Zack Morris Is Trash
January 15, 2018 3:43 PM   Subscribe

 
I love these so much.
As a youth, I despised this show for the reasons outlined in the videos, despite all of my peers who even to this day still inexplicably have a soft spot for it. I can't wait to point them in the direction of ZMiT the next time nostalgia rears its ugly head.
posted by wats at 3:49 PM on January 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


Hey man back off, he also helped deliver a baby, stopped an oil well from being built on the school, dressed up as a girl and went on a date with Screech when no girl would, brought Christmas spirit to a homeless girl at the mall, and threw a funeral for Slater's pet chameleon (that Screech killed by the way).

A lot of Zack's acting out is because his parents were never around and tried to buy his love with cellphones. Have some compassion.
posted by riruro at 4:06 PM on January 15, 2018 [27 favorites]


Ugh, this entire fucking show was trash. In 1995-1996, I had a roommate who had TV show tastes that were, shall we say, unlike mine. She liked 90210, Melrose Place, and Saved By the Bell and made-for-TV movies about children in peril. I liked Law & Order, period dramas, and the biographies on A&E. It was her TV, so whenever we watched TV together we watched whatever she wanted to watch. It was like being trapped in a hell specially created by Aaron Spelling, and Saved By the Bell was the worst of its inner circles. The others I could sort of get through as long as I had knitting to do, but when she put Saved By the Bell on, I'd just leave the room.
posted by orange swan at 4:15 PM on January 15, 2018 [15 favorites]


I worked on a home video release of this early in my career. (One of my favorite memories of my career was a designer grumbling about having to always throw in "flying hot dogs and ice creams and shit.")

This show wasn't for the high school students it depicted; it was for middle school and junior high students who couldn't wait to get to high school, cut class, drive cars, make out, and be cool. If you look at Zack Morris as a clueless, overgrown 12-year-old rather than a naturalistic 17-year-old, the show makes a little more sense. His trashy behavior is meant for edification and not emulation.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:28 PM on January 15, 2018 [58 favorites]


Don't feel the need to get my hate on for this one. I will say that the Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style special on DVD made for an awesome joke present for my brother one Christmas.
posted by Start with Dessert at 4:30 PM on January 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


#ripbeckytheduck
posted by stannate at 4:40 PM on January 15, 2018 [2 favorites]


So they successfully copied Ferris Bueller, is what you’re saying.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:50 PM on January 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


Pretty dark show.
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:59 PM on January 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think the most salient Zack Morris fact is that he never considered himself too cool to hang out with Screech.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:06 PM on January 15, 2018 [10 favorites]


Have I disclosed this before? I don’t think I have.

I went to elementary school with Screech. Our sixth-grade teacher, Mr. D, wheeled in the TV and had us watch the episodes as a class. Mr. D laughed a LOT at the show. No one else did.

He was otherwise a really good teacher.
posted by veggieboy at 5:09 PM on January 15, 2018 [14 favorites]


They were all narcs.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:17 PM on January 15, 2018 [12 favorites]


it's almost like this was fictional or something
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:30 PM on January 15, 2018 [7 favorites]


A lot of Zack's acting out is because his parents were never around and tried to buy his love with cellphones. Have some compassion.

I'm sick of all these investigative reports asking us to have compassion for Trump Morris voters.
posted by kittensofthenight at 5:45 PM on January 15, 2018 [10 favorites]


It’s almost as if this was not real or something


Pffft! Next you’ll be telling us all that Zack/Slater slash isn’t real, either!
posted by darkstar at 5:58 PM on January 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


it was for middle school and junior high students who couldn't wait to get to high school

This also explains Square Pegs.
posted by rhizome at 6:09 PM on January 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


I have never been able to get into this show, but someone dear to me introduced me to April Richardson’s Go Bayside! podcast, which I think is kinda great.
posted by sidesh0w at 6:34 PM on January 15, 2018 [4 favorites]


This also explains Square Pegs.

Totally different head.
posted by mogget at 6:39 PM on January 15, 2018 [12 favorites]


Lisa Turtle is still cool though, right?
posted by littlesq at 6:45 PM on January 15, 2018


I heard a theory that Zach was just a "cool guy" fantasy projection of Screech and didn't really exist.

Also, when Screech went to sleep, he woke up as his alternate personality AC Slater and started an underground boxing club.
posted by AlSweigart at 7:05 PM on January 15, 2018 [7 favorites]


This purports to be a proof.
I did not see the phrase " quod erat demonstrandum" anywhere in the the alleged "proof"
This is not a proof.
posted by skyscraper at 8:23 PM on January 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


If ANYONE badmouths Parker Lewis Can't Lose, there WILL be a fight. I will be there. I WILL bring the pain. And later drink the tears of their widows.
posted by Samizdata at 8:26 PM on January 15, 2018 [11 favorites]


I know it's in the original link, and the video seems to make some strong points about the negative actions of this character. But can we not call human beings (even fictional ones, even ones with terrible characters) trash or garbage on Metafilter? This post, and the linked videos, could be just as entertaining without that Trumpism.
posted by eviemath at 8:35 PM on January 15, 2018 [6 favorites]


I had just managed to forget about this show. I was the target age at the time, but didn't have access to TV really, so it was one of those things that got built up a little, even though I probably saw maybe 10 episodes total.

But wasn't the whole premise of the show in the first place that Zack is a total douchebag? Was that not supposed to be the takeaway?
posted by aspersioncast at 8:59 PM on January 15, 2018 [2 favorites]


If ANYONE badmouths Parker Lewis Can't Lose, there WILL be a fight. I will be there. I WILL bring the pain. And later drink the tears of their widows.

There was a whole self-aware-wavy-haired douchebag moment there around the turn of the decade, wasn't there
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:54 PM on January 15, 2018 [4 favorites]


But wasn't the whole premise of the show in the first place that Zack is a total douchebag? Was that not supposed to be the takeaway?

I think he was supposed to be an occasional douchebag but mostly an okay guy.
To see intentional douchebag, see Jason Bateman in It’s Your Move, from the people who went on to make Married...With Children. To see total douchebag, see The Wonder Years. That Kevin Arnold was a real little shit.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:02 PM on January 15, 2018 [4 favorites]


There was a whole self-aware-wavy-haired douchebag moment there around the turn of the decade, wasn't there

1990 saw the debut not just of Parker Lewis but of the much-shorter-lived Ferris Bueller tv spin-off, featuring Jennifer Aniston in the sister role.
posted by HeroZero at 4:38 AM on January 16, 2018


it was for middle school and junior high students who couldn't wait to get to high school

Huh! That explains why in 5th grade we went to CBS to review a show as a focus group. The other class got to see Square Pegs (UGH WHY NOT ME), we got to see some garbage called Johnny Garage and I remember they were really interested in why I hated it so much. Then we got a CBS pen that smelled like vomit (kid memories!)
posted by armacy at 5:29 AM on January 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


another one is when zack pressured Screech (who dressed as a girl) to go into their locker room, steal each of their Bo Revere cassettes [Bo Revere was apparently the 'hot new music star' on the show]. Zack then added subliminal messages so they'd find Zack and Screech attractive and take each of them to a dance.

He also did the same thing with Mr. Belding, stating 'Zack is a fine human being; he's a good kid; he's the son that I never had.'
posted by fizzix at 5:37 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


These are great, but I didn't realize this was an open question.
posted by solotoro at 7:32 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


These are great, but I didn't realize this was an open question.

As skyscraper pointed out, there’s only evidence, but no formal proof as of yet. Kind of like Screech’s Last Theorem.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:17 AM on January 16, 2018


Sys Rq: "Jason Bateman in It’s Your Move, from the people who went on to make Married...With Children."

Co-starring the guy who was Steve on MWC!
posted by Chrysostom at 8:28 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Then we got a CBS pen that smelled like vomit (kid memories!)

On purpose? Like Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans?
posted by leotrotsky at 8:31 AM on January 16, 2018


These are great, but I didn't realize this was an open question.

As skyscraper pointed out, there’s only evidence, but no formal proof as of yet. Kind of like Screech’s Last Theorem.


Can we not take "douchebag is as douchebag does" as axiomatic anymore?
posted by Navelgazer at 9:41 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Pffft! Next you’ll be telling us all that Zack/Slater slash isn’t real, either!


I’m trying to figure out who would be the bottom in that relationship and wow there would be hella complicated and borderline problematic subtext in either answer
posted by middleclasstool at 11:19 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


It is known.
posted by bq at 11:52 AM on January 16, 2018


I watched all of these before bed last night. Dude presents a solid case.

To those who say "how can people like this show; it's terrible": we know. The terribleness is the point. Well, it was for me, anyway. SBtB wasn't a show that I watched on purpose. I watched it because I was home sick from school, and I got three broadcast channels, and two of them were playing news, soap operas, sports, or infomercials. The third was playing SBtB.

It's like the old Mentos commercials: it's never entirely clear whether it's truly as dopey and guileless as it appears, or whether it's fully aware of its own hokiness, and is winking at you the whole time. It always seemed to be both simultaneously. Surely even the writers and actors knew this was godawful dreck, right? And yet, if they did, they never dropped their game face for an instant.

Pop culture history is chock full of bad, forgettable TV. SBtB is bad, but it's audacious in its badness. Many shows were cheap and corny – but for SBtB, the cheapness and corniness were the show.

Shit's postmodern as fuck, is what I'm saying.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:23 PM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


> middleclasstool:
"Pffft! Next you’ll be telling us all that Zack/Slater slash isn’t real, either!


I’m trying to figure out who would be the bottom in that relationship and wow there would be hella complicated and borderline problematic subtext in either answer"


Seriously, dude(tte), Zack would SO bottom for Slater. He's be all passive-aggressive, but he'd bottom.
posted by Samizdata at 6:34 PM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Well this got weird quick
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:51 AM on January 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


> Ray Walston, Luck Dragon:
"Well this got weird quick"

Glad to oblige. It's my life's work to add a little surreal to the world around me every day. Ask me about making smiley faces on whiteboards have three eyes and changing a balloon set at a prior job from saying "TEAM" to "MEAT" for about 45 minutes, and then changing it back with no one noticing me making either change.
posted by Samizdata at 1:20 AM on January 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Oh I'm not saying it's a bad thing
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:33 AM on January 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


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