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“Good Morning Miss Bliss: Love Letters”

This week, we return to the “Zack Attack” feature to continue our running analysis of 1990s institution Saved by the Bell.   
Let’s pick it up with noted SBTB scholar, T.J. Martinez.
This is episode 2 of Good Morning Miss Bliss. The introduction is our hero, early 90s Zack Morris, speaking to the Saved By The Bell audience and flashing back to the 80s. 
He lets viewers know what’s going on in this episode taking place in a different school, in a different state, with some characters never heard from again. I guess this was the way to explain to people watching in syndication what went on in the past. Never mentioned, of course, was the move from Indianapolis to California with only Zack, Screech, Lisa and Mr. Belding making the trip and settling down. 
As we enter the halls of John F. Kennedy Junior High, Screech asks Miss Bliss, “What is it called when a certain girl walks by and your knees turn to jelly and your stomach scrunches up like a tin foil ball?” Oh Screech, you’re in love kid! Miss Bliss tells him he’s growing up and explains some of the ways one can tell if a girl likes you back. Gee, I wonder who Screech is in love with? It’s the one and only Lisa Turtle, of course, and when he says hi to her, she gives him a shove and he falls into his locker. Screech, unable to take a hint, joyously yells, “She loves me!” from inside his locker.
So then Miss Bliss reminds her class that the paper on The War of 1812 is due at the end of the week and it would count for 20 percent of their final grade. 20 percent!

Miss Bliss, to quote Kanye, “How could you be so heartless?”

Zack looks concerned, Bliss tells him no excuses. 

What will the scheming Zack Morris do?

He asks Screech to write the paper for him in return for a future favor. Screech, who has nothing but love on his mind, asks Zack to deliver a date with Lisa. Zack is concerned again, and joins everyone else in school and the dozens watching at home, in knowing how much Lisa can’t stand Screech. The same Lisa, Zack says, who dumped spaghetti-os on Screech’s head. “No Lisa, no paper,” Screech says.

“No problem,” Zack answered.

Oh there will be problems. They don’t call it a situational comedy for nothing!

Next scene, Lisa is reading a love letter.

Hmmm, wonder who wrote it?

Then we cut to a scene where Miss Bliss is walking down the hall and literally runs into another teacher and Lisa. Lisa picks up some of the papers she dropped then goes to class. (I feel like she didn’t pick up all her papers.) The hunky teacher is Mr. Jerry Vick. They exchange pleasantries as they gather their papers that have gotten all mixed up. Vick calls Miss Bliss a legend, she calls him one too – among the female teachers.

Belding comes by, acting all awkward, telling them to go to class because no one is watching the students.

Then we go to that night, in Miss Bliss’ home. She’s grading papers with the kooky art teacher Ms. Paladrino, who comes across Lisa’s love letter.

A love letter on a TV show getting in the wrong hands?

Frankly, I’m stunned. They conclude that it must be Mr. Vick! The dreamboat must want to be with Miss Bliss because he called her a legend, said she was pretty and was being a smooth operator. 

We cut to the next day during lunch, Lisa and Nicki try to figure out who her secret admirer is.

Lisa’s mind “has gone to mush,” according to Nicki. Also in the cafeteria Miss Bliss decides to approach Mr. Vick and talk about the letter. They sit down together, Mylo (TK Carter) is a table over and interrupts a few times and gets creepy. The conversation between Vick and Bliss goes typical TV show where one person tries to explain something and the other person has no idea what they’re trying to say. (Three’s Company did this best, but with innuendo and misunderstanding instead of cluelessness.)

It gets awkward, he tells her he’s happily married, she sits down with a red face. 

Meanwhile, Zack and Screech see Lisa daydreaming about her secret admirer.

Screech wants to make his big move, but Zack, knowing he doesn’t have his paper yet and knowing that Lisa thinks Screech is slime, says he’ll write another letter to keep the build going. 

Miss Bliss, after talking to the ever so helpful Ms. Paladrino, concludes that it was Mr. Belding who has the hots for her. Mr. B comes by, tells her he’s lonely and his wife will be away in Vermont for weeks. He then tells her that she hasn’t responded to his note.

OMG, she thinks, the note!

He tells her it’s about requisition forms and she, still thinking he wants her, tells him to pick them up during class where students will be around to prevent Belding from making his move.

Zack goes over love letter #2 with Screech in the locker room. It ends with an offer for Lisa to meet in the cafeteria the next day. So the exchange is made, Zack gets his paper on The War of 1812, and Screech gets his key to Lisa’s heart. 
We head back to Miss Bliss’ class.

She’s working on the forms Beldo wants, while Nicki and Lisa go over the next love letter. Screech comes by and smiles at Lisa and she literally growls. (Screech, take a hint!) So Lisa talks about finally meeting the man of her dreams after school. (I get a feeling she’ll be disappointed.) Miss Bliss gets ready to start her lesson and takes Lisa’s letter to end that distraction.

Belding comes by to pick up the forms and shockingly, the second love letter ends up in the pile. 

Belding then walks down the hallway reading the love letter, stopping him in his tracks. He thinks she wants him!

Oh the hilarity.

She then comes by and they both start talking about what they think the other person thinks of them. Mylo comes by, they basically tell him to get the hell away, he then says his catchphrase, “The pipes have ears” and is all creepy again. 

Back to the heart-to-heart between Mr. Belding and Miss Bliss. Belding says he doesn’t want to take their principal-teacher relationship to the next level and they exchange the love letters. Both saying they didn’t write them. But, finally, an “aha” moment as Miss Bliss has a feeling on who wrote the letters. 
Lisa is checking herself in the mirror, making sure she looks stunning for her arriving prince.

Miss Bliss then brings Screech and Zack into her classroom, asking both if there was anything they wanted to tell her. Screech, after very little pressure from Miss Bliss, spills the beans. He wrote Zack’s paper and in return, Zack promised a date with Lisa. She remembers that Lisa was there in the hallway collision and we find out the term papers were typed on the same typewriter as the love letters.

 Zack says he’s sorry and Miss Bliss, with a key phrase that foreshadows young Morris’ life, says “A cute smile and apologies aren’t going to get you through life.” (I have a feeling she’s wrong.)

Zack gets a zero on his paper, Screech gets a ‘D.’

After the meeting, Zack admits to Screech that he took advantage of him.

Signing the letters, “Secret admirer” because he and everyone on the planet knew that Lisa thought he was scum. Zack says he’s sorry and Screech forgives him. (See Miss Bliss, literally seconds after telling Zack that a cute smile and apologies wouldn’t get him through life, it gets him through a sticky situation after taking advantage of a friend. Zack Morris does what he wants!) Screech then goes off to his meeting with Lisa saying he has to find out for himself whether he would have a chance with her.

Dude pops his collar, walks into the cafeteria and the show ends with the trademark Lisa Turtle scream. 

I thought this was a solid episode.

 The love letters got into the wrong hands, hilarity ensued, lessons were kind of learned, and Screech finds out for himself how Lisa feels about him, but that doesn’t stop him.

I mentioned earlier that Zack, Lisa, Screech and Belding are the only ones that make the trip from John F. Kennedy Junior HS in Indianapolis to Bayside High in California but that isn’t entirely the case.

Screech’s undying love for Lisa also makes that trip and is a staple of the show until the very end.

And it all started in this episode with two love letters.

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