Sunday, September 07, 2014

The Bell Tolls for Thee

Last Sunday, Lifetime aired the made-for-tv-movie: The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story. As a child of the 90s, Saved by the Bell came around at a formative period in my life. Everyone wanted to be cool like Zack, pretty like Kelly, smart like Jessie, buff like Slater, and sassy like Lisa. I guess nobody wanted to be nerdy like Screech, which pretty much explains why this movie got made. Yes. folks, Dustin Diamond is STILL carrying around his SBTB baggage, and this explains the movie--which is based on his book, Behind the Bell.

Surprisingly, I didn't think the movie was terrible, but it basically failed to consistently entertain as it wasn't able to pick a stance or point of view and stick with it. Fellow TV Slut, Arsenic Pie, and I obviously have many opinions about the movie, and we invite you to read them. You're welcome. 

Maggie Cats: Ok, so moving on to the clearly vital topic of the Saved By The Bell movie.

Arsenic Pie: It was fucking glorious. Although I was expecting it to be must more salacious.

Maggie Cats: I have two initial thoughts. First, that the actually most interesting part of the movie was (I thought) about the studio suits and producers who fought to keep it on the air. This is ironic, because when they pitched it, it was "all about the teenagers rather than the adults." But the teenagers were boring. Second, that nobody gives a shit that Dustin Diamond was a nerd and felt left out by the popular kids. Maybe it wasn't that he was a nerd, but that he was actually a spoiled brat who was fucking weird.

AP: I thought the kid was way too cute and adorable to be Dustin Diamond. He had a Screech fro but he was a pretty good looking kid .

MC: This is true. But the character of Dustin Diamond as written for the movie was basically intolerable. Mark Paul was way more interesting...sorry, Dustin. But I don't care that you took up drinking because NOBODY LIKES YOUUUUU.

AP: I believe that he was probably that much of a little shit, though.

MC: Oh, me too. Absolutely. I mean, he did write the book was based on. Probably because he couldn't find any other work. OH SNAP.

AP: He should have gone the sex tape route. Wait didn't he try to?

MC: I thought he did? Or he made a porno or something? He definitely did something gross like that.

AP: This is what I did for you fellow, TV sluts. I googled "Dustin Diamond sex tape."


AP: That's in my search history now.

MC: You are a braver soul than I. Part of me wants to know about it and part of me wants to run screaming.

AP: My first search result is about how he regrets Celebrity Fit Club. You don't want to see grainy images of DD's bare ass?

MC: NO. Moving on, what did you think of the movie having the Dustin "character" as the narrator? So basically Dustin was the "Zack" of the movie?

AP: I didn't care for him as the focus because I wanted more focus on the other characters. They were all way more interesting.

MC: I totally agree. I get that he wrote the book and is why the movie got made, but it just made the film feel so slanted.

AP: There was very little of Tiffany-Amber. I liked the kid they had playing Mark Paul. He was interesting.

MC: He was my favorite by far. The best actor as well.

AP: The stand-out was the girl who played Lark Voorhies. She was spot on. Like they nailed the casting.

MC: The scenes between those two characters were the best; I did not know Lark was a Jehovah's Witness so that was an interesting revelation.

AP: I wanted more of their relationship.

MC: Though it seems as if nothing ever came of their flirtation. I wonder how accurate that is. The depiction of their relationship I mean, though if she is a serious Jehovah's Witness, I guess not much actually happened.

AP: I don't care. I"m totally shipping them. I kinda felt a little bad for DD because he was the one geeky guy with two much better-looking male co-stars. But I got kind of sick of the whining and how bitter he was. He could have quit at any time. I felt like he didn't get how things in that industry work.

MC: Exactly. It's like, "I understand how this must have been frustrating but OMG SHUT UP ABOUT IT." Especially since like 75% of America felt the same way when they were a teenager. And we all got over it without making sex tapes and writing a bitter lame supposedly "tell-all" book.

AP: I know it's mean but if you want to be the romantic lead who gets all the girls you have to look a certain way. There was nothing tell-all about the movie. I wanted more salaciousness. They just looked like really normal, decent kids. I thought they'd be all into destroying hotel rooms and stuff but nay.

MC: I know, right? Don't go trying to make drama, Dutsin.

AP: Like tell us how Elizabeth Berkeley had Mr. Belding's love child.

MC: Think about how interesting the movie would have been if they had actually based this on interviews with everyone and it was more accurate. It doesn't need to be manufactured drama, just tell the story how this unlikely show because a huge hit.

AP: I felt like they went in that direction, then pulled back to focus on Dustin. There's not much else to Dustin except he felt left out. Which is kind of stupid when you think about it because everyone loved him. He just wasn't getting the type of attention he wanted. I wanted to know more about Lark's life, and MP's relationship with his parents, because I could be wrong about this but I believe he sued them at one point.

MC: You are totally correct; there was that one scene where he fought with his mother about his money, and it was really interesting. They both had valid points. Tell me THAT story. About a teenager on a hit show who makes a couple missteps but is overall a nice person trying to negotiate all this craziness.

AP: Yeah, I definitely wanted to know more about Mark-Paul and his parents. Mario's characterization was just he was A.C. Slater in real life. Tiffany-Amber just seemed kinda there. Elizabeth seemed like Jessie but in real life.

MC: I wonder if they were that dull or if it was just the way this story was told.

AP: But DD kept claiming how they were all hooking up all over the place and the only hint of that I saw was with Mark Paul and Lark in that one scene. I think it was the way the story was told. They touched on Elizabeth wanting to do more serious work, then they dropped it.

MC: There was that one moment where he narrated, "if you were wondering who we were dating in real life just look at who we were dating on the show." But then it never actually showed any of that. So I was like, WHUT.

AP: It was poorly edited. They showed Mark Paul at the party, and then the next scene was him getting chewed out for doing shit but they didn't say what that shit was. I want some Ferris Bueller level messing around. Overall I was left wanting more.

MC: Yeah! For a story that is probably largely fictionalized, it just wasn't that interesting.

AP: Like drive your car into a pool, Mark Paul.

MC: Either make it ridiculously scandalous, or tell me the true story of the show. I think you mean his motorcycle.

AP: Impregnate the hell out of Hayley Mills.

MC: If he had run the motorcycle over Mario in that one scene it would have been amazing.

AP: I feel like Mario's last words would have been, "Preppy..." See we could have written this script. Why aren't we in charge?

MC: You know, I ask myself that every day. Perhaps the world just isn't ready for our brilliance.

AP: We're unappreciated in our own time.

MC: It's true. But just wait until the TV Sluts The Unauthorized Story comes out.

AP: We'll include a portion with how Clovis impregnated Hayley Mills. And how we were doing lines of pixie stix. And throwing actual food at the TV.

MC: That all actually happened though.

AP: I will talk to E! and do the True Hollywood Story.

MC: And also Behind the Music on VH1.

AP: Yes. Yes, we need one of those as well. I want so badly to be in one of those confession booth thingies.

MC: Next time you visit we will do a vlog entry.

AP: And I want to be subtitled. I don't care if I sound educated and Midwestern. SUBTITLE THE HELL OUT OF ME. We should way do a vlog. With sock puppets. We can subtitle it for our Honey Boo Boo viewing demo.

MC: Final thoughts on the movie?

AP: Saved By the Bell: The Unauthorized Story. Yay. Just not that unauthorized. Just not that scandalous. I was left wanting more. Saved By the Bell: The Musical?

MC: It tried to tread the middle ground between salacious and telling the true story, and failed at both. And it made me wish for the more boring actual story--so probably not what they were going for. My absolute final thought: GET OVER IT, DUSTIN DIAMOND.

AP: There wasn't enough development of the other kids on the show, who were interesting in their own right. They should reboot the show. Except do it meta. With them playing the cast of Saved by the Bell but also playing themselves. I'd watch that. There should also be a Broadway musical in the works. Where can we pitch this? Again I ask of the universe why we are not in charge.

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