We truly are living in the era of reboots. From 90210 and Charmed to Gossip Girl and Fuller House, there’s no shortage of opportunities to revisit our favourite tween fandoms, albeit with fresh-faced new casts hoping to conjure up the same magic as the originals. (Spoiler alert: they won’t.)
Now, millennials are in for yet another trip down memory lane — this time of the “after-school special” variety.
In a new trailer for the upcoming Saved by the Bell reboot — which premieres next month on Peacock — four of the sitcom’s original gang (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley and Tiffani Thiessen) reunite at their former alma mater along with a plethora of new Bayside students. That’s right: everyone’s favourite problematic 1990s sitcom (aside from Friends) is back with an entirely different vibe. (For a quick brush-up on just how troublesome the original series could be, please refer to Funny or Die’s hilarious — and discomfiting — Zack Morris is Trash series.)
For those of a certain generation, there was rarely a day when we didn’t race home from school so we could soak up Zack Morris’ latest outrageous high school antics. (Sidenote: if Jessie’s caffeine pill dependency wasn’t your earliest hair-raising introduction to the perils of addiction, then what was?) As tweens, we all wanted to be these characters, and whether you Team Zack/Kelly or Team Slater/Jessie, we were all invested in it together.
The new Saved by the Bell trailer is here!
While the nostalgia factor is strong, the reboot is also clearly gunning for a new Gen Z audience, introducing a markedly more diverse cast than the original iteration. Set in the present day, Governor Zack Morris (yes, you read that right) has closed a slew of underfunded high schools, resulting in hundreds of students being absorbed by the affluent Bayside High School — where Slater works as (what else?) the gym teacher. Zack’s son Mac (Mitchell Hoog) and Jessie’s son Jamie (Belmont Cameli) also attend their parents’ old stomping ground.
Based on what we’ve gleaned from the trailer, it looks like newcomer Haskiri Velazquez will embody the Zack Morris role — frequently breaking the fourth wall by talking directly into the camera and taking “time outs” to assess situations as they arise. These nods to the original series is no doubt a welcome surprise for returning fans, although everything else about this latest incarnation feels entirely different.
The original Saved by the Bell ran for four seasons from 1989 to 1993. The sitcom starred Gosselaar, Lopez, Berkley, Thiessen, Dustin Diamond and Lark Voorhes. Some of the cast members later returned to join the infinitely less successful Saved by the Bell: The College Years, which lasted for one lonely season during the 1993-1994 TV lineup.
Saved by the Bell is coming this November to W Network.