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So Excited, So Scared: The Saved By the Bell Retrospective (book review)

Review by Elizabeth Weitz
So Excited, So Scared: The Saved By the Bell Retrospective 
Written by Stuart Millard

Mention Saved By the Bell to anyone in the Gen-X generation and you will immediately be besieged by various dialog quotes, memories of Kelly Kapowski’s half shirts or Zack Morris’ huge obnoxious phone…you know, things that are super important to a group of former Latchkey Kids who grew up with the electronic babysitter known as TV.

And in Stuart Milliard’s book So Excited, So Scared: The Saved By the Bell Retrospective, those kids (or, stunted adults of which I count myself a part of, if you prefer) are treated to a conversational tome which not only looks at the history of the show, but also acts as an in depth analysis of the show’s individual episodes (some of which are far more interesting than the episode itself), SBtB: The College Years (a weirder, more surreal version of teen soap fav Beverly Hills 90210– which interestingly, Ms. Thiessen would eventually land a spot on), SBtB: The New Class (a show which lasted almost twice as long as the original but left no indelible mark on society) and all of the juicy gossip surrounding the show(s) that one could hope to sink their teeth into.

While all that might be enough to get you to part with some of your money, what really sets Milliard’s book apart from most other Tell-All/Cerebral Pop Culture Exposes is the style in which it is written.

Like I mentioned above, this is a conversational tome written by a guy who knows his stuff, much like one of your weirdly obsessive friends who spends hours sitting in a corner at a party telling a rapt audience about the minutia of whatever TV show they’re in love with…and listen you will, because the tale is funny, filled with the stuff you want to hear about and, while reading it, you will feel like you are sitting on a sofa with a beer listening to an awesome Mega Dork who you might have a little bit of a crush on.

Yes, I am seriously telling you that reading this book is the equivalent of having a nerd convo with your bestest friend… one who is especially giddy to go into every aspect of the show including some of the sickly-sad detail of Dustin Diamond’s mental issues found via his rumor spill of a book, Behind the Bell. A book which has (and I’m not making this up) the icky phrase “on the hunt for new pussoire” embossed within its pages (how glorious!) and, even better, is the basis for the classic Made-for-TV movie, The Unauthorized Saved By the Bell Story, lovingly put out by Lifetime channel as a gift to the masses (and which has it’s very own chapter in the book dedicated to it).

Can you feel the awesomeness?

So Excited, So Scared is one of those little surprises that makes being a huge pop culture freak worthwhile and should be read by anyone who spent Saturday mornings glued to the TV hopped up on Sugar Smacks…you know, as long as that person has never quite gotten over their Zack Attack.

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