Ohhh boy...it's that time of year again, isn't it? A time when horrible Christmas moments in pop culture are celebrated; ShitMas seems to be the one stop shop for awfulness this time of year. Sure, anyone can read a loving review of Charlie Brown Christmas anywhere but where else can you read a review of Elves or The He-Man Christmas Special that's been written with such love than right here on ShitMovieFest? And seeing as it's my duty to kick this year off, as I did last year with my painful adventure in surviving "A Christmas Story 2", I see no greater way to kick it off than with the Saved By The Bell two parter "Home For Christmas". And while it may seem like Saved By the Bell revolved around 7 characters(including Belding), you'll find you only matter if your name starts with a "Z" and ends with a "Ack Morris". In fact, go back, watch ANY episode and I challenge you to show me an episode that didn't revolve around Zack in the end.
|Hope this gift has a gift receipt. |
We all know the characters and their normal adventures of trying to find a way to get out of class and away from Belding's non-threatening grip around Bayside. And why not? They have a hard enough life living up in the best and most privileged parts of California. It can be pretty tough being a part of the only 6 people existing in Bayside that actually matter. I mean, gosh! Do you know how deserved of a break Zack and the crew are? Well, Christmas time is here and the kids decided to get jobs around the mall, supposedly because they're low on cash. Which is rather silly to think these kids need cash for anything, seeing as they just jump in neon paint and call it fashion. Kelly works at a mens clothing store, Slater wraps presents and Jessie is Santa's helper/kid wrangler/photographer/feminist blowhard.
So while other bust their butts trying to earn some extra cash, Zack decides to kick his feet up and relax like a lazy mallrat. And of course joining him is his ultimate yes-man, Screech. Today we find Screech enamored with some doll that wets itself. As expected, the doll grows tired of being around Dustin Diamond and pisses all over Screech. Shocked, he and Zack run to the bathroom to dry off his pants. Why he needed Zack to accompany him is beyond me. Perhaps he was just going to give him a swirly and take Polaroids to publish in the Bayside school newspaper. I mean, wouldn't you? Once our hero and his moronic sidekick enter the bathroom, they find a disgusting sight awaiting them...
As with the theme of most episodes where Zack encounters someone more different than he is, be it a girl in a wheelchair, Indian chief, or anything of the such, Zack has to make a big deal of what he sees. So while Screech dries off, Zack points out the homeless guy looking for change in the pay phones (yes right in the bathroom. There's like 4 payphones in this bathroom. Take that in.) In a not too quiet manner, he asks the homeless guy what's with him being poor and all. After coughing up a lung, he reveals how he hasn't eaten breakfast today. After being bored, Zack leaves a couple bucks for our homeless hero in one of the payphones in a sappy Christmas moment.
|Don't spend it all in one place...oh wait...|
I should mention, in between eating in the food court with Screech, and learning about homeless culture, Zack runs into the only girl in California he hasn't slept with yet. And I can't say this one is one of his best. Her name is Laura and she has the personality of a grilled cheese sandwich. (which, by SBTB standards means she'll only be seen one time and forgotten about.) After turning down Zack's wild advances and clever early 90s pick up lines, she gives in when Kelly, her coworker at Moody's, reveals he's ok. Which, is weird. I'd never suggest to a stranger to date my ex's. Or maybe I should. Perhaps it's all part of Kelly's wild plan to get back at Zack. I don't know. Maybe it's best for me not to play SBTB psychologist.
|I'm surprised Zack didn't con Santa into a pyramid scheme involving motor oil.|
So, getting back to our homeless man friend. He apparently is roaming around the mall, breathing on stuff and making people disgusted when suddenly out of nowhere, he collapses in the middle of the store where Slater was displaying his horrible gift wrapping skills. Thankfully, the heros of Bayside Zack and Slater are there to help him. The crew gets him to a hospital which is the same hospital Lisa is volunteering. The entire crew came by in Christmas regalia to entertain sick children. Which would be great, but Screech was there and we didn't see Kelly in a Santa's Helper outfit. So a pox on you, NBC.
|Have you ever seen children so bored around Christmastime?|
|Take the present, preppy, or I'll rip your arms off.|
After annoying a bunch of children, Zack and Slater visit the homeless man and when they open the door they find Laura consoling him. Thus discovering that, duh, she's his daughter! of course! It all makes sense! Two new characters debuting in the same episode? Either they're related or they're aliens.
|The plot thickens...|
So that ends the first episode. Remember, we didn't have the internet back then so spoilers were out of the question. So finding out what happened next was a grueling one week wait. And man, this wait was not for the weary...
|There's no "To Be Continued" graphic, so just settle on this...|
A week later, we find Laura explain to Zack and the crew her life story about how she and her dad became homeless. Obviously, understanding the severity of the situation, everyone tries to make her feel at home for the remaining 21 minutes of the episode by peppering her with care usually reserved for Johnny Dakota. Eventually, while working at Moody's, Laura eyeballs a sports coat she wants for her dad but that tightwad Moody refuses to advance her the money to buy it. Kelly, being the good "friend" puts it aside and decides to buy it for her. But, throughout the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, Moody assumes Laura stole it after he discovers it missing. His sole logic being that homeless/poor people are the first to steal.
|There's no photo of Mr. Moody, so here's a photo of William "Paul Bearer" Moody.|
Laura runs away after Moody threatens to call the cops. Kelly explains "No way, old dude. I was gonna buy it for her!" I'm sure you can already hear the sad music that was playing as Moody realized his mistake. So, of course, Prince Morris of Bayside takes off after the homeless princess and saves the day. He brings her back to his mothers house (along with her smelly father) and reveals that Laura and her father can stay with The Morris Clan until they get back on their feet. A kind gesture, but it seems Zack was more interested in getting his peck on the cheek than anything else. And apparently the job market in California was pretty good, because a week later they vanished. I guess that really is a Christmas miracle. It may have been for the best. Nobody cared about Laura and her stanky bum of a father. Well, maybe Zack did for like ten minutes.
|Ha! tell me more about being a bum...oh yeah, Merry Christmas.|
It should be noted that this was Saved By the Bell's sole Christmas special. Which makes little sense to me. There could've been a lot more potential for funnier and more interesting storylines. But this isn't a Dick Wolf production, it was Saved By the Bell. And while it would've been great to see more Christmas specials every year, but I wouldn't trade this for anything. Plus we got an awesome scene where Slater screws up wrapping presents. What more could we truly want?
And that...is how we kick off Shit-Mas! Happy Holidays, everyone!
-Chad E. Young
The Horror Movie BBQ (https://www.facebook.com/TheHorrorMovieBarbecue)