Okay, so NBC has a new streaming service called Peacock, and it sounds like one of these things you’re not going to want to pay for, but what’s this? A sequel series to Saved By The Bell is coming? As Zack Morris would say: “Time out!” This appears to be real. Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley are both confirmed for a TV sequel to Saved By The Bell. And, well, it sounds insane.
On Tuesday, several sources confirmed that NBCUniversal will release a new TV sequel centered on Saved By the Bell. Here’s the synopsis.
“The new straight-to-series comedy explores what happens when California Gov. Zack Morris (Gosselaar’s role) gets into hot water for closing too many low-income high schools and proposes the affected students be sent to the highest-performing schools in the state — including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the over-privileged Bayside kids a much-needed and hilarious dose of reality. Lopez and Berkley will return to play their beloved characters A.C. Slater and Jessie Spano, respectively, in what sources say are new roles as parents.”
Okay, you read that right. In the new Saved By The Bell is about Zack Morris being a low-key racist politician who has to fix his mistakes by forcing socioeconomic integration of his old high school. Nothing about this sounds like a comedy, but somehow I’m already laughing. The attempt to add a “much-needed dose of reality” into Saved By The Bell would be a little like having an episode of Friends where everyone discovers Chandler is a terrorist, but I digress. No longer will Bayside High exist as a metafictional concept of what weirdoes in the ’80s and ’90s thought “high school” was like. Now, these paper-thin characters we all grew-up loving will be treated like…real characters?
'Saved by the Bell' TV sequel with Mario Lopez (@mariolopezviva) and Elizabeth Berkley (@ElizBerkley) a go at NBCUniversal's streamer https://t.co/ZveCUALr9C #SavedByTheBell pic.twitter.com/tCOA3oBP9Y
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 17, 2019
The news of this new Saved By The Bell is slightly disturbing mostly because I’m frustrated that my private fan theory about Screech having built a secret labyrinth of mazes accessible only by certain lockers in the school, is about to be debunked by the new, slightly more realistic show. But it’s also weird that Jesse and Slater are married? I’m not saying it’s not realistic; people marry their high school sweethearts all the time. But, if you’re a real Saved By The Bell fan, then you know that both Jesse and Kelly were absent for the majority of the final season of the regular series, and were replaced by a bizarre hybrid character named Torri. In his book, Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, Chuck Klosterman insists that this is a realistic depiction of high school friendships and not just the result of the actors’ contracts creating a weird gap in filming. I’ve long maintained that he’s right and that some kind of falling-out between Jesse and the rest of the gang resulted in her being absent for most of the season. The point? In my version of the Saved By The Bell timeline, Jesse and Slater don’t get back together.
Relevantly, Jesse was also not a regular character on Saved By the Bell: The College Years, which makes me think the reasons she has returned to Slater and this part of her life might be a new tragedy that will be revealed in the new show. As of this writing, it’s unclear if any of the other characters will return. But, I for one, am holding out hope for Torri.
There is no release date for the new Saved By the Bell series yet.