Belz on BellSaved By The Bell: S3E21 ‘No Hope With Dope'Karen Belz

Coming straight out of the men’s room due to the fact that Zack’s “first narration enter points” have pretty much been repetitive due to three seasons worth of programming, Zack tells us that we’re in the midst of the mid-semester blues. With shrieky excitement enters Lisa, who claims something about Johnny’s limousine being right outside of the school. “Him, hunk, here! Oh boy!” Lisa continues.

“What the F are you talking about?” says Slater (well, he meant to say that, I’m sure.) It turns out Johnny Dakota is here! Wait, who? Oh, it’s Lisa’s favorite Hollywood hunk. Wait… who? She means Johnny Depp, right?

Johnny Dakota appears right behind Lisa, which causes her to faint. Wearing a puke orange blazer with black shoulder splotches and a yellow shirt, Johnny is standing with an old guy wearing sunglasses. Most likely his security.  Zack shakes Johnny’s hand, telling him that he loved his work in Skateboard High.

Johnny asks Zack where he can find the principal’s office and Zack leads the way. After all, it’s like a second home to him. While walking, Johnny accidentally causes Screech to collide right into him. While Johnny apologizes, Screech seems less than amused. “I’m fine, no thanks to you and your wanton disregard for hallway courtesy!” Screech proclaims. Johnny introduces himself and Screech – with disbelief – states “Yeah right, and I’m Madonna.” Screech strikes a pose post-quip and the audience goes wild.

Belding seems hard at work playing with a paddleball when Zack and Johnny stride in. Zack, already proclaiming Johnny to be a close friend due to that truly special walk down the hall they had, introduces Belding to the star. “Johnny? Dick. Dick? Johnny. Guys, let’s rap!”

Johnny tells Belding that he’s looking for a high school to tape an anti-drug PSA for NBC television. Johnny introduces the random sunglasses fogey as Deany Blonsky, his director. At least, I think that’s what his name is. Johnny has a city accent and kind of tripped over the name. Maybe Johnny doesn’t even know it! Anyway, dude is Deany from now on.

Belding seems honored that they chose Bayside and Johnny admits that it was actually the first school they saw when they got off the freeway. When Johnny says they’ll be looking at other schools too, Zack addresses the audience – he can’t let Johnny leave! Johnny is a big star and where there’s a star, there’s lots of beautiful girls. Zack has to act fast!

Belding’s tour is nearly over when he tells Johnny that the Salisbury steak he ate from the cafeteria was actually tapioca pudding. Way to win him over, Belding! When Johnny claims that he’s still undecided, Zack sneaks up and joins the conversation. Looks like he has a presentation prepared!

“Hey Bayside,” Zack says to the staircase. “Tell them who you are!” A hip hop beat plays on the stereo as Jessie, Screech, Slater, Lisa and a bunch of unknown background characters start doing a dance down the stairs.

They butcher some anti-drug song they created in the span of 3 minutes and Johnny seems impressed. But wait – Jessie “just doesn’t use”? That’s news to me!

Jessie walks up to Johnny and lists her credentials. As the princess of academics, she whisks him away to show him “a little more about Bayside”.  The audience oohs. Wait, I thought she was just going to show him their trophy collection – maybe they’re going to make out!

Five minutes late to everything, Kelly runs in, excited about Johnny. What would she say to him if they met! “Talk to him, girl” Lisa advises. “I almost did!”

Jessie and Johnny return and Belding asks if they’ve picked Bayside. In response, Deany gives a thumbs up and says “YO!” I guess that means yes!

Wait, no. Johnny still isn’t sure. To sweeten the deal, Zack pushes Kelly forward and introduces her as the head cheerleader. Kelly’s magical gaze is all Johnny needs – Johnny’s now in love! Bayside scored the PSA!

The next day, Johnny shows Kelly how commercials are shot. “This is a storyboard,” Johnny explains, regarding a piece of cardboard. “Oh, that’s so neat!” Kelly blushes. Johnny claims that Kelly is definitely going to be cast in the commercial and as they zoom up on the storyboard, Johnny identifies Kelly as being the stick figure on the right, in panel 2. How romantic!

“I bet you have a lot of boyfriends,” Johnny asks. Kelly blushes and claims that she doesn’t have that many. Whatever, Kapowski. Stop constantly making me feel like a loser!

Zack already has a stand up in the hallway with Johnny Dakota merchandise – and they’re almost running out of doorknobs touched by Johnny! Someone get that boy to touch more doorknobs, stat! Girls flock to the stand, throwing money in the air for a sole pair of Johnny’s sunglasses – which I’m sure he’ll be missing later. The students realize that they dude is currently in the same school as them, right? If I really liked Johnny, I’d just save my money and stalk him the old fashioned way.

After Lisa spots the sunglasses, she claims she’s broke and chokes Zack before he gives them to her as a freebie. “Lucky for you, I’m a lady!” Lisa claims, full of angst based on her lust for Johnny.

It isn’t long before Belding spots the stand and wants Zack to shut it down. How dare he exploit their guest! Before a detention date is set, Johnny walks in and tells Belding it’s okay – he gave permission, as long as the profits went towards the teenage drug foundation. What a swell guy!

Johnny even throws his purple jacket into the mix and Zack outwardly admits that he’s going to keep it for himself.

Hanging out in the boys locker room, Slater, Screech and Zack have a discussion about Johnny and how cool he is. But Zack freezes for a bit – he smells pot! “Hey look, it’s a roach!” says Slater, picking up a butt by the sink. Zack freaks out, thinking that Johnny would want to pull the spot if he found out someone was getting high – and right after that thought leaves his mouth, Johnny walks in! “What’s going ON here, GUYS?” Johnny asks. The panicked Saved By The Bell saxophone-noise goes off.

Zack and Slater quickly tell Johnny that it wasn’t theirs and Johnny believes them. He believes them so much that he wants to put them in the commercial! That saxophone-noise was for naught!

Johnny decides to hold a meeting with the gang, plus a random inappropriately dressed goth girl, to talk about drugs. And to show he’s a casual dude, he sits on the chair the wrong way.

Screech claims he hates drugs but his doctor says he has to take them to get rid of his post-nasal drip. Screech, you idiot! He’s talking about illegal drugs!

“Wanna know about dumb?” the goth girl claims. “My brother used drugs to get high and drive to the beach! Now I have to drive him – he’s in a wheelchair!”

“You know, that kind of thing happens a lot,” says Slater – also sitting incorrectly. “Hey, remember Len Bias, the basketball star? He had everything –including cocaine. Well one night he had too much and his heart stopped. It’s a shame, too. He could have been great.”

“Same thing happened with John Belushi,” Zack pipes in.

“I had a problem with drugs that were legal,” Jessie admits. (Yes! Continuity!) “Not only did I hurt myself, I hurt my friends,” she claims. She was so excited. So. Excited.

Skud, the metal-dude who was in the bathroom two seconds before that terrible roach-finding moment, walks in to try and get the goth girl to stop talking about stuff that’s important. She tells him she’ll be a minute, but the boys recognize him from earlier. “I think we found our pothead,” Zack claims.

The boys accost Skud in the bathroom and Slater says to relax – he’s only smoking a cigarette! Which is illegal for someone in high school but totally not as illegal as pot. Skud claims he’s not stupid enough to smoke pot and Slater claims that the cigarette can kill him too. Zack believes him and Slater states that they were misguided by his thud-like exterior.

At the MAX, Kelly and Johnny are eating French fries – like a real couple! Kelly admits that she had a crush on Johnny and they hold hands. Jessie and Lisa approach and Lisa has a few questions for the stud. “So Johnny – What I.. oohhfhfjggjd.. What I mean is.. how do you … kfuekjejhfrjhrr…” Lisa is the worst journalist, so she gets Jessie to ask the questions. But it’s obvious that some of them are perverted and embarrassing.

“Do you sleep in pajamas? Do you kiss on the first date? Will you marry me?” “No, yes, and maybe,” Johnny claims. “That is, if Kelly turns me down.”

Zack comes in next, trying to get an autographed picture for Belding’s wife. “Dear Mrs. B. You’re lucky to be married to such a buff looking hunk,” is what Belding wants it to read.

Johnny, still surprisingly not bummed out by the kids fawning all over him, invites them all to a party. “My first Hollywood party!” Screech claims. “I wonder if the Simpsons will be there!” And that, Dustin Diamond, is why you’ve never been invited to a Hollywood party since.

The party includes some girls holding wine glasses which most likely contain Hawaiian Punch, right? Slater is trying to make a move but is failing fast, while Screech walks in like a tiny uncoordinated 5-year-old playing dress-up in his father’s clothes.

Johnny is soon approaches by two blondes, who ask him why he hasn’t been around.  Johnny, still trying to be smooth with Kelly, starts to panic a bit and claims that he’s been really busy. Johnny pawns the ladies off on Zack, his “co-star”. Slater sees Zack with his arms filled with ladies, and tries to get in on the action – but Zack, ahead of the game, introduces Slater as his driver. So uncool! Even Screech is getting hit on! He explains he had to borrow some of Johnny’s clothes when he had an unfortunate incident involving guacamole.

Screech claims that he’s Johnny’s stunt double and tries to impress the girls by falling off of the couch. Unfortunately, this story fails quickly when Screech legitimately hurts his back. Zack says it’s probably time to take him home and the group – besides Kelly – figure it’s best to join him. Kelly is too busy kissing Johnny on the couch.

Post-kiss, Johnny gets some pot and decides to smoke it. WAIT, WHAT? NO! He tells Kelly to take a hit and now Kelly is in a peer pressure situation! All she wanted to do was date a Hollywood guy, and now this happened?!

“Come on Kelly – it’s only pot!” Johnny claims. His entourage mocks her for “Just saying no.”

Zack suddenly returns! He sees the situation and his heart slowly breaks after learning that his new buddy is a drug user. With only a few words, him and Kelly get out of there, pronto.

The next morning, Johnny approaches Zack in the hallway and acts like nothing is wrong. After all, it’s PSA day! Zack wants to talk to Johnny about the incident but Johnny claims there’s just no time. Zack claims that shooting the commercial just didn’t seem right anymore and Johnny argues that what he does in his own time is his business. Zack just needs to lighten up!

Johnny refuses to stop production on the commercial and to prove how serious Zack is about the cause, he decides to return the purple jacket to Johnny. Friendship over! I guess they’ll return buddy bands at a later date.

Belding breaks up the tension and leads everyone into the classroom where the spot will be shot, even though the storyboard clearly had the kids in the hallway. However, the gang just isn’t into the PSA anymore and they all walk out – making sure to give a snarky one-liner to Johnny before exiting the classroom to let him know how he totally isn’t cool. Once again, Kelly remains – and Johnny figures that Kelly could just do all the parts, until she also gives him the heave-ho.

Belding is all like, “Hey Hey Hey, What is going on here!” and later – in private – the gang explains to him about what happened at the party. Belding casually claims that he knows a source at NBC and the commercial could probably still go on without the big star.

Wait – really, Belding? You knew the chairman of NBC this entire time and you neglected to mention it until now?

Brandon Tartikoff, the chairman, supposedly credits Belding for changing his life. Brandon used to want to be a high school principal, but had to settle for running NBC.

“Maybe at NBC we should do a sitcom about a school principal and his kids!” Brandon claims. “Nah. It’d never work.”

The kids then check out the Dakota-less PSA. Bayside wins again!

Lessons Learned: There’s No Hope With Dope. Wait, is that too obvious?

Photo Credits: http://yttm.tvhttp://starsmedia.ign.comsbtbnow.proboards.com

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  1. This is an excellent recap, not the least of which because you pointed out its stunningly rare moment of episodic continuity. A few questions I wish the producers / fictional characters would answer:

    - Why was it necessary for Johnny Dakota to get a tour of the school? Would he even need a brochure? Why was that important? It seems like all he’d need to ask is, “Do kids go to this school? Okay, good, we’re shooting here.”
    - Why did nobody notice that Scud was played by Troy Fromin, the same actor who played Ox? With that in mind, why did nobody notice that Scud was clearly just Ox in leather clothing?
    - Why the hell would Johnny think it politic or even marginally sensible to smoke pot around Kelly and Zack? They were part of a student body that had given a magnificent impromptu performance on not using drugs, and they were intimately involved in his anti-drug commercial. Did he think they had been faking it? That a bunch of sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds were potheads? It’s mystifying.

    All in all, another great recap by you. Keep it up.

  2. that’s a roach preppy

  3. Thanks, I needed something. This worked.