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Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Chesski Victorynovich

The show opens with the whole school (all 20 of them) at a chess match, cheering a beret-wearing Screech on to victory. Along with warranting cheerleaders, this chess match is also being broadcast live on KKTY by Jessie and Zack. The incessant cheering, rustling of pom poms, and radio broadcasting do not phase Screech, who is easily victorious. His win qualifies him to move on to the championship round, where he will inevitably face Valley.

Later, at the Max, Slater and Zack decide to capitalize on Bayside’s love for all things chess, exploiting their dear friend Screech by selling t-shirts. Violet buys twelve of the Screech shirts, blaming her exorbitant spending ($120) on the fact that she is a fool in love when in reality it is just Tori Spelling wasting more of her dad’s money. Enter Vinnie and Guy Guy, the Valley thugs that arrived via garbage truck. They decide to bet on the chess match with Zack and Slater to the tune of $100. This wager seems to be no problem until they feed Screech a huge dose of confidence and he tells Vinnie and Guy Guy to ‘double—nay, TRIPLE’ the bet, even though he will be facing Peter Russian-last-name (possibly Breshnik, but who really cares?), the nephew of the Spasky Bishop Block originator.

This sends Zack and Slater into exploitation overdrive, and the newest money making ploy is Polaroids with Screech. At the same time Slater and Zack are crashing chess practice, in walks Alyson (she turns out to be from Valley, and that is how I think her name would be spelled), a not-that-pretty girl with a freakishly small waist. Zack tries to make a move on her, but she doesn’t take the bait from Blonde Tom Cruise. She has her sights set on Screech, who she wants to interview for Chessboy Magazine.

Alyson and Screech meet at the Max for the interview and Alyson is fawning all over Screech, much to Zack’s dismay. Violet also is rather huffy about the fact this girl is interested in Screech, but returns to her jovial snorting self once she realizes this girl is a reporter. Once Screech lets Alyson know his beret is his source of luck, she makes her intentions to steal it painfully obvious by coaxing Screech into letting her wear the hat. She almost escapes with it, but Zack saves the day by returning it to Screech, who then tells everyone he is going to hide it in his locker with the false bottom.

Violet got angry about Alyson again and stormed off to the girls locker room, the place all Bayside girls go to cry about their boyfriends. When Jessie, Kelly, and Lisa convince her that Screech is too dumb to realize Alyson actually is trying to flirt with him, she is elated and goes to apologize to Screech. Unfortunately, Screech screws it up by trying his swim trunks on in the hallway. This is the point where Screech discovers, with the help of Zack and Slater, that his beret is missing, and there is no way he can win the chess match against Peter Russian. We know that Alyson has stolen the beret, proven by the scene where she is on the pay phone with Vinnie and Guy Guy after pulling a used piece of gum out of her nonexistent cleavage. Apparently, in Valley, gum is a rare commodity, as evidenced by Alyson’s gum conservation attempt.

When the ploy to replace Screech’s beret failed Zack and Slater moved to plan B: dress up like the Russian. This works out perfectly, because Zack and the Russian could be long lost twins, and Zack always has a spare white guy afro wig and fake superthick Russian eyebrows. They convince Peter Russian to go take a pregame picture and then beat, gag, and strip him. Zack goes to play the chess match as the Russian, mysteriously beating Screech at the beginning, then surrendering. Screech almost had the championship…then the Russian hops out on stage in his underwear. The truth comes out, and Zack and Slater admit to gambling. They call off the bet, at the request of Belding (Vinnie and Guy Guy seem to have no problem following the orders of the principal from another school), and the chess match goes on. Screech ends up winning on his own accord, after Violet comes in and reignites the nerd love affair. Alyson leaves Vinnie and Guy Guy because they have no money, and with the exception of Zack and Slater having to go visit Mr. B.’s office later on to deal with the gambling, assault, robbery, and kidnapping, everything is well once again in the land of Bayside.


Quote of the episode
Slater: Kick that Commie’s butt!!
Jessie: Slater, in this age of glasnost, you do not say ‘Kick the Commie’s butt!!’
Slater: Okay, kick that Commie’s hiney!!!

Bri: B-. Although it had its moments, this show is too other-character-oriented to be great. I mean, Vinnie, Guy Guy, Alyson, and Violet??? I do, though, feel this role is the only one Tori Spelling has ever been able to play convincingly...

Clare: B-. I agree. Alyson's double-agent act kept things exciting, but were we really supposed to believe that such a "hot" girl was legitimately hitting on Screech?

1:03 PM

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