Saturday Spotlight: Saved By The Bell Week

It’s back to school time! But since we don’t go to school ourselves, we decided to celebrate the season with Bayside’s crazy kids. From The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story, to the series spinoffs, we enjoyed our time with Zack, Kelly, and even Belding.

Bayside High: The NEW New Class

Zack Morris

The Character:

You know those people who are natural protagonists? They aren’t necessarily smarter than everyone else, or funnier, or better looking, but somehow they’re the main character of every scenario they’re in? That’s Zack Morris. Like Early Bart Simpson made human, Zack is a neon-wearing 90s rascal with a penchant for mischief.

The Actor:
Mark-Paul Gosselaar:

A major difference between young actors in the 90s and today was the level of public exposure. Aside from the occasional Teen Beat feature, we didn’t know much about the “real” Zack. He wasn’t trailed by paparazzi or spouting political opinions on Twitter, but after the fact we’ve learned that he hooked up with all of the members of the Bayside cheerleading squad (that’s Jessie, Lisa, and Kelly for you newbies). Gosselaar is an American-Dutch-Indonesian who lucked into the role of a lifetime after a career as a child model.

Post-SBTB, you may know M.P.G. (in the tradition of cute boys in the 90s, he had three names) from N.Y.P.D. Blue, Raising The Bar, Franklin & Bash … and reprising his role of Zack Morris on Fallon. He is a father of three and races cars in his free time.

Dylan Everett:

You may know Dylan from Degrassi, which is Canadian Saved By The Bell (basically replace The Max with Tim Hortons). This Canadian kiddo has been around for almost a decade, with roles on children’s shows like Doodlebops and Superwhy, as well as a number of T.V. movies.

The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story: Live Blog

M: These children look like a pack of college kids dressed as Saved By The Bell characters for Halloween. It’s like the Garbage Pail Kids when you’re expecting Cabbage Patch, or that weird baby with the unibrow who’s Maggie’s nemesis on The Simpsons.

T: The kid playing Zack has the DUMBEST face and I’m already annoyed with him. He looks like he’s 10. And The dude playing Mario Lopez is way too ethnic. Yeah, I said it.

I’m gonna start counting the number of times I say ‘I can’t’ outloud to myself whilst watching this trainwreck. (1).

M: FAKE ZACK CALLS A TIME OUT. I’m sort of obsessed with this movie already.

T: The depressing thing about this mob scene is that these girls weren’t even born when Saved by the Bell: The College Years ENDED. 

Model Students: A Look Back At Saved By The Bell Fashion

T: Technically this is some kind of press tour the cast did to promote the show, but can we all just take a minute to admire what exactly is going on here. MPG and TAT (Mark Paul Gosselaar & Tiffani Amber Theissen, obvs) are being the heartthrobs that they are and smiling and looking directly into the camera with their fresh to death outfits, Mario Lopez is still getting the hang of this celebrity thing and Dustin Diamond is looking off into the distance and has spent the past hour trying to find the gum he put in his pants pocket.

M: I know I was like 5, but how did I miss that this show was just Zack, Kelly, then a bunch of garbage people? Dustin looks like all of the boys in junior high whose moms would buy their uniform pants a size too big to “grow into them.” You really gotta hand it to 1992, when a beautiful teenage girl could appear in a bra top (a bustier, according to Selena RIP), and still somehow look frumpy.

T: Ok, so I lied. Lisa clearly is a trendsetter. She was the inspiration behind Seinfeld’s Puffy Shirt, right?

M: Look at the solid four inches of lace at the bottom of her white shorts! Damn. That is a LOOK.


Doing Lines: Saved By The Bell

Episode 14 {The Zack Tapes}

Zack learns about subliminal messaging and attempts to trick Kelly into going to the dance with him with a sneaky cassette tape. She finds out and decides to turn the tables on him. Ah the troubles of being a teen heartthrob. 

Episode 12 {Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind}

This is truly one of the more ridiculous storylines to ever come to Bayside. A tabloid is offering money for photos of real aliens so Zack and Slater dress Screech up as an alien and film him being creepy at the school to fool the tabloid. Except a special agent with the government is convinced Screech is a real alien.

Episode 13 {Running Zack}

Zack finds out he’s part Native American and to learn more about his roots, befriends a man named Chief Henry who has a great impact on Zack. Meanwhile, Jessie finds out her ancestors used to be slave owners and spends the rest of the episode ‘apologizing’ to Lisa. I’m convinced at least one scene in this episode is slightly racist.

Where Are They Now: Saved By The Bell: The New Class

Bianca Lawson (Megan Jones)

Megan Jones was sort of a combination of Lisa and Jessie, and when you think about it those characters could have easily been rolled into one person – a straight-A student like Spano fending off the affections of a nerd, like Turtle. But today, you may be most familiar with Bianca Lawson as one of those human vampire people who does not age. After leaving The New Class, Lawson played a teenager again in Buffy The Vampire Slayer – and then again on Dawson’s Creek (Nikki Green), and in Save The Last Dance, and then an early 20-something on Secret Life Of The American Teenager, and most recently Maya Saint Germain on Pretty Little Liars. Yes, Maya was like 33 years old. Hats off to Bianca, and also to the portrait that Bianca has in her attic that ages on her behalf.


2 thoughts on “Saturday Spotlight: Saved By The Bell Week

  1. Pingback: O Come Let Us Adore… Holiday-Themed Sitcom Episodes | cookies + sangria

  2. Pingback: Pop Culture Extra Credit: College Edition | Cookies + Sangria

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