Saved By the Book, aka The Laziest Kickstarter
7th JUNE — SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR AN UPDATE
Welcome to the laziest Kickstarter ever. Here’s the deal. I’ve stuck the complete Saved by the Bell box set onto my Amazon wishlist. It’s £53 with free delivery, and if someone buys it for me, I’ll write an exhaustive SBTB book. Click here for my wishlist, and to make dreams come true.
That’s it. As crowd-funded ideas go, on the plus side, it’s got a low, low target of £53, and the perk of a fantastic, in-depth book being available to everyone in the world (with a Kindle or Kindle app) for less than a fiver in about 6-9 months time. As a minus, the cash will have to be plumped for by a single donor. (Note: this project only stands for the original series. I would not be covering The College Years, the TV movies, or The New Class.)
As to what form this book would take, it absolutely wouldn’t be one of those insipid, Buzzfeed-style “you might be an 80’s/90’s child if you remember…” retro wanks, where just referring to a thing from a time period replaces the need to have anything to say about it. I wouldn’t just be having a giggle at their clothes and hair, nor would this be an episode recap listing plot points like a wiki entry, but rather, the same, entertaining blend of deep pop culture analysis and dick jokes that you might enjoy from my other work.
Peter Engel’s productions (California Dreams, Hang Time, City Guys) are cultural touchstones for at least an entire generation, of which, Saved by the Bell is the most interesting and most well-remembered. Essentially a weekly, 22 minute morality play, painted in broad, day-glo, strokes by a gurning cast, it plays like the grand emotions of the teenage years it portrays, with an audience who whoops and woos at every hallway zinger and peck on the cheek. Bayside is a world where the bad kid who takes up smoking will be dead from lung cancer within the same day, and where never-before-seen characters appear as heavy-handed moral-cyphers, greeted like old friends, never to be referred to again once the credits roll. (Becky the duck, killed by oil; Jessie’s leather-jacket wearing no-good half-brother, who recorded the first celebrity sex tape by hiding a cassette player in Jessie’s room while she called Slater her “curly Conan”; Zack’s wheelchair-bound, teen chatline paramour). I’m particularly interested in delving into the SBTB universe’s enormous cabinet of lost things. From the strange running sub-plot of Kelly’s family being poor, to Kevin the talking robot, to No Hope with Dope, I’d dearly love to examine and deconstruct this world with the depth that it deserves, but… I think I draw the line at paying for it myself, while also not having the disposable income to drop on it anyway.
This wishlist idea is my way of putting it down to fate. If the universe really wants a definitive SBTB book written by me, then someone will make it happen. If not, no crushing biggy. I’m not a beggar, so I won’t keep harping on about it for ages, or pleading with the actor who played Mr. Belding for retweets. I’m not really expecting anyone to actually buy it for me, but I’m going to put it out there and see what Lady Fate (i.e., someone with way too much money on their hands) has to say. Also, I’m aware that in publicly posting my Amazon wishlist, I’m acting a bit like those camgirls who rinse dresses and laptops out of lonely, cum-smelling men. And yes, there’s a bunch of other stuff on my wishlist, some of which has was added suspiciously recently (10 minutes ago), because you never know when an eccentric or drug-addled billionaire might be looking for things to throw their money at, Brewster’s Millions style, so fuck it. While this puts me barely one step up from sheepishly queuing in the post office to weigh a package stuffed with taint-soiled boxers, addressed to dongmilker69, you can’t blame a guy for trying. Sadly, the Paul Ross canvas print is currently unavailable.
If you’re not interested in dropping a half-hundred on a future book, then maybe check out my most recent one, which already exists, Smoke & Mirrors and Steven Seagal, a book which is currently making a strong case for mass-appeal non-fiction being as pointless a venture as all the other weird shit I’ve put out over the years that nobody bought either. Also, it’ll give you a taster for the kind of thing you could expect from a SBTB book, and all for less than the price of a pint.
As a bonus treat, Dustin “Screech” Diamond once stopped paying the lease on a storage locker filled with boxes and boxes of old childhood memorabilia. The contents of these ended up on eBay, and then on this blog. While you consider whether or not to gift the world with a Millard-penned examination of the ultimate summer holiday staple, please enjoy this picture of a young Screech proudly posing with his collection of He Man toys like a real cool mack daddy.
And if you’d like to see the Saved by the Bell book, by me, then either share this link around so’s someone might make it happen, or plump for it yourself by clicking here and buying the box set for me. Okay… Time In!
7th JUNE UPDATE
FATE HAS SPOKEN
Thanks to an incredibly generous, and possibly crazed benefactor… yep.