At long last answering the question of hey, hey, hey, what was going on there, Lifetime’s The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story promises to circumvent and spill all of the secrets that the Saved By The Bell authorities have closely guarded, lo these many years. Unfortunately, as this first trailer reveals, it’s not so much about the remote holding facility where Tori was disappeared to, never to be spoken of again, but rather about how all of the show’s cast members couldn’t stand and/or had sex with each other.
This is because it’s based on the “tell-all” book by Dustin “Screech” Diamond—a book even Diamond admits contains so many shocking revelations, chiefly because it’s full of absolute lies. Most recently, it spurred Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s Franklin & Bash co-star Breckin Meyer to call Diamond “such a dick” and deem the movie “a bunch of bullshit.” In other words, this is going to be great.
The clip takes place around a promotional photo shoot where Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison” plays on a constant loop, as it did for the entirety of 1990. Faux Gosselaar, portrayed by Silver Spoons-era Ricky Schroeder, attempts to shinny up faux Tiffani-Amber Thiessen like an oak tree.
This irritates faux Lark Voorhies, who watches jealously from the corner. Voorhies put in her time on Good Morning, Miss Bliss, damn it. She spent an entire year fostering a relationship with Gosselaar—all those late nights workshopping lines, discussing “motivation”—just to see it threatened by some new ingénue interloper. Slow and steady, Lisa Turtle wins the race. Faux, 40-year-old Elizabeth Berkley, already assuming the voice of Jessie Spano wisdom, assures her she cannot be so easily replaced, in a scene that eerily presages Showgirls. Berkley wears the entire current Urban Outfitters catalog.
As tensions flare between Voorhies and Thiessen, Berkley steps in to pull them together. The future of Hot Sundae is secured.
Because this is a true story, the guy who looks enough like Mario Lopez, sure, that’ll work, fills his idle time by doing pushups. Because this is based on the account of Dustin Diamond, the only male actor who doesn’t resemble a calculated insult to the guy he’s portraying joins in to prove he’s also tough—much like how Dustin Diamond reminds everyone at every opportunity that he has a black belt in karate.
A rapidly aging Mark-Paul Gosselaar looks on wearily. This business drains the life out of you, he thinks, as he takes another sip from his bitter craft services coffee. When I wake up in the morning, the alarm gives out a warning. When will I heed it?
Diamond, exhausted, concedes defeat, but Lopez keeps going anyway. “You’re such a prick!” Diamond exclaims to Lopez’s face. “You wanna say that to my face?” Lopez retorts. This movie is going to be amazing.
Finally, all the stars assemble for a fractious group photo, shoving and fighting and offering a glimpse of the simmering volatility that would go on to create approximately 25 seasons of crackling children’s entertainment. “Well, the network didn’t kill us, but the hormones might,” sighs a producer who will devote the best years of his life to this. Find out whether they did when the movie airs on Lifetime on Sept. 1.