Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Things I Learned from Saved by the Bell: Part 1

Editor's Note: About a month ago, I started watching Saved by the Bell as part of my morning routine. From 7-9am, TBS airs four consecutive episodes from all phases of the show -- Miss Bliss, the Tori episodes, Malibu Sands and The College Years. Watching Saved by the Bell as an adult is infinitely more interesting because I notice a lot of things I never caught when I watched it in my youth. I want to share these tidbits of information, so today is the first installment of Things I Learned from Saved by the Bell (TILFSBTB). I will post installments sporadically, and they could consist of anything, from a list of random facts to a more lengthy exposition.

She's All That
is one of the greatest teen movies of all time. It featured Freddie Prinze, Jr. at the height of his popularity and introduced us to a very cute Rachel Leigh Cook. Paul Walker and Dule Hill gave strong performances and showed us the acting chops that got them prominent gigs in The Fast and the Furious franchise and The West Wing, respectively. And let's not forget Matthew Lillard and Gabrielle Union, plus cameos by Lil' Kim & Usher. We even got a Culkin -- Kieran -- and Oscar-winner Anna Paquin. We were treated to an all-star cast -- a who's who of 90s teen pop culture. (Side Note: I find it completely ridiculous/amazing that I knew the cast of this movie without going to IMDb.)

One recent morning, I was pained to discover that the premise of the whole movie was stolen from the Miss Bayside episode from Saved by the Bell. Jesse bitches about what a "sexist waste of time" it is, and how women shouldn't be walking around in bathing suits because it sets women back blah blah blah...Showgirls! Because of this inspirational speech, Kelly decides she's not going to enter. Lisa, always the fashionista, decides she's entering anyway. With Kelly out of the competition, Zack throws his support behind Lisa and offers to help her in any way so she can win. He claims to be an expert because he has "video tapes (HA!) of every beauty pageant from Miss Universe to Miss U-haul." She politely declines, and the following conversation ensues:

Slater: C'mon preppy. You know as much about beauty pageants as I know about wearing pantyhose.
Zack: I bet you I could take anyone and make them the next Miss Bayside.
Slater: All right. It's a bet. 50 bucks. And since you said you could take anyone, I get to pick the contestant.
Zack: You got it.
Slater: Deal. Let me see here. Hmm. (Shaking head at girl walking past him) Too cute. (Shaking head at another girl walking past him) Too sweet.
Screech: (Walking in through the front door of The Max) Hey guys!
Slater: Too perfect
Screech: Hey Zack. Wanna see me drink a milkshake through my nose?
Slater: I bet no one will beat him in the talent contest.

This exact situation was the basis for She's All That, except Screech doesn't have glasses, a ponytail or even...(gasp!) paint-covered overalls.


  1. I always hated Jesse, and shit like this is exactly why.

  2. i have a lot of questions re: SBTB. i.e., how
    did the school move from indianapolis to los angeles from jr high to high school? and if zach has been in love with kelly since middle
    school, why is her character not in the earlier episodes? here are some other continuity questions: http://homepage.mac.com/ijball/SbtB/history.html
    can you write a post about some old school TGIF shows?