We open at school where Mark is still prowling for a girl who will like him despite his bad acting. Mark’s written poem to try and convince her to be his girlfriend, and it goes something like this I think:
I WRITE POEMS
AS BAD AS MY ACTING
FUCK MY BRAINS OUT PLEASE!
Sly thinks Mark’s poem is lame, and proves it by trying it on the girl, who proceeds to slap Sly, although that should be a frequent occurrence. I think being rejected by girls should be second-nature by now.
Their teacher comes in and assigns them their project: researching their family trees. She says they’ll hear reports over the next week, which leads me to believe the writers know nothing about how notoriously difficult genealogy can be, especially if you have no records within your family. But that’s not going to stop a bad rip-off from a Saved by the Bell plot from moving forward, especially since Tony’s excited to find out who he’s descended from since he’s got a main plot that doesn’t revolve around a hallucination.
At Sharkey’s, Tiffani complains about how hard it is to sort through all the Smiths while Lorena slams a giant book down on top of Jake’s notes just to piss him off.
Meanwhile, Tony’s hallucinating that his family is sitting with him so Sam runs off to get some psychotropic drugs. After she’s gone, Tony speaks to himself about his shock to discover he can’t find any information about his family beyond slavery. Tony, even if information exists about your family before they were brought to this country against their will, it’s going to take a lot more research than a single book on African-American genealogy to find your roots, which is another reason I call bullshit on this being a week-long project.
At school, Tony confides to Jake that he’s upset about his project because everyone has an amazing family heritage except him because of his one book. He says he’s looked in all the books and even talked to his parents and grandparents, which I call bullshit on. He read all the books? I’m not mad at Tony for this one. I’m mad at the idiot writers who think researching family trees is this easy.
Lorena gives her report in which she’s related to nineteenth century Mexican politician Benito Juárez, which no one in class gives a shit about because they’re all Trump fans apparently. But they love that she’s related to Mario Lopez, which makes me wonder now if California Dreams actually exists in the same universe as Saved by the Bell, does that mean Mario Lopez and Slater both exist simultaneously?
While Sam has a rich heritage of having ancestors who were involved in every stereotypical event in China’s history, because that was apparently easier to research than Tony’s ancestry according to this episode which doesn’t understand how to research family trees.
In the hallway, Tony exaggerates his family tree while even Mark think he’s acting like an idiot. He tells them one of his ancestors was king of the African nation because Saved by the Bell and Sarah Palin apparently get their geography from the same source.
In class, Mark’s still smitten with that random girl. Sly tells Mark they’re related to Casanova, which automatically makes them great with the ladies because stuff so Mark goes over, makes a fool out of himself, and asks the girl out.
Jake gives his report, which involves making fun of Slovakian culture because implying an entire country has stinky food is automatically funny if kids don’t know where the country you’re talking about is. And Tiffani gets an extension on her project because her grandmother’s last name is Jones.
Now, we get this. I have to admit, it’s still not as offensive as “Running Zack,” but that would be hard to do. Tony claims his ancestor was Malawian Mansa Musa. Now apparently the writers are showing how little of a clue they have. “Mansa” is a term meaning king, not part of Musa’s name. Second, the few images we have of Musa don’t depict any sort of garb even remotely resembling what Tony’s wearing. Our writers have slapped something on Tony that looks vaguely like what teenagers who don’t know any different would think traditional African clothing looks like, because kids are stupid and accuracy is only important if they care. Tony gets a round of applause as the teacher says most African-Americans can’t trace their ancestry beyond slavery and Jake glares at Tony for his stupidity. When the hell did Jake become the voice of reason?
Shit’s getting ridiculous in the hallway as football players offer to carry “King Tony.” What? It doesn’t work that way. Jake tries to talk sense into Tony as more people talk about Tony being royalty.
At Sharkey’s, Mark’s suddenly turned into a playa since he found out he was descended from Casanova. Okay, Tony being royalty is no longer the most ridiculous plot of this episode. It’s the idea that this many girls would have interest in Mark.
The other plot amps up its ridiculous factor by having Tiffani and some extras ask Tony to royally bless their surfboard. Okay, this is getting fucking ridiculous. I’m descended from William the Conqueror. So are estimated millions around the world. It doesn’t make me a monarch anymore than Tony would be if he were descended from Musa. And, even if it did, do you expect me to believe people would be acting this idiotic with regards to his royalty?
Jake tries again to convince Tony to tell the truth so Tony loudly yells at Jake that he’ll never tell everyone he’s not really descended from Musa, marking perhaps the lamest revelation of a lie I’ve ever seen on television.
At the loft, Tony continues telling the truth and shit, and everyone tries to convince him to come clean to the class because there’s nothing wrong with his heritage and shit.
In bed that night, Tony has a dream…
…and he sees his great-great grandfather picking cotton in Sharkey’s because this isn’t the most ridiculous thing that’s ever happened on the Sharkey’s set. It’s not even in the top ten. Tony’s dream convinces him not to be ashamed of coming from slaves, which apparently was what this was about all along.
At school, Tiffani gives her report. Evidently she’s related to every Smith and Jones who ever existed because that’s how common last names work, right?
Sly and Mark give their report, with Mark dressed as a snitch from Miami Vice. Sly reveals their ancestors are liars and he’s not really related to Casanova because he wanted to fuck with Mark, and he lies about a whole bunch of shit. The girl who didn’t know they were related to Casanova apparently gives a shit about this as she breaks up with Mark, realizing he’s a really bad actor anyway.
Tony asks to address the class, and tells them the truth: that he made up the part about being descended from Musa as Jake gives him a Fonzie thumbs up. And our episode ends with Tony giving the real report about his ancestors as slaves, because even the episode doesn’t give a shit what Tony’s real family history is apparently.
No songs this week.