- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2247 KB
- Print Length: 489 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00SYWOLTC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #494,922 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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So Excited, So Scared: The Saved by the Bell Retrospective Kindle Edition
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This sociological exposé should not be shocking to anyone who’s ever watched the films of Ethan Hawke or read a Douglas Coupland novel, and it’s a shameful way of explaining how I – in my mid-twenties – came to love a show called Saved By The Bell.
Although they didn’t know it – because they hadn’t created it at the time – SBTB’s core audience was ‘tweens, mostly girls. ‘Tweens were those between childhood and teenage years, old enough to grasp the gravitas of a series which sometimes had Very Special Episodes but not yet old enough to dismiss the whole shebang as groundless fantasy. Like ‘tweens, we were able to suspend our disbelief long enough to enjoy the show, mainly because we were too lazy to worry about things like consistency, and quality, and acting.
That’s not to rubbish SBTB. It was – and remains – very watchable, and reading So Excited, So Scared: The Saved by the Bell Retrospective by Stuart Millard brings it all back, only with time-worn added Screech hatred.
Millard wrote the book on a whim. He noticed the complete series was available on DVD and dared his Twitter followers to buy it for him, promising he’d review each and every episode. A few days later, the DVD set turned up in his mailbox, and he embarked on a six-month journey into obsession.
As well as an episode-by-episode recap, he provides new-to-me background on the creation of the show, as well as the intricacies of producing a sequential TV show with a casual disregard for continuity. This last quality was stretched to breaking point by the show’s fourth season, which – as Millard humorously and patiently details – alternated its episodes between two different casts, as well as throwing in rejected episodes from previous seasons, all to make it to the magical number of episodes required for syndication.
Beyond the show, Millard covers What Happened Next? for the main cast and the show’s creator, as well as the slurry-filled, truth-shunning exposés that are Dustin “Screech” Diamond’s autobiography, Behind The Bell, and the Lifetime “true” movie based on that book.
Although watching a show meant for 9- to 12-year olds as a – functioning, no-GenX – adult must have been wearisome, let alone one with such an absolute twonk as Screech in a main role, Millard’s humour and chattiness never dims, and I’m not ashamed to admit that, reader, I LOL’d. A lot.
If you have any fond memories of SBTB, this book is for you. Sure, it’ll mark you out as “that slightly odd one who keeps telling me facts about Bayside High”, but it’s a small price to pay for hours of wallowing in comfortable nostalgia. Go Bayside! Valley sucks!
Sure, reading this will never make Saved By The Bell the same again once you watch a repeat, but reading this, that's okay with me. It will bring back fond memories reading and legitimately laughing out loud at this book.
Go get this now! Even if you have never seen an episode of SBTB in your life.
I was not disappointed. Millard is the perfect Dante to the 90's dayglo teen hellscape that was Bayside High. Previously the most amusing take on the exploits of Zack Morris et al was probably found in Chuck Klosterman's analysis in Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, but So Excited, So Scared surpasses this. A must read if you want to find out about the perverts' charter implications of Zack's Time Outs or revisit the disconcerting inconsistency known as "Tori".
I can now safely say that I know more about Saved by the Bell than I ever wanted.
Also, my guinea pig was called Goro, from Mortal Kombat
Whilst Saved By The Bell contained none of the latter's decapitations, it had its own visceral horrors in day-glo clothes, baffling dance numbers and the machiavellian torture caused by its oil slick protagonist Zack Morris.
This book breaks down the history of the early 90's phenomenon, from inception to rebirth to burial, as well as having a guide dedicating a couple of pages to every single episode of the shows four seasons.
Millard casts a funny and wry eye over the adventures of the Bayside Six, whilst crucially avoiding the lazy cliches of most kids shows retrospectives. Although I planned to dip in and out the book, an episode at a time, I just ended up reading the whole thing in a few days.
Written with an irreverent but admiring eye for the show, So Excited. is a wonderful and painfully true trip down memory lane where all your teachers had comical schtick and you couldn't order a burger with some lame slight of hand being performed.
The book is fast, informative and laugh out loud funny. Recommend for all fans or anyone with even a passing interest in the 90s sensation.
Jessie > Violet > Tori > Kelly
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