Tuesday, August 24, 2010

30 Day TV Challenge - Day 16: "You know, when we're in college we're going to laugh about this."

16. Your guilty pleasure show.
One of these people is still on television every day. It's not the one I would have expected.
Oh, dear.

This is usually the part where I say "I can explain," but that's just it -- I can't. I cannot for the life of me explain this. I don't like the show. In fact, I don't think I ever liked the show. But that didn't stop me from watching every single one of the 86 episodes of Saved by the Bell, a half-assed no-budget comedy series NBC parked on Saturday mornings in 1989.

I can't really say I watch it anymore -- I haven't watched it regularly in probably fifteen years. But if I see it while going through channels (if for some reason I'm awake at five in the morning when it still gets aired every day), I will stop. I will watch, for at least a few minutes. If it's a "good" one -- like when Zack and Kelly break up, or Jessie gets hooked on caffeine pills -- I might watch the whole goddamn thing. It's the television equivalent of eating a tube of raw cookie dough. And about as healthy for you.

Saved by the Bell was a heavily retooled version of Good Morning, Miss Bliss*, after they realized the kids were more interesting than the lone adult. It took place in southern California, but it might as well have been set on Vulcan for all that it matched reality. I mean, maybe I'm weird, but my high school certainly had more than one classroom, and I don't think it was attached to a diner owned by a magician. And how many students did Bayside have? Twenty, twenty-five? And our principal had been as abominably clueless as Mr. Belding, the drug dealers would have a much easier time.

As I said, I can't explain what attracted me to this show. It was about teens, but they were so alien to me that they I couldn't relate to them. It was a comedy, but it wasn't funny. It had an ensemble cast, but I'm pretty sure I hated all of the characters. It dealt with real issues kids faced every day, but did so in a laughable, cartoonish manner that rendered it ridiculous. Screech had a goddamn robot, for crying out loud.

I understand why I can enjoy it now: nostalgia, pure and simple. I can watch Saved by the Bell and reflect on the innocence of my youth.

But why the hell did I ever watch it back then?

I don't have a damn clue.

*Okay, a) Why the fuck do I know this? b) Don't act like you didn't know it, too, and c) Have I also seen every single episode of Good Morning, Miss Bliss? What do you think?

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