Many people underestimate the entertainment value and all-around goodness of the Saved by the Bell series and, instead, choose to write it off as “corny.” Well, goddammit, I like corn!
There’s something about the sugar-coated sweetness of early 90s television that fills my heart with a warm, marshmallowy goo not unlike the inside of a chewed up Peep. Back when television didn’t have to rely on sex and violence to draw a crowd and it was enough to just be colorful and sincere and naive. That is my favorite kind of television.
Throughout a lifetime of watching syndicated episodes of Saved by the Bell, I’ve often tried to pinpoint my favorite moments in its illustrious volumes of lore. I’ve narrowed it down to five definitive moments:
5. Homeless Father/Daughter Christmas Extravaganza
Rich boy Zack Morris takes pity on a lowly hobo woman and her loser father after she is wrongfully blamed for stealing. This was the first television show I saw as a child that taught me the beauty of bums. Now, it’s turned into full-blown obsession. I wish I could meet a hot homeless chick too.
4. The Sprain
While disappointed and depressed that an ankle sprain will keep her from enjoying the dance featuring the one and only Casey Kasem, Lisa learns that sometimes it’s hip to be injured.
3. The Fight!
After purposefully wrecking Slater’s study date, Zack is confronted by an angry AC who wants ANSWERS. If Mr. Belding didn’t intervene, things could have gotten ugly. In truth, though, Slater would mop the floor with that pretty boy.
This episode goes to show that even your favorite Hollywood superstars could be drug-addled pot fiends just waiting to pounce on a doe-eyed young vixen like Ms. Kelly Kapowski. If Zack wasn’t there to save her from the aforementioned “pot party,” things could’ve gotten WAY out of hand. Screech’s locker pop-out is the coup de grace.
1. Jessie Spano’s Caffeine Pill Freakout
In all of television, I do not believe there is a more quintessential scene describing the horrors of drug use as Jessie’s caffeine pill rant. There have even been t-shirts made to commemorate this beautiful, heartfelt moment. No one can deny the lasting impact of Elizabeth Berkley’s oscar-worthy, upper-laden performance. Fucking caffeine pills: how do they work?
I hope they never stop replaying these time-honored classics.