“When I wake up in the morning And the ‘larm gives out a warning I don’t think I’ll ever make it on time…” Honestly, I can’t say the name of this show without singing the entire themesong (including the repeating, “Cause I’m saved by the…”) If you don’t have that same inclination, we probably shouldn’t be friends. (‘Cause let’s face it: if you’re not singing along, that shit will get old, fast.)
This show defined a big part of my life. (Is that sad?) It looked at the lives of a group of six teens: Zack Morris (the class clown/preppy/narrator/cute guy/everything), Jessie Spano (the smart one/overachiever), Screech (the geek), A.C. Slater (the hunky jock), Kelly Kapowski (the popular girl), and Lisa Turtle (the fashion-obsessed gossip). It lasted four years, five if you count “Good Morning, Miss Bliss,” which starred three of the characters (I don’t), and six if you count “Saved By the Bell: The College Years” (I do, if only because the Zack and Kelly storyline is given some closure. Otherwise, it was terrible.)
This show was known for its, um, “witty” teen dialogue:
Kelly: Hi Zack.
Zack: So Kel, big dance friday night, huh?
Kelly: I haven’t asked anyone yet Zack.
Zack: Really, well I just want to know that I’m keeping my calendar clear, you know what I mean?
Kelly: I know what you mean, you want me to ask you?
Zack: You could do worse.
A.C. Slater: You could do better…. a lot better.
And crazy, non-realistic storylines that were supposed to teach the watcher a moral lesson, or something. Remember that time Kelly had a crush on Screech? When Jessie got hooked on caffeine pills? When Slater dated a princess? When Zack dated a homeless girl? When Screech had a robot named Kevin? When Lisa… well, nothing really interesting happened to Lisa. (Also, who decided casting Tori was a good idea? It wasn’t.)
Looking back, I kind of wish Zack and Jessie had more of a relationship than they did. Who didn’t love that episode where Jessie played Snow White and Zack played the prince in the school play? And they makeout, but realize they only like each other as friends? I don’t know, something smells fishy, especially since in the first episode they enter a dance contest together, after Jessie teaches Zack dance moves in order to compete for Kelly, and then he pulls a sweet move and asks Jessie instead. In the episode, Jessie laments that she’s too tall, and Zack makes some quip, and gives her flowers and comes to her door instead of climbing through her window like he had for the past 11 years, and honestly come on writers? But whatever, all turns out ok, with Zack ending up with Kelly and Jessie nabbing A.C. Slater, even though they fight all the time and Slater calls her mama. (Ew?)
A reunion was planned, but Tiffani Amber Thiessen aka Kelly refused to sign on (WTF KELLY), and even with Jimmy Fallon championing the cause, it didn’t work. Though there is this gem of the time when “Zack Morris” was on Jimmy Fallon in 2009. (Although I really didn’t like that whole Kelly and Zack breaking up bit. Zack, no, just no.)
Sidenote: What the hell was that “Saved By the Bell: The New Class” B.S. They burned down The Max! Those stupid kids.