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Welcome to The Roundtable, where FOD staff members are given a topic of discussion and through a series of emails, enter into a healthy discourse, hopefully shedding light on the matter at hand. The first edition was prompted by the announcement of the “Saved by the Bell” movie, leading us to the inevitable debate over the best episode of the classic TNBC series. The goal is to dig deep. As fans of the show, we should be beyond just referencing the episode in which Jessie OD’d on speed. This isn’t amateur hour.

Our Saved by the Bell-heads today are Mike Scollins, Pat O’Brien, Dan Abramson, and Jason Flowers.

Mike: Any episode where they worked at the Malibu Sands Beach Club’s a classic. Also loved the one where Belding’s "cool” younger brother got hired as a substitute.

Pat: Haven’t watched a ton of episodes but right off the bat I thought of that one where Zack dates the homeless girl.

Dan: That was a great one. Though a little self-serving of Zack. Really felt like he milked that and forced the good guy role. Also – and I know that it wasn’t a serial show – there was never mention of her again. It’s like he made this huge ordeal about saving this girl and then next episode he’s back to having sleepovers with Screech and Screech’s robot, while this girl is presumably back on the street.

Jason: Screech’s robot’s name was Kevin. I think he broke though, cause he was only in the first couple seasons. You guys remember the episode with the Micro Machines guy? He was a fast-talking teacher who gave extremely hard exams. However, the gang didn’t need to worry, because Screech got struck by lightning and could see the future.

Pat: Remember when Zack and Slater kissed?

Dan: Pat, I don’t remember that. Which episode?

Mike: Pat, I don’t think that happened.

Jason: I remember an episode where they got into a big fight and Belding’s hair piece ended up in the punch bowl. Honestly, I can’t remember if it was over a kiss or not? Pat, was this the episode you’re talking about?

Pat: I definitely remember them kissing. I wanna say they did other stuff too.

Dan: Like it was referenced that they did it or they showed it? I really think we’d remember this. Or at the very least, hearing about it.

Pat: Zack was the blonde one, right?

Dan: Yes, and I know this is unlikely, but is there ANY chance, you’re confusing Zack with Jessie?

Mike: Pat, I’m like 99% positive they never kissed and I’m 100% positive they never “did other stuff too.” Saved by the Bell was a kids' show. That feels kinda heavy.

Dan: I’m not saying this to back up Pat’s claim, but the show was pretty ahead of its time in many ways. Tackled some serious subjects.

Pat: I mean they didn’t show like dick or anything but they definitely implied they were doing stuff. And it was definitely Zack and Slater, I remember watching it and being like “whoa.”

Jason: I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every episode no less than 10 times. Unless that scene was cut out for syndication IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.

Dan: Even if it did get cut for syndication, there’s no way. But for the sake of treating Pat with some respect, let me get this straight: You witnessed this, on television, as a child, and all you said was "whoa”?

Pat: I don’t know, I feel like I’ve seen it within the last couple years even. When they kiss in the bed?

Mike: Pat, you didn’t need to explain that they didn’t show dick. That obviously would never happen on a Saturday morning, broadcast TV show aimed at kids. You’d be hardpressed to find ANY show, even on HBO, that shows dick. Are you sure you know who Slater is? That’s Mario Lopez’s character. Are you thinking of Tiffani Amber Thiessen? Her and Zack kissed a bunch.

Dan: Was it an erect dick or a flaccid one? Just curious. I only ask because you can show flaccid ones on TV. I know we’re deviating here, but just trying to give Pat a fair deal.

Mike: Dan, I don’t know if you’re just humoring Pat or what, but the answer is neither. They didn’t show erect OR flaccid dick on TNBC. Sorry if I’m starting to sound annoyed, this is just really bothering me.

Dan: Listen, I agree with you, Mike and Jason. I’m just saying, on the off chance Pat is on to something, I don’t want to be on the wrong side of history. There were a lot of episodes of Saved by the Bell and we all say we’ve seen every episode. But maybe we haven’t.

Pat: Mario Lopez is the guy from Extra, right? I’m like 85% sure they showed it, maybe just the base tho.

Dan: Guys, for the sake of cracking this, let’s find out more. Pat, what else happened in this episode?

Pat: I think they just kinda hooked up and then Slater had to leave for a weightlifting thing. I definitely saw it - maybe I’m thinking of something else where those two actors kiss?

Jason: The College Years maybe? I never watched that.

Mike: Dan, I am super concerned that you’re even entertaining this. You can only see dick on like True Blood and stuff. For sure not Saved by the Bell. To be honest I’m getting a little tired of this email chain.

I’ve attached an episode guide for the entire series of Saved by the Bell. I will give you each $10,000 if you can show me the episode where you see the base of Mario Lopez' dick. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Saved_by_the_Bell_episodes

And no, Jason. Not in the College Years either. In no iteration of Saved by the Bell did this happen. WTF man I thought you were the last person on my side.

Pat: It was right after the adortion one.

Pat: *abortion

Jason: I gotta ask … Who got the abortion?

Pat: Not sure, I know Mr. Belding paid for it though

Mike: No. No one ever got an abortion on Saved by the Bell.

Pat: You’re right. I’m thinking of California Dreams.

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