Saved by the Bell or Dobie Gillis?

DATELINE: TV MASHUP

what scandals?

How could anyone be shocked by the shenanigans behind the scenes of the 1990s TV series Saved by the Bell? After all, actors being actors likely meant drugs, sex, and scandal. So a new TV movie revealing the dirt became another cultural phenomenon this summer, like Sharknado 2.

Yes, someone decided to make a movie based on the memoirs of the nerdy boy from the show. We never watched it, having lost any interest in all things high school about two generations ago.

Of course, had they done a movie about the ugly scandals behind the scenes of Blackboard Jungle or The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, we’d have been all over it. We love satire.

A photocopy of nondescript young actors played the original nondescript young actors. Oh, yes, we do recall Mark-Paul or is that Paul-Mark? He was the handsome ringleader.

As it is, we thought Mario Lopez was adorable when we caught a few shows inadvertently. Then, he played Greg Louganis in a TV movie, and we thought perhaps the old show was a playground for budding talent.

Don’t ask us to identify the female characters in their odd fashions. They all looked alike to us. Oh, yes, we did note that the “Screech” person was stereotype central—whether you were talking Maynard G. Krebs or Merritt Buttrick in Square Pegs.

So, there was no surprise that he was the scandalmonger whose memoir spawned this Lifetime movie. You have to know your audience nowadays, and we suspect that 1990s teenagers still aren’t reading and make the Brady Bunch generation look like world-beaters.

In any case, we will confirm what Ernest Hemingway always said about actors in film versions of his books: the sun also rises.

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