Friday, June 22, 2012
"The Aftermath," the second chapter in our Dark Jeff Saga, is full of memorable moments, ranging from the absurd (Lisa's desire to be the sole owner of rapper MC Hammer's physical being) to the ridiculous (Zack and Kelly's song--A12 on The Max's jukebox--is a generic soft jazz number that wouldn't sound out of place in a department store elevator or a classy soft-core porn) to the emotionally sublime (Zack's meltdown when confronted with the myriad pictures of Kelly [AKA, promotional shots of Tiffani Amber Thiessen in various teenagery outfits] adorning the inside of his locker). It's those raw teenage emotions that make this episode so special. The emotions and that sweater. Holy crap. Where did Zack get that thing, Cliff Huxtable's garage sale?
If you've ever been dumped by the head cheerleader--and haven't we all?--or anybody that regularly let you awkwardly grope her in a parked car, then you know how Zack feels. It feels downright shitty to get dumped, and for all it's abject silliness, "The Aftermath" at least gets the shittiness of shattered teenage love right.
So, Zack and Kelly are broken up (awwwww!) and Kelly is dating her boss, Jeff (wooooooooo!). Zack does his best to forget Kelly on his own, even briefly considering doing his homework for the first time ever, but ultimately turns to the gang for help. His friends set him up on three blind dates with three different stereotypes (motormouth, fatty and generic babe), but nothing really works out. He does use Date #3, Screech's bleach-blonde cousin, to make Kelly jealous, but this only results in a slap to the face and a chocolate milkshake down the pants.
Of course, this being Saved by the Bell, everything is resolved in the final scene at Lisa's Sweet 16 party. Zack apologizes to Kelly for being sad, Kelly continues to not apologize to Zack for basically cheating on him in "The Last Dance," and Zack shakes Jeff's hand and says the following load of bullshit: "Congratulations, Jeff. You've got a great girl."
I've been involved in two major break-ups in my life, both brought on by infidelity, and I have never once considered congratulating the piece of shit who ruined my life. I mean, sure, my beef is technically with the young ladies who've cheated on me, but when you are in the throws of a full-on sadness spiral, who are you usually blaming? Not the cheater. Not yourself, probably the first person you should be blaming. It's the other man or woman or sexual aid you were dumped for. "Hey, congratulations, guy. You've got a great girl. Sure, she's prone to cheating or whatever, but I'm sure things will work out with you two." Bullshit.
Fantasy Sequence: N/A
Totally Ridiculous: Zack takes all three of his blind dates to the same movie.
Screech: Happy birthday, Lisa. I poked holes in it so it could breathe.