Saved By The Bell’s Twisted Morality
Every morning while we’re getting our daughter ready for the day, my wife watches Saved By The Bell re-runs. It occured to me this morning how twisted that show’s morality was.
In many, many episodes, one of the main characters commits an act of theft, or fraud, or in some cases kidnapping. The response is to regard such acts as mere childhood pranks of little consequence – at most, Mr. Belding gives a “Now, Zack,” and maybe sends him to detention over the sound of the laugh track. But if the “good” kids of Bayside have a drink at a party, or use some quasi-legal drugs, we get an entire episode on the vast dangers and immorality of drugs and alcohol. To sum up, at Bayside High, theft, fraud, and kidnapping = barrel of laughs; drugs and alcohol = unforgivable sins.
UPDATE: Given the above, is it any wonder that after graduation, salutatorian Jesse Spanno went on to become a Vegas stripper who had coke-fueled sex with Kristen Davis’ TV husband in a pool, while goody-two-shoes Kelly Kapowski became Beverly Hills’ most infamous pot-addled conniving villainess? Or that superjock AC Slater grew up to be a leading example of the wussification of America, and valedictorian Screech Powers a pathetic wretch who couldn’t even hack it on a crappy weight-loss reality show?