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

by

comment
1750144.jpg

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.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.