Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Crush of the Week: Flashback Fun Edition - Who Doesn't Love....Zack Morris?

Zack Attack was more than a band Zack Morris dreamed up in his garage one day. A Zack Attack was what I used to get every Saturday morning when I watched Saved by the Bell.

I know that I wasn’t the only one afflicted with this condition. In fact, I can’t think of a single girl I know who hasn’t admitted to having a Zack Morris obsession at some point in her life. Some cases were mild (watching four episode blocks every day after school) while some were somewhat…stronger. Like say, wearing a Zack Morris t-shirt while reading this book and telling everyone who would listen about how Mark-Paul Gosselaar was fluent in Dutch.

Ahem. Anyway.

Across the board, ladies loved Zack and guys wanted to be him. (Who am I kidding? Ladies still love Zack and guys still want to be him.) It wasn’t one thing that made Zack so awesome; it was everything. Let’s take a look at a few of the elements that made the King of Bayside just so irresistible.

* He could literally talk his way out of anything

Anything. I mean, think about the stuff the kid got away with. Selling pimple cream that made everyone’s faces maroon. Making a tape for Kelly with subliminal messages. Wire tapping the girls’ slumber party. Constantly betting with everyone at Valley. Kidnapping the Valley mascot. Tying up Valley’s Russian exchange student, stealing all of his clothes and posing as him during the chess tournament. Skipping school - a lot. Still, at the end of the day, a smile and a few pretty words could clear everything up.

Obviously, Mr. Belding was as much of a sucker for Zack’s charms as the rest of us were, because otherwise, that kid would have gotten expelled his freshman year.

* His phone, his hair, and the fact that he could freeze time

But, I mean, that’s all a given.

* He only had eyes for one woman…Or maybe a few

Zack Morris could have had any girl at Bayside, but he only wanted Kelly Kapowski. 

…Except for that summer at Malibu Sands when he was in love with Stacey Carosi…And that year that Kelly and Jessie were MIA and he dated Tori…And there was also that homeless girl at the mall…And then there was the time he and Jessie had to kiss in the all rap production of Snow White and they were like, “What does this mean?!?!”…And also there was the time he and Lisa kissed at the fashion show, breaking Screech’s heart…And there was the school nurse…The female wrestler…Slater’s sister…And we can’t forget the college years when he was interested in Leslie…

But overall, Zack only had eyes for Kelly Kapowski, even when she could never decide between Zack and Slater – as if there was any real competition. (No disrespect to Mario Lopez. I love Mario Lopez – doesn’t he even get cuter as he ages? – but with the high-waisted acid wash jeans and orange tank tops and the “Hey, mama”s and the Spandex Twins? It wasn’t a fair fight.) Zack loved Kelly. He even made that outdoor prom for her when her father lost his job and she couldn’t afford to go. He would have done anything for her.

And what did she do? She went and cheated on him with Jeff, then acted all put out when he danced with Screech’s cousin to A-12 – their song – at the Max.

Whatever, Kelly. Maybe you should think next time the Max gets a dreamy new manager.

* He was a really great friend

Remember when Screech felt bad that no girls liked him so Zack dressed up as a girl? (A little weird, but still.) Or how about the time Zack saved a so excited, so excited, so scared Jessie from her intense-for-one-day caffeine pill addiction? Or when he held a funeral for Slater’s chameleon, Artie? (Even if he did think he was responsible for his death.) Sure, maybe he landed all of his pals in detention from time to time, and with his “Get rich quick” schemes (remember Screech’s Spaghetti Sauce?) he was probably a little bit of a high maintenance friend, but no one else could make a Murder Mystery weekend or camping out at the mall for U2 tickets look so fun.

* He was the king of…well…everything

He was in the glee club, student council, the basketball team (when he had to have knee surgery), the track team (when he almost couldn’t compete because he didn’t finish his ancestry report, but then he befriended Chief Henry, who taught him about Native American culture and a few life lessons, then died), yearbook committee, helped bring back KKTY Bayside, managed Hot Sundae, did a “There’s No Hope with Dope!” PSA, and formed a doo-wop group called the Five Aces.

And let’s not forget, he got a 1502 on his SATs. Imagine if he hadn’t always skipped class and actually did his own homework instead of having Screech do it? But then again, how would he find the time to study between Zack Attack practice and running the school store?

Though it’s been seventeen years since Zack and Kelly tied the knot in Vegas as a closing chapter to the SBTB legacy, the gang, the Max and Zack live on in our hearts (and in daily reruns on TBS. And that really awesome appearance Mark-Paul Gosselaar made as Zack on Jimmy Fallon.)

My Zack t-shirt may have been given away to Goodwill a million years ago, and I have no idea what happened to that book, but every time I see MPG (as I will tonight on Franklin & Bash) I can feel myself falling into a mini-relapse of a Zack Attack.
And I have the feeling that will never go away.


  1. Just had a revelation: Zack Morris IS Barbie. He does everything, and with style!

    I always think I'm over Zack Morris. I think, "Whatever. That show is cheesy and his hair and clothes are so 90s." But then I watch it again, and I legit still have a crush on Zack. And when I see MPG in other things? Forget about it! That guy has aged well, is all I'm sayin'.

  2. I agree that MPG has aged well. Not Uncle-Jessie-aged-well, but still. Before he was just cute, but now he's legit handsome.

    He was obviously my favorite of the boys(Mario Lopez with that hair and those tank tops always looked sweaty. Or at best, greasy. Although remember how sweet he was as Marc Antony?) although Kelly was always my least favorite of the girls. I was glad when they eased off of her being a ditz, I feel like she really held her own in the College Years (do you think Lisa and Jessie were furious they didn't get to go to college?)

    Part of me wonders if the kids growing up after us have the same affinity for the SBTB The New Class and whatever Zack Morris clone they rolled out. But the rest of me know that such a thing could never be. Like The Highland, of Zack Morrises, there can only be one.

  3. Love him on Franklin & Bash! I feel like its the new-age Zack Morris!