It’s all right, 'cuz they’re "Saved by the Bell"! At least, that’s what fans of the '90s high-school sitcom may have believed about the squeaky-clean cast of teens back in the day.
How innocent we were. How naïve. Behind the scenes — away from the milkshakes and cheery booths of the Max — it seems the gang was more "West Side Story" than Bayside High. A clip released Thursday from Lifetime’s “Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story,” a TV tell-all set to air next month, shows the cast embroiled in enough rivalries, forbidden flirtations and big-haired threats of violence to make Mr. Belding's head spin.
Among the video's lurid reenactments:
1. Mark-Paul Gosselaar gets grabby with Tiffani Thiessen
Pulling his co-star (played by Alyssa Lunch) close for a publicity photo, Gosselaar (Dylan Everett) makes creepy jazz hands on her exposed midriff. “Stop, you’re tickling me,” she says through gritted teeth. If not with his fingers, then his overfluffed hairdo.
2. Lark Voorhies plants her hooks in Mark-Paul Gosselaar
While it’s no secret the two actors dated offscreen, Voorhies (Taylor Russell) apparently fell for Gosselaar first. “Why does she have to be so flirty?” Voorhies snipes to Elizabeth Berkley (Tiera Skovbye) as Gosselaar does all the flirting with Thiessen.
3. Dustin Diamond believes his biceps can beat Mario Lopez’s
Toward the middle of the clip, Lopez (Julian Works) spontaneously rises from a folding chair, drops to the studio floor and performs a series of push-ups. Nothing surprising there. The shocker is that Diamond (Sam Kindseth) is moved to compete, silently pumping through seven sorry reps before buckling in a pile of plaids.
4. Elizabeth Berkley finds Mario Lopez repulsive
“Ugh, gross. You’re sweaty,” Berkley complains as the macho actor cozies up to her for the camera. Guess the flowers on her boxy blazer didn’t need much watering.
Is any of this true? We have no idea. (The original cast members haven’t commented.) Either way, we'll be watching. Probably repeatedly.
“The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story” premieres on Lifetime Sept. 1 at 9 p.m.