Kids of the late 1980s and early 1990s may appreciate what went on behind the scenes of this Saturday morning live-action television series “Saved By The Bell.” First it was on the Disney Channel as "Good Morning Miss Bliss,” then onto NBC with its present name. “The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story” two-hour TV movie premiered Monday on the Lifetime network.
It’s based on the 2009 tell-all memoir “Behind the Bell” of Dustin “Screech” Diamond’s keen observation during his five seasons on the show. Throughout the TV movie Diamond acts as narrator during transitional parts by breaking the fourth wall for viewers. The show went through a series of cancellations, yet some of the network executives always had faith in the show. It was Brandon Tartikoff’s daughter who wanted the show to focus on the students. The rest they say is history.
Two key scenes worth mentioning of the Lifetime movie is when the three actresses are out shopping. Two female teen fans immediately recognize the girls by informing them how it’s like looking at their own life when watching “Saved By The Bell.” It has helped them deal with their own problems. This later inspired the three actresses, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley and Lark Voorhies, to pitch ideas to the writers to tackle real social issues.
Another subplot involved Dustin and a friend he made on the lot who is trying to break into acting. All he’s able to do is extra work. This friend turns him on to alcohol. Dustin has an altercation with someone who teases him about his TV character Screech. Later on the friend turns Dustin to drugs and tapes him while asking questions about getting a speaking role on “Saved By The Bell.” It is later realized this so-called friend was using Diamond to get onto the show, nothing more except to blackmail Diamond.
The end features the cast graduating and Diamond explaining what they cast has been doing after the show. Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (now her married and professional name) have both been on “Dancing with the Stars.”