In the most 2020 thing ever, it turns out we were all wrong about the reboot of ‘Saved by the Bell,’ which launches this week on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock. What we have here is not some rehashed look at a bunch of 40 something adults pretending to attend a fictitious high school in California still. We certainly don’t have a look at high school friends reunited at college who have to win over a surly RA and their respective high school love interests. Tracey Wigfield’s vision for life at Bayside is the perfect blend of nostalgia and relevancy. Brining back Dennis Haskins as Mr. Belding was never the answer. Creating a narrative where topics a new generation can relate to and their nostalgia starve parents will enjoy was always the plan. Anything less would have immediately caused people to check out. Getting the core 4 members of the OG Saved by the Bell to be part of the season was crucial to seeing Wigfield’s vision realized. Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tiffany Amber Thiessen have a recurring role in the show but aren’t series regulars. Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Mario Lopez are both series regulars and producers on the show. Those actors, with the help of some familiar faces like Ed Alonzo, who plays Max from the OG Saved by the Bell, help bridge the gap between the past and the show’s present. Nothing seems forced and the topics addressed are very relevant for today’s high schoolers.
This season really centers around governor Zack Morris deciding to shut down many poorly funded schools allowing to transfer to higher SES school like Bayside High. Most of this season, we deal with integrating two different cultures at one high school and how it’s easy for kids to find common ground. Counselor Jessie Spano and Football coach A.C. Slater take on more of a leadership role during this process. At the same time, Principal Todman spends most of his time trying to keep overzealous parents away.
The casting in the show is terrific, and this new ensemble is certainly a reflection of today’s youth. Are there some moments in the series which scream 80’s humor? Sure, but it wouldn’t be Saved by the Bell without them. There’s certainly more of an edge to these 10 episodes than, say, any episode in the show’s long history. We even get Jessie Spano dropping an “F” bomb. Saved by the Bell was a refreshing and wonderful surprise. I’m so excited about this show. I’m just so excited ……. I’m so … scared.