In a year stuffed with films like Godzilla and Guardians of the Galaxy, somehow my expectations loomed largest when it came to the Lifetime Original The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story. Sure, those expectations were positively drowning in hairspray and ironic glee, but they were also a lot easier to achieve, and every single one of them was met. It’s a post-Sharknado world, but a TV movie doesn’t need for murderous animals and weather patterns to co-mingle in order to be enjoyable. Sometimes all it takes is fake Lark Voorhies taking time from her rooftop picnic to talk about how Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Christmas.
This flick had way too many bizarrely left field instances to limit this list to just a handful, so I present to you the 25 most WTF moments in The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story. In no particular order, since this movie was in no particular version of reality. Maybe you can listen to some sweet ass jams while you read along. And there are many, many more oddball occurrences in this flick, but a guy has to sleep at night.
1. The Music! Going into this pic, I knew that Bel Biv Devoe and The Go-Go’s were going to be some of the bass-thumping tunes, but I never expected to hear Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” during a party scene. Well, I guess maybe part of me expected it, but why didn’t they have Mario Lopez (Julian Works) singing it to someone while doing the Roger Rabbit? At least this was countered by Young MC’s “Principal’s Office” and Cameo’s “Word Up” playing over two scenes! I've already thanked all of my lucky stars and yours that Color Me Badd didn't make it to the party.
2. “I’m making thousands!” This is Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s (Dylan Everett) response to his mom when she says he can only have his normal allowance and that his show wages are being put into a bank account for college. Doesn’t this woman know that Mark-Paul has motorcycles, motorcycle helmets, motorcycle gloves, motorcycle jackets and condoms to buy? He’s making thousands!!
3. The “I’m So Excited” scene. So the “WTF” in this case stands for “Watch the Face,” because it’s Tiera Skovbye’s best moment as Elizabeth Berkley (as Jessie Spano). It’s arguably the most often cited scene from Saved by the Bell’s history, and its presence certainly roused a cheer from me. Okay, so I actually began pre-cheering as soon as Berkley started talking about bringing “issues” into the show’s plotlines and asked Mario if she should talk to a real addict for inspiration. Jeers to that scene never getting filmed, but cheers to the only time Dustin Diamond (Sam Kindseth) reaches anything resembling relatability, which is when he laughed at Berkley’s performance.
4. “The pilot feels too Jewish. Too New York.” R.I.P. Brandon Tartikoff. He was presented here as a nice guy, particularly to Dustin “I’m going to play with your daughter now” Diamond, but this line was just too good and too 1990 not to laugh at. Especially when we already heard someone say, “Lisa Turtle is supposed to be a Jewish American Princess.”
5. Dustin Diamond’s duck dance. The joy of alliteration aside, what the fuck was up with Dustin walking around like a duck to make people laugh? Given this entire movie was from his point of view, you’d think all that griping about people not liking him would result in impressive behavior. Instead, he walks around and quacks (admittedly impressively) like a duck. Was that in the sex tape?