Are fans ready for a world where innocent little Screech (Sam Kindseth, as Dustin Diamond) knocks out an obnoxious fan with a right hook and Lisa (Taylor Russell McKenzie, as Lark Voorhies) and Kelly (Alyssa Lynch, as Tiffani-Amber Thiessen) battle off-screen over Zack (Dylan Everett, as Mark-Paul Gosselaar)? We’re about to find out!
The acid-wash jeans and neon shirts are exactly how you remember them, but the rest of The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story is like a bizarro trip down memory lane, contrasting the show’s squeaky-clean, Saturday morning image with the very blemished real world of growing egos and raging hormones.
“It’s the everyday struggles of growing up as a teenager amplified by being in the spotlight,” explains Dylan, who, like the rest of the cast, pulls double duty playing both Mark-Paul and his on-screen alter ego. “Fans will be curious to see what their favorite characters on TV were really going through. They’ll be able to connect with them on a more personal level.”
Maybe, but at the very least they’ll feel as out of touch as Mr. Belding did as they witness the love triangles and nasty fights that arise as six unknowns become Hollywood’s next big thing before they can even drive.
A veteran of the beloved teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation, Dylan knows what these stars were going through. “Any young actor can relate,” he tells Star. “It comes with the territory. You just have to deal with it.”
However, Dylan is both too young (19) and too Canadian (he hails from Ontario, Canada) to have grown up with Saved by the Bell, so the dedicated young actor did his homework by catching himself up in one marathon session.
“I borrowed the box set from my friend’s little sister and watched all the episodes over the course of a week,” he says. “Not until I was doing research did I become fully aware of how popular the show was.”
Believe it or not, Dylan even grew to have a fondness for the regrettably loud fashion choices that remain a recognizable part of the sitcom’s five-season run from 1989 to 1993. “They were great!” he raves. “It was fun to go back in time and wear acid-wash everything. I even took home a [rainbow-knit] wool sweater!”
But did art imitate life when it came to on-set drama? “We all hit it off immediately,” says Dylan of his costars. Sadly, that means we shouldn’t hold our breath for The Unauthorized Story of the Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story.
The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story airs Monday, Sept. 1, at 9PM on Lifetime