Movies » Movie Reviews & Stories

‘The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story’ vomits nostalgia all over

Forbidden romances, substance abuse and melodramatic friendships revealed in Lifetime docudrama

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You already know if you’re the target audience for the completely necessary Lifetime docudrama chronicling the tumultuous teenage lives of Bayside High School’s finest. The twist here is that it’s a journey told through the explosively butthurt eyes of Dustin Diamond – we know him as “Screech” – so walk into this one wearing your bullshit detector. Between forbidden romances, substance abuse and melodramatic friendship turmoil, be prepared for a mean game of biopic cliché bingo. Faults aside, the lookalike cast does a bang-up job re-creating the bravado of the Saved by the Bell youngsters, despite the fact that the actual show was ending around the time most of them were learning to lift their heads and digest solid food. Director Jason Lapeyre takes a few artistic risks, but the quality doesn’t necessarily reach any higher than your average made-for-TV effort. It doesn’t need to. The pull here is nostalgia, and if you’re one of the folks able to quote the “caffeine pills” episode by heart, you’re gonna have a good time. Who am I kidding? If you’re one of those people, you’ve probably already seen it. Carry on.

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