For my independent reading project I chose to analyze Saved by the Bell (the TV series) vs the graphic novel. Going into this project I thought that the graphic novel was just a spin-off of the TV show and a way to make money of a beloved 90’s franchise. I was worried about this project not being as interesting as it could be if I chose another book but I went with it. So I sat down by the television and watched the five episodes of the first season.
The TV show was set in JFK Junior High and the students were all in eighth grade. That was one main difference I noted between the TV series and the book. In the book the students are in high school, the book conveys this message by the choices the author and illustrator make in the text and the illustrations. One main reason I think that could be the case is that the book was probably set in the later seasons of the show or was set in one of the many spin-offs created by the series. Also the location is different in the book it is set in Bayside High School in California while the TV show was set at JFK Junior High in Indianapolis.
What surprised me the most is that both about the TV series and the book is that the cast of characters were different. The TV series was missing Kelly Kwapnoski and A.C Slater from the main cast of characters. I was very confused why the main cast of characters from the book were different from the TV show. I then went straight onto to my computer to answer my inquiry. With some research I found out that season one was made by the Disney Channel for the Disney Channel. This was very confusing as I watched it on Hulu the bottom right corner had the NBC logo so I thought I had the right show. It turns season one was a completely different show from Saved By The Bell. It was called Good Morning, Miss Blitz and was made completely differently, as it was set around Miss. Blitz being the main character. This was completely different from the rest of the series and book as the main characters are the students. The TV show and the book are so different because after Disney dropped the show, NBC picked it up and changed the direction of the whole show. It turns out that the NBC version was what the book was based on. The NBC version rose to popularity very quickly and Saved By The Bell became a 90’s cultural icon.
I now understand why Saved By The Bell was so popular and still is popular. It was a light story but had a weird quality about it that made you want to watch more. Maybe I will find out what makes it so popular. I think that’s the bell, gotta go.