Read my lips: Jessie’s a manPosted: May 20, 2003
It’s time for student-body elections, as we can tell from the plethora of “Jessie for President” posters plastered all over the halls of Bayside. In fact, there’s even one covering part of someone else’s poster, but the part of the poster that we can see says “Don’t be Tasty.” (I think. It was early.) I really want to know what the rest of that poster says! Damn you, Spano!
Just in case we missed the fact that it’s time for elections, Zack fills us in. Apparently, though, the only “student body” he’s interested in is Kelly’s. No wonder, when it’s housed in an oversized pink shirt with bows all over it. He asks Jessie why she cares so much about the elections, and she says that her mom protested stuff in the 60s and really made a difference. Or she just smoked a lot of pot. Whatever. Zack suggests that Jessie make a difference by donating her jeans to Goodwill. I think that’s not such a bad idea, since Jessie’s jeans are not only acid-washed, but so high-waisted that the waist actually sticks up about four inches OVER the belt.
The bell rings, and the students go to class—except for Zack, that is. He has to be around so he can overhear Mr. Belding tell Mr. Dewey that the winner of the student body elections gets to go on a trip to Washington D.C. with them. Suddenly, Zack is all about the elections, if it means that the winner gets a week off from school! Call me crazy, but I fail to see how a trip to D.C. with your math teacher and your principal would be any better than spending the week at school. At least you’d get to hang out with your friends at school.
In Mr. Dewey’s class, he’s going over the candidates for student body elections. So far Jessie is the only one, so Mr. Dewey begs someone to run against her. None of her friends are willing to run against her…except for Zack, of course, who will stop at nothing to go on an overnight vacation with Mr. Belding and Mr. Dewey!
The candidates are giving their campaign speeches at the Max. Jessie wants to uphold the school’s constitution. Dude, their school actually has a constitution? Anyway, Zack could care less about it. He’s for free pizza on Fridays. Or something like that. I can’t really remember. But in the final analysis, don’t all student-body elections on TV come down to free pizza?
Max is supporting both teams, wearing aprons that say “I Back Zack” and “Spano Is My Man-O.” See? SEE? I told you so! Lisa decides that she wants to be Jessie’s campaign manager because apparently she doesn’t know about the free-pizza-always-wins rule. Jessie at first acts all bitchy, like they’re not even friends, until Lisa convinces some random airheads to vote for Jessie by saying, “Hey, are you going to vote for Jessie?” Totally impressed with Lisa’s skills, Jessie agrees to let her on board.
Meanwhile, Slater suspects something is amiss with Zack’s sudden zest for politics, and holds Screech up to a locker to get the truth. Once Slater discovers Zack’s intentions, he goes off to confront Mr. Belding…in the locker room. Because that’s always the first place I would look for a principal. But Mr. Belding is actually there, pumping iron. He and Slater are both wearing muscle T’s that say “Bayside Junior High” (uh…what?), only Belding’s is about four sizes too small, so we get treated to a view of Dennis Haskins’ hairy potbelly. Not exactly what I want to see first thing in the morning. Anyway, after trading some witty banter about their workout routines, Slater lets it slip that Zack knows about the Washington trip.
Back in Mr. Dewey’s class, Zack is screening his campaign video, which draws similarities between him and our founding fathers. (They all came into the world as babies, etc.) It also features some pro-Zack testimonials from Gorbachev and Castro, because when it comes to democracy, you definitely want leaders of communist and former communist countries on your side. Unfortunately for Zack, Mr. Belding catches him after class to tell him that the Washington trip is off, but they can still look forward to lots of after-school and weekend meetings together. Again, I fail to see a big difference here.
Zack immediately sets out on a campaign to destroy his campaign, donning some Alex Keaton-esque Young Republican duds and saying he wants to extend the school day to 12 hours. Jessie, meanwhile, has been convinced by the rest of the gang to do a 180 herself, and she shows up for the final debate wearing a ruffly pink outfit and talking like a Valley Girl. The result? The vote is pretty much split between Zack and Jessie, with a few of the votes (including Kelly’s) going to Gilligan. In the end, though, Zack wins by one vote. And guess what? The trip to Washington isn’t off after all! That was just one of Mr. Belding’s crazy tricks to teach Zack a lesson! So now Zack gets to live out his lifelong dream of spending a week in our nation’s capital with his principal and his math teacher!
Except it’s about that time in every episode when Zack’s conscience rears its ugly head. This time it happens when he climbs in Jessie’s bedroom window (because teenagers on TV don’t have rooms with actual doors, you know) and finds her crying over the election. Either that, or she’s run out of caffeine pills. Wisely, Zack decides that it would be easier to abdicate his throne than to try and deal with all of her issues, thus saving Man-o Spano a few expensive sessions in therapy…for now, at least.
Quote of the episode
Mr. Dewey: “We’re now going to watch a campaign video from Zack. Does anyone have any objections?”
Lisa: “I object on behalf of my candidate, Jessica Myrtle Spano!”
Zack: “Myrtle? That’s what I call my turtle!”
Lisa: “We should both be given equal time.”
Mr. Dewey: “You’ll have a chance to tell us about your turtle later.”
Any episode with Mr. Dewey is great, as is one that provides further proof of Jessie’s sex change. And Zack’s campaign video is early-90s fabulous.