Saved by the Bell
is considered a (cult) classic to a lot of people of a certain age, so Lifetime's announcement that they're doing a movie about what really happened behind the scenes of NBC's Saturday morning teen comedy — titled The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story, premiering Labor Day — is both intriguing and completely infuriating.
Intriguing for obvious reasons: Who was really hooking up on set? Were Dustin Diamond's Behind the Bell tell-all stories legit or just fabricated for more attention? And did Elizabeth Berkley go method and get addicted to caffeine pills, too? Because Jessie Spano's epic, so excited meltdown still feels super authentic to us.
But we're infuriated mostly because of this cast photo Lifetime's released:
How do you screw that up? You release a photo of your cast, who'll be playing the actors who played our favorite TV characters (it's complicated, we know — keep up), and you can't even pair them off properly?
The casting looks pretty spot-on (Julian Works as Mario Lopez as A.C. Slater in acid wash jeans was a nice touch), thanks in large part to the fact that Lifetime hired SBTB's casting director Robin Lippin to find the young actors, but the couplings shown here are all wrong.
Everyone knows that Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski were (and are) made for each other. Lisa Turtle and Zack flirted with hooking up for, like, a second, but no... no, no, no. And Kelly and Slater together? While Slater's "Mama" Jessie is pretending to be buddy-buddy with Screech? Each of the ladies needs to step one man to the left please.
Or is Lifetime trying to tease to us that Diamond's revelations about on-set hook-ups and threesomes and partner-swapping weren't far off? Were Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Mario Lopez really an item, as Diamond wrote? (He said Thiessen also hooked up with Mark-Paul Gosselaar; Elizabeth Berkley had her turn with both men after that; then it was Lark Voorhies's turn, so... anything's possible?)
Either way, we'll obviously be watching/hate-watching because who can resist revisiting Bayside? Click the photo below to see the movie's cast photos split with photos of the show's stars:
Here's who's been cast for the movie: Dylan Everett (Degrassi) as Mark-Paul Gosselaar; newcomer Taylor Russell McKenzie as Lark Voorhees; Julian Works as Mario Lopez; newcomer Alyssa Lynch as Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (yes, it's before she dropped the Amber); Sam Kindseth (Shameless) as Dustin Diamond; and Tiera Skovbye (R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour) as Elizabeth Berkeley.