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Tuesday, November 01, 2005


A sign in the gym lets us know it's time for wrestling tryouts. Oh, great. As a rule, I hate all episodes that deal with wrestling because they are automatically about Slater and, by extension, Jessie. For some reason (plot contrivance, maybe?), said tryouts are being broadcast by Zack and Screech on KKTY. After Zack has interviewed Slater and Slater has performed on some passing dork what is ostensibly a wrestling move but actually looks more like some bizarre gay mating ritual, a girl with the biggest mall bangs I've ever seen (not to mention split ends from here to next Tuesday) walks in, looking for the coach. Zack hits her with the obligatory pick-up line, which she deftly ignores, then inquires why she wants to see the coach. When she says she wants to try out for the team, Zack responds with an eloquent, "But you're a girl." "Gee, you're quick!" snaps Mall Bangs (hereafter known as Kristy, for that is her name). As far as sarcasm goes, she's no Stacey Carosi, but she'll do.

Before Zack can embarrass himself further, Coach Sonski walks in. No wonder he was late, since he apparently came all the way from either New Jersey or the set of The Sopranos. He and his ill-placed Joisey accent inform Kristy that her gender prevents her from trying out for the team; or, in his words, "This is a gym, not a jane." What does that even mean? He thinks she should go work for the women's magazine? Anyway, Zack immediately jumps in an defends Kristy's honor, as if he weren't arguing the same line himself two minutes ago. When Coach Sonski fails to be swayed by Zack's sudden enlightenment, Zack promises Kristy that he'll find a way to help her.

Which apparently involves dragging her down to the KKTY studio in the basement so he can alert Jessica Spano, pseudo-feminist extraordinaire, to the situation. Upon hearing the news, Jessie proclaims it "sexist piggism of the worst kind." Jessie, haven't I already told you that piggism isn't a word? Vocabulary issues aside, Jessie is sure that if they take their case to Belding, he'll help Kristy out. Speak of the devil--here's Belding now, laughing his ass off as he walks into the studio about some girl who wanted to try out for the wrestling team. Just a thought, Belding: Next time you want to have a good chuckle about the girl who tried out for the wrestling team, you might want to have it with someone other than the girl standing right in front of you, wearing wrestling shorts.

Later at the Max, Kristy, who has for some reason changed into a different wrestling-tryout outfit, is lunching with Lisa and Screech (who, speaking of odd fashion decisions, is wearing a shirt with, like, cellos all over it). Kelly brings Kristy and Screech their orders, and when Lisa asks about hers, Kelly responds rudely, "Why don't you just dig for it in the dirt like you do everything else?" before stomping off. Um...what the hell is up with that? Was there a scene missing here somewhere? We don't have a chance to find out, because Zack comes rushing in with his little transistor radio, which is tuned to KKTY just in time for "Spano Speaks." All over Bayside, everyone is crowded around their transistor radios (I am so sure) to hear Jessie deliver her scathing editorial about the Kristy situation, most of which just involves her using a lot of pig sound effects, which nonetheless draw plenty of gasps from the crowd.

Apparently that wasn't enough to convince The Powers That Be, though, so Jessie has also organized a picket line at wrestling tryouts. From their signs, I can see that I've been spelling "pigism" incorrectly. Funny how my spellcheck didn't catch that, isn't it? I guess to annoy me, the protestors are also shouting, "Stop macho pigism!", which only makes me want to shout, "Stop using fake words!" back at them. When Coach Sonski walks in, Zack rushes up and asks him what it feels like to be hated. Coach Sonski says he doesn't really give a rat's, because "I have pets at home that love me." Whatever helps you sleep at night, dude. Then Belding, "the second most hated man at Bayside," walks in, and I guess he doesn't have pets or something, because once he finds out that all the girls hate him, he caves and says Kristy can try out for the team. Of course, Zack is there to capture every bit of the drama, including the pre-match trash talk, for the listners of KKTY, although it appears to me that everyone who might listen to KKTY is actually already in the gym. Anyway, Kristy pins the guy in about a second, the coach says she can join the team, and we all live happily ever after. Oh, how I wish it were that simple.

But Jessie's involved, so of course it's not. At the Max, everyone is basking in the glow of their success in convincing people that pigism is an actual word, and Slater and Kristy get to talking shop. He asks her where she learned the hold she used in tryouts, and she said she remembered him using it at some big match the previous year. Upon hearing this, Jessie looks concerned, and understandably so, since apparently Kristy is stalking her boyfriend. While Kristy and Slater scamper off to practice wrestling moves, Jessie begins referring to herself in the third person, which is just never a good sign.

Later, Zack shows up in the girls' locker room toting some radio equipment, ostensibly to interview Kristy for KKTY, but he actually just hits on her until she agrees to go out with him. I'd suspect that the radio equipment isn't even real (since when does KKTY have field reporters?), but it appears that Belding has picked up a transistor radio of his own and has tracked Zack to the locker room. He attempts to catch him with one hand over his eyes, which is about as successful as you might imagine. He ends up grabbing the arm of some random girl in a bathing suit, who screams bloody murder because...uh, she doesn't like the way she looks in a bathing suit? I guess I have to admit that if I ran into my high-school principal in the girls' locker room, I'd be a little freaked out, too, no matter what I was wearing.

Lisa, who has witnessed the whole thing, is now sharing the scene with KKTY listeners on her gossip show. Apparently on a previous show, she broke the news (and I use the term "news" loosely) of Kelly's big zit at prom, which might explain why Kelly was so bitchy to her early. What it does not explain, however, is why Kelly is now so nonchalant as Lisa seems to be implying that Slater and Kristy are dating. In fact, Kelly just stands there and laughs at Jessie as she freaks out about it, then tries to disown Jessie to the random extras when Jessie storms off. If it were me, I'd be trying to disown those high-waisted denim shorts Kelly has unwisely chosen to pair with her midriff top.

Later that night, Zack is on his date with Kristy, who is wearing a JC Penney bedspread that some enterprising young Maria Von Trapp has turned into a dress. As they're making eyes at each other across a plate of Max fries, in walks a Valley thug, who immediately starts trash-talking Kristy. When Zack makes a feeble attempt to appear threatening, Random Valley Thug puts him in a choke hold, which Kristy gets him out of by giving the thug a noogie. Wow, these are Bayside's prize-winning wrestling moves? Noogies?

The next day, it's once again time for "Spano Speaks." When is it time for "Spano Shuts Up"? Jessie retracts her earlier editorial, saying that women shouldn't wrestle because "the poor dears could get hurt." That's her entire argument, which leads me to believe that she's even worse at radio commentary than she is at protesting. Over at the Max, Kristy is distraught by Jessie's sudden change of heart (which Screech blames on her too-tight barrettes, like that's the least of her problems), and she's 0 for 2 when Zack walks in and breaks up with her.

Somehow, Zack and Jessie manage to run into each other at the radio station, where they realize what idiots they've been, and Zack, in a very after-school-special moment in the girls' locker room, convinces Kristy to rejoin the team. She does so just in time for the big Valley meet, where we are forced to watch Slater in a blatant display of homoeroticism. Fortunately, his match, which Zack promises will be "long and grueling," is predictably over in about 1.5 seconds, and it's blessedly Kristy's turn. She gets into trouble pretty quickly, and when Jessie "Mike Tyson" Spano's screams of "Bite him, Kristy!" fail to have an effect, Zack yells, "Kristy, use the hold you used on the guy at the Max!" In response, Kristy does not use the hold she used on the guy at the Max, but rather a hold Slater showed her earlier. She does give the guy a noogie for good measure, though. When Zack walks up to congratulate her on her victory, she pins him and plants a big kiss on him. Now that's hot. I just hope while we were watching Zack and Kristy make out, someone was giving Jessie a noogie off-camera.


Quote of the episode
Slater: "Why would I want a girl like Kristy when I can have a nutcake like you?"
Jessie: "Don't try flattering me! It won't get you anywhere!"

Clare: C+. There were so many bad things about this episode (Jessie's pseudo-feminism and use of the word "pigism," Kelly's ugly denim shorts, Slater in a wrestling jersey), but Kristy, despite her horrendous mall bangs, is a pretty good match for Zack. Then again, given that her competition is the likes of Danielle and Ginger, that's not saying much.

11:10 AM

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