Let me start this week’s column with a couple of confessions. I still watch “Saved By the Bell” on Saturday mornings (on IFC), and I still have a crush on Zack Morris.
If you’re a longtime reader of this column, you know that I never miss a Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack) show. And he is still the only celebrity I’ve ever interviewed that got me tongue-tied. And now, 26 years after Zack and his beloved Kelly got married in Las Vegas, Gosselaar is back as Zack.
As you’ve no doubt heard, Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, has rebooted “Saved By the Bell.” But instead of just attaching the name to a new concept, the people behind the show, including original executive producer Peter Engel, have wisely incorporated original cast members with a premise that makes original fans, like me, happy.
It seems that Zack, our favorite charming schemer, is now the governor of California. And in typical Zack fashion, he’s messed up. His budget cuts have led to the closing of too many underfunded schools in his state. His solution? Send the affected students to the most well-funded schools, including his alma mater, Bayside. The influx of new students shakes things up for the privileged Bayside kids, including Zack’s own son. There to help navigate things at Bayside are Zack’s old friends, Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley Lauren) and Slater (Mario Lopez), who work at Bayside, and Principal Toddman (the always hilarious John Michael Higgins). Zack and Kelly (Tiffani Thiessen) will pop in from time to time, and Lark Voorhies is also scheduled to make an appearance as Lisa Turtle.
Last month, Peacock released a trailer showing us that many trademarks from the original series will return including the timeouts, The Max and, best of all, Zack Attack, the band featuring Zack and his friends.
I was honestly not happy when the reboot was originally announced. But then I heard the concept, and I got a little excited. However, I was still super concerned that Zack and Kelly would no longer be together, as I’m still recovering from when they broke up the last time. So when the trailer came out, I was literally jumping up and down to see them arm in arm. And it was nice to see The Max, everyone’s favorite hangout, back in all its glory.
It’s important to note that though he is extremely important to the show’s concept, Gosselaar is not a series regular, as his appearances will be extremely limited due to his commitment to “Mixed-ish.” And the stars of the show are clearly meant to be the new students, not the original regulars. But I consider any show that gives me the opportunity to see Gosselaar back as Zack — no matter how limited — well worth my time.
“Saved By the Bell” begins streaming Wednesday, Nov. 25, on Peacock. You can see my review of the show later this week on my Facebook page at Facebook.com/angelahbentley.