Saved by the Bell is still finding new audiences thanks to its availability streaming, but it's been a while for star Mark-Paul Gosselaar. The original series ended back in 1993, and The College Years not that much later in 1994. That is a good 25+ years ago, and Gosselaar finds it a “little bit torturous” to revisit old episodes.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar is taking a peek into his past by watching old episodes of Saved by the Bell for the cleverly-titled podcast, Zack to the Future. It is a team-up between Gosselaar and Dashiell Driscoll, a writer on the upcoming Saved by the Bell reboot/revival heading to Peacock. On watching the episodes, Gosselaar told Variety:
I feel like it’s a little bit torturous every week for me to go through this process because I am watching my work — and it doesn’t matter that it’s 30 years old, it’s still something that I feel like I can improve. There’s moments where I’m talking with Dashiell and I say, ‘My timing is off there, if I had just done it this way I bet I would have gotten a bigger laugh.’ But that’s just the perfectionist in me, which is why I don’t like to watch my work: I feel like I should leave it on the set.
I have always understood why many actors do not like to watch themselves. Mark-Paul Gosselaar has used the time to constructively criticize his work, which I feel is admirable. Plus, it is excellent homework for Gosselaar, who will reprise his role as Zack Morris for Saved by the Bell’s revival, after all.
It was up in the air at one point, despite Zack’s pretty central role in the revival’s plotline. Zack is the Governor of California. Yes, you read that correctly. Eventually, everything worked out for Mark-Paul Gosselaar to reprise his signature role. Gosselaar’s connection to all things Saved by the Bell is even stronger now thanks to the Zack to the Future podcast.
Why did Mark-Paul Gosselaar agree to do the podcast? Was it to learn how to make Zack less of a jerk in the Saved by the Bell revival? Gosselaar had previously said that's something he aims to do while reprising the role. Or does Gosselaar want to refresh his memory ahead of the reboot/revival? On why he agreed to do the podcast, Gosselaar said:
I was a huge fan of Dashiell through his work on Zack Morris is Trash. And I’ve been approached many times to do a podcast, but I didn’t watch the show so I couldn’t wrap my head around how we would do a rewatch show. So we’re trying to do something different. There’s rewatch shows for The Office and what Zach Braff is doing with Donald Faison, but it’s still so fresh in their minds; they still remember the process and the stories that happened on set. I remember nothing. The [new show] really accelerated the talks of getting it on the air, but Dashiell was the key to doing a project that didn’t feel like the current ones out there. It felt like a fresh take on it and I was excited to be his partner.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar is ready for the blast from the past because this podcast is doing something different. Gosselaar mentions the hugely successful re-watch podcasts, which includes The Office’s Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey’s Office Ladies. For Gosselaar, his chance to re-watch old episodes for a podcast is something new that he's embracing.
It turns out the actor has not watched the teen sitcom staple until now. On that note, Mark-Paul Gosselaar shared another surprising detail about his relationship with Saved by the Bell. Gosselaar insists that he does not remember much of anything when it came to filming the NBC comedy, and it is not the first time he has said as much.
Thank goodness the episodes are still available to watch, so Mark-Paul Gosselaar does not have to rely on his memory. Saved by the Bell’s reboot/sequel series does not have a premiere date yet. You can watch the original on Hulu. Fingers crossed that the new show ends up on this fall’s schedule for Peacock.