13 Things That Made “The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story” Bearable
September 2nd, 2014
Saved By The Bell was an iconic TV show that was a staple of the 90s. My summers were spent watching Zack Morris, Kelly Kapowski, A.C. Slater, Lisa Turtle, Jessie Spano, and Samuel “Screech” Powers, and their crazy antics. Although the show only lasted four seasons, not including the college years and spinoffs, it quickly became a cult classic and instant hit. Everyone was in love with Kelly and Zack, coveted Lisa Turtle’s closet, and devastated when Zack Attack never released an album. Now imagine my excitement when I found out they were making a movie about the behind the scenes drama of Saved By Bell. I ran down the street belting out “I’m so excited!” Okay so that never really happened.
And what made me even more excited for The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story was that it was loosely being based of Dustin Diamond’s (Screech) tell-all book. The juicy book revealed all the backstage antics from the cast which included pot-smoking, cast hook-ups, and supposed threesomes. Yes, according to Dustin the cast was hooking up and smoking up between takes. Love, fame, and scandal; it’s like the cast knew 25 years ago that Lifetime would make a movie about them.
Well The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story aired September 1st on M3 and to say it was disappointing would be an understatement. The movie was told from the point of view of Dustin Diamond, who served as a producer, and seems to be the source of the problem. Because who really cared about Screech? The movie goes on about how Dustin felt like an outcast and was mistreated by the cast and producers. Excuse me while a shed a tear for you Dustin.
Aside from Dustin whining about feeling excluded nothing much happened in the movie. It was basically two hours of waiting for something interesting to happen. Yes the movie included some pretty iconic Saved By The Bell aspects including Zack’s cellphone, the Max, and some pretty awesome 90s fashion, but that couldn’t save the movie. Where was the scandal? I’ve seen episodes of Hannah Montana that’s raunchier than this movie.
Now don’t get me wrong, the movie may have lacked the scandal I was hoping for, but there were some interesting tidbits about the show revealed. Like any good biopic, the movie dropped some pretty interesting facts, like how the show was originally about the teachers and how it was the cast who wanted to tackle tougher issues. It may be tough to sit through, but the movie is a must see for any Saved By The Bell fan. And if you’d rather save yourself the trouble and pretend the movie doesn’t exist you can read the 13 things that made The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story bearable.
1. Time Out
The movie began with so much promise with Mark- Paul Gosselaar pulling a Zack Morris and addressing the audience. However, Dustin took over and said how the movie would be about him and all our hopes were destroyed.
2. Mario Lopez: The Womenizer
I believe Britney Spears said it best with “womanizer, woman, womanizer. You’re a womanizer, oh!” Mario Lopez was featured in the movie as the resident ladies man. He would flash his smile at girls, sign cougars abs, and sunbathe between takes. He was even seen giving private set tours to female fans which ended with a make-out session.
3. Love Triangle
From the beginning Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Lark Voorhies had a connection but kept their relationship secret, which led to sneaky rendezvouses on the roof. But Lark’s faith (she’s a Jehovah’s Witness) prevented her from doing anything with Mark-Paul. And as Kelly and Zack began to become close so did Mark-Paul and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. This led to Lark being jealous and throwing some shady side glances and shoves towards Tiffani-Amber.
4. Mark-Paul and Tiffani-Amber Sitting in a Tree
To prove that they were professional and serious actors Mark-Paul and Tiffani-Amber decided to practice kissing in their dressing room. The two became close after that and sheds some truth to the rumours of their real life romance.
5. Tori Spelling
Tori Spelling, who played Screech’s girlfriend Violet, makes an appearance and it’s revealed that she was Dustin Diamond’s first kiss. OOOOHHHHH!
6. The Cast Dressed As The Cast
Jessie’s curls, Kelly’s high-waist jeans, Lisa’s blazers, Slater’s mullet, the movie had it all. Watching the cast dressed as the original cast and acting out iconic scenes will fill you with so much nostalgia.
7. Dustin Diamond’s Alcoholism
Although the movie briefly discusses the other actors issues, i.e. Mark-Paul dislike of his over protective mom, it really focuses on Dustin and his problems, primarily with alcohol. After feeling like an outcast Dustin began drinking after befriending an extra named Eric. The drinking led to a incident where Dustin was drunk at a public appearance which resulted in a stern lecture from producer Peter Engel.
8. Dustin was Blackmailed
Eric turned out to be as shady as Kelly’s boyfriend Jeff. Eric was using Dustin to further his own acting career and blackmailed him with a pot smoking video. This is probably the most scandalous scene in the movie.
9. I’m So Excited
Yes, they included Jessie’s infamous “I’m so excited” scene. During rehearsals, Dustin laughed which caused the cast to further ostracize him.
10. Jennie Garth
Beverly Hills 90210 alum Jennie Garth originally auditioned for the role of Kelly Kapowski, but later lost to Tiffani-Amber. Elizabeth Berkley also auditioned for Kelly. Producers liked her so much that they created the role of Jessie for her.
11. Cheetah Beat
Gotta love Lifetime.
12. Mark-Paul Dyed his Hair
Wait so Zack wasn’t a natural blond?
13. And They All Lived Happily Ever After … or nah
In a cute “movie” moment the movie ends with Dustin dictating how the cast all had thriving acting careers after the last bell rang. Hardly. There was no mention of Showgirls, no Dustin Diamond sex tape, no Lark Voorhies’ make up fail. You can’t rewrite history.
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