When we think of guilty pleasure television it’s a reflex to come up with the “Catfight Chronicles” of reality tv that we know we shouldn’t be supporting or the last gasps of the dying soap operas whose storylines are so cheesy that we should be ashamed for being grown while watching them.
But the other night, when I noticed that Saved By The Bell had been added to the Netflix library, I broke into a real Cabbage Patch. I realized then that this show must be a guilty pleasure ’cause I sure can’t be proud about feeling so excited to sit here and watch a show about a bunch of California teens at Bayside High in 1989.
Don’t front on Saved By The Bell now. You know you were pressed to find out if Kelly was going to choose Zack or Slater, you thought Slater was cute, and you were waiting to see Lisa Turtle have her own legitimate storyline with a romance (she only had two at most and remains one of the most underutilized token blacks in television history). If you weren’t a Saved By The Bell watcher, you probably watched something else when you were a kid …a little My So-Called Life, Boy Meets World, some California Dreams, or maybe even just old cartoons or Nickelodeon shows.
Whether you were latch-key kid who watched a lot of television (ahem, right here), or only had a set number of hours you could spend in front of the idiot box per day, some things are just part of our visual culture as 70s/80s babies and too tempting to not revisit, even if they are ridiculous.