Cooper’s Favorite Show As A Tween Turns 30!
It's really kind of hard for me to process this... When I was a preteen, one of my favorite shows was Saved By The Bell. Well today, August 20th, 2019, that show turns 30!
According to Wikipedia, "Saved By The Bell" was a continuation (sort of?) of a short-lived Disney Channel show called "Good Morning, Miss Bliss". Miss Bliss, played by Hayley Mills, taught her class at JFK Junior High School in Indianapolis. After 13 episodes, the show was cancelled.
NBC had produced the show for The Disney Channel and, after its cancellation, they decided to retool it and run it on NBC.
They kept several of the main characters (Zach, Lisa, Screech and Mr. Belding), fired the rest, and added a few more (Kelly, Jessie, Slater) to round out the remaining original characters. They also moved the show from Indiana to California. Why? Because middle America is boring? Actually, that is the reason. Producer Peter Engel did not think Indiana was an exciting enough location. Somehow, I have a feeling that Leslie Knope would disagree with this, but that's a completely different NBC show.
The first episode debuted in primetime on August 20th, 1989. The show would end up running for four seasons. The followup, "Saved By The Bell: The College Years", lasted one season. There were also two movies, one about the kids taking a trip to Hawaii that aired during the forth season and a wedding movie that followed "College Years". The "New Class" series that followed last seven seasons.
While it was mostly a sitcom aimed at kids, the show did tackle serious issues, on occasion. Drug use, drinking and driving, women's rights, and racism were all covered over the course of the show.
Following the series, there has been a memoir (Dustin Diamond's "Behind The Bell"), several unauthorized musicals, and on Labor Day 2014, Lifetime's docu-drama premiered.
Most recently, Funny Or Die helped us see what we'd been missing all these years - that Zach Morris IS trash! Basically, the web series shows us just what an awful person the show's main character was. Check it out:
I plan to celebrate the show's birthday by showing my daughters a couple of classic episodes. I guess I better prepare for all the questions like why they're wearing funny looking clothes and why their phones are all the size of bricks.