You better work, cover girl!

Mr. Rogers will not tolerate your bitchface, young lady!

Kelly is at her job at the school store. What, so she has to work here and at the Max? Doesn’t anyone else in her humongous family work? Oh, that’s right—world peace broke out and her father got laid off, so it’s up to Kelly to provide for the Kapowski clan by hawking shell clocks and framed pictures of Mr. Rogers.

The gang comes by to visit Kelly and invite her for lunch at the Max, but she can’t go because she has to work at this job now. Before they head off to lunch, the gang pauses to browse through some of the fine school store merchandise, such as the shipment of fluorescent pocket protectors that has just arrived! Zack laments the sorry condition of the store and, naturally, decides it’s up to him to turn it around.

He takes his case to Mr. Belding and offers a pretty convincing sales pitch by way of a blank notebook, i.e. last year’s sales figures. Uh-huh. But it doesn’t take much to convince Belding, so he’s sold!

Zack goes about de-nerding the school store, stocking it with a bunch of brightly colored Bayside athletic wear and a couple neon backpacks. Apparently in the aesthetic of the early ’90s, this is much better. However, the stench of nerd still lingers, and the gang is having a hard time convincing their fellow 12 students to shop at the store. But Kelly, Jessie and Lisa don’t care because they’re late for swim practice. Good Lord, I’m beginning to think there must be 5 identical Kelly Kapowski clones, because how else could she participate in all these jobs and extra-curricular activities? Then again, since neither the school store nor the swim team are ever mentioned again, maybe there is just one of her and she has ADD. At any rate, Screech is also late for photography club. Hmm…girls in bathing suits…photography…we’re witnessing a Zack Morris idea in the making here, people!

Screech, half-dressed in scuba gear, flops up to Zack in the hallway and says he was able to take pictures of the girls without their knowledge. Zack plans to use the pictures for a Girls of Bayside calendar. I’m sure the girls will never find out about this calendar, which is being sold at the school store where they now work and/or hang out all the time. Good thinking, Zack!

Zack’s love of cardboard cutouts knows no bounds.

The next day, the girls are excited to see so many customers in the school store, although they do think it’s strange that they’re all guys. And as the sea of males parts, they see why: Zack has made cardboard cutouts of Kelly, Jessie and Lisa to promote the calendars. I can only imagine that Zack must get some kind of discount at the cardboard-cutout store, given the frequency with which he produces these things. At any rate, the girls are outraged. I say if you stand by the side of the pool and strike model-esque poses after swim practice, you get what you ask for. Because that’s obviously what’s happened here.

The girls lodge a complaint with Mr. Belding (aka Miss December), but before he can take any action against Zack, in walks photographer/teen model scout Adam Trask. Funny how fake famous people always seem to be turning up at exactly the right moment, isn’t it? They should really rename this show Saved by the Fake Famous Person. Anyway, Trask tells them that he wants to use three of the girls from the calendar for a photo shoot in Teen Fashion magazine. The girls allow Zack to keep exploiting them via the calendars as long as he’ll tell Trask that they’re the ones he should use for the photo shoot. Why a fashion photographer should respect the opinion of Zack Morris is beyond me, but he does.

It’s a very small leap from this to a stripper’s pole.

Cut to the hallway, where the fashion shoot is going on. Jessie comes down the stairs in full sexy-librarian mode, complete with the glasses-off, hair-down move. She’s one stripper’s pole away from Showgirls right here. Kelly and Lisa are a bit more wholesome. Some guy points a big fan at them. It’s all very glamorous. They do the same thing at the Max and the school store. Trask is yelling, “You’re a lemur! You’re a lemur!” No, actually he’s yelling things that are meant to be serious, but all I can think of is Austin Powers.

Sometime in the near future, the girls are at the Max, waiting for some big news from Trask. I guess we’re supposed to believe that this is the next day, but it can’t be because the magazine with their pictures in it is already out. I suppose in the land of SBTB, a magazine can go from conception to completion in a matter of about two days. Anyway, Trask’s big announcement is that one of the girls gets to be Teen Fashion‘s next cover model and shoot in Paris…and that girl is Kelly! Everyone, being the good friends they are, gets totally bent out of shape about this—Lisa and Jessie because they weren’t chosen, and Zack because he’s the jealous paranoid boyfriend type.

Yes, Zack is afraid that Kelly will run off to Paris and fall prey to the charms of a cute waiter named Jean-Luc, and all she’ll want to do when she gets home is drink General Foods International Coffee and reminisce about her French beau. Naturally he must put a stop to this, so he goes around convincing Kelly and the rest of the gang that things will fall apart at Bayside without her. Considering that she pretty much participates in every extra-curricular activity and works every available job, that’s probably not far from the truth.

Give it up, guys. We all know Kelly will never be America’s Next Top Model.

In the end, Trask points out to Zack what a jerk he’s being for screwing Kelly out of an opportunity that could ensure she doesn’t have to work 17 after-school jobs to support her destitute family. Zack apologizes to Kelly, but she doesn’t really care because she’s already decided to go anyway—but not without a little kissing and “wooo”ing first. Zack anticipated that Kelly would double-cross him and had the gang waiting outside with a cake, balloons and confetti for a bon voyage party. Of course, we’re not actually saying bon voyage to Kelly, but rather to her career as a fashion model, which has just set sail for the lovely SBTB Bermuda Triangle.

Quote of the episode
Trask: “And the best part is…the theme of the issue is American Girls in Paris!”
Screech: “Whoa…Paris, Texas! The big time!”

Grade: A-
Another classic episode. And one that makes you wonder—with all those cardboard cutouts of Kelly that Zack has, will he really miss her if she spends a month in France?



Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s