Written by Erin Lobner. Media by Courtney Murphy.
When nostalgia hits hard, don’t sweat it. Apparently, if you say “It’s alright, ‘cause I’m saved by the bell,” three times and slam a locker door, you end up on a beach in California without a care in the world.
The show ran from 1989 to 1992, and comically demonstrated the realities of being a high schooler. The story followed a group of five friends through their adventures at Bayside High School and the surrounding California area. Zack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), the group leader, was the rebellious troublemaker who loved to push the teachers’ buttons. Slater (Mario Lopez) was the jock. Screech (Dustin Diamond) was the smart and socially awkward, yet adorable, geek. Lisa (Lark Voorhies) was the somewhat snooty fashionista. Kelly (Tiffani Thiessen), the popular girl, was a preppy cheerleader. And Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley) was the outspoken straight-A student.
Together, the group got into their fair share of shenanigans, most of which involved antagonizing the principal. Zack was notorious for pranking anyone and everyone, which caused more than a few tricky situations for him. But that’s part of what kept the show interesting.
And what’s a show like “Saved by the Bell” without romance? Zack was always the guy who could have almost any girl he wanted, but he actually had to work to win Kelly over. Those two were pretty much the definition of relationship goals for the show’s fans. Besides the likely couple, “Saved by the Bell” included an unexpected pair. Jessie and Slater got together later in the show, and their bickering only increased from then on. Both couples had their strengths and weaknesses, and they certainly made the show interesting.
While “Saved by the Bell” had lots of memorable episodes, some stuck out more than others. Although the show was
typically lighthearted, it also tackled some more serious issues. One of the most powerful episodes was called “Jessie’s Song.” In the episode, Jessie took on the extra responsibility of singing for a band that some of her friends decided to form. But since she was such a high achiever, she was determined not to let her grades slip even though she now had to dedicate much of her time to practicing her music. In order to manage everything, she turned to caffeine pills, and over the course of the episode, developed an addiction to them. In the end, Zack finds out her secret, and he helps her get through it. But the episode shined a light on what can often be a very disguised issue.
So, if you’re looking for something to watch next, turn on Netflix and relive the old days (or check out something new, if you’ve never seen “Saved by the Bell”). It has humor, it has heart and as of last year it has a cast reunion with Jimmy Fallon. Enjoy!