This morning, the first episode of "Saved by the Bell" was on TBS. The station didn't announce that it was the first episode (obviously), but you could tell because everybody was acting like they had just met each other. Zack says, "Well, if it isn't Mr. Belding, my high school principal!" And Mr. Belding says, "Staying out of trouble, Morris?" You get the idea. Plus, Slater was introduced as the "new kid." You can't get any more "first episode" than that, people!
Regardless of these obvious clues, its "first episode" status was painfully clear from the very first shot. It opens with the school hallway and... wouldn't you know? It's completely filled with students. All these kids are running around and teachers are in the background talking and all this craziness. There's so much effin' activity! And it was so, so, so obvious that the producers were trying very hard to make this seem like "a California high school." For Peter Engel's sakes, a kid went by on a skateboard. A skateboard!
Anyway, as any "Saved by the Bell" fan knows, this trend died out quickly. By the fourth season, the only people in the hallway were the principal characters. If that. Sometimes it was just Zack and a card-board cut-out of Screech holding a hoagie.
And seeing this first episode was all very sad, of course, because it reminded me of...
First-year teachers. And how initially, they're so excited to be "great educators" who "shape young minds" and "change the world" that they assign challenging work using alternative methods they just learned in college. And how they're devoted to their profession. And their eyes fill up with enthusiasm and promise when they HAND OUT THEIR SYLLABUS to a group of fourth graders.
By the end of the year, they're exhausted and beaten and just give out busy work they don't ever intend to grade.
Before, their heart was a corridor filled with skateboarding students, but now... it is but an empty tunnel holding a cardboard Screech in its center.
Do you what's not depressing though? I'm going to Panama City, Florida for Spring Break! White sand beaches and electric-blue waters for me! I am a college student going to Florida for Spring Break. This is amazing.
My vote for tonight's "American Idol?"
When she sang the end of "All By Myself?" Damn right, my eyes glazed over with tears of joy.