The 1990s was a wonderful time for television aimed at kids and young teenagers. The decade spawned dozens of brilliant shows - many of them with prolific TV producer Peter Engel at the helm - that are still fondly remembered, including the likes of California Dreams, Hang Time, Student Bodies, Boy Meets World and City Guys - that last one being the personal favourite of this site's deputy editor Alex Fletcher.
But Saved by the Bell was the original and the best. As terrific as some of those other shows were, they were all clearly inspired by the popularity of Bayside High's Zack, Slater, Kelly and pals.
Saved by the Bell: Originally broadcast from August 20, 1989 to May 22, 1993
Saved by the Bell - a retooled, updated spin on the late '80s children's series Good Morning, Miss Bliss - was pure entertainment - the kind of escapist, aspirational teen television that has been relentlessly imitated but never bettered.
Every young male viewer watching wanted to be cocky troublemaker Zack Morris - brought to loveable life by teen heartthrob Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Looking back, it's easy to scoff at Zack's '90s hair and fashions - but in the early '90s, Saved by the Bell's lead was the ultimate TV cool dude.
In fact, if you remove the rose-tinted lenses, it's easy to pick holes in Saved by the Bell - Gosselaar himself called the writing "hokey" last year, though later insisted that he was merely commenting on how the "the writing reflected" the time in which the show was made.
He's right, of course, but saying that Saved by the Bell was of its time is not a criticism, it's a compliment - the show perfectly encapsulates all that was great about '90s teen television.
Long before Vampire Diaries fans were debating the merits of Delena vs. Stelena, before even Dawson's Creek fangirls were forced to decide between sweet Dawson or rebellious Pacey, Saved by the Bell had its viewers caught up in the fun love triangle between Zack, his (and this writer's) crush Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Thiessen) and our hero's macho frenemy A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez).
The show had its cartoonish elements and OTT stylings - remember how the audience would whoop wildly when two characters kissed, or sigh mournfully whenever emotional upset hit Bayside? But Saved by the Bell drew you in with its well-drawn, likeable characters and enthusiastic, easy-on-the-eye cast.
Zack and Slater's friendly rivalry was great fun to watch unfold, but the show also boasted one of television's most famous 'geek' characters, Dustin Diamond's Samuel 'Screech' Powers - a figure so iconic that his name became a byword for nerd-dom.
And then there was Dennis Haskins - the man who set us off on this nostalgia fest in the first place - as Belding. While he may have suffered his fair amount of humiliations, Richard Belding wasn't your typical stern-faced teacher type who the cool kids set out to thwart. Haskins made Saved by the Bell's chief authority figure a loveable bumbler - not someone we loved to hate, just someone we plain loved.
This show's four perfectly formed seasons - all of which featured one of the greatest theme songs of all time - were the TV equivalent of capturing lightning in a bottle and, when the time came for our favourites to graduate, it proved impossible to replicate the formula...
Sequel series Saved by the Bell: The College Years - which replaced Belding with dorm advisor Mike Rogers (Bob Golic) and swapped Lark Voorhies's trendy Lisa Turtle and Elizabeth Berkeley's studious Jessie Spano for newbies Leslie Burke (Anne Tremko) and Alex Tabor (Kiersten Warren) - had its moments, but never touched the brilliance of the original series.
And as for soulless continuation Saved by the Bell: The New Class - it may have had both Belding and Screech on board, but the new generation of Bayside students couldn't hold a candle to Zack, Kelly and co.
Thankfully, NBC wisely decided to return to the original and best Bell line-up one last time in 1994, ordering a two-hour TV movie to wrap up the first show's dangling storylines - chiefly the on/off romance between the aforementioned Mr Morris and Miss Kapowski.
Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas saw the pair - after a series of comic mishaps - finally tie the knot. As befits a show this wonderfully cornball, each of the regular characters got a happy ending - Lisa and Jessie even returned from exile to wish their friends well.
The talk of every school yard way back when and a nostalgic favourite for many young adults today, Saved by the Bell was a true television classic and it's doubtful if any reunion special could resurrect that Bayside magic. Sorry Dennis.
Were you a Saved by the Bell fan? Share your nostalgic memories below!