Title: "A Home for Christmas, Parts 1 and 2"
At left: Jennifer McComb and Dustin Diamond as the Ghost of Christmas Present and Ebenezer Scrooge (scrren grab courtesy of CultureCrossfire.com)
Adaptation: Starring Dustin Diamond as Ebenezer Scrooge
Dates and Places of Earliest Release:
Format Reviewed: live-action television episodes, on DVD
Does this adaptation mention "God" or "Christ"?
What does my wife think of this adaptation?
She enjoyed it, and recommended it to me.
Where and when does this adaptation take place?
What language and/or dialects are used?
"Part 1" opens with shots of the fireplace mantel, Christmas cards, and Zack's Christmas stocking. Then Zack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and his friends enter the room, and they discuss their plans for their two-week, Christmas vacation from school, which has apparently just begun.
Slater (Mario Lopez) has a new job, at the Bayside Mall, wrapping gifts, for $4 per hour. Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley) has a new, $8-per-hour job at the mall, as an assistant at Santa's photo booth. Kelly (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen) works as a saleswoman at Moody's Clothing Store for Men. Her wages are unspecified, but she seems to have tenure, because she Mr. Moody gives her time off to participate in a production of A Christmas Carol.
The proprietor, Mr. Moody (Lew Horn), is a modern "Scrooge," as shown later, when he refuses to give one of his employees, a 17-year-old girl named Laura (Jennifer McComb), time off to participate in the production of A Christmas Carol. In "Part 2," he also refuses to give her an advance on her wages so she can buy a jacket for her father. He only relents and let's Laura participate in the play when Zack promises to increase his store's sales by promoting it throughout the play. Zack's mother, Mrs. Morris (Melody Rogers), is the director, and reluctantly approves Zack's new script.
Lisa (Lark Voorhies) works as a Candy Striper.
Zack and Screech don't have jobs, so they hang out at the mall, where Zack literally bumps into Laura and becomes infatuated.
Lisa expects her friends to help her throw a Christmas party for the children at her hospital, so Screech obtains a doll which wets his pants as well as his own. In the Men's Room, a homeless man named Frank (Stephen Mendel) suggests to Screech that he use the blow dryer for hands to dry his pants. Later, after bumming wrapping paper from Slater, Frank passes out in the Food Court. Slater, having received Life Guard training, tells Zack how to help the man while Screech dials 9-1-1.
Then Zack and his friends attend Lisa's Christmas party, and, since Frank is also at the hospital, they stop by his room, where they discover that Laura is already there, because Frank is her father. Thus ends "Part 1."
"Part 2" begins with Zack recapping "Part 1." Then he invites Frank and Laura to his home for dinner. Three slices of pie, four potatoes, and five lamb chops later, Frank and Laura return to wherever they're staying.
Finally, Kelly bids farewell to Mr. Moody as she leaves his store to participate in the play. Zack appears in period costume, dressed for the role of Bob Cratchit, and talks Mr. Moody into letting Laura go as well, even though she only has twenty minutes to learn her lines as the Ghost of Christmas Present.
Screech plays Scrooge; Slater, Tiny Tim and Old Joe; Kelly, a Cratchit girl and Mrs. Dilber; Lisa, another Cratchit girl and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come; and Mrs. Morris, Mrs. Cratchit. The roles of Jacob Marley, Fred, the Ghost of Christmas Past et al are left out.
Throughout the play, Bob, Scrooge, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come continually plug Mr. Moody's Clothing Store for Men, which offers clothes for boys as tiny as Tim, to men as large as Gigantic George.
More drama ensues after the play, when Mr. Moody discovers that the jacket Laura wanted is missing, and there is no receipt for its purchase. Mr. Moody accuses Laura, who denies the theft, but he calls Security, so she flees. Then Kelly arrives and explains that she had asked Marlene (uncredited) to set the jacket aside, and she intended to pay for it after the play.
After a "woman hunt," Mrs. Morris, with the telephonic blessing of her husband, who is out of town, invites Frank and Laura to move in with her and Zack, and they accept.
Mrs. Morris and Zack host another Christmas party, at which Mr. Moody appears with a present for Frank, the jacket Laura had attempted to buy for him. Then Laura gives Zack a kiss, and Frank gives everyone the gift of music by playing "Silent Night" on a piano, which the party guests join him in singing, for the grand finale.
Is this adaptation supernatural?
Is this adaptation "framed"?
Is this adaptation a musical? No.
How attractive and effective is the visual art?
How creative and intense are the transitions, especially when "the Scrooge" is taken from one time and/or place to another?
The most remarkable thing about this adaptation is, perhaps, the innocence with which the coming of age of Zack and Laura (and their romance) is portrayed.
Speaking of age, it is also remarkable how little Mario Lopez seems to have aged in the three decades since "Saved by the Bell" premiered. He still looks more like Tiny Tim than Old Joe, as he continues to host "Extra" and MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew."
What extras are included on the tape or DVD?
Unfortunately, the "Main" screen indicates that the episodes on the disc are from Season Four, although they are from Season Three.