Film Review - Saved By The Bell Season 1 & 2
Starring - Mark Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, Dustin Diamond, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Elizabeth Berley, Lark Voorhies | Lions Gate DVD FF Not Rated 750min 1989-1990
Review By Xmortis
Saved by the Bell is a classic show for teens and pre-teens that grew up in the late 80's and early 1990's. The series takes place in Palisades, California at Bayside High School and focuses on Zack Morris (a trouble maker with a heart), his best friend Screetch (the schools top nerd), A.C Slater (the army brat jock), Kelly Kapowski (popular, beautiful and a sweet heart), Lisa Turtle (rich fashion girl) and Jessie Spano (the smart girl). Most of the show is set at the high school and the local hang out, The Max. The first season the teens face issues like crushes, bad grades, possibility of moving for Slater, student president elections, buddy bands and friendship bracelets, the Sweetheart Dance, subliminal messages on tapes, babysitting, death of a pet, forgetting a friends birthday among other issues. The episode that will highlight season one is "Close Counters of The Nerd Kind" that has Zack making a cheap sci-fi film with the school's new camera but an accident leaves it broken. So the teens take a picture of Screech dressed as an alien and send it to a tabloid magazine and get money for the picture, but then the air force comes to Bayside to get the alien. Fun times and goofy special effects make this one a stand out watch.
Season two has some new issues for the friends: joining the school's army branch, running the school's radio station, saving The Max, drivers' ed, a house party gone bad, working in the school store, teen photo shoots, blind date screw ups, a school carnival, the Miss Bayside pageant, family trees, the death of a friend and the all mighty going steady. "The Prom," the first episode in season two, is the stand out. This episode has Zach and Kelly having a date for the prom that is cancelled when Kelly's dad loses his job and all her saved money goes to help her family. But in the end Zach still makes her night special with a candle light dinner and a romantic dance. It's a touching episode with a really positive messages about high school love and doing the right thing for that special someone. The most memorable (and most remembered) episode is also from season two. In "Jessie's Song," Jessie is stressed about math and takes caffeine pills to stay awake and study. At the same time records executives are into Kelly, Lisa and Jessie's singing group, Hot Sundae. In the end Jessie is addicted to the pills, and they miss out on the contract. But no one cares about that, they just want their friend to get better. Yeah I know, addicted to caffeine pills is silly to say the least. Another memorable season two episode is "1-900-Crushed." Zach and Screech open a phone line (Teen Line) to get rich off the problems of fellow students, but Zach needs help when Kelly's sister Nicki gets a crush on him. The show ends with Slater and Jessie starting to hook up, and Zach letting Nicki down easy. The episode is fun and has a nice feel to it. So while this show is not perfect and has a lot of flaws, it is one of those shows that does have a charm to it. The second season also ends with a cliffhanger about Kelly and Zach maybe breaking up over a bone head move that Zach made in order to try and date the school's nurse. If you like sitcoms that have a hint of Saturday Morning Cartoons, then this is for you.
Lions Gate made lots of people happy with the release of this classic teen show. The show's plot is very simple, and you always know things will work out all right for Zack and his friends. While on Zack, the character is really not a nice kid. He is stuck on himself and treats others terrible especially his nerdy friend Screech. He looks down at his teachers and principal whom he shows no respect to and looks at his dream girl Kelly as an object that is a prize he wants to own. But the love story and the off and on again relationship between Kelly and Zack is a huge part of the show and is what drew in the female viewers. Screech is one of those characters that at some points I think is over used much like Steve Urkel in the show "Family Matters." Yeah, we get he is a nerd and he makes all types of goofy faces and does stupid acts, but I don't have to be force fed it every episode. Like most guys my age, I had a huge crush on actress Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and after viewing this DVD set I found out I still do! In a lot of waysm in this show she is the perfect girl pretty, loyal and has a good heart. The acting in the show goes from bad to okay with no one really getting to show off his or her true skills. The plots are very simple and are nothing special but much like shows like "Hey Dude", "Salute Your Shorts" and "ALF," it has a weird charm that will keep you glued to your chair. Each episode does have a message most of them positive and each one always having Zach being forgiven even when he's been a huge asshole through the whole episode like in "Model Students" where he lies and manipulates Kelly to try and con her from going to Paris to model. But I guess that's our Zach!
The DVD extras are subtitles for each episode and that's it. Really, that's all Lions Gate put into this set. Shame on you Lions Gate!
This is a show I spent my youth watching and loving. While a small amount of the charm is gone, it still held up to what I remembered watching. I say that if you want to relive your youth or just want to have some good old family fun, this is worth every penny.
It should be also noted that this was a loose spin off of a show called "Good Morning Miss Bliss" that also featured Zack Morris, Lisa Turtle and Screech. The series has not come out on DVD and as of this time, there are no plans of it ever getting one.