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Saved by the Bell: The College Years
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this series follows the transition of older teens into college life and adulthood. As a result, some of the themes (drinking, relationships, etc.) are more mature than the original Saved by the Bell series and may be unsuitable for younger viewers. Overall this show focuses on positive values and learning from your mistakes, teaching the idea that people always have to face the consequences of their actions.
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What's the story?
SAVED BY THE BELL: THE COLLEGE YEARS is the short-lived third installation of the original Saved by the Bell series (the first was Good Morning, Miss Bliss) featuring Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez), and Screech Powers (Dustin Diamond). As freshmen at California University, the guys cope with college life and the challenges they face when trying to do the right thing. Joined by dorm advisor/mentor Mike Rogers (Bob Golic), the gang must learn to balance school, friendship, and romance as they make new friends -- including Leslie Burke (Anne Tremko) and Alex Tabor (Kiersten Warren) -- and rekindle old flames, like Zack's high school sweetheart Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Thiessen). As they begin their journey into adulthood, Zack and his friends discover that the pranks that made them popular in high school don't work in college, and -- as demonstrated by Screech's popularity with the ladies -- that teen geeks can be big men on campus. They also learn that adulthood requires them to think things through and that even the most mundane choices, such as throwing unauthorized dorm parties, can lead to very serious consequences that like getting kicked out of school.
Is it any good?
While some of the issues that the characters deal with are silly, the show also tackles serious storylines, including Kelly's affair with her anthropology professor, the use of steroids in college athletics, and Zack and Kelly's decision to get married at the end of the season. But despite some mature themes, Saved by the Bell: The College Years, like the original series, presents positive messages about school, friendship, and the value of learning from your mistakes. Even though it only lasted for 19 episodes during the 1993-1994 season, the show offers some valuable learning experiences.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the importance of friendship, respect, and learning from your mistakes. Families can also talk about the challenges teens face when they leave high school and go off to college. What's it like to live in a dorm? What are some of the social pressures faced in college? How can you handle those pressures and still have a positive college experience?
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