACTRESS. Also, the clothes from “1993” are so “2015”.

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Question: Did Stamos, Bob and Dave really have whipped cream battles backstage? And if they didn’t, was this really the worst thing they could do? It’s like they’re 6th graders getting reprimanded at recess.

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Comment: Earlier in the movie, Bob’s sister tells him that their mom has some disease, but now it turns out that his sister has scleroderma. She later passes away and now I feel like an ass for saying they flirted earlier. All of the adult FH cast shows up to her funeral, and it’s nice to see them all supporting each other.

Question: Jeff Franklin created Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper? Because of his success with the show, he left Full House in order to get Mark Curry and co. off the ground. Jeff Franklin is responsible for your TGIF memories.

Comment: I’m so over this Bob/wife drama, especially because I know how it ends. There’s more about this than Jodie Sweetin.

Comment: We’re suddenly backstage at a fashion show where Dave and John are guests and John literally has a meet cute with Rebecca Romijn (I still call you last name Stamos).

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Concern: Lori gets divorced right as John starts dating Rebecca. Talk about bad timing. Perhaps they would have actually made a good couple?

Comment: The whole cast is gathered in a room and told the show is cancelled and they’re filming the last one next week. Jodie has a difficult time accepting this. This is really her only storyline beside being jealous of Candace/Andrea friendship.

“Now I’m even losing my make believe husband.” Lori about John. Too soon?

Question: WHO are the people in this audience?

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Comment: The last scene is very similar to the final scene of the series, in which Deej is off to her prom without a date but Kimmy surprises her by inviting Steve, who we see for the first time. Also for the first time: Nicky and Alex. Not seen: Michelle’s concussion where she forgets everything and confronts her other self AKA screen time for both MK and A.

“See somehow everything has a way of working out.”

“As long as we stick together.”

‘The way we always do.” META, MUCH?

Concern: We cut to two years later, and we’re back to seeing Bob doing standup. He overhears a woman say “It makes me feel gross. That’s Danny Tanner up there saying those horrible things!” You know what makes me feel gross? This woman’s inability to separate actor from character. She’s overreacting.

Comment: We see that John went on to star in a Broadway revival of How To Succeed… and he’s super in love with Rebecca Romijn, Bob gets a divorce (obvi), and Dave hosts a charity hockey game. Candace and Lori (who look the same age, BTW) visit Dave in the locker room, where he introduces Candace to Russian hockey player and her future husband Val, who lrearned Rnglish watching Full House in Russia… So their relationship started because he was a fanboy?

Concern: Candace and Val get married a year after FH ends, and all the cast goes to her wedding. Dave sits next to this woman:

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Candace meets and greets every. single. member. of the cast as if she’s a pop star backstage and meeting her fans and I literally say outloud  I HATE THIS.

Comment: Bob gives a speech at Candace’s wedding, and talks about the influence Danny Tanner had on his life.

“The best thing about Danny was that he knew what was important. He surrounded himself with lots of poeple he loved…”

“With ice cream and so many hugs!”

“As you start your new family, just know wherever you go – wherever any of us go – we’ll always have this family (John aside: that’s true). The one we made.” ::Dave farts::

Cue: Follow You Down. No, seriously, Follow You Down started playing in the background.

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Concern: THERE IS A VOICE OVER. I THINK IT’S DAVE? THERE IS A VOICE OVER THAT MIGHT BE DAVE PLAYED OVER A MONTAGE OF WHAT WE’VE SEEN SO FAR AND THE FH BILLBOARD BEING TAKEN DOWN.

“We had such good memories… and to this day, when one of deals with hard times, or one of the many challenges that life puts in front of us, the other ones do whatever they can to help out. You know, it’s pretty incredible after all these years we all remain close and get together often  – like the family we are.”

This actually faded into a pink background and FH graphic.

 

All That LiveBlog: ‘Naughty By Nature’ – And A Bag Of (Chocolate) Chips

It’s the final day of Big Orange Couch Week, and we’re ending it with a classic SNICK show, All That. The sketch comedy show became a staple for Nickelodeon, with a tenure spanning over 10 seasons and introducing some of the greatest young talent America has to offer, including Kenan Thompson, Nick Cannon, Amanda Bynes, Jamie Lynn Spears, among others.  All That sparked five spin-off shows, a feature film, and even a live tour, and was beloved by many generations. We may not have noticed it at the time, but All That was changing the way kids watched and consumed television, influenced the way we doled out our own comedy, and shaped millions of kids’ view on diversity, without even knowing it.

It’s impossible to discuss the impact of All That in its entirety, so we’ll just try with one episode.

snick_allthat

Episode Title: Naughty By Nature

Air Date: October 7, 1995

All That Audition footage: The cast takes a look at some All That audition footage. Good Burger Commercial: Ed (Kel) tries hard to read the cue cards right in order to do a commercial. Loud Librarian: Librarian (Lori Beth) doesn’t want any noise to happen in her libarary even though she is the one making all the major noise. Randy & Mandy: Apparently, all the chocolate comsumed by Randy (Kenan) gives him a bad toothache. Mandy (Angelique) tries what she can to make it better. Musical Guest: Naughty By Nature (Clap Yo Hands)

Hit Play!!!

Cold Open T: This episode is the season two premiere, and we’re starting off with a segment where we find out how the kids got their jobs on the show. Angelique wears a hat made out of bread that has the “casting directors” in stitches, but when the next girl goes up and stands there eating a sandwich, they are not amused. Choose your gluten jokes carefully, aspiring kid actors.

They’re also put through the ringer with some treadmill time, an obstacle course, eat 520 cocktail wieners, gymnastics, etc.

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“What’s the opposite of *beeeepp* Judge

“*Bloooooop*” Kenan Thompson, I AM LEGIT LOL-ING.

M: Just from this open alone, anybody could predict that Kenan would be the breakout comedy star of the group. And maybe Sandwich Girl. I thought it was funny.

2:23 T: They even tested our GUTS *Cross promotion, folks*

M: This reminds me that one of my “going off to college” dreams was arriving at the dorm to find that my roommate had a piece of the aggrocrag just chilling all casual under their lofted bunk.

3:04 “You viewers can rest easy knowing each of our cast members has unusually thick thigh muscles.” THIS SHOW IS SO FUNNY

3:14 T: Gosh, this theme song is still so iconic and timeless. Playing on repeat. #RIPLeftEye

M: I got excited as soon as I heard “Fresh out the box!” But I remember having a lot of trouble with some of the lyrics in the days before you could just Google them. “My posse and my crew” sounded like “my bossie and my prince.” And 8-year-old me was just like “okay, cool… weird, but cool.”

3:52 M: I totally wanted to be Alisa Reyes. Can you blame me? She was like the quintessential 90s teen girl.

T: Yeah she was definitely the “Kelly Kapowski” of the bunch, if you will.

4:25 T: Josh, whose last name is NOT Hartnett, kinda looks like a Hartnett. I am confuse.

T: The director for this Good Burger commercial is wearing a beret. All he needs is one of those cone speaker things to finish his 1940s look.

Also, Kel accidentally knocks over a giant burger… stand? and knocks out the actor/Josh, so the director’s all, ok kid who actually works here, you have to take his place. You adults know full damn well this would not happen IRL.

M: So many SAG cards were earned by freak on-set accidents like that.

M: Kel, re commercials: Have you ever seen the one with the bunny that keeps going.. and going, and going? And just when you think he’s gonna stop… he goooeeesss.

T: Never heard of it.

M: Was Goodburger Kel supposed to be a 90s stoner type, because that was very lost on me c. 1996.

T: I think, yes?? I never got that either, but I’m assuming we weren’t supposed to? I just thought he was a super California surfer dude type. It’s like when Pixar puts jokes in the movies for adults.

T: Guys, I’m legit laughing out loud at these jokes, IDK what’s happening to me.

M: Me too, it’s fine, we’re fine. All That shaped our generation’s comedic sensibilities and we don’t give it enough cred.

T: Kel’s name in this sketch is Ed??

7:25 T: Kel, not used to the cameras, BECAUSE HE IS NOT AN ACTOR, keeps messing up his lines, including his iconic, ‘Can I take your order?’. In one take he accidentally says, “Can I take your mother?” and holy crap I had to play it multiple times because I couldn’t stop laughing at his delivery.

7:53 M: “The bunny wouldn’t quit! The bunny would keep goin’ and goin’ and goin’!: See, this was good. In comparison, kid’s shows today are just really neon and shouty, but not exactly funny.

9:00 T: Fun fact: The guy who plays the boss in this sketch, and the resident adult in the show is named Dan Schneider, who is also the executive producer and writer for All That. Before the show, he was in a 1980s sitcom called Head of the Class that I remember watching in Nick at Nite reruns and being funny. Dan has continued his career with Nickelodeon since All That, creating such hits as The Amanda Show, What I Like About You, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, iCarly Victorious, and Sam & Cat. He also wrote the screenplays for the Good Burger movie and Big Fat Liar. So, he’s pretty much a big deal.

9:25 T: Lori Beth Denberg in Vital Information is how she will always look in my memories.

M: During break time in third grade, my friends and I would always make up Vital Information segments. Cool kid for life, here.

T: This is why we’re friends.

10:10: T: I sometimes use, ‘QUIET, THIS IS A LIBRARY!’ as a recent and topical reference.

M: No, but doesn’t the silliness of some of these sketches remind you of early SNL or Lily Tomlin sketches? Like Land Sharks / Roseanne Rosanadanna / Ernestine-type stuff?

T: YES!!

T: I swear neither of us planned or expected to be singing the praises of All That for this whole post.

T: But here we are.

12:12 T: Was Katrina always wearing weird vests? Because that’s also how I remember her.

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M: She was, but in her defense weird vests were sort of a thing at the time. Especially among kid actors, for some reason. Just vests and floppy berets and speaking like you’re in the talk-singing segment of a Kidz Bop song.

13:48 T: Cooking with Randy and Mandy! I remember really liking this sketch. Maybe it was because of the chocolate.

M: It was my version of gross-out humor then. It was funny, but also TOO MUCH CHOCOLATE.

14:30 T: Why is the inside of that giant chocolate block white? And why did Kenan just use his Pierre Escargot laugh when he scarfed down chocolate syrup?

T: Man, All That was not only a precursor to Kenan being on Saturday Night Live, but I think it also instilled in me the love of sketch comedy at a young age. And to bring up #RepresentationIsImportant for the second time this week, I think it was also great that the cast was so diverse. I mean, even SNL in the past few years has been under fire for not employing people of color/minorities in general, so All That was really groundbreaking in that sense.

M: I could be very wrong, but it felt like kid’s tv in particular was more diverse in the 90s, and also that they just went with the kids who are best for the job — not like a lot of the Nickelodeon/ Disney stuff today where the kids can’t act but will age into a marketably attractive teen in a few years.

16:28 M: Kenan weeping over not being able to eat the chocolate is just ::cry-laughing emoji::

T: Ok, but, Kenan is such a star. You can tell that he outshines a lot of his cast members and was destined to be a comedian. Even in this chocolate jacuzzi with his sister (??)

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T: This is the first time (as an adult) that I’ve wanted to watch more All That.

M: I haven’t said this to anyone since the mid-90s, but do you want to come over to my house and watch All That? We could have a pizza party!

T: See ya there. Free Saturday?

The Secret World of Alex Mack LiveBlog: ‘Alex and Mom’ – Pools, Parties, and Pizzas

What did you watch if it was a Saturday night, and you were too old for Matilda (as if!) and it was too 1995 for Orphan Black – but you still wanted a healthy dose of telekinesis and corporate/scientific threats to bodily autonomy? And you also wanted to see a wardrobe made 70% of overalls? Ladies and gentlemen, Alex Mack.

The Secret World Of Alex Mack was a super high-concept show about a typical junior high girl (a pre-10 Things I Hate About You Larissa Oleynik) who is hit by a chemical plant truck and develops strange powers. She also wore a lot of overalls.

Episode Title: Alex and Mom

Air Date: January 7, 1995

Alex “disorganizes” her mom’s files after a huge fight, causing Barbara to nearly lose her job at the plant. A remorseful Alex tries to make amends when Barbara’s final chance at saving face seems doomed to disaster. Incidentally, this is the only episode of the series where Larisa Oleynik wears a Bathing Suit.

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Hit Play!!!

{alt version}

M: Before we even get going, is “only episode where Larisa Oleynik wears a bathing suit” supposed to be a selling point, because I’m pretty sure she’s like 13. Grosssss. Plus is there a reason she’d be wearing bathing suits? It’s not like it was a beach show. Okay, let’s start now.

Opening Credits: T: I love when shows tell you the premise of the series in under 30 seconds or less. It’s one notch up from the ‘Previously on…’, and helpful for elders like me.

0:15 M: I am now realizing I have forgotten all of the characters except for Alex and her brainy sister, Annie. Also, Alex’s friend’s t-shirt with the earth-tone sun on it is the most 1995 thing ever.

M: I used to think Alex had the coolest tomboy outfits ever – growing up with two older brothers, I was outdoorsy – but her hat is just confusing me. There’s a strap in the front like it’s a backwards baseball cap, but then there’s no brim? WHAT IS THIS?
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:55 T: Alex attempts to ask cute boy Scott if he wants to go to a screening of a new movie with her, but she asks if he has “plans for science”. What does this mean? Does he have plans for science class? Or like plans for science in general, particularly radioactive sludge that makes tweens turn into puddles?

1:03 M: Alex’s Mom: Isn’t Scott too old for you? [A beat, seemingly forgetting about too-old guy entirely] I need you to go to the store!

Alex: I can’t, I’m going to the movies!

Ah, yes. 1995. When “free range parenting” was just… parenting.

2:20 T: Now, I didn’t grow up in a town where I could easily go to the grocery store by myself then bring home said groceries, so WTF why isn’t the mom or dad doing this instead of a child?

2:45 M: Alex’s mom, Barbara, works at the chemical plant – but you already knew that. I just feel like in real life, these plants aren’t all shiny and futuristic, like an evil corporate overlord’s secret lair. They probably just look like factories, no?

T: Agreed. This chemical plant looks like Nickelodeon had to stay on budget and double up on the use of the Space Cases set.

M: Ah, yes. Space Cases. Hated the dude with the curly mullet and the pig-pink child, loved the flat-top and the girl with gay pride hair.

3:27 M: Alex fantasizes that she binds her mother with rope so that she can hang out with Scott and levitate soda cans and change the tv channels with her mind. Well that got dark fast. I can’t remember if these daydream sequences were a regular thing. By the way, we had remote controls in 1995, so changing the tv channel by pointing her finger at the tv didn’t really save much time.

T: “Why are you always treating me like a little kid? Why can’t you ever let me do what I want to do?”, whines Alex. Apparently what she wants to do is tie her mother up in a hostage-type situation, eat pizza out of the box with Scott, and use your powers to change the channels on the TV without getting up.

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4:40 M: Alex and Barbara are having a weird argument about how Alex has to make dinner for Annie and her dad because Annie’s not home and Alex didn’t go to the store yesterday. This argument makes no sense, and sounds like two kids playing house and saying random things they think a mom would say.

4:55 M: Alex messes up her mom’s files via telekenisis, and once again, Alex’s powers aren’t allowing her to do anything that she couldn’t do as a regular human.

T: I mean, it’s a sick burn for someone who… hates unorganized accordion file folders…? 

T: Alex’s mom’s boss is creepily leading this important meeting, but doing so in a way that rivals Dr. Evil. Except she’s stroking a silver letter opener and he’s got a cat.

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6:45 M: Annie and dad have to go to the “Einstein Society.” Ughhh, that even sounds like an Asshole Club. Anyway, they won’t be staying for dinner so now Alex is cooking for no reason. I’m also sort of confused as to why they couldn’t just make their own dinner? This whole episode is like a bad childrens’ improv scene.

T: Yeah, why can’t the dad make dinner? If it’s some sort of sexist thing (which I hope it isn’t), then wouldn’t the oldest kid have to do it? Why is this 13 year old slaving away?

M: They NEVER EXPLAIN why Alex had to be the one to go shopping and make dinner. For some reason this is bothering me more than the chemical spill powers.

7:30 Barbara’s boss is being shot from a super weird angle. I’m assuming it’s to subconsciously show the viewer who is in charge, but I feel like it’s a very ’90s move to shoot from the bottom and angle it slightly so you feel like you could maybe be a lil’ inebriated.

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8:40 M: Alex is going to Scott’s pool party tomorrow! I’ve found that as an adult, the pool parties – and pizza parties for that matter – really slow down.

T: Unless you’re me and went to a “pool party” this past Saturday (does 6 people count as a party?) and have friends who like to cook and own a chef’s jacket specifically for pizza parties. This is more of a ‘me and my friends are nerds’ situation, more than anything. I’m livin’ the life, y’all.

M: I don’t know what the cutoff is, but I feel like 6 people is just swimming with friends? I always think of “pizza party” in the context of it being a prize for something. Like your homeroom raised the most money in Operation Rice Bowl.

9:26 T: Barbara tells her hubs that she was all thrown off at the meeting because her files were out of order, and he’s all, ‘But what about the Einstein meeting?’ and she clearly forgot because of her horrible day. ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE ALEX GO IN YOUR PLACE FOR THAT TOO??

M: I shall sit at home and rock/ rise to heed a neighbor’s knock/ Brew my tea and snip my thread / Bleach the linen for my bed —- either Dorothy Parker’s poem about Penelope from The Odyssey, or Alex Mack’s chore list.

10:40 T: I totally forgot the sister knows about Alex’s powers. Is that why she’s overly sarcastic all the time??

“How do I look?” Alex, recreating the Deal With It meme

“I’ll look for you in next season’s swimsuit issue” Annie, Alex’s sister, says creepily

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12:39 M: Barbara’s glasses are so Warby Parker.

13:40 T: What I can tell you is that our pool parties don’t consist of anyone playing water polo, like this nonsense. It’s mainly floating and eating/drinking by said pool.

M: I feel like all my childhood pool parties were mostly inventing weird pool relays, trying to get people to understand things you said underwater, and doing that thing where you pop up from the water with your hair flowing behind you like Ariel. Oh, and underwater handstands.

M: NOBODY in this whole pool sees Alex melt into a pile of mercury (or whatever it is)? Oh come on. Also wouldn’t she diffuse in liquid and scatter all around the pool?

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Alex pops back up across the pool to catch the volley ball, and once again could have achieved that as a normal person by just swimming underwater.

T: Also, why does Scott all of a sudden look like he’s 18 years old?? It’s the water polo.

M: He’s TOO OLD. Barbara said.

14:12 M: Most unrealistic thing thus far: Alex’s ginger friend tanning with one of those open metallic folder things. See? I don’t even know what it’s called! Because redheads can’t tan.

they’re called sun reflectors. i only know this after googling ‘metallic sun shield’. – T

15:27 M: Barbara’s caterers cancelled on a work event and Alex’s bitchy friends are harassing the guests. And, like, waiting on them I guess?

T: Ok, but how old are Alex and her friends supposed to be though? I would find it interesting to see high schoolers as waiters at a corporate event, but highly questionable of 13 year olds were serving canapes to chemical plant execs.

16:08 M: I forgot about this jaunty instrumental music that would play whenever Alex would get hardcore into using her powers.

18:59 M: Alex saved the day by getting the food ready and fixing a fountain. But she is also the one who ruined the day in the first place.

T: To reiterate, all this putting brie on plates and popping bottles are all things regular humans can do. And Alex isn’t even doing it at a fast pace, per se.

Also, Alex ‘fixed the fountain’ by becoming the water. This is the type of magical power shit I approve of. I may have totally seen it coming, but it’s better than putting shrimp cocktail on a plate without touching it.

M: I just feel like Alex’s set of powers is really poorly defined.

19:46 M: Let’s just see if we can mention overalls every day, shall we? Alex’s outfit reminds me of these black velour overalls I just HAD to have for a commercial audition in 6th grade. Why no, I did not book that job. Probs because I didn’t rock a bow tie like Alex.

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M: But, I mean, Scott WAS too old for her. That’s some Stacy and Luca shit right there.

T: Relatedly, I would be PISSED if I was one of those kids who got pulled away from a pool party to put on a bow tie and serve rich folk. Did they get paid. I call child labor.

Clarissa Explains It All Live Blog: ‘Sick Days’ – The Girl Who Cried U-N-I-T-Y

Welcome to the first day of our Big Orange Couch Week, when we revisit five of our favorite shows that were among the classic SNICK Saturday night lineups from the 1990s, and liveblog them!

Today, we’re kicking it all off with Clarissa Explains It All and Sick Days, the season one finale. Of course, back then, finales for Nick shows didn’t end in some ‘Who Shot J.R.?’ cliffhanger (that reference was relevant, right?), so many of these eps were stand-alones, which made it perfect for syndication. That being said, Sick Days is classic Clarissa: tension between her and her parents, tension between her and her little turd brother, Ferguson, and possible sexual chemistry between her and her BFF Sam. Let’s go back in time and see what happens when Clarissa plays sick – only to backfire on her soon enough.

Episode Title: Sick Days

Air Date: June 1, 1991

Clarissa fakes sickness in trying to get out of her part in the school pageant. But, when the play turns out to be a success, Clarissa truly becomes ill.

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Hit Play!

T: I do not remember this episode, but judging by the description, it’s going to be a GREAT one.

M: I vaguely remember it, but 1991 Molly would be floored that she was watching it at age 28 via an app and an internet connection on her flatscreen. Or, she would be floored if she knew what any of those things meant.

0:15  T: Does Clarissa have a lisp?

0:45 T: Whoa Janet Darling’s outfit is very Mom Jeans-esque!

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T: My memories of Janet Darling – she is obsessed with healthy food. Like seaweed and sprouts and tofu.

M: Yes! And Marshall was an architect whose buildings were always like the architectural version of a Claudia Kishi outfit.

M: I feel like moms have stopped saying “pronto.”

T: I feel like everyone has stopped saying “pronto”.

1:04 Opening Credits T: I don’t remember quirky pajamas being part of Clarissa’s ‘thing’?

M: Were those pool ball pajamas? Do tweens play pool? I know there wasn’t an internet in 1991 but I still don’t remember recreating at pool halls.

This theme song sounds wrong. The NaNas are too fast and Clarissa isn’t wearing that weird aerobicise outfit.

2:44 M: Clarissa outfit #2: Black top with giant floral bell sleeves, denim cuffed jorts over polka dot bike shorts, teva(?) belt, pink chiffon hair scarf, daisy earrings, big freaking watch.

2:53 T: Sam asked Clarissa for help as he walked up the ladder and handed her an aquarium… did he climb up to the second story with this glass aquarium in his one hand?

M: Shhhh. My inner child can hear you.

T: Sam is like the Joey Potter to Clarissa’s Dawson. I’m sure this comparison hasn’t even been brought up before.

M: Between this, D.C., and Saved By The Bell, I was definitely lead to believe that in high school I’d have straight male friends crawling through my window all the time. Also that I’d have a straight male friend. NOT!

Remember “Not?” That was a thing people said a lot in 1991, it was like the “said nobody ever” unfunny punchline of the early ’90s.

T: Also did the all of this show’s budget just go toward’s Melissa Joan Hart’s wardrobe? Because the actor who played Sam looks like he straight up rolled out of bed and walked onto the set.

M: Sam Outfit #1: A giant blue Hanes t-shirt, rumpled plaid shorts from a man.

4:50 T: Sam – “I think this calls for the one sure-fire method of getting a sick day.” Clarissa: “What is it?” Sam – “Take it!” Sam’s comic timing is great. I’m not even being sarcastic.

T: As a kid I thought this show was ‘ahead of its time’, however now it just looks incredibly low-budget.

M: I think it actually looks ahead of its time compared to the Nick/Disney shows of today (I mean I love Girl Meets World, but otherwise). Instead of those slick production values, it looks more “indie” or “real.”

Wait, were those just words for cheap?

T: Yes.

6:16 T: Marshall – “You’ve had two children, you’re not the same woman you were when you were 18.” Besides the fact he’s being a tad misogynistic, it really doesn’t matter if she can fit in it or not because this dress still sucks and she shouldn’t be wearing it.
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M: Reunion themes like “wear what you wore in high school” are the reason we skipped our 10-year. Even though those boot-cuts and handkerchief hemlines are really calling my name.

6:50 M: Clarissa outfit #3: Giant robe, pajamas without billiards ephemera on them. Try harder, Darling.

7:10 T: MJH is doing her best coughing acting work and that is saying something.

8:37 M: Clarissa Outfit #4: I can’t see it behind the giant aquarium Sam carried one-handed up a two-story ladder.

9:50 T: Clarissa’s outfit is back in style and I think I hate it.
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M: Clarissa Outfit #5: A thing I think I saw a youth wear on the bus a few weeks ago

T: Soy muffin. Take a shot for Janet’s healthy weird snacks.

M: Janet’s 1991-weird food is stuff that’s all over Pinterest and instagram now. Oh, what 20 years will do.

11:30 T: Janet calls the family doctor, Dr. Festerspoon, to check on Clarissa. Did doctors still make house calls in ’91 or is this a result of low-budge and not being able to afford a medical office?? Also why would a sick doctor make a house call to a sick child???

M: And why is he from, like, the Progressive Era? Also of course Clariss has a rhinovirus, her room is a nest of dusty plants, hats, stuffed animals, and aquatic life. I feel germy just looking at it. Speaking of aquatic life: Clarissa Outfit #6: pajamas with a repeating trout motif.

12:30 T: Dr. Festerspoon suggests Clarissa’s common cold could escalate to “The Schezuan Flu” if she didn’t take care of herself… and then an Asian-sounding gong playing right after he said “The Schezuan Flu”…

T: What was the point of the guitar riff every time Sam came in?

M: Sexual tension music. But where “sex” is, like, exchanging slap bracelets and waving glowsticks in unison.

14:20 T: Clarissa – “I can’t miss Queen Latifah!” … because Queen Latifah is making a guest appearance at a small Ohio middle school for their Ancient Greece day, and it makes sense, obviously.

M: Wait, this is OHIO?

T: Per Wikipedia, it is!

15:25 M: Clarissa is trying to act like she feels better and she just put on the same outfit from earlier. I’m not counting it.

T: I just realized that both Marshall and Janet are home during the day? What are their jobs??

M: Architect and museum person. I, uh, watched a lot of Clarissa.

But seriously, this isn’t the mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. You go to museums in the DAYTIME, I’m sure of it.

T: Clarissa’s phone isn’t the same one I used to covet? Did she just upgrade her season 1 phone to a clear one in the later seasons?

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M: She absolutely did. My sister had the clear one – and her own phone line – and I thought it was the coolest thing in the universe. And I was right.

18:50 OMG CLARISSA’S U-N-I-T-Y OUTFIT

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M: Clarissa’s Outfit #6: A Cultural Appropriation Headband. Next week’s episode: Clarissa Explains White Privilege.

19:37 M: Clarissa and Sam try to sneak out, but are thwarted by Ferg-Wad dressed as a Greek Cloud. Sam is again wearing a giant crumpled top that belongs to a dad.

20:53 M: To get Clarissa to stay home and convalesce from Asian Disease, Marshall plies her with any video rental she wants. Sometimes I forget about life before Netflix, when a sick day meant watching Wheel of Fortune or soap operas unless your parent did you a solid and picked up Beetlejuice.

21:12 M: Clarissa’s Outfit # Whatever: A floral top, honestly pretty good bangs for 1991, and I can’t pay attention to the rest because I’m looking at her awesome watermelon drinking glasses.

22:00 M: Man, what I wouldn’t give to tour Nickelodeon Studios, Universal Studios, in Orlando Florida during its heyday. Heck, I’d settle for a t-shirt. That I’d wear with two pairs of layered shorts and an African headband in Clarissa’s honor.

T: Nickelodeon Studios, Universal Studios, in Orlando, Florida was the MECCA for our generation. RIP.

Judging A Dawson’s Creek Pocket Book By Its Cover

A couple of years ago, Molly was kind enough to send me a care package of books, most of which are geared towards a younger audience, because she gets me. One of the books in said package was a novelization of Dawson’s Creek, called A Capeside Christmas.

Here I am reading A Capeside Christmas while we were waiting to get into the Dawson’s Creek Writers Reunion at ATX TV Festival in June

It seems as if novelizing popular TV shows seemed to be a big 90s thing that brought in all the cash for these already hit programs. I’m pretty sure I read one or two of the Full House books, but there was also a collection of Buffy, Charmed, and Roswell ones floating around too. But the thing about these was that they were never *quite* in canon with the shows they were derived from.

I recently finished A Capeside Christmas, and hands down, it was one of the worst things I’ve ever read. But I finished it, so I guess it wasn’t that horrible. I thought the story was going to follow the gang during Christmas and some kind of trouble that ensued (per usual) around this time of year in the Cape, but instead, it was 146 pages about the Capeside Follies aka the town Christmas pageant that all of them are in. Dawson is lured in as director, Jen is the stage manager and Joey and Pacey are in the show showing off their talents – IN THE SHOW. It was a little off, but I could see how it still fit in with the show in general. But since Andie found a love interest in the book, it also lead to confusion as to whether it takes BP or AP (Before Pacey/After Pacey). It read like a DC fanfic, but was juuuust good enough to get picked up by a lesser known publisher. And for all we know, the Dawson’s Creek line of books could be just that.

Yes, there’s more than one of these books besides A Capeside Christmas. Although I don’t think I’ll be paying $.75 cents + $5 shipping to purchase “Too Hot To Handle”, I do want to appreciate these books for its comedic value. All of the novels have a corny subtitle, one that was probably from the same vault where your dad gets his Dad Jokes from. Just like I didn’t really know what A Capeside Christmas was about prior to diving in, I’m going to do the same thing and do exactly what you SHOULD do with any Dawson’s Creek novelization – judge a book by its cover.

**Also, each real description ended with:  

“Joey, Dawson, Pacey, Jen.”

Four fifteen-year-olds ready to take on the world.

They’re learning about life, and learning how to love. **

Shifting into Overdrive

Assumed Plot: Joey is eager to get her driver’s license, and since her older sister Bessie is too busy at the B&B and with her baby (and her hubs is mysteriously absent), Joey has to call on the help of one of her friends to pass the test. Since Dawson’s too focused on his latest film project for the Rhode Island Film Festival, Pacey offers to give her driving lessons in his pickup. Their road is a rocky one at the start, with constant bickering and stressful backseat (frontseat) drivers. However, it’s eventually smooth sailing for Pacey and Joey as she nears her test – but will the actual test be their budding romantic relationship? *Pacey actually taught Joey how to drive, right?*

Actual Plot: The road calls… Joey and Jen totally need a Dawson-free zone, so when Jen’s wealthy cousin invites her to an elegant Sweet Sixteen party in New York City, Jen coaxes a reluctant Joey along. Meanwhile, Dawson and Pacey are hot on their trail, dying to know what the girls are up to. The guys hit the road. And the road hits back….

Is high society ready for Jen’s ex-boyfriend Billy, and Danny, a sophisticated senior who’s totally into Joey? “And two sleepless gate-crashers?” It’s party time….

Major Meltdown

Assumed Plot: Now Juniors, they gang (excluding Pacey) are freaking out over the upcoming SATs and pressure of college in general. Studious Joey is taking extra SAT prep courses to bump up her score from 1400 to at least 1525. Jen is deciding whether she wants to go to college at all and Dawson is torn between going to Los Angeles or New York for film school. However the one thing they all have in common is the dilemma of whether they’re making the right decisions about college at all, a choice that will effect the rest of their lives.

Actual Plot: Jen hopes that a ski trip to a fancy Vermont chalet will enable her to rekindle things with Dawson, who is in turn occupied with his feelings for Joey; while Pacey looks forward to conquest over the ski bunnies.

Double Exposure

Assumed plot: Jen and Joey decide to take a photography class together, and one of their projects is to pick someone or something that has great value and serves as an inspiration to them as part of a photo project. Separately, the both Jen and Joey pick Dawson – and jealousy ensues. Will Dawson help out the new girl in town or the girl who’s been in his heart for his whole life?

Actual Plot: The Ice House is in serious need of funds, so Joey takes matters into her own hands and finds work as an underwear model, but when her pictures end up on the Internet, heads begin turning at school.

Don’t Scream

Assumed Plot: In the book version of one of the famous Halloween episodes, Pacey convinces everyone to join him on a trip to Salem to check out the place where the actual witch trials took place. Strange little things keep happening while they’re there – water glasses get knocked over with no explanation, doors keep shutting with no wind in the air, and even Jack’s going crazy because he keeps thinking he sees his grandmother everywhere they go – a grandmother who died five years ago. In Salem.

Actual Plot: “LIGHTS, CAMERA, SCREAM” Has Dawson’s dream finally come true? A low-budget teen horror film is shooting in Capeside and Dawson desperately wants to work on the set. This could be the professional break he’s been looking for an he’s really excited. That is, until Jen lands the job he wanted. Meanwhile, Joey loves the attention she’s getting while spending time with the movie’s to-die-for lead.

Too Hot To Handle

Assumed Plot: It’s summertime in the Creek and when they’re not working at the Ice House or at the video store or at Dawson’s parents’ restaurant, the gang spend most of their time at the beach. It’s there that both Pacey and Dawson meet some particularly attractive ladies, causing jealousy to stir inside both Andie and Joey, respectively.

Actual Plot: Pacey has a great idea to raise money to protect Dunn’s Lighthouse from developers. Students will volunteer to dress as celebs, and other teens will bid on them. The highest bidders for the stars will own them for a day. Who would turn down this chance to fulfill his or her fantasies?

Running On Empty

Assumed Plot: Jack confides to Jen that he’s gay, a confession he’s too scared to come forward with to both his family, friends, and especially girlfriend Joey. The pressure of being who people think he is and who he truly is gets to him, and it’s only Jen who can help him through it.

Actual Plot: Bessie and Joey’s plan to rake in the dough with paying guests during Capeside’s “Weekend of the Whales” festival goes south fast when Bessie sprains her ankle, spoiled potato salad knocks out all the cooks in town, and it rains and rains and rains. Pacey, Dawson, Jack, and Andie are eager to help out…but Andie’s got her hands full with the handsome twin brothers staying at Gram’s place, Dawson’s dealing with another obnoxious B&B client, a poetry-loving houseguest totally crushes on Joey, and there’s not a whale in sight! Looks like it’s gonna be a long weekend…

Trouble in Paradise

Assumed Plot: It was going well for soulmates Dawson and Joey for a while, before they separately started to realize that it just wasn’t working out romantically. After they spend a weekend in Paradise, Connecticut with Jen, Andie, Pacey and Jack on a skiing trip, their already tense relationship comes to a head when they’re forced to come forward with their true feelings during an intense round of Truth or Dare.

Actual Plot: It’s the return of Jen’s cousin Courtney the Perfect. Grams is thrilled. Jen and Joey are not, and their instincts are right: Courtney is definitely out to stir up trouble.

Playing for Keeps

Assumed Plot: In order to make some extra money in hopes of saving it for a new car, Pacey starts investing in off-track betting. Andie starts to notice that his hobby is soon becoming an addiction, as she sees he’s losing more money than he’s investing. Will Andie’s pressure to stop his gambling ways push Pacey to clean up his act or be on the brink of a breakup?

Actual Plot: Summer is finally here and the gang nab jobs as counselors at Camp Takabec. Jack is the football counselor, Dawson does audiovisual, Joey’s in arts and crafts, Jen and Pacey are directing the camp musical, and Andie is an academic tutor for challenged kids.

They’re managing to have a blast, even though Jen and Joey both fall for the same mysterious college guy from England. Meanwhile, a friendly color war is developing into “The Sex Wars,” pitting the guys against the gals. But who will win this friendship tug-of-war?

Tough Enough

Assumed Plot: Dawson’s secret love for the WWE is revealed.

Actual Plot: North…by Northwest? When Principal Green introduces a mandatory new program called “SpringPlan” at Capeside High, Jen, Joey, Pacey, Jack, Andie, and Dawson all sign up for projects that interst them. But Princpal Green has other ideas, and they find themselves assigned to “Character Building Through Wilderness Training” in the wilds of North Carolina. Oh yeah.

Wilderness Camp is run by a former marine drill sergeant who makes the Godfather look like Mother Teresa. Pre-breakfast runs, splittng wood, poisonous-snake identification classes. Tension is running high, but there’s only one way out of the woods for Jen, Joey, Pacey, Dawson, Jack, and Andie.

Calm Before the Storm

Assumed Plot: A huge winter storm is heading to Capeside, and everyone is preparing for the worst before hunkering down for what’s sure to be the worst storm in years. But tensions are already high for Joey and Dawson (who just broke up), Joey and Jack (whose kiss led to said break-up), Andie and Pacey (who are secretly working through Andie’s mental problems) and Jen (who is still coping with the death of her grandfather). They end up locked in the school for hours, since the storm came in early, and they are forced to stick together and hash out their problems while waiting for the storm to pass.

Actual Plot: “Whales mate for life.” “At least they know what they want,” Joey thinks.

Sometimes her relationship with Dawson seems so complicated. Even more so when her class field trip to Billings Island, a nature preserve off the coast of Capeside, is blown apart by a freak storm. And Joey and Dawson are separated from Pacey and Jen. Now they’re lost in the woods… stranded in an old cabin together, cold and shivering, alone in a storm… eager for warmth.

 

Doing Lines: Saved by the Bell

Listen. I think we’re all on the same page when I say while Saved by the Bell is one of the most beloved TV shows of kids who grew up in the 90s, it’s not the best in terms of, say, storytelling or acting. It’s a show for teens and tweens, and in cases like myself, children under the age of 10. But because it was geared towards a younger crowd, they could get away with more ridiculous storylines, something that they wouldn’t have been able to get away with on “adult” programming.

That being said, we’re back with another installment of our Doing Lines series (you can catch the other ones here), and this time we’re heading to the Pacific Palisades and seeing what kind of trouble the kids got into during their five-year stint in high school.

Season 1

Episode 3 {The Gift}

Fun fact: the image on the TV is an exterior shot of John F. Kennedy Junior High School from Good Morning, Miss Bliss!!

Screech gets struck by lighting and suddenly has a superpower where he knows what will happen before it happens. Also, he acquires an afro.

Episode 5 {Screech’s Woman}

Zack decides to help Screech get a girlfriend but no one is willing to go out with him, so Zack dresses up as a girl named Babmi and goes on a date with Screech, but he starts to like Bambi frreal.

 Episode 8 {Cream for a Day}

Screech accidentally invents a zit cream in chemistry class, which gets rid of pimples overnight. Kelly wins homecoming queen but uses the cream the night before – too bad the cream makes everyone’s face maroon.

Episode 11 {The Friendship Business}

Zack leads the gang in a project for business class, in which they have to create and market a product. They choose an item called Buddy Bands, but when their company becomes successful, the power gets to Zack’s head and Kelly, Jessie and Slater decide to make their own friendship-related item, Love Cuffs. Also, this timeless commercial.

Episode 12 {The Mamas and the Papas}

The gang participate in a project to simulate a domestic marriage, and everyone gets paired up. Jessie and Slater, Zack and Kelly (foreshadowing!!!) and Lisa and Screech. I think the most importnant thing to remember from this episode is that Lisa ALL OF A SUDDEN is allergic to Screech. Because she keeps sneezing and scratching everytime she’s close to him, Mr. Belding separates them and Screech becomes Zack and Kelly’s son, while Lisa goes over to the Slater/Spano family. Lisa’s allergy was never spoken of again.

Episode 14 {The Zack Tapes}

Zack learns about subliminal messaging and attempts to trick Kelly into going to the dance with him with a sneaky cassette tape. She finds out and decides to turn the tables on him. Ah the troubles of being a teen heartthrob. 

Season 2

Episode 7 {Rent-a-Pop}

Mr. Belding wants to set up a meeting with Zack and his dad because Zack’s been failing his classes. Zack doesn’t want his father to find out, so “rents” an actor to be his dad, because, Los Angeles.

Episode 8 {Miss Bayside}

After watching The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell story, we learned that the writers asked the cast what their talents or hobbies were, and incoporated their answers to the scripts. TAT used to be a beauty queen, which explains the Miss Bayside pageant, but can/do real schools actually do this?

Episode 9 {Jessie’s Song}

It’s the infamous ‘I’m so excited’ episode. And honestly, my problem isn’t with Jessie’s ridiculous addiction to caffeine pills, it’s that a trio of teens from the Pacific Palisades, and called Hot Sundae, easily got the attention of music executives. They were on the fast track to stardom until Jessie’s freakout!

Episode 10 {Model Students}

A photographer comes to Bayside and “discovers” Kelly after Zack and Screech secretly take pix of the girls in swimsuits and make a “Girls of Bayside calendar”. The photographer gives Kelly the opportunity to go to Paris to be a model. Zack isn’t okay with this. Is this photographer somehow in cahoots with the music execs who wanted to sign Hot Sundae? 

Episode 12 {Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind}

This is truly one of the more ridiculous storylines to ever come to Bayside. A tabloid is offering money for photos of real aliens so Zack and Slater dress Screech up as an alien and film him being creepy at the school to fool the tabloid. Except a special agent with the government is convinced Screech is a real alien.

Episode 13 {Running Zack}

Zack finds out he’s part Native American and to learn more about his roots, befriends a man named Chief Henry who has a great impact on Zack. Meanwhile, Jessie finds out her ancestors used to be slave owners and spends the rest of the episode ‘apologizing’ to Lisa. I’m convinced at least one scene in this episode is slightly racist.

Episode 14 {The Babysitters}

Kelly’s parents leave their baby son with Kelly who has to bring him to school (because, hello, she’s a teenager), but when she has to take school pictures, she’s forced to leave her baby brother behind with the gang. Honestly, why didn’t Mr. Belding or any of the teachers or any of the students not notice baby Billy and alert social services or something??

Episode 15 {The Fabulous Belding Boys}

Mr. Belding reluctantly lets his surfer dude brother Rod serve as a substitute teacher and immediately all the students flock to him because of his laid back nature. Rod suggests taking the kids on a white-water rafting trip, but just before they leave, Rod tells his bro that he can’t take the kids because he has a date with a girl – and Zack overhears the whole thing. Mr. Belding is left with covering for Rod but they end up having a lot more respect and appreciation for their principal at the end. Also, the title of this episode sounds super gay. Like literally gay.

Season 3

Episode 7 {Check Your Mate}

The annual chess competition between Bayside and Valley gets ugly when Valley plays dirty and steals his lucky beret. In retaliation, Zack and Slater decide to switch Valley’s best chess player, a Russian exchange student, with Zack in a wig. I guess I never realized it until now, but these kids really were into disguises. Must have kept the local wig store in business.

Episode 9 {Fake I.D.s}

Zack meets at girl at The Max named Danielle who is a student at USC, so naturally, Zack pretends to also be a college kid who’s majoring in photojournalism. He agrees to meet her at The Attic, a night club for kids 18 and over, which obviously requires fake I.D.s. While at the club, Zack, Slater and Screech spot Jeff, Kelly’s boss (aka the skeezebucket Kelly wanted to date so she promptly dumped Zack) kissing another girl. Zack tries to tell Kelly what he saw at the Attic but didn’t believe him, on account of jealousy. This episode is a reminder that the gang basically lived out things I would never have the balls to do as a teen. Fake IDs and sneaking into a club? I’d much rather stay in and watch The Baby-Sitters Club Movie on repeat.

Episode 11 {Pipe Dreams}

In one of those *the more you know* episodes, this one tackled the environment and saving it, etc. Oil is found in the school’s football field, and the kids go crazy thinking of what they’ll do with all the money. However, they soon find out that ~getting rich comes with a price~

Episode 16 {All in the Mall}

The gang fails at buying U2 concert tickets, and when they accidentally find a shoebox full of cash, shenanigans ensue. This never happened to me when I went to the mall. The only thing that went down was me trying to avoid eye contact with anyone I went to high school with.

Episode 17 {SATs}

Jessie gets a 1205 on the SATs while Zack miraculously scores a 1502, sending overachiever Jessie into a tailspin. For you kiddies that aren’t American or took the SATs after 2005, a perfect score on the SATs during this time was a 1600. So naturally, Jessie is as confused as all of us to learn of Zack’s score, especially because this is a kid who puts no effort into learning or anything relating to academia.

Episode 21 {No Hope With Dope}

Super megahot Hollywood actor Johnny Dakota chooses Bayside as the location for an anti-drug commercial but the catch is that Johnny himself uses drugs! A celebrity doing drugs?! Actually I think his drug of choice was pot UGH EVEN WORSE.

Episode 22 {Rockumentary}

This is personally one of my fave episodes, and it seemingly comes out of nowhere. Casey Kasem returns to give a Behind the Music-esque documentary about Zack Attack (the band all the gang is in, obvs), and their rise to fame from a garage band to superstar band. It was never explained how they all suddenly learned how to sing and play instruments.

Episode 24 {Home for Christmas}

Zack has a crush on a girl who works at the mall, and later finds out she and her dad are homeless. Again, this is one of those *very special* episodes that makes you think twice before you judge the girl working at a department store.

Season 4

Episode 4 {Student Teacher Week}

The students take over for the teachers – Zack becomes principal for the day. And hangs up posters of Paula Abdul and Guns n Roses next to each other.

Episode 3 {Screech’s Spaghetti Sauce}

Screech makes a spaghetti sauce he sells on TV, and Punky Brewster pretends to fall for him to get his recipe. They even come up with a fun catch phrase that I still have stuck in my head after all these years:  “The sauce you can have, but the secret, she’s a mine.”

Episode 18 {The Video Yearbook}

The gang decides to make a video yearbook instead of the traditional one, and Zack’s plan to use the girls’ videos as a dating service backfires when Kelly starts receiving a bunch of calls from rando guys.

Episode 20 {Snow White and the Seven Dorks}

The gang is all in a rap version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves but when Jessie and Zack find out they have to kiss in the final scene they get all weird about it and question their feelings for each other, and subsequently fall out with Slater and Kelly in the process. And they take the drama to the stage. Get it??

Episode 21 {Earthquake!}

An earthquake hits Bayside and Zack is stuck in the elevator with Mr. Belding’s pregnant wife who goes into labor. Reminder Zack is an 18 year old Senior in high school who just delivered his principal’s son.

Episode 24 {School Song}

The school holds a contest for who can write the best school song (BTW do schools actually do this? Our high school has been using the same ‘school song’ since the 1900s and includes the words ‘rev’rie’ and ‘retrospection’). Zack is determined to win the contest so he can be remembered for something positive before he graduates, as opposed to his scheming ways. But it’s those scheming ways that brings him down in the end. Friendly reminder that I tried to convince my 8th grade music teacher that we needed to sing this song at our graduation. I lit’rally taped the song on a cassette and brought it in to school.