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S01.E08: The Todd Capsule

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Gee, the episode with the most original cast is the worst one.  Most of the others have been surprisingly good. Not this. This was just dumb and annoying. 

Edited by Kromm

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I love that they used the original theme song for this episode. Great to see Lisa, glad they included Lark in the reboot. 

Love to see Zack and Kelly still going strong. They were my OTP before I knew what OTPs were. lol

Edited by funnygirl
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I will say that as much as there are huge parts of this episode I loathe, for example how any sign of Slater's evolution that was shown in other episodes is out the window, leaving little but a musclebound moron, this episode did at least make me think more about how overtly this show builds itself around how much the old characters suck.

Sure Zack appears to actually be loyal to Kelly, so we don't get the usual politician cheating scumbag angle, and he's wildly successful, but the show hammers home how stupid he is.  Far more than the original ever did.  They hint at with Mack that he's got to be smart to be so good at scheming, but if presumably the same is true of Zack, we don't see it.  He just looks like a politician, is comically lucky, and comically gets away with being so dim.  And Kelly is even worse.  She's every stereotype of a rich pampered celeb wife famous for being famous.  Slater, as I said before, has all the finer notes about how he actually cares about the kids swept away and is just shown here as a narcissistic empty vessel. Even Jessie, the least egregious, is more shrill, more silly here, not that the series overall has been that kind to her.  The whole over the top Tiger Mom thing with her got pretty silly in other episodes, and while the show wants to acknowledge she's successful because she worked hard, the way she doesn't acknowledge that with her own kid just torpedoes her character.

The tiny bit we see of Lisa doesn't help.  Okay, she's successful.  But the beats towards laying that down certainly don't lead anywhere.  It FEELS cartoony, which is fine in that it fits in with the show's entire vibe of portraying the privledged kids of both generations as somewhat cartoony, vs. the kids from the outside world, but it's weird that while the kids to some degree had that underminded in the bulk of the season (Lexi, Jamie, and to a smaller degree Mack), the older generation either didn't (Zack, Kelly, Lisa, maybe even by inference Screech, since him "being on the space stations" was just played for a cheap laugh) or had their complexity rolled back (Slater, Jessie). 

On balance, the show really is less about nostalgia and more about bursting it, because the bused in kids, even though some of the later scripts splice in some silliness with them, does seem to lampoon the rich folks relentlessly.  That even kind of fits with Slater, outside of this episode, has the most apparent development.  The show is confused about how and why he even went to Bayside in the first place, but he's clearly not rich.  The others, even Jessie, were and are, which is why while she's shown as socially enlightened, she's also tied down with silly rich lady aspects as well in what we see.  

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I'm not even entirely sure the bulk of the episode was supposed to be funny.  The spliced clips of Ron-Ron got a chuckle out of me, but I think the point of the episode was that the gang immediately regressed to being terrible people.  I'm sure the fact that it was Lisa, by far the least objectionable of the group, was the one living her best life.

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This episode was one of my favorites, actually. Granted, most of the old cast being there probably helped, but still. I just wish Screech would have gotten a cameo as well, like Lisa did. It was a bit of shame to see Zack and Slater weren't on very good terms anymore, but then again Zack is worse here than in the old show. Mr. Toddman was great in this episode. Seeing him edited into scenes from the original series was hilarious, as well as how he reacted to being slimed. Zack Attack reforming was a nice touch too.

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At this point I am pretty sure Slater is my favourite character. He gets the best lines and the jokes about his life are really funny.

As for this episode I loved the joke about the mashed potato bar. It was totally the kind of joke I would expect from a 30 Rock writer. Plus it was such an inside TV thing since shows typically use mashed potatoes when they need ice cream. 

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On 11/29/2020 at 12:35 AM, funnygirl said:

Love to see Zack and Kelly still going strong. They were my OTP before I knew what OTPs were. lol

Slightly off-topic/slightly on-topic. I watched White Collar and it never bothered me for a second when Tiffany Thiessen kissed Tim DeKay. While watching Franklin Bash when Mark Paul Gosselaar was passionately kissing a woman, what went through my head was "Zach is kissing someone other than Kelly and I am not okay with this." 

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