Full House: Happy New Year

Joey hasn’t had a date in while, so Danny and Jesse decide to set him up with a lady. Really this shouldn’t be shocking because he’s a grown man who randomly lives in the basement of his friend’s house. On top of that, I’m not even sure that he has a job at this point in the show. But fine I’ll pretend to care about Joey for this episode.

But first, I’m obsessed with Stephanie’s outfit here, so please leave me a note in the comments if you see this jacket in an adult size. Thank you in advance.

Joey spends the afternoon calling everyone he’s been out with that year to see if anyone is free for New Year’s Eve. This is the 1990 equivalent of getting a “hey” text several months later from a guy you regrettably hooked up much earlier in the year and have since forgotten about. NOT that I’m speaking from experience.

Joey — sad that he has no date but apparently unaware of the negative effect his denim shirt with Babar appliqué has on his relationship status — offers to stay home with Michelle and Stephanie on New Year’s Eve, so that Danny, Jesse, and DJ can go to parties. This prompts Danny and Jesse to find Joey a date. This also marks the last point in the episode in which there is any semblance of ethical or personal boundaries between these three grown-ass men. Should be a fun episode!

The two of them decide to sign Joey up for a video dating service without him knowing. To trick him into sitting for the video, Danny calls Joey up to the attic, where Jesse has hidden a secret camera in an ad for toothpaste. (So I guess this is the point in the series where Jesse and Joey are writing jingles. My bad for calling Joey unemployed earlier on.) 

Danny and Jesse act super strangely, which freaks Joey out. He notices they’re “talking to the easel” but doesn’t see the big circular cutout in front of the camera lens. He endures the weirdness just long enough for Danny and Jesse to get what they need on tape. When they come clean, Joey is made for literally two seconds. When Jesse tells Joey there are plenty of women who want to meet him, Joey gets over the massive violation of his privacy pretty quickly.

The prospects aren’t great though. And what follows is a PG version of the club scene from Coming to America. But then we get to Christine’s part of the video. Her friends have signed her up for this for Christmas and she’s kind of skeptical about the whole thing. She seems cool, so Joey invites her over to the house for New Year’s Eve dinner. I mean, I would have told DJ that she couldn’t go to Kimmie’s party, but I guess it’s fine to bring a first date over to dinner when you’re a grown man babysitting…(And just so you know I’m not a total jerk, Joey only agreed to babysit in the first place because DJ wanted to bail on her babysitting plans and go to Kimmie’s party next door instead). 

Unfortunately, Joey’s gotten a little obsessed with the idea of Christine. He’s decided she’s “the one” based on a five second video in which she said literally nothing about herself. But they do appear to hit it off pretty quickly. She’s even fine with babysitting three kids.Oh yeah, I should mention that Danny’s date also left her son behind for babysitting. He’s creepy and has breath spray even though he’s like eight years old. Please see below: Steph has a pro-tip for dealing with this and I’m happy to share it with all of you – 

Everyone arrives home in time to ring in the New Year, and Joey proposes to Christine. Even more bizarrely, she says yes. They decide to pack and go get married in Tahoe. In the time it takes Christine to go home and pack, they both decide that they don’t want to get married.

Very Special Lesson for the New Year: Eh I mean honestly, it’s just one day. 

The Nanny: The Hanukkah Story

Happy fifth night of Hanukkah, Very Special Readers! Here we are in the final season of The Nanny. Fran is finally married to Maxwell, and she gets to host a Hanukkah celebration with her new family. Also this episode marks Ray Charles’s final appearance on the show–because Ray Charles had a recurring role on The Nanny???? You learn something new every day.

Sadly, Maxwell has to go out of town for business. CeCe is going too but she and her long-standing enemy, Niles are “in love” by this point in the show, so I’m glad to see her gone. (He gives her a lemon Pledge soaked handkerchief to remember him by because he’s a butler and evidently that’s his dominant personality trait in the relationship ughhh). And for some reason the youngest child, Grace, goes to Boston with CeCe and Maxwell. Is she like a theater producer in training? I have no idea. I’m only just now realizing that the last season of this show wasn’t great and evidently I haven’t seen many episodes of it.

Fran is very upset that her stepdaughter and husband have left town on the first night of Hanukah. We learn (via flashback where Fran plays a younger version of her mother) that It’s very important to her that they celebrate this night together because she never spent the holidays with her family as a kid.

Meanwhile, in the car to Boston everyone is crabby. We learn (again via flashback) that young Maxwell puts business before family because that’s what his father (played by grown Maxwell) did when he was a child. We also learn that young Maxwell and young Niles played together as children! (Mostly because Maxwell’s father was neglecting him but aw that’s still a cute backstory!)

Realizing his mistake, Maxwell decides to turn back. He phones Fran from the car to let her know he will be coming home for Hanukkah. While they’re on the phone, Fran hears Maxwell crash the car mid-blizzard. So what I’m trying to say is that this sitcom has dramatically increased the stakes with only ten minutes remaining, And no, this isn’t a two-parter.

Meanwhile back in the car, (it’s The Nanny, they’re obviously not injured you guys), CeCe tries to sing for entertainment. It’s not very pleasant and luckily we cut away quickly. Maxwell determines they have enough gas in the car to run the heat for an hour.

I suppose because they’re anxiously awaiting news or the return of Maxwell’s car — Fran and her best friend Val are waiting outside of the townhouse in the freezing cold. Fran prays to God for help and a nun appears. Fran assumings that God must have gotten confused because of her new last name (hehe).

Fran and the nun pray together and wow–I guess she was right to wait outside! — Maxwell appears! He actually had enough gas to run the car for eight hours and was able to make it all the way home. It’s a Hanukkah miracle! Literally and figuratively!

They end up celebrating the first night of Hanukkah on the second night. And then Ray Charles plays “Home for the Holidays.” I think he’s dating Fran’s grandma. Is that what’s happening here? Someone more familiar with this show, please weigh-in on the comments. Was Ray Charles even an actor? Was he just moonlighting on the The Nanny near the end of his life for fun? I need to know more about this odd turn in his career!!

 

The Magic School Bus Holiday Special

It’s the holidays and Ms. Frizzle’s class is sorting recycling! (This genuinely makes my heart glow). Liz the Lizard is even powering the sorting conveyor belt by peddling a bicycle — so this is an entirely green operation!

But Wanda is being kind of a grinch about the whole thing because she’s worried they won’t finish recycling in time for her to make it to the Nutcracker ballet performance. She even has a special nutcracker that she’s brought to school with her.

In her haste, Wanda drops the nutcracker on the classroom floor as they head to the recycling plant. Arnold mistakes the nutcracker for recycling (idk how) and puts it in a bin. (Cue the drama.)

At the recycling plant we meet Ms. Frizzle’s cousin, Murph. She’s voiced by the one and only Dolly Parton! As you probably know, Ms. Frizzle is voiced by Lily Tomlin so it’s like a very special mini-9 to 5 reunion! (Also, I did not know Ms. Frizzle’s first name was Val, so that’s kind of a fun fact.)

At the plant, Arnold dumps the nutcracker into one of the transportation bins. Wanda spots it just in time to see Murph drive away, which sets us off on a journey through recycling! Wanda’s nutcracker doesn’t fare so well. He’s smooshed up and turned into a pile of plastic pellets, which is strange because I thought Nutcrackers were made of wood. But evidently in this case, they’re made of recyclable plastic.

So now Wanda hates recycling…and she wishes that recycling had never been invented. (Careful what you wish for Wanda! Sounds like you would really like the Trump administration).

Luckily, this is a safe learning environment and not 2019 America, so Ms. Frizzle decides to show Wanda what the world would look like without recycling. Hint: there are no trees and the landfills are overflowing.

Wanda is a hot mess. She bangs on the bus (rude, since we know the bus is anthropomorphic) which sets off its anti-recycling ray — and un-recycles the bus. So basically it’s a pile of junk.

Luckily, Murph is there to show them how to recycle bottles and cans (at the landfill that used to be their school) in order to rebuild their bus from plastic pellets in a few short minutes! Idk if this is okay with child labor laws, but I guess they were in dire straights and really needed that bus back. Now that they have the bus back, Ms. Frizzle restores the recycled world!

Things work out for Wanda too because she uses what she’s learned about plastic pellet recycling to make brand new nutcrackers soldiers for herself and the entire class. (So I guess they were toy soldiers the whole time and not nutcrackers–whoops, my bad.)

I’ll let Dolly handle today’s Very Special Christmas Lesson:

Small Wonder: Vicki and The Pusher

Seriously, who greenlit this show? The number of times this robot becomes involved with controlled substances is truly astounding. Only slightly more astounding than the fact that I grown man built a little girl robot slave to serve his family. And yet, this was American family television thirty years ago.

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Anyway, this episode involves everyone’s favorite 1980’s topic: drug pushers.

This episode starts with Vicki’s creator trying to teach her to eat solid food. Lord knows why, she’s a freaking robot so this makes no sense. Also, I’m probably taking this too far but now I am wondering what happens to all of the food clogging her gears and frankly, it sounds like a public health crisis.

But let’s go ahead and skip ahead to the drugs. A full-grown adult man appears at a chain link fence encircling the cafeteria’s outdoor eating are. He says, “hey kid, you ever get high?”

So let me stop you right there. I know it was *the 80’s* and *stranger danger* wasn’t so much of a thing and maybe I can’t understand that as a child of the 90’s. But something tells me a real-life 80s drug dealer would have been a little more stealthy.

Okay, so today’s drug is Speed. Does anyone do speed anymore? Is Adderall like the Speed of today? I honestly wouldn’t know. I can barely handle coffee.

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Alright, so now I know why they introduced the fact that Vicki can eat now. She’s come into possession of these pills and we had to setup the backstory that would allow her to be able to ingest them.

Vicki goes home and hides the drugs in a flower pot, which her creator’s wife promptly finds. She tells her husband they have “a drug problem” and he makes a joke about getting her “into the Betty Ford Center” because of course he does. This is a creep-ass man who made a little girl robot-slave and of course he’s going to make a joke about rehab when he thinks his wife is confessing to an addiction.

(Sidebar: I’m not sure why his wife was digging through a flower pot. I’ve been skipping through this episode because honestly this show is so bad. However, I am so intrigued bythe fact that a robot main character is somehow going to teach me not to do Speed, so I’m gonna keep watching.)

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They confront their child, who seriously must be eleven years old AT THE MOST. And he’s kind of just like confused and probably not at the prime age for doing Speed anyway, right? I don’t know! Were the 80’s this bizarre or is this just Nancy Regan lying to me???

Anyway, Vicki the robot starts behaving very strangely, so the parents realize their robot is high as a kite. (Once again, I can’t figure out how she’s metabolized these pills in order to get high in the first place, but she is literally flapping her arms and flying in the air, which is pretty cool.)

Okay, sincerely I think this creepy man needs to have his child taken away from him. He has volunteered his son to go undercover and purchase drugs from the drug pusher. He’s going to program Vicki the robot to protect him.

I ACTUALLY DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS THOUGH BECAUSE WHY NOT JUST LET THE ROBOT DO ALL OF THIS??? WHY INVOLVE AN ACTUAL CHILD??? I think we have all the evidence we need here. This family is toxic and should be banned from television.

(Oh by the way, for reasons I cannot explain, this show ran for four full seasons.)

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Okay, so this is actually a teenaged drug dealer not an adult. I couldn’t tell because this YouTube video is grainy. But either way, I don’t think it’s a best practice to send children in as plants on a drug deal.

Luckily, this dealer is very stupid. He doesn’t pick up on the fact that this is a setup, not even when the little boy tells him to “speak into my shoulder” a.k.a. where the microphone is. Once the cops descend upon him, the dealer tries to flee, so the little robot picks him up and holds him in the air over her head.

This gives us an opportunity for an excellent one liner: “Hey pal, from now on, that’s as high as you’re gonna get.”

Very Special Lesson: You know actually, I don’t think they got their point across. If I knew nothing else about Speed, I would think that it could literally make me fly, which sounds awesome. But I’m pretty sure is not the case.

P.S. I have no idea who this is but this person put together a pretty awesome Small Wonder Halloween costume. Since this show is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen, I’d say it’s a pretty appropriate look for any spooky parties you may be attending this Fall.

Saved by the Bell: Fake IDs

Hello, thank you for reading my dissertation. 

To be honest, I was very confident that I had already covered this episode a long time ago. I mean, MY GOD, the title is SO very special. But it appears that any commentary on this one only happened in my head, so here ya go!

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A beautiful woman walks into The Max. Zack rushes up to her and starts taking photos of her. Because this is a young male fever dream sitcom, she doesn’t find this incredibly creepy. She’s wearing a USC sweatshirt. Zack pretends he is also a freshman at USC. (I’m not sure of the timing of this episode but he’s probably about sixteen). She needs a phone. The payphone is occupied. Zack hands her his obscenely large first-generation 1984 cell-phone.

The woman calls roadside assistance but balks when they tell her she has to wait an hour. So Zack offers to change her tire for her. (Never in my life do I believe this boy has done manual labor of any kind. Zack Morris changing a tire would SHOCK me to my core, but sadly this happens off-screen so it’s kind of a let down.)

Anyway, Zack’s obviously not a USC student and this lady has clearly driven away. So you’re probably like seems like a dead end, what could possibly happen next??

idsWell, I’m so glad you asked. It turns out, Zack had that camera because he and the other kids are taking a photography class. They decide to use the class to make fake-IDs. (Seems like a bit of a stretch but whateverrr.) The plan is to then meet the USC woman at an “over eighteen club.”

Okay, so…now I have some questions. Who is going to an “over eighteen club” in college? Are you not trying to sneak into the real clubs when you’re in college but not yet twenty-one? I always felt like everyone in an over eighteen club was probably a minor and anyone who wasn’t a teenager at an over eighteen club was a creep. But seeing as how this USC freshman is still a teen, I’m actually just starting to think she’s kind of lame and doesn’t know where to hang out.

My other question is why is Zack bringing Screech with him to the club? Is it because he owed him for making the ID? Is this a quid-pro-quo kind of situation? Now Slater, I get. You need a wing man and Slater looks even older than Zack, so it lends credibility to the “old enough to be in this club” thing. (Oh and by the way, if you’re looking for hot tips to sneak into clubs you’re actually in the very much wrong place for that and please don’t let my Zack/Slater club theory influence any of your decisions in life. Now, that I’ve satisfied the assurance needs of my self-diagnosed Responsibility OCD, let’s move on.)

saved_by_the_bell_s3e9_sony_smc70Zack’s mom is suspicious that he is having a sleepover with Slater and Screech, so she brings them brownies and then checks the room for girls. (I mean I fucking love this woman. This is GOOD parenting.) Slater also addresses her at “mom” which I find simultaneously adorable and off-putting.

In order to not look like a thirteen year old, Screech wears a fake mustache. It does make him look older, but it’s so obviously fake that it just shouldn’t work. Also, I don’t think anyone at an over eighteen bar is really growing a lot of facial hair (see above). So this should automatically be a red flag.

Zack and the tire woman kiss almost immediately, so I guess he got what he was looking for. Slater agrees to dance with her friend, but he says he has a girlfriend and he won’t do anything more than dance. Further proving that he is the MORAL COMPASS of this show.

So here’s the big thing though. Everything, I just wrote is UNIMPORTANT compared to this. Zack, Screech, and Slater see Kelly’s new, older boyfriend making out with SOMEONE ELSE. But see, Jeff’s existence at this club further proves my point because I feel like Jeff is about seventy-five years old (ugh okay maybe it’s more like he’s a college sophomore). But Kelly is a BABY. All these kids are BABIES. They learned to drive in a GOLF CART. They’re not ready for any kind of interaction outside of the safe, safe walls of Bayside.

attic-1Screech lets this info slip to Jessie and Lisa. They convince Zack that he has to be the one to tell Kelly the truth. (Bad move.) She yells at him and calls him jealous, of course. So Jessie and Lisa decide to sneak into the club too, so they can take a photo and prove the truth to Kelly. But all of this is frankly unnecessary because Kelly speaks to Screech and asks him what happened. He cries and she believes he really did see Jeff kiss someone else.

No one has to take a photo because Kelly shows up at the club and sees him making out with someone else with her own two eyes. Oh and then Zack’s mom shows up to tell him she knows he’s been sneaking out! (He left that giant cell-phone in his room and his mom answered it when the college woman called to say she was running late to the club.)

Very Special Lesson: Ugh, girl I know you’re barely in college but can’t you spot a high school boy when you see one? Kelly, Jeff is trash. Zack is trash. Sorry, girl, you should probably talk to other people at your high school. Slater, Zack, and Screech CANNOT be the only dudes you know. Don’t do that to yourself.

Oh and happy Mean Girls Day by the way!
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I Am Fully Aware that None of You Google Milli Vanilli

At least not as much as I do. (But that’s okay. I’m doing the work so you don’t have to.)

In the interest of historical accuracy, I would like to point out that I am a little too young for Milli Vanilli. Although I was alive when they returned their Grammy, I didn’t know who they were or anything. Alas, I think my first actual memory of these guys was from this commercial:

But I didn’t even realize who they were or what their whole controversy was. In my teen years, my Spanish teacher who is the same age as the real Zach Morris, would make jokes about Milli Vanilli and I would laugh along because HELLO I GET CULTURAL REFERENCES. But as it turns out, I didn’t get the reference. I just thought they were a silly washed up early 90’s music group. She might as well have been making a joke about C&C Music Factory (who also had a different lead singer on vocals than the lead singer in their “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” video, by the way).

The actual story of Milli Vanilli is quite tragic and more than likely contributed to Rob Pilatus’s early death from an overdose.

I didn’t know the entirety of this story when I started binge listening to “Girl You Know It’s True” during a very dark period in my own life. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed…but when I find a piece of pop culture I think is interesting, I like to obsessively find out all of the information I can about it and then write a personal essay about it.

It’s been well documented that they were taken advantage of, but I think their arrogance pre-controversy made it difficult for people to want to listen to their side of the story once the truth came out. The dynamics of power in this situation were clearly not in their favor. But if you know you’re faking it, you probably shouldn’t compare yourself to The Beatles.

And now you may be thinking, “why have you wasted my time with a really old story that is sad and we already all know about? And why the heck are you Googling, Milli Vanilli on a semi-regular basis??” Excellent question. The reason is that I find the second-half of this story to be very up-lifting.

So I like to check-in on Fab.

Here he is explaining the fallout from his perspective:

And if I hadn’t Googled Fab recently, I wouldn’t have found this excellent “Blame It on the Rain” performance. And I just want to say that he sounds fucking amazing and you should all listen to it immediately. I think I like it better than the studio recording. And you can quote me on that.

Big News from Bayside – DREAMS COME TRUE

It felt like a long-shot. But here we are. And dare I say it? The reboot craze has come for Saved by the Bell! (Oh please please please don’t let this be weird like BH90210.)

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For those of you who weren’t already planning to follow The Office over to NBC’s new streaming platform, now that you’ll get new episodes of Saved by the Bell, what more reason could you need??? The plot sounds weird as hell and I am HERE FOR IT.

Basically, Zack Morris becomes Governor of California. I can totally buy him as a charming, sociopathic politician so def. good character development there. And then here’s where things get a little weird..we get to see Zack Morris handle school integration!! Yeahhhhh idk what we’re going to get, but I promise to report back to you on that.

We’ve had a lot of good times with Saved by the Bell here at The VSB and I’m excited for new adventures! This reboot has me all nostalgic for some of my favorite posts from years past:

But new episodes have also reminded me that maybeeee, just maybeeee, I haven’t given the original series quite enough attention. Stay tuned for new posts on:

  • The Malibu Sands Episodes
  • Zack and Kelly’s Wedding in Vegas!
  • All of the latent (and not so latent) misogyny

Okay, bye for now!!