As I recover from my serious illness of the past two days, waking up has been a tough battle every morning. This morning, as I wrenched myself from a dream where I was still living with the Cheeky Chipmunk and she was hoarding all the cups in our apartment, I turned to my iPhone looking for the strength to get out of bed. Instead, I opened up a very troubling email from Pandito.
Patrick Muldoon, the guy who played Jeff Hunter on Saved By the Bell is still getting hate mail and has been steadily for 21 years. What’s troubling to me about this article is that I can’t tell if it’s serious or satire. The comments make me think serious; as a society, we can no longer tell the difference between “you’re”, “your” and “ur”, so maybe we can’t tell the difference between reality and fiction.
Are people really still sending him hate mail, or is this Patrick Muldoon’s attempt to thrust himself back into the national spotlight as a victim? Is he just trying to take the shade off of Kristen Stewart’s affair? Why are people sending hate mail to a fictional character?
The questions are simply answered when you watch the breakup episode itself, which also casts an ugly light on Jessie and Slater, as they try to manipulate the ending of the 20th century’s greatest love story* into a move to become Bayside High’s official power couple with their silky voices and moving interpretation of Michael Bolton’s classic, How Am I Supposed To Live Without You?.
You guys, that’s hard for all of us to watch. Their breakup, thanks to the magic of syndication, stands as a constant reminder to the first acrid taste of heartache most of us ever experienced. But forgiveness is the key to healing. We have to move forward. If actors are afraid to take these powerhouse dramatic roles as catalysts to stable fictional relationships, all of our television shows are going to suck. I don’t want that and I know you don’t either. Listen, somehow people have forgiven Kelly Taylor; Jenny Garth has been on Dancing with the Stars. We let Angelina Jolie still be in movies. Even Burger, the guy who broke up with Carrie on a Post-It, still has a career. So we have to forgive Jeff Hunter, er, Patrick Muldoon and let him back on TV. After the public scandal of dating one of his employees, it’s not like he can go back to managing restaurants anyway.
*Editor’s Note: Zach and Kelly did end up getting married, so one might argue that Jeff Hunter only made their love stronger in the end. I wouldn’t argue it because I don’t want 21 years of hate mail, but one might.