Posts Tagged ‘Saved by the Bell’

Funner Times at Malibu Sands

It’s the longest and most mundane symposium ever! Three years ago John S wrote about his experiences watching the Malibu Sands arc of Saved by the Bell. This summer, I watched the Malibu Sands arc of Saved by the Bell—mainly because I had just finished the first season of Game of Thrones and needed what a personal trainer might call a cool-down period.

Consider this setting the record straight.

—The issue to be raising isn’t over volleyball as a spectator sport. Clearly, Top Gun proved you wrong there. The issue is the sustainability of a beach club dynasty with an ever-changing roster of volleyball players. Just how can North Shore—the Valley of the beach, amirite?—continue dominating Malibu Sands for a decade when the players on its volleyball team (i.e. staff members at the club) presumably change each year? Now I know what you’re thinking: that I’m essentially describing major college sports, which obviously have dominant and doormat programs. But North Shore doesn’t have a coach; that much is obvious. Malibu Sands’ is Kelly. What we’re led to conclude, then, is that North Shore’s owner actively recruits excellent volleyball players to work at his club over the summer—likely costing himself hundreds of dollars in workplace efficiency—simply to beat Leon Carosi in a bet.

What did Leon do to him in the past to deserve such vengeance? Continue reading

Got a Secret? About Monday Night’s “Pretty Little Liars”

“I couldn’t forgive him or like him but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made….”

Pretty Little Liars had been a bit light on the intertextuality over the last few episodes, but it came back big-time in “Salt Meets Wounds,” or as I will forever know it as, The Gatsby Episode.

PLL, of course, executed its Gatsby theme with subtlety and class. Its thesis statement—Nick Carraway’s concluding analysis of the Buchanans reproduced on Mr. Fitz’s chalkboard and in the epigraph—wasn’t revealed until a quarter of the episode was through, and it was largely obscured by Ezra’s head:

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Can Steve Carell’s Departure Reinvigorate The Office?

On Monday Steve Carell restated his intent to leave The Office when his contract ends after next season. This could, of course, be a negotiating ploy, but Carell is, by pretty much all accounts, a class act—it seems more likely that he’s just being honest when he says it’s time for his run to end. He also seemed very confident that the show could go on without him: “The show is great, and the ensemble is so strong, and the writers are great, so it’s just one part of that ensemble drifting off. They’ve incorporated so many new characters and so many new, great storylines that I have no doubt it’ll continue as strong if not stronger than ever.”

Now, it’s hard to think of any examples of this actually working; that is, of a star leaving a show, only to see that show improve. Most of the obvious examples of cast replacement (Jon Lovitz for Phil Hartman on NewsRadio, Megan Mullally for Jane Lynch on Party Down, the two Darrens on Bewitched, the Tori Era on Saved by the Bell) were done with secondary characters, and even the best of these were only moderate successes. Continue reading

Eating the Dinosaur and Constructing Reality

eating the dinosaurI’m not really sure why Chuck Klosterman’s new book of essays is called Eating the Dinosaur. The name sounds cool, but it doesn’t really say anything about what the book is about. Unlike Klosterman’s Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, which had essays on sex, drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, there are (unfortunately) no essays on dinosaurs or their consumption in Eating the Dinosaur; the name instead comes from an essay on time-travel, in which Klosterman declares that eating a dinosaur is the only ethical reason he can conceive of to travel back in time.

Why does this matter?

Well, it’s always hard to describe what Klosterman writes about. On the first page of my copy (which says “advance uncorrected proof” on the cover,* so who knows if it’ll be on yours) is a (probably) fabricated interview with an unnamed source who describes the book as having “quite a bit about violence and Garth Brooks and why Germans don’t laugh when they’re inside grocery stores. Ralph Nader and Ralph Sampson play significant roles. I think there are several pages about Rear Window and football and Mad Men and why Rivers Cuomo prefers having sex with Asian women.” These kinds of things seem somewhat frivolous and unconnected, particularly when they are presented this way.

*I’m a pretty big deal.

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Monday Medley

What we read while not drinking beers with President Obama:

  • You may have noticed we used the word “meme” a second ago. And here’s a little secret: When we started the blog, we weren’t sure whether to call our running features “memes” or “tropes.” Turns out, we weren’t alone. (P.S. We settled on “treme.”)
  • We’re obviously pleased with the conclusion here and exhilarated by the kudos to the Beatles and Chuck Klosterman. But we’re not so sure about the gratuitous shot at Saved by the Bell. Because we like Saved by the Bell. And the only thing we hate more than the people who don’t like Saved by the Bell are the people who don’t like us because we like Saved by the Bell.
  • This article is from last week, but we couldn’t overlook one of the most devastatingly self-aware quotes we’ve ever seen: “I don’t have any nostalgia for reality.” We at NPI can’t disagree more: We’re suckers for nostalgia in all its forms.

Fun Times at Malibu Sands

So “The N” has been running the “Malibu Sands” episodes of Saved by the Bell for the last few days. For those of you who don’t remember (shame on you), Malibu Sands was the beach club where the gang worked the summer after their junior year. Some thoughts upon re-watching: Continue reading