In keeping with the trend started with yesterday’s post, we’re talking about Saved by the Bell again. But this time we’re responding to Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s comments to Yahoo News about Saved by the Bell, telling them “It’s not a great show.” This statement seemed to promote outrage among the blogosphere, viewed as heresy committed by the biggest star of the legendary, landmark, immortal teen sitcom. But we’re here to say that not only is Mark-Paul not guilty of treachery, he’s downright accurate.
Now we feel comfortable saying we adore Saved by the Bell as much as anyone. There are two reasons to marathon the entire series, as we did last year: 1) Masochism or 2) Genuine appreciation for the show. While watching all five seasons wasn’t a completely painless experience, our feelings clearly place us in the second camp, SBTB acolytes. But just because we volunteered ourselves to watch every episode – and enjoyed much of it – that doesn’t mean the show is infallible. In fact, having recently viewed every minute of it, much of Saved by the Bell is terrible. The acting, the writing, the jokes, the sets, the music, the lipdubs, all bad. But whether or not we appreciated that camp factor at the time (and we doubt we did, considering how invested we were in Zack and Kelly’s relationship, to this day the most important relationship in our lives, real or fictional), we certainly do now. It couldn’t be less like a realistic portrayal of high school, the opposite of Freaks and Geeks. But that’s fine. It was the perfect show for Saturday mornings in 1991 and weekeday afternoons in 1993. It wasn’t the high school experience we had, it was the one we wanted.
Just because something is bad it doesn’t mean it can’t be really, really, really good.