#tbt Throwback TV: The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story
Everything 80’s and 90’s has come back and saturated our current culture. Who ever thought mom jeans, neon, and crop tops would be in style again? I never would have guessed it. I have to say, though, I’m kinda diggin’ it. I am of the majority that thinks anything 80’s and 90’s is pretty rad. It’s not only the fashions that are being resurrected, but the entertainment arts are being inundated with nostalgic subject matter. The entertainment industry always tries to recreate successful ventures. That’s why there are so many bad sequels out there. There have been a ton of throwback movies in the theaters lately: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Wreck-It Ralph. TV often takes cues from film successes and they are doing it with this trend.
Jimmy Kimmel just aired a segment on his show of the reunion of the Friends cast. It was highly viewed and has since gone viral on the web. Lifetime is set to air The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story this Labor Day weekend. The TV movie will most likely rope in the large population that has a sentimental soft spot for this time period. Dylan Everett has been cast as the young Mark-Paul Gosselaar. I’m a little hesitant about him from the preview, but he has had experience with this throwback TV genre. Everett starred in the Canadian hit, Degrassi: The Next Generation, which is a resurrection of a popular after school show from the 80’s. The Lifetime movie will follow the actors that portrayed the students of Bayside and what it was like to be in the spotlight while growing up and maintaining a squeaky clean image. It is partly based on Dustin Diamond’s tell-all book, Behind the Bell, so expect some shock factor and embellishments. Diamond did come out and admit that his book was written by a ghost writer and some of his stories were twisted out of context. Whether that is true or just his response when the book was received negatively by some members of the cast, we’ll never know. The clip released by Lifetime of the first five minutes of the movie shows Everett as Gosselaar freeze frame and talk to the camera, his signature move from the series, but here he gets interrupted by Sam Kindseth playing Diamond. This story is told from Diamond’s point of view. Gosselaar has said he heard Diamond’s book is nothing but a negative outlook of the whole experience and that he himself has positive feelings for that time of his life. Diamond, an executive producer of the TV movie, says, “it’s embracing all the positive things that happened and clarifying certain things. I think everyone’s going to like it, including the other cast members.” The other cast members were not aware of this movie being made and who knows if they would even watch it. Elizabeth Berkley has said she’s “not really curious about it because we know the lives we led…”
I know I’m curious and I will be tuning in. Die hard fans (myself included) will appreciate that the story includes the shows origins as Good Morning, Miss Bliss, starring Hayley Mills. At least they got that part right. Inaccuracies or not, The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story will be a part of my Labor Day weekend celebrations.
originally published on collective lifestyle 9.1.2014
UPDATE: i watched it that weekend. here’s my review in a seinfeld gif: