Adventures in lip-synchingPosted: August 8, 2003
At the Max, Zack introduces us to the hottest couple at Bayside. It’s not him and Kelly, and it’s not Jessie and Slater. It’s none other than Screech and Violet “Producer’s Daughter—Oh, Wait, Wrong Show” Bickerstaff! Screech and Violet sit down at a table opposite the gang and start sucking…on a chocolate malt with two straws. The gang sits there and stares at them like the shameless voyeurs they are.
Finally, they all remember that their mothers taught them it’s rude to stare. Either that, or they just want to get a better view. They head over to Screech and Violet’s table, where Violet says she’s late for glee club practice. For some reason, she tries to get the rest of the gang to join the glee club, and they all make up excuses as to why they can’t. Slater says he prefers more active things, like “football, wrestling and Jessie.” Ew. Lisa tells it like it is and says, “The glee club is for dorks.” Besides, as Bri has already pointed out, why do they even call it a glee club? Why not choir? That seems to work for most normal people.
Zack perks up, however, when Violet mentions that the winner of the upcoming all-city sing gets a trip to Hawaii. I’m beginning to think that the only place that exists outside the universe of Bayside is Hawaii. I mean, think about it. When Slater’s father was going to be transferred by the military, where was he being sent? Hawaii. When Zack was trying to get out of detention to win a trip, where was the trip to? Hawaii. When the producers of SBTB finally got enough of a budget to make a two-hour movie on location that guest-starred Rena Sofer, where was it set? Hawaii. My point exactly.
Later that day, the gang has joined the glee club, which is led by none other than Mr. Tuttle. (Like Hawaii, Mr. Tuttle seems to be omnipresent.) Of course, there is the slight problem that none of them can sing, despite the fact that, next season, they all form a band and go on to achieve worldwide reknown. Also, it’s worth noting that Jessie has suddenly become a raging germophobic, and when Lisa sneezes, she pushes Kelly in front of her to absorb the germs. Of course, we all know she really did that so she could stand closer to Party of Five’s Scott Wolf, who happens to be singing soprano with Jessie and Kelly in this episode. That’s right—you heard it here first, folks! Scott Wolf got his start playing a glee club soprano on Saved by the Bell. He didn’t have any lines, but he did nod vigorously at several points during the episode. Hey, whatever happened to Scott Wolf? Do you suppose the SBTB Bermuda triangle managed to suck him in even after he became semi-famous on Party of Five? It’s a strong one, that triangle! Speaking of which, what the hell has Tori Spelling done lately?
Anyway. Back to the subject at hand, which is the rampant suckage of the glee club. As Zack and Screech are frantically trying to come up with a plan to salvage their trip to Hawaii, Violet calls and invites them both to a glee club concert at Cal State. Yeah, because I know I always like to bring my boyfriend’s best friend along on dates. Or not. Zack at first tells Screech they don’t have time to go to the concert, but soon, the lightbulb goes on over his head (not really, although it’s been known to happen on SBTB). He rifles through his underwear drawer in search of his mini tape recorder. Since when is a tape recorder contraband worth hiding in your underwear drawer? Condoms? Maybe. Marijuana? Definitely. Tape recorder? Kind of makes me wonder what he’s been using it for. I mean, I know tape recorders are often forbidden at concerts, but in your own room? Not so much.
The next day, Zack plays his bootleg tape of Cal State’s glee club singing “When the Saints Go Marching In” while the Bayside glee club lip synchs for Belding and Tuttle. These two obviously have not watched enough episodes of SBTB and therefore have not yet learned to recognize the finer distinctions between people actually singing and people lip synching to recorded music that sounds nothing like their own voices. Belding is so impressed with the glee club’s improvement that he gives them permission to compete in the all-city sing after all. But there’s one problem: The competition judges apparently are SBTB watchers, and Zack thinks there’s no way they’ll be fooled by the lip-synch trick.
So Mr. Tuttle decides that they’ll just let the best singer have a big solo, and the rest of the glee club will sing as little as possible. To me, that seems to kind of defeat the whole “team” atmosphere of the glee club, but whatever. Mr. Tuttle asks Kelly to sing a scale, and she does in the same off-pitch voice she used to sing “Moon River” in the Miss Bayside pageant. Isn’t it amazing that she went on co-front the Zack Attack?! She must have spent her summer taking voice lessons!
Violet gets up next and sings a scale that would make Julie Andrews proud. Mr. Tuttle thinks they’ve found their soloist, but unfortunately, Violet has an acute case of stage fright, and she freaks out and runs out of the room. Zack convinces Screech to go after her by feeding him the official date-rapist motto: “She’s your woman! Now go out into the hall and talk her into it!” Screech does so (talks her into singing the solo, not date rapes her, you sickos), and Violet is so excited that she invites him to dinner to meet her parents.
Screech is freaked out by this proposition, so he solicits advice from his friends. Slater tells him that when he meets Mrs. Bickerstaff, he should tell her she looks like a celebrity. “Is that why you told my mom she looks like Candice Bergen?” Jessie asks him suspiciously. Candice Bergen?! Slater complimented Jessie’s mom by telling her she looked like Murphy Brown? Oh my God, that’s hilarious!
Unfortunately, Screech gets the advice a little confused and tells Violet’s mom she looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger. He also drinks out of the finger bowl and manages to tuck the tablecloth into his pants, breaking all of the Bickerstaffs’ fine china. Apparently, these things are completely unforgivable sins, and Violet’s parents forbid her to ever see Screech again, which causes her to quit the glee club so she won’t have to be around him. Screech points out that he can’t sing anyway, so he’ll quit the glee club instead. However, Violet refuses to sing the solo without Screech to support her. The gang tries to get Jessie to do it, but she is hoarse from what she says is Lisa’s cold, although whatever Lisa had didn’t give her a sore throat. Whatever. The glee club is doomed.
At the concert, however, Screech is able to talk Violet back into doing the solo. (Wow, he really would make a good date rapist!) Unfortunately, Violet’s parents see her talking to Screech and yell at her, causing her to flee back to the bathroom in tears. With Violet gone, Zack decides to revert back to the lip-synching plan, hoping that the judges haven’t seen that many episodes of SBTB. However, Screech messes up the tape player, and the glee club lip synchs to the song first in double-time, then half-time, then quadruple-time. Never let it be said that the cast of SBTB aren’t good lip-synchers. They’ve certainly had enough practice.
At any rate, Violet returns in time for the big number, which consists of her singing “Beautiful Dreamer” with more vibrato than even Carmen Rasmusen could muster, while the rest of the glee club sings the word “bum!” on the same note at strategic intervals in the song. When Violet gets nervous, Screech glides on stage in his plaid pants, tie-dyed T-shirt and rainbow suspenders to support her with his not-so-perfect pitch. So much for none of the bad singers getting to sing.
Later at the Max, Violet’s parents tell Screech that they were so impressed with the way he rescued their daughter that they’ve decided to let her continue dating him. Of course, no mention is ever made of whether or not the glee club actually wins the trip to Hawaii, which was the entire purpose of the episode in the first place. My guess is that Scott Wolf went there by himself, en route to the SBTB Bermuda triangle.
Quote of the episode
Slater: “Screech, when you meet Violet’s mom, tell her she looks like a famous celebrity. Moms love that.”
Jessie: “Is that why you told my mom she looks like Candice Bergen?”
(I know I already mentioned that quote, but it’s just too funny!)
A fairly good episode, and one in which we can explore theories on what’s outside the universe of Bayside, have a few laughs at the expense of Candice Bergen and finally understand why the only person they ever allowed to sing on 90210 was Jamie Walters.