Summer may be cruel, but the Malibu Sands episodes of Saved by the Bell are anything but.
Have two hours and a few million brain cells to kill? Opt for the six-episode Malibu Sands arc from Saved by the Bell’s fifth season. These episodes aren’t the show’s pinnacle – everyone knows that honor belongs to the Mystery Weekend – but they have their high points. Here’s the case for why you should leave Bayside behind and head for the beach.
10) Minimal Screech. No more needs to be said.
9) Jessie’s pain-in-the-ass, magnificent feminist righteousness is on full blast in these episodes. She wears a navy blazer, elbows her way into the kitchen staff’s strike and dresses up as Lady Liberty for the July 4th pageant while everyone else follows the dress code of American Skank.
8) Denise Richards jumps boobs-first into her “role” as Slater’s stalker, effectively negating the image of Kathy Bates’ sledgehammer enthusiasm from the previous year’s Misery. Stalkers everywhere rejoice.
7) The beach locale provides a nice break from obnoxious Bayside banners. Those things scream “Art Department Interns.”
6) Zack gets fired at least 6 times over 6 episodes. While our preteen hormones screamed “ZACK’S A GOD,” our crotchety adult hormones can recognize a Peter Pan complex, overuse of Sun-In and irritating smirk. It’s nice to see him taken down.
5) The gang make terrible employees. Feel better about the red marks on your employee file; at least you’ve never broken into your workplace after hours to throw yourself a birthday party.
4) Leah Remini brings the East coast, beast coast sass that was so often missing from the sunny dispositions of the Bayside group.
3) Ernie Sabella, aka Leon Carosi, voiced Pumba in “The Lion King.” Surely that counts for something.
2) The Beverly Hills, 90210 parallels are heartwarming. “Malibu Sands” was filmed at the same location as the “Beverly Hills Beach Club” (despite BevHills being, you know, landlocked). Both series featured Tiffani Thiessen, warring volleyball teams and tertiary black characters. Points to SBTB for the black character being the only club member while everyone else is staff; points to 90210 for David Silver’s cabana rendition of “You’re So Precious to Me (Am I Precious to You?)”
1) No Belding. No offense meant to the great Dennis Haskins (there’s a never-before-used phrase) but it’s nice to take a break from his shrieking, inappropriate over-involvement in the lives of our beloved gang. Absence truly makes the heart grow fonder, Big Bopper.