saved by the bell

Jeri Jacquin

On DVD this week from SHOUT! Factory is an amazing box set of a ‘90s sitcom series that has made it’s was to the status of iconic with SAVED BY THE BELL: The Complete Collection.

Premièring in 1989, Saved by the Bell is the series about Bayside High School in Palisades, California and friends Zack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), Kelly (Tiffani Thiessen), Slater (Mario Lopez), Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley), Lisa (Lark Voorhies) and Screech (Dustin Diamond) and their teachers Miss Bliss (Hayley Mills) to Mr. Belding (Dennis Haskins).

In the Good Morning, Miss Bliss season, going through school together, these friends go through turmoil’s beginning with Zack beginning his school years with a bit of a lie. If he isn’t busy enough, Zack’s friend Screech has love life issues that only he can solve. Nikki decides that she isn’t about to do anything required to the class science frog.

Screech is dealing with a bully and the gang thinks its best to stand up to him. Teacher Miss Bliss and Mr. Belding trade places while Zack is invited to be part of a club that might not be what he needs.

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Season one Saved by the Bell has the gang back again beginning with icon Casey Kasem hosts a dance show. Screech manages to get hit by lightening and becomes clairvoyant and you can be sure Zack and Slater find a way to make that work for them. Jessie’s room is being listening in on when she has a girl’s sleepover and they are going to make who ever is responsible miserable.

Zack thinks it’s time for Screech to have a girlfriend. When substitute teacher Mr. Crane comes to class, the girls are beside themselves with a little bit of a teachers crush. Kelly wants to go to a George Michael concert but the only way that is going to happen is if she gets immediately better at science.

It’s time for the yearly prank when Zack and Slater take off with the Valley’s mascot while the Valley gets a present of their own in the form of Screech!

In Season 2, Zack believes he is finally going to do something special with Kelly by going to the prom. When he learns that she has family problem, Zack does something unexpected. Discovering that Bayside once had a radio station, they convince Mr. Belding that it would be cool to put it back on the air.

Screech isn’t the only one who is a little accident prone when the group breaks something special that belongs to his mother. There is only one way to make it right and that’s to raise the money.

Zack is up to his money making scheme when he believes he can give good advice to students on their relationships with Screech and Lisa. This is going to be good – or is it? When it comes time to do a presentation about his heritage, Zack knows he has to make it work or he can’t be part of the track team. That is when he meets Chief Henry and learns about the culture and heritage.

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Who can believe it when Zack, Kelly and Slater have a fall out and are all too stubborn to admit when they are wrong. Mr. Belding is in a similar jam at home and now everyone has to either reconcile with each other or break up an awesome batch of friendships and a marriage.

In Season Three, Kelly gets a job so that she can get a costume for the ball but instead finds herself falling for her boss. Zack is upset when he sees that Kelly and Jeff spent time at the movies so he’s going to give them both a taste of their own medicine.

Zack becomes a judge in the pageant that celebrates the Fourth of July. Thinking it will be fun he soon discovers that one of the contestants is being pushed to win. Fake ID’s are the order of the day when Zack gets a crush on Danielle who just happens to be a college student. The ID’s are so that the boys can get into a nightclub where she goes at night.

Jessie is horrified to learn that her stepbrother Eric uses people to get whatever he wants. Raising money for new cheerleader outfits, Jessie is again unsettled by the school having a date auction. Zack proves why Jessie isn’t happy when a girl wins Zack and he doesn’t want to date her.

Bayside High is about to be on the celebrity map when it is chosen to shoot an anti-drug commercial and are devastated to learn that someone was smoking pot. Imagine their surprise when they learn who it is and Kelly tells them of the pressures they face about trying it themselves.

The group of friends attend a murder mystery weekend and freak out once they discover that the host is missing. They are determined to find out who is responsible for it all.

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Season Four starts out with a true test of friendship when Zack and Slater can’t help but fall in love with the same young lady. Screech is busy with his grandma’s spaghetti sauce when he meets Robin. Thinking this is awesome for their friend, they soon discover that she has other plans and it isn’t good.

Slater isn’t happy when he argues with his father about the pros and cons of college versus a military academy and Jessie has college fears of her own. Zack is in another love mess when he falls for Slater’s sister. Slater isn’t about to have it and wants his sister to know of Zack’s ways.

Snow White and the Seven Dorks becomes a rap version that the group performs but a kiss might change everything. With a chance to do something awesome for Bayside High, a contest is started to see who can write the best school song.

Graduation day is here and Zack discovers he needs one more credit to even graduate. Jessie believes that she is valedictorian until she discovers that someone else is chosen and comes to realize this is her chance to let someone else have their dream.

In 1992 Hawaiian Style the group has a chance to go to Hawaii thanks to Kelly’s grandfather. Staying at his hotel, the gang soon learns that there is someone out to take it away from him and they are not about to let that happen!

The College Years start at Cal U where Zack, Slater and Screech discover that college isn’t anything like high school. Zack is going to have to remember the high school days a little bit when Kelly transfers into Cal U.

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Slater begins to learn more about his Hispanic heritage when he becomes part of student activism. The girls decide they want to get a big screen TV and the only way to raise the money is by putting together a male pinup calendar. For Thanksgiving, Mike, Leslie and Screech decide to make a holiday meal for kids who truly need it.

Zack sees a copy of the midterm exam and group isn’t sure how to handle it with the new ethics professor. Kelly decides she wants to take a cruise for the summer and Zack instantly goes into a panic over it. There is truly only one way to make sure that Kelly stays with him.

Talking about their futures, Zack and Kelly now have to deal with people who want to play an active part in their marriage decision. As if that isn’t enough, Slater makes it clear that he isn’t for it at all.

Finally, Wedding in Las Vegas brings more family drama than either Zack or Kelly could have anticipated. Especially when Zack’s father makes it clear he is not for the wedding and won’t give him one dime toward it.

Packed and ready to go, the guys don’t get far before they have their first experience behind bars. The girls aren’t having any better luck when their cars radiator blows and belt fails. Along the road comes Kurt Martin who rigs the car and only wants a ride to Vegas as payment.

They boys get out of jail while the girls are already in the Stardust hotel lobby. After guys, gals, money problems, escorts, thugs, misunderstandings, car chases, and dirty diamond, there is a wedding as the group must say their goodbyes so another chapter of their lives can begin.

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SHOUT! Factory brings the best to fans offering up feature films, classic television series, animation and specials. For more of what they have to offer go to www.shoutfactory.com.

The box set includes the Bonus Features of New Documentary Features Past Times at Bayside High: Making Saved by the Bell and Bayside’s Greatest Hits: The Music of Saved by the Bell, Saturday Morning: From Toons to Teens, It’s Alright: Back to the Bell, The First of Its Class: From Sit-Com to Icon, Audio Commentaries, Photo Galleries and a Sixteen-Page Episode Guide.

That means this amazing SAVED BY THE BELL: The Complete Collection contains all 118 episodes from all three series – Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Saved by the Bell and Saved by the Bell: The College Years plus both movies and a locker full of special features.

SAVED BY THE BELL is an iconic series that is continually shared by those of us who watched it from the very beginning. I remember my grown kids spending their time with the Bayside High gang and I never worried that the show was too edgy for them. Instead I enjoyed how much fun they had watching the show and introduced me to it as well.

From the very beginning the show related to the kids about the issues they were facing at the time. From bullying, dances, life choices and friendship, SAVED BY THE BELL continually followed their growing up and into college years where their lives changed even more as the reached young adulthood.

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The cast of Gosselaar, Thiessen, Lopez, Berkley, Voorhies and Diamond along with Mills and Haskins truly made the show. None of the characters could have gone on without them because they truly gave faces to the characters they played from the first episode to the last. That is a rare thing for a television series and we are thrilled they did!

Here it is 2018 and the opportunity to revisit old friends once again is all in one box set. That means something to all of us who have come to embrace the show because now the next generation has the chance to see what we all laughed about then and discover that things are not so very different now.

In the end – we were all saved by the bell!

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