TV Review: Saved By The Bell, 1X3, “The Bayside Triangle”

Chike Coleman reviews episode three of 2020's Saved by the Bell, "The Bayside Triangle."
User Rating: 7

“The Bayside Triangle” is an interesting episode of Saved by the Bell because it revealed so much about how the show’s relationships really work.  Aisha bets Daisy that she can’t survive a week without judging Jamie when they fail to make smart decisions involving girls or their friendship in general.  Aisha is upset when the school ice cream social is canceled because the school iPads were stolen.  She suspects Devonte committed the crime and rats him out via a snitch box.

What makes this episode remarkable is that every character, excluding Jamie, demonstrates that they still have a lot of growing to do. For Ayesha, she is content to judge someone based on their previous behavior. Beyond jump to a generalized conclusion, she takes no time to actually get to know Devonte. She judges him strictly on past behavior, showing that she has more in common with Bayside’s personalities than she originally thought.  Daisy is the one character I struggle to watch because she’s constantly worried about others’ intelligence rather than focusing on her own path and her own goals.

The show’s weak point may be that the lead character that we are seeing everything through doesn’t have her own ambitions beyond just calling out the rich kids.  I personally want more from her.  The fact that Jamie and Mac continue to lust after women is an old-school trope of the original series, but the effect it has on Lexi is something that I didn’t see coming. Lexi is not a character who usually likes to show her feelings. The fact that she chooses to be vulnerable with Daisy about liking Jamie shows that she is adapting to having the new students at Bayside.  Also, I loved the joke that the students seemed older than necessary to be in high school because that’s exactly how the show’s actors were cast.

My major problem with this episode is that it doesn’t really allow the characters to grow as much as I would’ve liked them to.  Every student stays within the confines of their defined character traits. Those traits are going to get old fast if it continues.  I want these characters to truly learn from each other and teach the audience and thing, and if that doesn’t start happening within the next few episodes, it’s not going to be an enjoyable watch for the rest of the season.

Tonally I think teen-centered shows have a lot on their shoulders because they have to educate and entertain. Part of the problem with having a show like Saved By The Bell on streaming is that the lessons that were important to teenagers in the 90s are no longer as blatantly obvious or apparent as they are with today’s device centered culture.  This is why iPads getting stolen is a perfect device for students to blame one another. They are so used to being connected to their devices rather than to each other. Naturally, that would cause them to turn on one another faster than a close community of students.

“The Bayside Triangle” may not do much to grow the friendships between these students, but it helps us learn about them as characters and what they value.  That is as close to an important lesson as we need so early on in the series.

Good
  • Lexi's secret
  • Devonte's monologue
Bad
  • Slow Growth
7
Good
Written by
Chike has been a film critic in Illinois for the last 10 years with Urbana Public Television. Most of his work can be found on their YouTube channel where his show Reel Reviews is posted. The films he enjoys most are the kind that surprise you with characters that are deeper than you could ever suspect. As much as he loves reviewing it’s the stories that are unexpected that bring him the most joy. He lives in Champaign with his parents surrounded by cornfields.

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