LOLSlater and Danger Guerrero’s Top Five Saved By The Bell Moments:
#2 – Lisa, Let Me Buy You a Soda!
LOLSlater: I went back and rewatched this episode just so I could be sure I wasn’t dealing unfairly with the content of this episode, which I understand, after being unfair to all of the episodes of SBTB over the course of two years seems a bit disingenuous, but I think if we are going to talk about slavery, I should be sure, and I’m sad to report NOPE, I wasn’t being unfair at all. This episode is just really not good. For those of you that haven’t been faithfully documenting the banal minutiae of SBTB over the course of two years, here is my brief synopsis of the plot:
The class given an assignment to research and report on their ancestry for history class, wherein Jessie discovers her ancestors were slave traders. This fills her tremendous guilt and shame, especially towards her (look both ways, whispers out of the corner of her mouth: “black friend”), Lisa. Now Jessie must come up with a way to atone for the sins of her forefathers, and this is what she comes up with. I’m not making any of these up:
- Apologizes – OK, good start.
- Offers to buy Lisa a soda – Oh no she didn’t.
- Offers to buy her a tossed salad – Somehow worse.
- Offers to carry her to the mall on her back – Oh God, please stop talking.
- Offers to carry her books – This subplot is rapidly approaching DEFCON 5 levels of bad idea.
- Offers to give her a book bag in exchange for “freeing her of the burden of her ancestors” – A nuclear bomb of stupidity just detonated.
- Offers to repave her driveway – Somebody come get this bitch.
The plot is tied up nicely when Jessie and Lisa share a black & white cookie and Barack Obama is elected president 15 years later. Or something like that. Anyway, FIVE STARS! A++! Way to deal with the painful history of slavery in fewer than 4 minutes! I guess the moral of this episode is: I owe everyone some salad & soda…maybe a new driveway too.
Danger Guerrero: Ok. I am just going to brush COMPLETELY OVER the fact that Zack showed up to class in full Native American dress at one point in this episode, because I have some more thoughts on the Jessie-Lisa thing. I can’t get over the gigantic titanium balls everyone involved in this episode must have had to think this was appropriate. I imagine it went something like this:
Writer 1: Ok, so we’ve broken stories covering [looks at notes] cut day, the SATs, a dream sequence where everyone’s famous, going steady, and having a summer job. Anything else?
Writer 2: How bout something a little more serious?
Writer 1: Like what? Someone’s parents getting divorced?
Writer 2: No. MORE serious.
Writer 1: You mean like those episodes we did on homelessness and addiction?
Writer 2: Getting warmer.
Writer 1: I like it, but what’s more serious than poverty and a crippling dependence on drugs? Wait… you don’t mean…
Writer 2: [smiling and nodding]
Writer 1 and Writer 2: [in unison] SLAVERY!
Writer 1: Genius. What did you have in mind? Something about the gang learning about it in class?
Writer 2: Yeah, but wait till you hear the best part. What if Jessie’s parents captained slave ships?
Writer 1: OH MY GOD YOU ARE BLOWING MY MIND WITH AWESOME RIGHT NOW. What else?
Writer 2: That’s all I got. Let’s just have her offer to buy Lisa some soda or something and then have Zack show up dressed as an Indian. Kids love Indians.
Writer 1: Love it.
Writer 2: God, this is good cocaine.