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Official Article

Retro TV Romance: Zack & Kelly

As a kid there were two ways to learn about romance. The first was watching your parents and frankly, nothing was more disgusting than seeing old people get all mushy and kissy-faced. So that left the second option, weekly episodes of our favorite TV shows. Here played out in dramatic style were the ins and outs of love and dating in a very entertaining form. So let’s start out by exploring the romantic adventures of the hottest couple at Bayside high school, Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski.

Saved By The Bell was a strange mix. Mostly the producers gave us goofy one-off shows about Zack’s get rich quick schemes or the occasional death of a salamander, but the one thread that carried throughout the series was Zack’s pursuit of gorgeous cheerleader and all around goody-goody, Kelly Kapowski.

At first Zack was just trying to out-maneuver A.C. Slater for her hand, then he desperately moved into subliminal mind control. At one point they did get to fictitiously play man and wife during a Home Economics project, but Zack finally won out for real by sheer persistence when Kelly agreed go to prom with him.

It was the magical night the young Mr. Morris had been waiting for, but was interrupted by Kelly’s father’s layoff from work. Not to be deterred, the couple celebrated at a lunch table outside the gym with casual clothes and passionate kisses.  On the verge of becoming an official couple, Zack gets googly eyes for the new school nurse, Jennifer, who getting wind of his foolishness, uses her maturity to scare him back into Kelly’s arms.

The lovebirds have their first fight over Zack’s paranoia of Kelly cheating on him with her ex-boyfriend and he has to woo her back through an apology skit featuring the disturbing image of Screech in her cheer outfit, next to Slater in spandex ballet attire. Then there was that time Zack had to kiss Jessie as part of Snow White and the 7 Dorks, which led to a full-on make out and broken hearts, that were healed through embarrassing white kid rap.

At this point the show moved from light-hearted teen comedy to 90210-esque drama. Kelly actually does cheat on Zack, with an older college guy named Jeff, who was her manager at The Max. Next thing you know Kelly is in tears apologizing for hurting Zack at the same place they shared their special moment, while Slater and Jessie croon a sappy duet. Then the guys get fake IDs to crash a 21 and over dance club only to find Jeff out with a girl more age appropriate. Kelly finds out, breaks up with Jeff and ends up with nobody, leaving Zack in the friend zone.

After graduation, when Zack, Slater and Screech went to college, Kelly was nowhere to be found. When Tiffani Amber-Thiessen finally joined The College Years series we were hoping for a rekindling of romance and we got it, but not without the familiar ups and downs of Kelly dating an older college Professor and Zack going to great lengths to break them up. Ultimately Zack proposes and the couple finally ties the knot in Las Vegas during a TV movie special, which officially brought the story of this group of Bayside alumni to a close. We should be thankful that the producers of Saved By The Bell gave us a happy ending. 

So yes, one of the greatest and longest lasting Retro TV Romances where everything worked out in the end. The truth is that Mark-Paul Gosselar was just a stand-in for all teenage boys that wanted to get close to Tiffani Amber-Thiessen in her regular look of floral printed jean shorts and shoulderless miniskirt ensembles. It certainly led me to believe that dating would be a lot more complicated than it was.

So what was you’re your favorite Zack and Kelly moment?

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Vaporman87 Posted on Apr 01, 2016 at 01:32 PM

I only caught Saved By The Bell intermittently, so I was not up on all the ongoing drama. I would get in right in the middle of something, not really understanding everything that had gone on prior to my viewing. That being said, it was easy to see that the producers had fun playing up the relationships between the six of them. Specifically Zach and Kelly, Slater and Jessie, and Screech and Lisa. It's nice to get a breakdown of the whole romance and how it eventually turned out, for those of us not privy to that.

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