I am all for a movie on television that is going to take us down a path of yesteryear. Well, I know not everything will come up daisies and roses, I at least expect to be entertained. I have said numerous times that there are two shows that will always define my childhood, the first being Boy Meets World. As, a teenager at the same time as Cory and Topanga, you could relate with them. You felt what they felt. If they were happy, you were happy. It is one of the many reasons that show was able to come back almost 10 years later with a spinoff and do amazing numbers. The second of these two shows would be Saved by the Bell. I always thought that going to school at Bayside would be the ultimate dream. Get to hang out with the entire gang, and have the coolest principal in the world. So, when I heard that they were going to be making a Saved by the Bell movie, I was excited. That was until I found it that it was the story that Dustin Diamond told in his book and the fact the movie would be shown on Lifetime. I feel that Lifetime should be arrested for domestic abuse for the beating they put on the name of Saved by the Bell. Maybe, there will be movie about that. I shouldn’t give them ideas.
Let me start with the cast. I think in the world of making a biopic, the first thing you would do is find a cast that actually looks like the original gang in one way or another. I did not have a problem with Lisa or Jessie in their respective roles in the movie. However, that does not save the other excuses. There were two casting decision that left me scratching my head. The first happens to be role of Mark Paul (Zack Morris). This kid looked nothing like Mark Paul, in all honesty, he looked like Zac Efron and Ricky Schroder had a baby. The kid did a horrible job in the role, but I will get to that in a minute. The second casting nightmare, is the kid who played Screech. If you are a Saved by The Bell fan, you know Screech had a very distinctive look. They couldn’t find one nerdy teen actor to pull this off? Instead, they find the one kid in America who looks like Barton ‘Weasel’ Wyzell from The New Class. It was like Lifetime was not even trying to cast this right.
Now, the story itself follows what happened to Screech as he was on the show and how people treated him like an outcast. If he was anything then like he is now, can you blame them? We really didn’t get much into the background of the show, but the highlights that anyone with internet access can find out by going to Wikipedia. The acting was so bad. I am not sure how to explain it. Yes, Saved by the Bell was cheesy at times, but that is what it was. This is a movie portraying real life and I thought it was an over exaggerated version of an episode. They never really showed what the cast was like except for Dustin Diamond, who was perfect in every way and the others were terrible people. They made Mark Paul seem like a whimpering, walking JG Wentworth ad. Lark Vorrhies looked like a love struck idiot. Mario Lopez came across as the biggest jerk in the room. Elizabeth and Tiffani were portrayed as two that were bigger than the show. Even the Dennis Haskins actor, played Dennis as Mr. Belding playing Dennis. Is it bad this made me yearn for the day of the SyFy original movie?
Two redeeming qualities of the entire movie. The fact that the cast asked for the show to become more serious because of how teens were related to it. I think this caught me off guard. It was a great moment, if true. I think it added a view of the show that I never had. The other moment that was kind of fun is finding that Dustin’s first kiss was with Violet Bickerstaff who was played by Tori Spelling. That was the one time that I truly felt bad for Screech in the entire movie.
In conclusion, don’t watch this if you are or not a Saved by the Bell fan. This movie was awful and the acting just seemed to make sink like the Titanic. Saved by the Bell came across as a cheap show with sets, and somehow this movie made it even look more cheap. I really hope that Lifetime, does not do The Unauthorized Story of Step by Step as told from Cody’s point of view or one from Full House from the point of Comet. If I actually paid for the cable, I would have demanded my money back.