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Saved by the Bell - Season 5


TITLE: SAVED BY THE BELL - SEASON 5


Info:

DVD Release Date: July 19, 2005 (Lions Gate Home Entertainment)
Color
MSRP: $29.98
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: Approx. 550 Minutes
Total Runtime of Special Features: Approximately 15 Minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, Closed Captioning
Special Features: In-depth Documentary Focusing on Series Phenomena


Introduction:

Season 5 of the hit TNBC series "Saved by the Bell" finds our favorite teens causing more trouble and continuing their inventive schemes during their senior and final year at Bayside High School. In Season 5, we follow Zack, A.C., Screech, Lisa and the newest transfer to Bayside High, Tori. This season's adventures include Zack and the Teen Line, the Teachers' Strike, Slater's Sister comes to town, Drinking and Driving, Senior Prom, the Time Capsule and the final Graduation episode.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

A total of 24 episodes are on included on this 3 disc season 5 (1992-93) set. The two movies - Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style and Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas are not included. Two episodes that aired in the last season were previously released on the seasons 1-2 set: Screech's Birthday and Slater's Friend.

Here is a list of the episodes in the order they appear on the discs: Disc 1 - The Fight, Student Teacher Week, Screech's Spaghetti Sauce, The New Girl, The Bayside Triangle, Teen Line, Masquerade Ball, and Day of Detention. Disc 2 - Wrestling with the Future, Drinking and Driving, Class Rings, Love Machine, Isn't it Romantic?, The Will, The Teacher's Strike, and Slater's Sister. Disc 3 - The Senior Prom, The Video Yearbook, Snow White and the Seven Dorks, Earthquake, The Best Summer of My Life, School Song, Graduation, and Time Capsule.

For an explanation on why Leana Creel was added to the cast in season 5 as Tori Scott, click here.

Memorable episodes included "Student Teacher Week", in which Belding and Zack switch places. Tori and Zack get caught in an elevator during an earthquake, along with Mr. Belding's wife who goes into labor there in "Earthquake." It's graduation day, but Zack will not be able to join the gang when they get their diplomas in "Graduation." Soleil Moon Frye, best known as Punky Brewster, guest starred as Robin in "Screech's Spaghetti Sauce." Henry Polic II, known for his role of Jerry Silver on Webster, appeared as Mr. Bainbridge in "Snow White and the Seven Dorks."


Packaging:

There was a bit of controversy when the original cover artwork was released initially. Fans were upset that the photo on the cover had been manipulated. Leanna Creel's face had been pasted on Elizabeth Berkley's body. Dennis Haskins (Principal Belding) face was also pasted on to what is then NBC President Brandon Tartikoff's body in the original photo.

Lions Gate addressed fans concerns and issued a revised cover. Elizabeth Berkley's face was restored to the original photo and Leanna Creel's face and body were added to the far left of the photo. Dennis Haskins face is still pasted over Brandon Tartikoff's face, although Lions Gate can't be put at fault for that. Apparently, Dennis Haskins was never at any of the complete photo sessions in the later life of the show.

The packaging itself is pretty nice. It's in the carboard Digipack style that slides out from the right of the outer box. The front and back is the same on both cases. The back features a photo of the cast in college sweatshirts. The main colors of the set are red, purple, and gold. Inside the Digipak, there are photos of Slater/Kelly, Zack/Tori, and Lisa/Screech. There are 3 panels that list the episodes by disc. The titles are listed along with the writing and directing credits. I think it would have been better if they included short episodes summaries also. There is a bit of wasted space at the top of the panels. The discs are very plain with just the Saved by the logo on them. Disc 1 is purple and has episodes 1-8 of the season. Disc 2 is red with episodes 9-16. Disc 3 is gold and contains episodes 17-24.


Menu Design and Navigation:

When you first insert the disc, you hear a school bell. It then leads to the main menu which has a cast photo and the show logo on the left and various clips from the episodes on the right. A portion of the theme song can be heard in the background. There are options for 'Play All Episodes' and 'Episode Selection.' There are 4 episodes on each episode selection menu. There are still images from the episodes with a reg, gold, and purple background. A school bell is played in transitions on the menus. The 3rd disc has the documentary special feature. There are chapter stops within the episodes, but no scene selection menus.


Video and Audio Quality:

Saved by the Bell was originally shot on video. The video quality is by no means superb, but the episodes are certainly watchable. They are spread out over 3 discs, so there are no major compression problems. There is a 2.0 Dolby Stereo audio track which is kind of plain. There were no major audio problems that I noticed, and the volume is at a good level. Closed captioning is available. All episodes appear to be undedited running around 22-23 minutes in length.


Special Features:

The only special feature is a documentary focusing on the series phenomena called "The First of Its Class: From Sit-com to Icon." At under 15 minutes (14:44), it could have been much more in-depth. I was expecting atleast a 45-60 minute bonus. The special includes interviews with Executive Producer Peter Engel, Writer/Supervising Producer Bennett Tramer, Writer/Producer Jeffrey Sachs, Writer/Producer of The New Class - Carl Kurlander, Professor of Criticial Studies at USC School of Cinema-Television - Ellen Seiter, and Saved by the Bell Fanatics Lisa Stephensen, Gavin Citron, and Regina Parrott.

They talk about the origin of the show, the ratings success, how the stories were written, and the casting of the show. You would be surprised what primetime sitcom it had more teen viewers than at the time. Various clips of the episodes are shown and some nice color cast photos are shown during the segment. The color on the clips looks very faded, and I wonder if they used a DVD or tape source for those episodes. The documentary was sort of interesting, but they definitely should have made it longer and had some of the cast members involved. I'm not really a fan of the show, but I think fans would have wanted more gossip and behind the scenes type details.


Final Comments:

I have to say I am thoroughly confused with how Lions Gate has divided the seasons. It seems like there were only 4 full seasons: Season 1 - 1989, Season 2 - 1990, Season 3 - 1991, and Season 4 - 1992. Hopefully, Lions Gate or some other company will release the movies at some point. The documentary could have much more in-depth. I wasn't expecting a E! True Hollywood Story, but it would have been nice to see some of the cast interviewed. Fans of the show will still want to pick up this set even if it is just for the episodes.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 07/10/05 (modified on 07/13/05)

To order the DVD click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0009KQP96/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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