DVD Review: Saved by the Bell: The Complete Collection

SAVED BY THE BELL is an American television sitcom that aired from 1989 to 1993. The series was developed by Peter Engel and starred Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Dustin Diamond, Lark Voorhies, Dennis Haskins, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez, with Hayley Mills as Carrie Bliss and Dennis Haskins as Mr. Belding. 

Set in the fictional town of Palisades, California and in the hallways of Bayside High, the breezy adventures of Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and his friends — Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen), A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez), Jessie Myrtle Spano (Elizabeth Berkley), Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies), and Samuel “Screech” Powers (Dustin Diamond) unspooled in hilarious fashion across 86 unforgettable episodes and home audiences can relive the laughter, lessons, and love all over again with this loaded set containing more than 46 incredible hours of Bayside bliss, including every episode from 1988’s “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” which became “Saved By the Bell: The Junior High Years” and the fan-favorite “Saved by the Bell” to “Saved By the Bell: The College Years” and the two feature-length TV movies that followed.

Saved by the Bell got started on the Disney Channel as Good Morning Miss Bliss but after the first season it went under a few major casting changes and a move to NBC. The second season is when things really got going for the series that followed the lives of these teenagers and their silly principal. The entire series centered around Zack Morris, a charismatic prep who would lie to your face just so he could get his way but he was just so likable doing it. He was always up to something but he’d get caught and try to find a way out of it. Zack was surrounded by a group of friends that also had their own unique personalities and attitudes. The All-American girl was Kelly Kapowski who ended up being Zack’s biggest crush. The two were on again, off again high school sweethearts but they ended up tying the knot later on. A.C. Slater was the school jock, Jessie was the head-strong girl in and Lisa was the smart girl who “Screech” always had a crush on throughout the series. These characters dealt with the growing pains that any teenager goes through but there was always a comedic element added in to keep everything light-hearted.

Saved by the Bell ran from 1989-1993. The series ended up with 105 total episodes (86 eps from the original Saturday morning run and 19 eps from the prime time run), from Good Morning Miss Bliss to Saved by the Bell: The College Years where the popularity of the series allowed it to go prime time hoping its loyal audience that had grown up with it would follow along. Unfortunately it didn’t but that’s okay. Saved by the Bell was so popular that it even spawned two TV movies; Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style in 1992 and Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas in 1994. There was even Saved by the Bell: The New Class but that’s another story that we’ll save for another day. I’d like to mention the catchy theme song because it was also a key part of the series and a tune that was easy to get stuck in your head. Saved by the Bell became such a pop culture phenomenon that it influenced an entire generation of teens that I was lucky enough to be a part of.

The packaging comes with a thick slipcase that houses four individual plastic keepcases inside for each season. The front of the slipcase features the artwork you see up top and the back includes series details, special features, some images and specs. The front of each DVD keepcase features its own individual artwork and the back includes season details, some images and specs. Each reverse sleeve features some images from each season/movie. All of the DVD discs are color coded for each season and feature the series logo. There’s also a booklet inside that serves as an episode guide (episodes, air dates and synopsis) for the viewer. Inserting each disc, the menu screens were simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this standard-definition release were good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Saved by the Bell: The Complete Collection ended up being an absolute blast from the past because it was part of my “Must See TV” Saturday morning rituals when I was a kid and I followed this series from middle school to the college years. The series always featured light-hearted stories but maybe every now and then there would be some kind of serious episode that dealt with some kind of personal drama for one of the characters. Saved by the Bell became a pop culture phenomenon that influenced the style and attitude for so many teens, tweens and others during its run. The cheesy writing kept everything simple with the growing pains and lessons and it was these young actors who brought these characters to life. Each fan favorite character featured their own unique attitude and personality that sort of mirrored our own lives or someone we knew. Revisiting some of these classic episodes brought back really fun memories; whether it’s Zack and his mischievious ways, or Screech being the super nerd that he was, or even the cutie pie Kelly who everybody had a crush on, it was all so much innocent fun. I think it’s great that Shout! Factory is the distributor for this must have home video release because they never disappoint and always deliver. Saved by the Bell: The Complete Collection is also the Ultimate Collection that’s now available. This is a must have for fans, purists and completists of this classic Saturday morning sitcom.

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Run Time: 16 Discs / 105 Epsiodes + 2 Movies / 48.5 Hours

Rated: TV-PG

DVD Video: Widescreen (1.33:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: N/A

Special Features: Good Stuff! There’s over an hour of extras that include two new documentaries, three making of featurettes, audio commentaries, photo galleries and an episode guide.

  • NEW Documentary “Past Times at Bayside High: Making Saved by the Bell” (51:45)
  • NEW Documentary “Bayside’s Greatest Hits: The Music Of Saved By The Bell” (04:45)
  • Featurette: “Saturday Morning: From Toons To Teens” (10:28)
  • Featurette: “It’s Alright: Back To The Bell” (16:57)
  • Featurette: “The First Of Its Class: From Sit-Com To Icon” (14:44)
  • Photo Galleries (05:08)
  • Audio Commentaries
  • 16 Page Episode Guide

 

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