“Well, the network didn’t kill us, but hormones might.”
Are you kidding me? I can’t be positive, but I’m leaning towards the belief that this was two minutes and 32 seconds of what will become TV’s highest achievement in 2014: Lifetime’s The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story. Syfy can have Sharknado with its weather disasters and its Tara Reid-ness. That movie will now forever pale in comparison to Dylan Everett’s 5’6” version of Mark-Paul Gosselaar/Zack Morris. A. Ma. Zing.
To the classic grooves of Bel Biv Devoe’s “Poison,” the cast of Saved by the Bell comes together for a photo shoot that could possibly end in either tears or blood. Or both. And Gosselaar is at the center of it all, with hair as coifed and yellow as a baby duck’s ass. It’s pretty amazing how little any of these actors actually look like the people they’re playing, and how much of a non-issue it is when the hair and clothes come into it. It’s like, Julian Works only resembles Mario “Slater” Lopez in that he’s not 100% white, but give him a shiny jheri curl and a shirt that looks like a smattering of impressionist beaches, and he IS Mario Lopez.
How low-key is this photo shoot? So low-key that Lopez inexplicably just drops to the floor and starts doing push-ups, which makes Dustin “Screech” Diamond (Sam Kindseth) follow suit and attempt to show Lopez up, succumbing to his lack of strength after only a few seconds. And then Diamond gets kind of embarrassed about it. So why even try it? Who wrote this? Meat Loaf: To Hell and Back writer Ron McGee, that’s who.
What, drama over push-ups doesn’t do it for you? How about the rivalry between Lark “Lisa” Voorhies (Taylor Russell) and Tiffani-Amber “Kelly” Thiessen (Alyssa Lynch)? They both want Gosselaar's bones, but Voorhies is willing to get physical over it. (Note that “Poison” is still playing here, as it does over the whole scene. Fabulous.) In the end though, everything smiles for the camera.
Just look at these people and those pants. In particular, Elizabeth “Jessie” Berkley (Tiera Skovbye) and Diamond are seemingly the same height, which was definitely not the case in real life. But still, if you stand back from your computer and squint while standing on one foot, they could pass for the original crew. Right? What if I said you had to be drunk, too? Because you absolutely have to be drunk for this.
By the by, if you head over to this HuffPost Live link, you’ll find the real Mark-Paul Gosselaar and his Franklin and Bash co-star Breckin Meyer discussing the real Dustin Diamond’s book Behind the Bell. And by “discussing,” I mean Meyer calls Diamond a piece of shit several times while Gosselaar plays it cool and professional. It’s awesome.
The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story will debut on Lifetime on Monday, September 1. Be sure to set your alarm warnings.