Day 13 – How Deep Is Your Love For Teen Shows?

I dedicate this song to my thesis. It’s just me and you, baby.

I’m finally ready to start working away at this thing. I printed so many readings today. One of my supervisors recommended quite a few for me to read and I’ve finally finished printing them all off. I’m so excited just looking at all the titles like, ‘Tele-Branding in TV III’. It’s just calling out, “Reeeeeeead meeeee”. I was particularly pleased to find several articles from the late 80s and early 90s. So many write ups about teen television and how shows like Beverly Hills, 90210 were taking over and catering to young adults specifically. I also found an article about why women like the show Charmed and several Dawson’s Creek papers but what really got me pumped was when I saw articles about  Saved by the Bell. 

It's all right, 'cause I'm saved by the...

It’s all right, ’cause I’m saved by the…

Saved by the Bell is so interesting to me because it’s an NBC show (ding-ding-dong, peacock!) and it’s one of those (if not the original) ‘after-school special’ sitcoms where they deal with totally complex issues. Really serious stuff like, homelessness, having to wear jeans to prom and of course, addiction to caffeine-pills (I’M SO EXCITED!!!).

In all seriousness though, it was incredibly influential in the way moral dilemmas are addressed in shows aimed at young adults. Dawson and Marissa would not have been as angsty had it not been for tireless efforts of  Zack Attack. Don’t even get me started on the trippy narrative structure. For a seemingly basic show, it had the weirdest elements like breaking the fourth wall, freezing time and the disorientation of the episode ‘Rockumentary’. Eat your heart out, HBO.

But despite its cheesiness, SbtB will always have a special place in my heart. Particularly because it introduced me to my first love, Zack Morris.

The exact photo that used to be in my locker

The exact photo that I had in my intermediate locker

I still remember the day I found out Mark-Paul Gosselaar was married. I had just finished watching a rerun of SbtB on TV4 and I was scrolling through his biography on a then-very basic version of IMDb. My mouth fell open and I started weeping because the biography stated that my beloved MPG had been happily married for  five years. I was 11 years old and the show had been off the air for eight years. It didn’t make it hurt any less. It was like I lost my future.

Obviously, I eventually moved on. However, you know how you sometimes have that cringe-worthy moment when you look back at your childhood and think, “Ugh, what was I thinking?” I was watching MPG’s current show, Franklin & Bash and I thought, “Oh yes. THAT’S what I was thinking”.

I had really great taste for a preteen. Look what I predicted.

I had great taste for a preteen. Look what I predicted.

I should probably take this moment to thank MPG for giving me a very specific type. There’s no point in even denying it. Clearly the blue-eyed, blonde prototype came from this personification of the 90s. Thanks, Zack Morris. I’ll do you proud.

Anyway, I think I’m going to have to reread or at least skim the readings I’ve already done in order to turn my annotated bibliography into prose. Putting it all together feels so official, it’s causing my procrastination urge to surge. Must. Keep. On. Track.

Things I did today instead of working:

  • Snapchat selfies. An embarrassing number of snapchat selfies
  • Left my computer on 24 Hours of Happy  while I did tute prep because apparently I don’t value my sanity
  • Became mesmerised by all the MPG photos. This blog post was only supposed to have that Captain &  Tennille song on it  but then I started thinking about him. I guess it’s true that you never really get over your first love…

Random “Oh THAT’s what they were saying!” lyrics:

My baby moves at midnight
Goes right on till the dawn
My woman takes me higher
My woman keeps me warm

What you doin’ on your back, aah
What you doin’ on your back, aah?
You should be dancing, yeah
Dancing, yeah

– Bee Gees

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