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The Morals of Television

Nothing reminds me more of summer vacation than walking down the stairs of my basement with my sister, one responsible for carrying two identical bowls of Cocoa Puffs and the other, responsible for bringing down as many quilts and pillows as her hands could carry. Summers were the time where we would lock ourselves downstairs, eating whatever we desired, and arguing about whose turn it was to go back upstairs to get another bowl of popcorn. So day after day, month after month, we sat and watched reruns of the shows of the 90’s and new episodes of shows from the 00’s. My sister’s favorite, Saved by The Bell, was a classic. With a matching gray diamond quilt in our closet, Zach Morris’s legendary “Time Out’s”, and Kelly Kapowski’s impeccable 90’s style, it is no surprise at all that the show still remains popular, nearly 26 years later.

Saved by the Bell was not just a show we watched to fan girl over the boys of Bayside High or to argue night and day as to who Kelly should end up with (though the answer was always obviously Zack Morris), instead it was a show that taught us the importance of family and friendship and introduced us to the dark topics of drug abuse, drunk driving, and family financial struggles. It was a show that was able to teach it viewers about serious, important topics, whilst still retaining its charismatic nature and relatability.

The shows of the 90’s and early 00’s, like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Full House, Kim Possible, and Drake and Josh have all shown us, in different ways, the difficulties many people face, alongside the values necessary to overcome them. They have also taught us the necessity for having respect for others, and the importance of being surrounded by those who believe in you. The Fresh Prince has shown us the importance of family, of being honest and respecting towards those we cherish (yes, including Geoffrey). Full House brought to the screen the important topics of losing those we love and the importance of self-respect, that there is need to be ashamed of who we are or to change ourselves for someone else, because the people who truly love you are those who appreciate you just as you are. Likewise, Drake and Josh brought us two boys from completely oppose worlds and taught us the importance of compromise, of always being there to save our siblings, our family, when they need us most. Kim Possible, was another classic shows of the 2000’s that taught young girls that they are able to do whatever they dream and that the gender barriers that stand in their way are not enough to stop them now. It was one the few shows of that time that casted the main hero as a female and the sidekick as a male; it was empowering to the young girls that grew up watching it.

As I spend my days off and vacations flipping though these old channels, hoping at least once, to catch a rerun episode, I hope that the shows of this decade, as well of the one of our future generations, hold these same valuable messages and takeaways, whilst still evolving to deal with the current issues of its time. Rather than just watching for the sake of pointless entertainment, the shows should attempt to deal with these same serious topics and valuable morals. A good show is one that is able to encompass all of these: the comedy, the drama, the relatability. Hopefully, years from now as we look back on our childhood memories, we will forever keep in mind the lessons we learned one summer day and how it affected us or made us realize a general truth about respecting others, about self-respect, about a varying spectrum of topics. I hope that the future generations learn that nothing stops them from doing what they believe in, and that despite the number of years that pass after the culmination of the show, the messages and lessons taken from the shows remain with them every day of their lives.