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Bring back the Zack Attack
Posted October 28, 2005

When I was a little girl, there were certain things that made me extremely happy. Now, I was genuinely a happy little kid as it was, but whenever I would get my hands on my easy bake oven, Dick Tracy fanny pack or talking Cricket life-size doll, my eyes would light up and I would be at peace.

But there was something else that really made my childhood. And that was exceptional television. I’m talking about some of the best game shows, comedy programs and dramatic quagmires that have ever graced the small screen.

I can remember sitting on a bright pink bean bag, eyes glued to my 13 inch television set watching classic shows that still claim a piece of my heart to this day.

Lately, I haven’t been able to get these shows off my mind. For the last
few weeks, I have spent a few minutes in some classes discussing favorite episodes of these lost gems of television with people who miss them as much as I do.

“Salute Your Shorts,” “Legends of the Hidden Temple,” “Wild and Crazy Kids” and, of course, “The Adventures of Pete and Pete.” “Hey Dude,” “Are You Afraid of the Dark?,” “Clarissa Explains it All,” the original “Double Dare” (with your host Marc Summers) and “What Would You Do?” – these are just a few of the shows that I can remember tuning into on a weekly basis. I dreamed of the chance to choose the physical challenge. Every time I watched an episode of “GUTS,” I could feel a piece of that Aggro Crag in my hands. I wanted that trophy more than anything, even if I knew there was no way I could ever compete with some steroid-ridden kid from Austria.

Who could forget “Out of this World” starring our favorite half alien teenager Evie Garland, who had the ability to freeze time with the touch of her fingertips? What about the sci-fi classic “Small Wonder” starring Vickie Lawson?

Before there was a “Beverly Hills, 90210” or a “Dawson’s Creek” there was the original group of high school chums each dealing with their personal young adulthood crises – Zack Morris, Kelly Kapowski, A.C. Slater and Samuel “Screech” Powers. “Saved By the Bell” is definitely a favorite television memory for anyone who knew how to work a remote in the late 1980s.

If you cannot remember watching some of these shows, then I seriously suggest you do some research online. There are a number of Web sites that will allow you to refresh your memory. May I suggest www.tv.com?

As much as I wish I could enjoy all of these shows again, it’s pretty much impossible. Sure, some of them have been released on DVD in recent years, but when was the last time you found a box set of “You Can’t Do That on Television” episodes?

Some of these shows are just too obscure to rake in the profit companies would need to take the risk of releasing them on DVD.

Instead of replaying these shows, the head-honchos are too busy running animated shows that are ridiculous spin-offs of Japanese card games.

Some of these shows have resurfaced on satellite. But, some of us are just poor college kids who can’t afford more than basic cable. So why not bring these shows to the masses? The world would be a much better place. Instead of learning their lessons from a ragtag group of Pokemon, children could get to know the gang behind “California Dreams.” Mr. Belvedere could offer advice and wisdom in all his British glory. Lessons could be learned from Camp Anawanna.

I know the chances of these shows resurfacing are slim, but I guess I’m lucky. At least I have the memories from a time when television was good.

Valerie Rojas, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at skalivornia@hotmail.com.