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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love, Bayside High Style

Okay, I know this is old news by now, but who caught the "Saved By The Bell" reunion on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" a few days ago?

*raises hand*

And, who thought that it was the coolest thing ever?

*raises hand again*

And, who was more stunned that Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley, and Mario Lopez pretty much looked exactly the same in 2015 as they did back in 1990?!?

*raises hand exhuberantly*

Yeah, it was really cool to see five-sevenths of the original cast (including Dennis Haskins as Mr. Belding, but excluding Dustin Diamond and Lark Voorhies) come on the show to give Jimmy Fallon his dream of reuniting the "Saved By The Bell" cast.  All of us know that he's attempted a reunion with the cast for years, even settling for a "California Dreams" reunion when some cast members could not be reached.  So, I was happy for him to see it come true.

And, kudos to the set designers for building an exact replica of the Bayside High hallway (which I presume was disassembled in 1999 upon the ending of "Saved By The Bell: The New Class").  Really, the whole reunion segment turned out very well, and everyone who was a part of it should be very proud.

But you know, it's been over 20 years since the original series went off the air, and with Valentine's Day being a couple of days from now, I thought about all of the various couples that formed and broke up during the course of the show.  And it gave me the idea for a post.

Mind you, this post is just based on opinion, but I look at all the characters of "Saved By The Bell", and I wonder who each character's perfect match should be and who they ended up with.

Let's begin with the star of the show, shall we?

Now, many people automatically assume that Zack Morris is the player of the show.  The guy who can get any girl he wants before he can freeze time with his "Time Out" gesture.  And certainly, Zack has had his pick of women at Bayside High.  But, here's the thing about Zack.  When he finally "goes steady" with someone, he is fiercely loyal to them.  I suppose I can understand how he ended up marrying Kelly at the end of the original series because Kelly is more or less the same way.  Zack and Kelly could basically represent the poster children for monogamy (well, aside from the time that Kelly cheated on Zack with that sleazy manager of The Max, but no fan of the show really likes to talk about that moment.)

But, here's an unpopular opinion.  I get that Zack and Kelly were endgame.  They were pretty much edited that way since "Saved By The Bell" debuted on NBC in 1989.  However, I thought that Zack had more chemistry with his next-door neighbour Jessie Spano.

I mean, think about it.  Jessie and Zack have supposedly known each other since they were little kids, and Zack and Jessie trust each other enough to enter each other's bedrooms through their windows.  I don't see Kelly and Lisa climbing a tree to visit Zack, do you?  Screech, yes.  Kelly and Lisa, no.

And, whenever Zack screws up and gets all of his friends mad at him, Jessie is almost always the first one to forgive him.  And, who could forget the time when Zack helped Jessie get through her addiction to drugs?

(Well, okay, they were caffeine pills that had Jessie belting out old Pointer Sisters classics in a deranged manner, but still...)

I don't know...I guess there's a part of me that thought that Zack and Jessie were good together.

So, where does that leave Slater?  Well, Slater and Jessie were an on-again, off-again couple, much like Zack and Kelly were.  But I could believe that Zack and Kelly really cared about each other.  Slater and Jessie just seemed to be randomly thrown together, and although Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley worked well together and are obviously really close...I just didn't really buy the Slater and Jessie relationship.  I know they say that opposites attract, but Slater and Jessie were just too opposite.  It was like Slater was peanut butter and Jessie was ketchup.

Now, Slater and Kelly, on the other hand?  I could easily see them as a couple more so than Slater and Jessie.  After all, Slater and Kelly were both athletic, they were both average students, and they both had tons of school spirit.  On paper, Slater and Kelly seemed to work better than Slater and Jessie.  But, again, it's really all a moot point, as all four actors who played Zack, Jessie, Kelly, and Slater seem really close.

We all know that of all the people on "Saved By The Bell", one person seemed to be left out of the romance plots.  Someone really never had the chance to date anyone for more than one episode at a time.

Surprisingly, it isn't Screech.  We'll get to him a little later.

Can you remember Lisa dating anyone for more than one show?  I know I can't.  I know she kissed Zack once and this lead to Zack and Lisa embarking on a relationship, but we never really saw that unfold.

(Interestingly enough, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Lark Voorhies were reportedly a couple for most of the show's run in real life!)

But really, Lisa was sort of relegated to gal pal on the show.  She could easily offer solutions to Kelly and Jessie's love life problems, but never really did anything about her own. 

Mind you, she was the target of affection for Screech, who basically did everything legally possible to get close to her without getting harassment charges placed against him.  Lisa was definitely a lot more patient with Screech than most women would be, that's for sure.  I mean, sure, deep down inside, Lisa adored Screech...but only as a friend.  A distant friend.  Nothing more, nothing less.

But how sad is it that Screech seemed to have more solid relationships with women than Lisa had with men?  I think it all began with Screech falling in love with Violet Bickerstaff - played memorably by Tori Spelling pre-90210.  Violet only appeared in a couple of episodes, but Screech was smitten with her for all of her appearances.  He even forgot about Lisa while he was dating her.  But then Violet moved to Beverly Hills, and Screech went right back to stalking Lisa.

The funny thing about Screech is that while he never really fell in love while he was a student at Bayside High, that changed when he became Mr. Belding's administrative assistant in "Saved By The Bell:  The New Class".  Let's see...he fell in love with the school nurse, the daughter of a country club member, a girl at a yogurt shop, a substitute, Screech was kind of a whore in the New Class episodes, wasn't he?

And yet, none of the New Class romances worked.  I think he was still mourning the fact that the one woman he loved most (Lisa) was the one woman he would never get.

Anyway, that's my take on love and romance on "Saved By The Bell".  What are your thoughts?

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