Saved by the Bell

For my next installment I will be looking at a show I’ve never personally watched but have heard of extremely often: Saved by the Bell. Saved by the Bell ran from 1989 to 1992. My mom and aunt recall this as their favorite show during their teenage years and loved to watch it. When searching for episodes and clips to watch this show I found it difficult to find them on places such as YouTube so that those reading along with my blog could also view them though if you do have Hulu it is available on there. Due to this the only full length episode I could find on YouTube for everyone to watch is actually a “lost” episode from 1989 but for the sake of this blog it will have to do.
In the episode I looked at it follows 4 of the main characters as they travel through a world similar to The Wizard of Oz where they see other popular television characters such as Alf as the wizard is on a quest for the next big Saturday morning show. While the show was interesting I didn’t feel it added much to what I am studying though it did use an interesting marketing technique of connecting popular television shows in the same universe. The only part I found very relevant was at the beginning of the episode when A.C. and Lisa comment back and forth about finding their friends and A.C. says it “sounds like a mans job” to which Lisa replies “Hey, I think a girl can do this just as well as a guy” and A.C. replies “okay come on”. Here I find the episode trying to be progressive and show the male and female characters as equals by Lisa being upfront about her ability to do what a man can do.
While the episode didn’t help me much I decided to look more into scholarly articles on Saved by the Bell. When searching for the show I found the article Sex‐role stereotyping in FCC‐mandated children’s educational television by Mark R. Barner. The article uses Saved by the Bell as an example and describes how males have more representation in television while females tend to be more sexualized than their male counterparts. Without doing much research into Saved by the Bell I think it is easy to see this just by looking at the featured image for this blog post and society in general. In the main cast of the show only 3 of those pictured are female while 5 of them are male though the numbers do vary throughout the television shows run. For those of you who also may not have watched Saved by the Bell I am sure you have seen boys wearing t-shirts featuring an image of main cast member Kelly Kapowski typically in a crop top or bra such as in this image of Justin Bieber wearing said shirt. While the show may not have intended for her to be a sex symbol it seems as if she became one anyway even to generations after the 1990s.