5 Ways Saved By The Bell Didn't Prepare You For The World
A lot of kids growing up in the 90s watched "Saved by the Bell." Admit it, the theme song is playing in the back of your mind right now–good luck getting rid of that. Latchkey kids know the show as an after-school sitter, back-to-back episodes of the sitcom could keep you busy until your exhausted parents came home. While well-meaning, the show's misguided attempts to teach positive lessons might have seemed realistic to us as pre-teens, but what lessons did impressionable minds really take from "Saved by the Bell"? That charm can get you out of trouble? That groups of good-looking people always accept one ugly friend? Think back on these irresponsible myths perpetuated by "Saved by the Bell" and consider the following five ways in which the show failed miserably to prepare us for the real world.
Myth 1: Nerds hang out with cool kids.
Despite the show's attempts to explain the bond between Zack Morris, the quick-witted, popular guy and Screech, the stereotypical high-waisted-jean-wearing nerd, friendships like theirs don't exist in the real world. Even if you suspend your disbelief enough to accept that Zack and Screech are the best of friends, then you have to face facts that there's no way Screech would be accepted into the popular group. If Zack insisted on Screech hanging, his friends might act fake-nice and passive aggressive when they see him, but then they'd talk some mad trash behind his poor, unlovable back. Have we completely forgotten what we learned from "The Breakfast Club"?
Myth 2: Race never comes up. Ever.
The problem on "Saved by the Bell" isn't the portrayal of Lisa Turtle and A.C. Slater as token ethnic kids to add to the slew of white kids like a picture in a college brochure. The problem arises when they literally never, ever talk about it. You might wonder, "If race isn't an issue, then why bring it up?" That's a very 90s way to think. Look, no one should resent the fact that they never made an episode where Lisa wakes up to find a cross burning on her lawn (that's a little too heavy for after-school sitcoms), but maybe it should be mentioned that Lisa never talks about being black, a form of cultural erasure that wouldn't fly even by today's standards.
Myth 3: Your high school friendships and relationships will last forever.
While you're experiencing high school, it seems like it's the only thing going on, a small bubble world that doesn't expand beyond what Jenny said outside of Steven's locker that made Ashley slap her. The kids on "Saved by the Bell" learn important life lessons on friendships, romantic relationships, and responsibility as though any of that is gonna stick beyond their senior year. Rest assured, as soon as all of the cast goes to college, they'll replace their lessons and fond memories of high school days with memories created with much more interesting people, people who they weren't forced to hang out with between math and gym.
Myth 4: Good-looking people are also very kind and smart.
Uh, no. They're not. Good-looking people can be kind. Good-looking people can also be smart. Good-looking people might even be kind and smart, but this combination is so rare, the odds that Jessie Spano, AC Slater, Lisa Turtle, Zack Morris, and Kelly Kapowski are all good-looking geniuses who are nice to their fellow man is simply preposterous. There has to be an idiot and a prick somewhere in there.
Myth 5: People have names like characters in a poorly-written TV show.
Zack with a "K"? Everybody knows Zack with a "K" is made-up. A.C. Slater? Nope, sorry, too cool. Kelly Kapowski? Too alliterative. Lisa Turtle? Wait a minute, what the hell kind of last name is Turtle? That's a reptile. Good God, writers, try a little!