When I saw the cover of the newest issue of People magazine, I had a bit of a heart attack. The entire cast of Saved by the Bell (minus Screech since he’s gone loco) together and looking great. It made me feel old because that show was on the air about twenty years ago but seeing those faces made me remember the days when that show was my life.
I’m a 90’s child, and shows from the 90’s raised me. Sister, Sister, Moesha, City Guys, Steve Harvey, The Parent Hood, Smart Guy, Hang Time, The Parkers….the list goes on. All of them taught me about life and gave me great ideas for stories! But before all of them there was Saved by the Bell that I think I started watching when I was four years old.
I remember having to go to dance class early on Saturday mornings so I would put a VHS tape in and record episodes of the show. I was like four and taping a show that I would miss. I was a weird kid.
Recently me and my mom were looking through some of my old work from elementary school and I found a journal that I had to write in everyday and draw a little picture with it. In my broken, six year old handwriting, I wrote things like “Kelly and Zack are in love” or “Jesse and Slater are having a fight” or “Lisa Turtle is popular in school.” I’m not even lying.
When Zack and Kelly broke up outside of the costume dance, I cried. When Bayside had that terrible oil spill that killed all the animals in the pond, I cried. When they formed the band Zack Attack, I sang along with them. When Jesse got hooked on pills and belted out “I’m so Excited” I was horrified. And when they graduated, I cried. My favorite episode is probably the one where Screech’s parents go out of town and they lose his dog in a card game and the Elvis statue breaks. Then they have that party at his house. I loved that one for some reason.
I felt like I knew these characters and they taught me about life and high school in a bit of an unrealistic way. I wanted to be the gossip girl like Lisa, actually I wanted to be Lisa, even though she never had a man. There were a few times when they’d bring a black guy in, like the really smart guy who wanted Lisa to act smart, or the guy who was younger than her and she didn’t realize. And who can forget the episode where she kissed Zack and Screech was pissed?
It taught me about relationships, not to cheat on a partner and that getting cheated on is bad, that girls are more that just body parts (thanks to Jesse) and to never, ever be a nerd because that was bad. When I got to high school I expected to have a cool principal who would be friends with the kids, that there would be a wrestling team, an after school spot like the Max and a cool chant to cheer on the school like “B-b-b-b-b Go Bayside!”
When Saved by the Bell finally ended (after the weird Tori season) yes, I did watch the new class. I even have a few episodes on tape. There were some good moments in the new class, I was really in to Eric, the black guy who could sing and eventually went on to be in the group Brutha, but it never had the same magic as the original class. However, on the last episode of the new class, when they graduated and sang the SAME graduation song that Zack wrote, I burst in to tears. I did watch the College Years and of course the movie where Zack and Kelly got married.
I was and I still am a huge fan. There are some shows that just impact your life and Saved by the Bell was one of them. I probably shouldn’t have been watching it when I was four but it was great entertainment for me and it taught me a lot about social relationships (like most 90’s TV did for me).
Seeing the gang now, twenty years later, it brings back good memories from a time when TV was wholesome and fun.
I will be buying this issue of People to keep and remember the times when this show was everything to me. Anyone have any Saved by the Bell memories?