Like most people, I was pretty excited when I heard that there was going to be a behind the scenes TV show about the classic Saturday morning TV show “Saved By the Bell.” While I was too young to watch it while it was on its original run (my dad watched “the college years”, which was a train wreck btw), I watched the show in syndication and I come to enjoy the show. Because of this and my love for watching tv movie about what happened behind the scenes of tv shows (“Growing Up Brady” is my all time favorite), I decided that I was going to watching the “Unauthorized Saved By the Bell Story” in hopes of finding out all the dirt about what happened after the bell rang, so to speak. I watched it and well, its time for me to review it.
The movie is pretty much your standard Lifetime movie train wreck. Picture it like “Degrassi” but the writers of the movie did a massive amount of drugs and alcohol before they wrote it. The movie is told through the perspective of Dustin Diamond, who played Screech. Throughout the movie, it’s talks about the behind the scenes drama….of Dustin. His fellow “Bell” (apparently that’s what the cool kids called it back in the day) castmate just happened to be around and got to share some of the screen time. Pretty much, the movie should be called “The Authorized Dustin Diamond Story: The Saved by The Bell Years” because it was all told through Dustin’s POV.
While it was just 2 hours of “Boo, my life is horrible and I’m unpopular” from Dustin Diamond, it did teach us that Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack) is really half asian, Lark Voorhies (Lisa) is a Jehovah Witness, Dustin was a depressed alcoholic during the show’s run, and the network really didn’t like these kids. I mean they REALLY didn’t like these kids. They probably would have sold them to the black market for money because they hated them that much.
The most annoying part of the movie is that it didn’t cover the goddamn college years or the new class! HOW IN THE HELL CAN YOU NOT COVER THAT??? They gave “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” like 30 minutes of the movie but only mentioned “Saved By the Bell: The College Years” for like 5 seconds as screeched talked about his fellow co-stars success after “Bell.” No one gives a fly flute about Miss Bliss. Yes, they should have mentioned it and briefly covered it because without it, there would no “Saved by the Bell.” But was it really necessary to cover it for that long and not cover “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” and “Saved by the Bell: The New Class”? Hell to no.
The movie itself is two hours that I will never get back. It was like a train wreck, you couldn’t stop watching it. It was again, too over dramatic. You couldn’t take it seriously with how dramatic it is. I was waiting for one of the girls to wind up getting knocked up by Mario Lopez (AC Slater), which was apparently a common occurrence on set but with “groupies”. It also didn’t help that the adult on the show would use the excuse that “They’re just teenagers” for everything the cast would do wrong.
Overall, it’s what you would expect for a Lifetime movie. It’s obvious that no one else would want to produce the movie because of the fact that it’s told from the POV of Dustin Diamond and that it’s a one-sided perspective. If you are bored and there is nothing on, then I would watch the movie. But other than that, I would avoid this movie like the cast of Saved by the Bell avoids Dustin Diamond.
Rating: 2.5 bottles of Jessie Spano’s caffeine pills out of 5
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