WARNING: The following contains spoilers for season 2 of Saved by The Bell, now streaming on Peacock.
The original Saved by the Bell featured two fan-favorite couples, that of Zack and Kelly, and Jessie and Slater, with Zack and Kelly always edging out Jessie and Slater in the best couple category, in all respects. They got more fan attention, more storylines, and they got a happy ending. The revival does, after all, find them married, happy, and raising a family together. Meanwhile, when the revival starts Jessie is married to someone else and Slater is just a co-worker she used to date.
But throughout the course of the revival, and particularly in season 2, Saved by the Bell does enough to make the argument that, even though they got the happy ending, the best OG couple was always Jessie and Slater, and not Kelly and Zack.
The decision to have Jessie and Slater be the couple that broke up and Kelly and Zack be the couple that stayed together was probably tied to the actor’s availability. Mario Lopez (A.C. Slater) and Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (Jessie Spano) are both series regulars in the revival, while Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack Morris) and Tiffani Thiessen (Kelly Kapowski-Morris) are not. This meant the show needed more of a storyline to develop with Jessie and Slater than it did with Kelly and Zack.
However, what we’ve seen of Kelly and Zack so far in the two seasons of the revival also point to the same problem they had during the run of the original show, a problem that seems to have continued, even in their seemingly happy married life: their relationship is very shallow. Sure, Zack and Kelly love each other, but due in large part to the way the show has always written them, as more stereotypes than anything, their relationship with each other has remained largely superficial. They’re seemingly happy, but there’s not much more to go on there.
Jessie and Slater, on the other hand, who always had more issues in the original run of the show, get to continue on a path of growth. They were once a couple and broke up, and throughout the first season of Saved by the Bell, we can see them truly interacting with each other as friends. It’s not till season 2 that the show starts to do more than hint there might still be some deeper feelings involved in their dynamic, and though the show does take the plunge and ends with the two of them reuniting, it doesn’t do so at the expense of their character – or relationship – development.
If anything, by the time Jessie and Slater are reunited in the Season 2 finale, it feels earned. They had a chance to get back together for the wrong reasons, and they walked away from each other for the right ones, only to ultimately decide what they had was worth the risk. Zack and Kelly, meanwhile, are still together, but their relationship has still to be explored in the revival in a way that leaves fans rooting for them for any other reason than nostalgia’s sake.
To see Kelly and Zack’s happy ending and Jessie and Slater find their way back to each other, Saved by the Bell is available to stream on Peacock.
KEEP READING: Saved by the Bell Says Goodbye to [SPOILER]
You May Like Also