In Peacock’s Saved by the Bell revival, Zack Morris is trash — and that’s by design.
Because when showrunner Tracey Wigfield (Great News, 30 Rock) put together a writers’ room, she brought in Funny or Die‘s Dashiell Driscoll, the executive producer of Zack Morris Is Trash, a web-series that revisits episodes of the original SBTB to reveal that Zack has always been “a completely horrible human being.”
“I’m a huge fan of that series,” Mark-Paul Gosselaar told TVLine at SCAD aTVfest. “And some of that is in [the revival], which I absolutely love: Zack Morris being a little offensive and sort of not being on the right side of things.”
As previously reported, Gosselaar is set to reprise his star-making role in three episodes of the new Saved by the Bell, on which he’ll serve as an executive producer. In the modern-day continuation, Zack Morris — who is now the governor of California — lands in hot water for closing too many low-income high schools. When he suggests sending the affected students to the highest-performing schools in the state, including Bayside High, the influx of new students “gives the overprivileged Bayside kids a much-needed and hilarious dose of reality,” according to the official logline.
“It’s way more current,” Gosselaar said. “Script-wise, these aren’t the scripts we got [31 years ago]. I don’t think you could do that. That’s sort of just across the board with television: There’s a lot of things we did [then] that we’re not doing now… and I don’t know necessarily that it would be appropriate [to do things the same way].”
Wigfield, he said, has managed to refresh the franchise without forgetting its roots. “Tracey’s done a really good job of freshening it up, staying true to the characters but also pointing out how absurd some of [the storylines] were [and] having fun with it… Her comedy pushes the envelope a little bit, and that light into the new [revival] is much needed.” —With reporting by Kimberly Roots
Does MPG’s take on the new SBTB pique your interest in the revival?