Saved by the Bell (2020) | Season 1 | Episode 1 | REVIEW

In this video, I discuss the first episode of the 2020 revival of Saved by the Bell. As a huge fan of the original series, and its spinoffs, the pressure was on this new series to impress me. Did it succeed?

Watch the video, to find out! Leave your own thoughts in our comment section.

What’s in this video?

Nothing Beats the Original

Kyle started out, by discussing the original Saved by the Bell television series.

He spoke of its success, and how it spawned multiple spinoffs:

– Saved by the Bell: The New Class
– Saved by the Bell: The College Years
– Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style
– Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas

As a child, Kyle watched Saved by the Bell religiously, particularly during school holidays.

He couldn’t remember what channel it aired on, at that time.

It was his favourite TV show.

Reunited with the Gang, through Sickness

Kyle spoke of how, in early 2014, he suffered a case of Impetigo. This left him bed-bound.

During this sickness, he discovered that Saved by the Bell was on Netflix. He admitted that this may have been due to him having access to multiple regions of the streaming service.

As he couldn’t leave his bedroom, whilst sick (similar to COVID-19, he added), he watched the entire series. “I loved Saved by the Bell just as much then, as I did has a child.”

The Best Approach to Take

Over the years, Kyle had heard all the rumours, and seen all the interviews, about a potential revival of Saved by the Bell.

Finally, it happened. A new series, taking place several decades after the original, with a new cast, but some returning characters.

With hindsight, Kyle called this “the best approach to take”.

Time Out! Zack Morris is Governor?

Kyle discussed the premise of the series. He said that all evidence suggested that Zack Morris, now Governor of California, was not very good in the role.

He loved that Zack and Kelly were still together. “Zack and Kelly were endgame.”

The Jokes on You, 2020

Deliberate or not, Kyle appreciated the jokes about students now having to study from home, with their schools being closed permanently.

It felt like a commentary on how the COVID-19 pandemic had shut down most schools around the world, forcing children to study via e-learning.

White Rich Kids

Kyle spoke about how, at this time, Bayside High is a school full of “white rich kids”.

The students made to move there, following their own school closure, are from “low income areas”. As Kyle points out, “they happen to be black kids”.

The show plays with racial stereotypes, but calls them out all the time, and challenges them.

It Took a While…

He admitted that, during the first episode, it took him a long time to adjust to the style of the show.

The “normal” characters, being dropped into a stereotypical world that was almost a parody of the original Saved by the Bell, took some time to work out.

He said that Mac, Lexi and Jamie were completely unaware of the world around them, which made for some great humour.

He wasn’t sure about the show, during the first episode. It was the second episode that made him realise, and appreciate, the comedy style that this show was going for.

Mac is not Zack

“Zack was always well-intentioned,” said Kyle. “Mac isn’t. Mac is a real douche.”

Jessie Spano

Kyle never found Jessie Spano especially funny, in the original show. Here, though, she is hilarious.

Calling Out the Racists

He loved that the show called out white people for being racist, when they were allegedly trying to be the exact opposite. It was funny, and a good commentary on the real world.

Underpaid, and Overworked

Kyle said that any good Saved by the Bell television series needs a good Principal character.

He enjoyed this show’s Principal Toddman, and was looking forward to seeing more of him.

Jessie and Slater

Kyle had mistakenly thought that the show was going to be about Jessie and Slater now being married, and their child being in Bayside High.

That they were not together was sad for Kyle, but he liked their new dynamic.

He liked that Slater was working at the school, but felt sorry for the character that he was currently just a failed football coach.

That Jessie was simply a counsellor at the school she attended, rather than being President of the United States [or something similar] that the original Saved by the Bell suggested she would go on to do, hit home for Kyle. He thought it was more realistic.

Poking Fun at the Original

Kyle appreciated that this show gave a point-blank “no”, to the original show’s style of storytelling (i.e. the lesson of the week).

You Need to Watch the Next Episode

He doesn’t think that you can make a decision about your feelings on the show, without watching the second episode immediately after the first.

At that point, if you still don’t enjoy it, it’s not worth carrying on.

Kyle likes his comedy to be offbeat, so liked the style in this.

He called the show “completely worth it,” and he can’t wait to watch more of the series.

Subverting Expectations

Having Aisha, a female, be the best football player at the school, was a positive.

As was taking Devante, who looked like he should be the best football player at the school, and making him someone who was only into singing and musical theatre.

“In Daisy, we have a Saved by the Bell lead character who is almost the exact opposite of Zack Morris.”

Daisy and Mac, Kissing in a Tree?

He hopes that the show resists the urge to pair Mac and Daisy as love interests.

As Mac is so unlikeable, he doesn’t think one could root for he and Daisy as a romantic couple.

Lexi

Kyle was impressed at how the show resisted the urge to make a big deal out of Lexi being a transgendered character.

It consisted of one or two lines of dialogue, and then they moved on. He admired that.

He said that there will be viewers who have a problem with that, but that this show isn’t for them.

“It’s for progressives,” he finished.

Who Stole the Show?

Lexi was “fantastic,” said Kyle. “Lexi’s hilarious, and just great fun. She does not see the world the way you and I do.”

He thought that Lexi and Slater were the show stealers, in this episode.

Where Does the Show Go from Here?

Kyle wondered where the show would go, in the longterm.

He thought it likely that one group will corrupt the other, but isn’t sure which way.

He suspects that the new students, will give the parody students a new perspective.

It’s Still Bayside High

The set design gave Kyle great comfort, as it looked and felt like the original Bayside High.

Although the school has been made bigger, and grander, he loved that they restored some of the original set designs. The main corridor and stairs, for example. And, Principal Belding’s office.

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

It’s a thumbs up!

He can’t wait to watch more episodes, and drop more reviews.

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