Good Morning, Miss Bliss Episode 10: “Practical Jokes”

No cold opening again. I wonder at this point if they abandoned them for some reason. Oh well.

It’s Hoosier Harvest Week at JFK Junior High, a completely made up holiday that apparently is accompanied by bonfires, hay rides, and practical jokes. Showing once again that the writers of this series know absolutely nothing about Indianapolis, they now assume that Indianapolis is a farming community. Just because the majority of Indiana is farm land doesn’t mean that the fucking thirteenth largest city in the nation is farm land. I swear, this series makes One Day at a Time look fucking brilliant in its portrayal of Indiana’s capital. Bah! Why am I trying at this point? This series is over in three more episodes anyway!

Miss Bliss tells us in voice over that, in her eleven years at JFK, no one has ever successfully pulled a practical joke on her and she hopes they’ll fucking quit before she has to slap the shit out of them. We cut to Miss Bliss’s class, where Zack Morris and Lisa are setting up a bucket of water above the door for Miss Bliss to soak herself in. Not-Slater comes in and warns them Miss Bliss is on her way, and, of course, Miss Bliss sneaks in through the rear door that’s only used when it’s convenient to the plot.

Bliss Screech

She tells them they might as well fucking give up trying to prank her because this is totally not a set up for the rest of the episode, but she leaves the bucket of water up. Gee, I wonder if that’s going to be a gag in like a minute? She also uses her psychic power to successfully avoid a very strange and elaborate prank set up by Not-Slater and Not-Jessie involving a map and lots and lots of cocaine cleverly disguised as chalk dust. I guess we now know where they’ve been keeping their stash because there’s no fucking way they got it all in there this morning before Miss Bliss came in, especially considering Not-Slater was out of the room part of the time.

Bliss chalk map

Miss Bliss is trying to teach a lesson on the judicial system and she’s fucking pissed that these practical jokes are distracting the students from studying and tells them to cut that shit out. She tells them that only a dumb ass would fall for them. Right at that moment, Mr. Belding comes in the room and is covered in the water that was conveniently never taken down from earlier.

Belding drenched

In the cafeteria, Zack Morris has put chili pepper in Miss Bliss’s cole slaw and Not-Jessie spiked her tomato juice with Tabasco sauce. And, of course, Miss Bliss gives them to Mr. Belding to eat instead.

Belding cole slaw

The next day, Miss Bliss tells the class that there are to be no more jokes in her class and she’s super serious. Just then, she sits down in her chair and discovers someone has painted the back, ruining her sweater.

Bliss chair

No one will confess to putting paint on her chair and Miss Bliss tells them she’s going to go change her sweater and someone better fucking confess or it’s spankings all around. While she is gone, the class realizes that everyone was together except Screech, and they decide Screech must have done it. He’s initially happy to confess and receive credit for it until Miss Bliss tells him that it’s spankings and reparations for him, which cause him to drop to his knees, a familiar stance for him.

Screech beg

Miss Bliss tells the class there’s only one way to determine if Screech is innocent or not despite the fact he just confessed and that’s to hold a trial. Wait, no, there’s investigation and involving the principal. This is a stupid idea. Frankly, I would not have wanted my eighth grade classmates determining my guilt or innocence.

Judge Bliss

The next day, Not-Slater is acting as bailiff as Miss Bliss enters the court in full judge’s robes. Not-Jessie is the prosecutor and, of course, Zack Morris is the defense attorney, which is grounds for an appeal right there. Miss Bliss tells Screech that, if he’s innocent, he should trust in the system because it works, which leads me to conclude that she’s never heard of the Innocence Project.

Not-Jessie calls Lisa as a surprise witness. Lisa testifies that she heard Screech say in the cafeteria that he was planning a prank on Miss Bliss and that she saw him stash a can in his locker. Zack Morris cross examines Lisa and contends that she was under extreme duress from breaking a nail and couldn’t have seen straight, which I can actually believe with Lisa.

Tina balloon

In the office, Tina is filling balloons with helium because apparently helium filled balloons cheer up Mr. Belding? Mylo comes in and spouts a bunch of bullshit about needing one and a half union employees to use helium. I kind of wish Mylo would piss Tina off so she’d pick up the helium tank and smack him across the face with it and Tina would be arrested for assault. This would solve two problems with one solution.

Mr. Belding comes out and puts glue on a telephone receiver to try and get Miss Bliss. Of course, when the telephone rings, he makes it as fucking obvious as possible since he asks Miss Bliss to answer the phone despite the fact he’s standing next to the phone and Miss Bliss is at the mailboxes. She tells him to go fuck himself because nobody puts Bliss in a corner. And she gives him a subpoena to her class trial, after which he picks up the telephone he put glue on like a dumb ass.

Belding telephone

Mr. Belding, complete with telephone glued to his right hand, appears in Miss Bliss’s court and Zack Morris gets to examine him first. Zack Morris asks Mr. Belding if he’s ever had Screech in his office for disciplinary problems and, despite the fact that Screech was in Mr. Belding’s office two episodes ago for his role in releasing rats in the school, the writers said to hell with continuity and had Mr. Belding answer in the negative. Not-Jessie counters that he would not consider Lisa a troublemaker despite the fact that she had a role in the water prank that got him, effectively ratting out Lisa to make a pretty good point that everyone can get in trouble for the first time.

Miss Bliss asks Not-Jessie if she has any other witnesses. Wait, why did Zack Morris get to examine Mr. Belding first if he was Not-Jessie’s witness? Come on, guys, if you’re going to do an episode on the judicial system, you’ve got to get these little details right! All it takes is watching one episode of Perry Mason. It’s not like they had to read law journals. Anyway, Not-Jessie wants to introduce evidence against Screech that she collected from his locker but Zack Morris counters that this is a fucking police state and Not-Jessie collected evidence illegally in violation of the fourth amendment, prompting Miss Bliss to throw the evidence out.

Screech suit

The bell rings and we immediately cut to the next day when court is back in session, and Screech is dressed as Steve Urkel trying to be my grandfather. Zack Morris calls Screech to the stand and asks a single question: Did you do it? Screech says no fucking way and Zack Morris declares no further questions and the defense rests. Of course, this is what happens when you hire Zack Morris to defend you: you’re fucked. Not-Jessie cross examines by asking Screech whether he said in front of witnesses that he would get Miss Bliss, which he admits, despite the fact that Zack Morris, Lisa, Not-Slater, and she all said the same thing. She asks whether he went to his locker that day to get something to pull off his practical joke, which he doesn’t want to answer and Zack Morris objects to on fifth amendment grounds, which I find hard to believe since that means Zack Morris is familiar with at least two of the amendments.

For closing arguments, Not-Jessie argues that Screech had means, motive, and opportunity. Zack Morris calls bullshit and argues that nobody has presented any evidence that shows Screech did it, which he’s actually right about except for the whole Screech confessed to it thing which doesn’t seem to factor in at all.

Screech face

After a brief deliberation because we’re already nineteen minutes and forty seconds into the episode, the jury finds Screech not guilty due to lack of evidence. Not-Slater asks who did it if not Screech. Miss Bliss tells them the culprit is in the room and should stand up now, after which she stands up. Turns out she painted her own chair in an effort to get them all to study their textbooks for a trial because they were so distracted by practical jokes. As usual, this makes no fucking sense. What if Screech hadn’t been such a dumb ass and admitted to doing something he didn’t do? Wouldn’t that have fucked up the entire plan?

Miss Bliss walks with Screech through the hallway telling him he was a good sport for being the victim of a giant frame up she orchestrated that essentially humiliated him for no reason but she doesn’t understand why he took the fifth when he knew he didn’t do it. Miss Bliss helps Screech open his locker and, of course, joke snakes, silly string, and confetti come streaming out of Screech’s locker onto Miss Bliss, which prompts me to ask why this didn’t happen to Not-Jessie when she broke into Screech’s locker illegally collecting evidence. But, whatever, it’s done, finished, kaput, and I never have to think about the stupid Hoosier Harvest Week again!

Bliss snakes

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