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“Good Morning Miss Bliss: Wall Street”

This week, we return to Bayside Hi–err, John F. Kennedy Middle School for another installment of  Zack Attack!  Noted Saved by the Bell expert T.J. Martinez weighs in on another episode of its precursor series, Good Morning Miss Bliss.

We take a serious turn on this week’s Zack Attack recap.

We learn about investing in the stock market, making a ton of money, but because of greed taking over, losing that money that belongs to the unsuspecting, well-intentioned teacher. Heavy stuff for an episode of Saved By The Bell/Good Morning Miss Bliss.

It’s episode 3 of the Good Morning Miss Bliss era entitled “Wall Street”.

We start off with a cold opening in the hallways of John F. Kennedy Middle School.

Zack asks Mikey if he could borrow $300 to replace his dad’s video camera that he broke. Zack was being a creeper by videotaping hot twins doing aerobics in their backyard while bicycling by. He was slipping and said it was either him or the camera and the camera bit the dust.

Remember, $50 is usually a ton of money by teen TV show standards, so imagine $300 in this 1988 episode ($581.94 in today’s money)?

Next it’s on to the classroom where Miss Bliss voices over, “The computer age is upon us. You can bank, shop, even invest without even leaving home.” (Incredible foreshadowing by the ever so wise Miss Bliss!) She explains that each year, the students in her class each chip in $2 of their own money and they buy stock in the market.

So that’s $50 for this class if you’re keeping track at home. (Two Facebook shares as of this writing!) Miss Bliss says as the kids are dreaming about big bucks, she’s teaching them about American business.

The company they’re investing in is called “Elliot Airlines” which, the kids learn about, merged with the giant “Trans Universal Air”. The company’s stock went up $3 per share meaning the kids have a $150 profit. Yay!

Zack is thinking about how quickly they made the money and since he’s trying to make $300 to replace a camera, his scheming mind churns. Miss Bliss explains that there are risks involved in the market and gives the students a chance to get out while they’re ahead or let it roll.

The class decides to keep the thing going and Zack asks where he can find out more about mergers and acquisitions, Bliss mentions the library, and in typical teen TV show fashion, Zack asks where one can find this so called library.

Next we’re on to the teacher’s offices. Miss Paladrino mentions that Miss Bliss will be getting a “hot new convertible.”

Miss Bliss’ current car is a clunker, as we find out because Mylo complains that her car leaked oil all over his beloved parking lot. Belding comes in and asks Miss Bliss about the class making $500 in the stock market (I guess it went up again.) He’s worried the students will get all Gordon Gecko but Miss Bliss says her class, after all those years doing this assignment, finally picked a winner.

She’s also thrilled the students are actually paying attention for once, “This is the generation raised on video games, computers and MTV.” (She is REALLY onto something…imagine today’s world of iPhones, iPads, wifi, Netflix, Pandora…etc.)

Next scene is Zack and Mikey “breaking in” school at 6 a.m.

See, Zack is using Mikey to get into the class computer to make some moves to make even more money. Zack convinces Mikey to think big…no bigger and he’s in. Zack talks about reading an investment journal in the library.

In it he saw that some dude made $300,000 on potatoes in 20 minutes and thinks they can do the same thing. (Brilliant. This will have no consequences whatsoever.) Sneaky Mylo sees them in school so early and is suspicious. But Zack explains they have to use the computer for a “very special assignment.” Mylo buys it. Mikey asks T.K Carter if he knows anything about potatoes, Mylo goes all Bubba from Forrest Gump (you know the scene) then calls them “the food of the 90s.” (Really!!) Oh, and it happens to be “National Potato Month” (Which according to Google is September.)

So obviously Zack and Mikey think they’re onto something after speaking to the financ….I mean school building supervisor or whatever title Mylo had.

Back to the cafeteria, Belding tells Miss Bliss they should be teaching the kids about hard work paying off, not all about the quick buck. He calls it gambling, she calls it investing.

Meanwhile, Zack tells his classmates that potatoes mean megabucks. He sells everyone, much like he did with Mikey, by appealing to their hopes and dreams. Lisa with shopping and Nicky with saving the environment (She was Jesse Spano before Jesse was.) Miss Bliss looks on from her lunch with Belding, as the kids are cheering that they’re all in potatoes, and she hasn’t a clue as to what they’re scheming. This is going to get good.

On to the next day, Miss Bliss gets something in her mailbox…red gloves from Miss Paladrino to go with her awesome car. Anyway, Zack is in the hallway telling Lisa and Nicky that they’ve made $6,000 off of potatoes…or $300 each student. That’s the magic number that Zack needed, they all share champagne wishes and caviar dreams and we’re all good…right? Wrong.

Mikey comes in saying they could be in deep doo-doo.

They bought the potatoes on margin, meaning they used money from the broker to buy more stock than the cash they put in. So, if things go south, they’ll end up owing money, not just the cash they invested. Zack says they’re hot and doesn’t envision their investment tanking, Mikey says they should get out while they’re ahead. Zack uses his charm and his gut feeling to convince Mikey to stay in another 24 hours.

Belding then runs into Miss Bliss again in the hallway and tells her rumors around school are that the class made $15,000. Bliss says that isn’t the case and they all just made $25 each.

Oh well, Miss Bliss decides to end the program.

Back to the classroom, the whole class is huddled around the computer. Potatoes dropped like it’s hot! Miss Bliss walks in…it’s uh-oh time. Dreams are dashed and the kids fess up that they’ve been out of the airline business. They’re with the spuds. Miss Bliss explains the whole margin thing that we talked about earlier and she finds out that she owes $1,567. ($3,039.66 in 2012 money.)

Miss Bliss is PISSED.

Can you blame her? She tells her kids that this was the most dishonest behavior she has ever seen in the classroom, costing her her brand new convertible she was so excited about.

Back from the break, Miss Bliss tells Belding she walked out on the class because they lost her money. She says she should have known better and Mr. Belding tries to cheer her up.

We come back and Zack and the gang talked about having a miserable weekend. They feel so bad about losing Miss Bliss’ money.

The kids talk about selling some of their own stuff to get Miss Bliss some of her money back. Teacher walks in and is quite cheery. She says she still loves them even though they cost her a boatload of money. Mylo brings in a bag of potatoes and Miss Bliss tells the class she owns 3,000 pounds of potatoes.

Now, it’s time for a new class project…finding a way to sell them.

The end.

Was this CNBC or Good Morning Miss Bliss?

A really good episode I thought that taught a valuable lesson. It was the anti-Gordon Gekko message that greed is good only when it’s going for you. Yes, it can lift you up a little bit, but when you get too greedy and it all comes crashing down…your teacher loses over a thousand dollars.

But she forgives you anyway because that’s what great TV teachers always do…they forgive the shit out of you.

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