“SAVED BY THE BELL: SEASONS 1&2” have been released on dvd in a boxed set from LIONS GATE FILMS. As much as this reviewer finds it hard to watch without embarrassment, its appeal to youngsters is undeniable. Even with a very dated “early ‘90s” atmosphere, the children we viewed watching it, “L-O-V-E-D” it. The series in very unrealistic storylines, is set in and around the various school and social life of its main characters, preppie-good looking Zach, wrestler/macho-wannabee Slater, nerdy to the extreme-comic relief Screech, Fashion maven Lisa, pretty but self-reliant Jessie, stunning, sweet as can be cheerleader Kelly, and more. Tori Spelling even appears in later seasons as the nerdy-love interest of Screech!
Somehow, even as aggravating it is to watch the Zach character turn to the camera for insanely, ridiculous humorous asides, it’s hard not to keep watching the show. While the storylines are ridiculous, and the characters too syrupy clean to emulate those awkward years of youth, “SAVED BY THE BELL” manages to present an image that kids “wish” were true, and that’s its attraction.
LIONS GATE FILMS have preserved the series’ original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Colors are solid, and even vibrant, without ever appearing oversaturated. Contrast varies in quality. Blacks and grays aren’t discernible in comparison to many of LIONS GATES’ superior transfers. The limitations in contrast mean only average detail in various scenes. Fleshtones appear natural throughout.
LIONS GATE FILMS has presented a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix for this release. The show attempts to be comedy-driven, so an aggressive mix is unnecessary. When compared to current cable/satellite airings, fidelity and separation is comparable, meaning nothing special. Still, dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.