Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lisa Take the Wheel

Seriously, could my posts be any more me-me-me lately? Enough with the angst and the blah. We get it already! Let's lighten up a little and try to focus on somebody else for a change, mmkay? In fact, let's turn our attention to one of the most valuable players of the 1990's. Without further adieu, I give you:
5 or 6 reasons Lisa Turtle was the most underrated character on Saved By the Bell.
1) First of all, Lisa was an original holdout from the Miss Bliss gang. For reasons unclear to me, the creators of the show decided to salvage the foundations of the program and tweak it into something distinctly different yet oddly the same. Dumped was the scrawny ethnic squeaky voiced curly headed extraneous male character Mikey; in his place came Douchy dreamboat AC Slater. Dumped was the geeky glasses wearing annoying know it all fluffy bangs female character Nicky; it took two skanks to replace her - we know 'em and love 'em as Jessie My Panties are Always in a Wad Spano and Kelly My Panties are Probably on the Floor of Zack's Cabriolet Kapowski. Zack and Screech were such solid, complex ingenues that their characters were obviously set in stone, destined to walk the halls of Bayside High (along with everyone's favorite creepmeister, Mr. Belding). But the glue that held the gang together in middle school and would continue to hold the gang together until their 1993 graduation (and return for a couple subsequent College Years lame-oh epis and a "kickass" Vegas wedding) was our female holdout - that spunky, effervescent, sharp-dressed girl - Lisa Turtle.

2) As I am sure most viewers are already aware, the symbolic interpretation of Lisa's character is profound. I bet I don't need to tell you that the name "Lisa" is of Hebrew origin, meaning "Oath of God." From your lips to God's ears, Lisa Turtle! You are a divine being, indeed! And, of course, who didn't catch the allegorical implications behind Lisa Lisa's surname "Turtle"? Clearly, slow and steady wins this race. Just as John Steinbeck used tortoises to represent persistence and vitality in The Grapes of Wrath, too, producer Peter Engel allowed us all to witness steadfast perseverance in our Lovely Lisa (who else could stave off Screech with such grace and elegance, I ask you! Who else?).

3) Like a young Carol Burnett, Lily Tomlin, or Little Miley Cyrus, Lisa Turtle's profound comic timing (as portrayed by the incomporable Lark Voorhies), was bar none. Lisa matched wits with all the greats - Mr. Carosi, Stacy Carosi; she even went head to head with Violet Bickerstaff. Who can forget the day pesky Screech was getting Lisa's goat again, and Lisa fired back, "Aaah: Lisa no in casa"? Brilliant.

4) Remember the sickest pop act ever to grace a music video with spandex unitards and one pound wristweights? That's right - I'm talking singing sensations Hot Sundae - the group that was really going places until Jessie's ridiculous super-special-ultra-shocking-dramatic addiction to uppers? Well, amigos, just who exactly do you think was the all important fudge in Hot Sundae? Lisa was that essential ingredient. She was the one with rhythm; Lisa had a voice that could lull the angels to slumber. If Jessie hadn't gone and ruined things for Hot Sundae with her selfish allegiance to No Doz, read my lips - it would have been Dreamgirls starring Lisa Turtle, not Beyonce.
5) Along the same lines as putting the fudge in the Sundae, Lisa was a dramatic and powerful emblem of race relations for the late 80's, early 90's. Think about it: where is Bayside High, I ask you? That's right: Los Angeles, CA - a hotbead of racial tension at the end of the twentieth century. When Zack Morris heedlessly sported the eight-sizes-too-big-color-block-Cross Colors jacket, did Ms. Turtle bounce all up in his grill and drop the cabbage patch on that ass like it was hot? We both know the answer to this one: no, sir; she did not. She guided our team of cheerleader, preppie, nerd, jock, brain, and token black female all the way to believeable harmony and brotherhood. And, she didn't even have to wear a Buddy Band to do it.

6) Finally, Lisa Turtle was - no - is everywoman; it's all in her. An impeccable dancer (Who among us hasn't turned that motha' "The Sprain" out on the dance floor, emulating our fair heroine?); a dope fashionista (I challenge you to name one woman in history who could rock the puffy-sleeved semi-formal like Ms. T.); a galloping gossip (watch out, Nancy Drew!); and a true friend (I would have called out skanky Kelly years ago, but not you, Lisa. Not you.).; Lisa Turtle was all of these things, and so much more.

For all these reasons, our Lisa Turtle will forever be the most underrated SBTB member. I leave you with these immortal words: "If I think not, am I not? I think not." - Lisa Turtle

2 comments:

cory said...

Lisa may not be in casa, but Whats A Donzer is definitely in the house on this one... Whoot Whoot!

what's a donzer said...

aw, shucks...