Sebastian Danzig I wish I was able to get a photo with all my friends last night but it felt like a high-school reunion. It was fun to be back on stage even if it wasn’t with actually blood brothers I was still in great company. It is also great knowing I have wonderful friends that help take care of my wonderful friends.
Libra: (9.23-10.23) Life advice, to fall in love with Libra, otherwise you will not know what is perfect, stimulating, gentle and extreme, scolding you for caring about you and disgusting you, and loving you affectionate and unfeeling.
When you are spoiled, you will be spoiled to death, and when you are angry, you will be killed every minute😂
12 hours with @jingyuhuangjingyu you do if you only do one thing in twelve hours? What is the magical moment for him? Ling Huang Jingyu Not only did I share my unique understanding of Cinderella's fairy tales with us, but l also staged a wonderful “eye play” at the end Let's feel the quick stamp video with Little me
IMDb Summary: A follow-up series to the 1990s sitcom. A group of California low-income high school students are transferred to Pacific Palisades' wealthy Bayside High, following a program by California Governor Zack Morris.
When I first heard that there was even going to be a reboot of Saved by the Bell, I instinctively wondered, WHY!? Oftentimes reboots are never as good, and end up trying - and failing - to recapture the charm of the original series. And I will have to say, a little part of me was cringing at the thought of another Saved by the Bell: The New Class. Gawd save us all if that was the case.
However, the more I did my rewatch, the more I kept seeing trailers for the new series and I got curious - why not just check out the first episode? After all, the first episode was free on Peacock.
So, I gave The Pilot a shot.
While this IS a new class, Saved by the Bell: The New Class, this is not. For one, it is actually really good. The fact that most of the original cast have always said they would never be on board with a reboot/reunion (or a ‘reimagining’ as Peacock is now referring to it) - unless it was a product that they could get behind and that didn’t tarnish the original - and are now all executive producers on this series speaks for itself. Plus the production value, the writing, the actors - they were all so good. It was a good mix of just enough throwbacks to the old series, and enough of the new characters and storylines to draw in new fans.
It’s not often that I get sucked into a show after watching just the first episode - often times I give the first 5-6 episodes (or even a whole season) the benefit of the doubt to let the show find its footing - but this series got me immediately hooked from the first episode. I loved it so much that I ended up getting a premium Peacock subscription in order to finish watching the remaining 9 episodes of the season. And you know what? I DID NOT REGRET IT ONE BIT.
What I liked:
The writing. I would imagine that it’s not that easy to write a comedy that is a satirizes something while simultaneously paying homage to it. It’s a very fine line, but this series does it well. (Side note: the head writer of this reboot is Tracy Wigfield, who was a writer on a couple of very successful shows you may have heard about: 30 Rock and The Mindy Project.) The references to the original series poke fun at it in such a very clever way and the jokes are snappy and brilliant. In case you haven’t seen the original series, the writing here is done in such a way that doesn’t make you feel like you are missing out, however, the more of a fan of the original series that you are, the more the jokes pay off. (I watched this with Tom who isn’t a hardcore fan, yet he loved it).
The inside jokes and the nostalgia. This kind of ties in with my previous point, but in addition to the writing, so many of the details, stage direction and set decor are just so clever - sometimes the references to the old series were quite obvious (for example, the episode titles, Slater and the kids dancing to “Barbara Ann” at the house party, Jessie slapping the pill bottle out of Mac’s hands, the time capsule, the ‘Friends Forever’ performance by Zack Attack, the Max!! [apparently it burned down in some episode of The New Class but lets be honest, who was really around for that?]) and sometimes they were more subtle (Kelly’s volleyball picture on the Morris’ mantle, the words that go along to the Principals’ handshake, the Tori joke, the name of the technology building at Bayside). Plus, aside from The Old Gang, there were some appearances by some characters from the original series - Mr. Dewey and Ox! But yeah, overall I just love, love, LOVED all the throwbacks to the old series because - in case you were not aware - I am such a huge fan.
The production value. I guess it goes without saying, especially given that the old series took place almost 30 years ago on an obvious soundstage with often-recycled 3-walled sets. While this new series did a great job of recreating the iconic Bayside High hallway, they also did a great job in creating a more 3-dimensional high school that really comes off as a posh school that would exist with a bunch of privileged kids in the Palisades (I mean, the school looks REALLY nice) and there are also exterior and off campus shots at actual locations (the old series only went on location twice). Overall the vibe is just more sophisticated and polished.
The New Gang. I love that they each have various traits reminiscent of The Old Gang, but that they also aren’t exact 1-to-1 counterparts and that they also possess a lot of their own unique traits.
Daisy (Haskiri Velazquez). It would have been way too predictable and super cliche had Zack Morris’s son been the main protagonist of this series - which is why I am glad that they didn’t do that. While Daisy possesses some of the character traits that Zack had - she is actually the one who does all of the time-outs and carries around the brick phone (the explanation behind why she has such a phone instead of a modern smartphone like everyone else is actually pretty clever and rather believable)- she also has a lot of Jessie’s qualities - she’s intelligent, hardworking, overachieving, and an enthusiastic student council member. While I didn’t expect to, I really grew to like Daisy as the main character, and I also like the fact that the main character is a girl - a Latina girl - and also not a typical spoiled Bayside kid, but someone from the less privileged school, Douglas, having a different socio-economic status, which gives us a whole new perspective of Bayside and its students.
Lexi (Josie Totah). I love the fact that she is a transgender girl - which they acknowledge by mentioning that she was the star of reality show based on her transition - but that they don’t single this out as her only personality trait. She’s a cheerleader and one of the most popular girls at school - a combination of Kelly and Lisa - and she’s also spoiled, has a lot of sass, but also has a sharp tongue, quick wit, and vast knowledge of pop culture. She is freaken HILARIOUS and easily my most favorite character of The New Gang.
Aisha (Alycia Pascual-Pena). I really like that Daisy’s best friend from Douglas High is also the ‘Slater’ of the group - she is the quarterback of the Bayside boys’ football team.
Mac (Mitchell Hoog). He is just as schemy as his dad was - although I feel like he may be a bit less well-meaning as Zack Morris ever was. He does show some more depth to his character as the first season progresses, though, with him expressing that he may be the way that he is because he is missing his dad in his life, due to the fact that his dad is too preoccupied with his career - something that Zack Morris could also relate to.
Jamie (Belmont Cameli). I was initially little bit surprised that the son of Jessie Spano would be this dim-witted, coddled and overly sensitive - although after some thought i guess it does make sense that she would raise a boy that would be the complete opposite of anything resembling toxic masculinity.
Devonte (Dexter Darden). The guy that you would expect to be the jock - they were pushing him to try out for the football team - but he is actually a theater nerd at heart. He’s also a bit of a loner (reminiscent of Slater having not made any real connections till he came to Bayside, due to the fact that he was an army kid).
The Old Gang. I am aware of the adult versions of their characters as being portrayed in this series as being described as “heightened” versions of their teen selves. While that is definitely true overall - which in some ways I liked and some ways didn’t - I will watch almost anything in which The Old Gang reunites.
Slater (Mario Lopez). He’s now the football coach/athletic director. He obviously still has the hots for Jessie and he still seems to be unwilling to move on from his high school years. But I like how he finally acknowledged that they way he treated Jessie before was immature and admitted that a lot of her beliefs back then are now considered admirable traits.
Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley-Lauren) - that is, Dr. Jessie Spano, Bayside’s guidance counselor. As I mentioned above, I am a bit confused by her parenting skills, but as the season went on I loved seeing the old Jessie come out - how she insisted on mentoring Daisy because she saw a lot of herself in her and how she realized that she was being such a pushover with her husband stood up to him in the end.
Zack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). I think it is hilarious that he ended up as the Governor of California as a scheme to get out of a parking ticket - and even more hilarious that MPG’s filmography was inspiration for Zack’s pre-gubernatorial career as a lawyer (his character from the show Franklin and Bash).
Kelly (Tiffani Thiessen). I was so relieved to know that she and Zack are still married! (P.S. as a Zack and Kelly fan, the Jeff joke was not funny *side eye*). However, I am also a bit bummed that having seen her character as becoming more independent and ambitious in The College Years, that she really didn’t end up becoming a doctor afterall but instead a “doctor of optimism” and running a wellness company. For lack of a better word, she seemed a bit of an airhead - moreso than she ever did.
Lisa (Lark Voorhies). She only had a bit part, but glad that she was able to make an appearance and to see that she fulfilled her dream of being a fashion designer.
Screech (Dustin Diamond - RIP). While he didn’t make an appearance, at least they acknowledged him in conversation and that he got a building at Bayside High named after him. Hopefully they will find a way to pay tribute to him in the next season.
What I didn’t like:
The new (remixed) theme song by Lil Yachty. And I thought that The College Years theme song was bad?! I mean, I get that they wanted to pay homage to the old theme song, but this new version was just BAD bad. (Side note: Episode 8 features the actual original theme song, probably because the episode was mostly focused on The Old Gang).
Pretending that Principal Toddman was at Bayside with the Original Gang. I know that continuity was never Saved by the Bell’s forte - and I get that it was supposed to be a silly joke - but seeing as how Toddman is a lot older than The Gang, it just comes of REALLY cheesy pretending as if he really was part of Bayside class of ’93.
Time Out’s became synonymous with Zack Morris from the original series, and he often used it as as a way to talk to us, his buddies, the audience. But during my recent rewatch of the series, I came to realize that it was not only used as a device to break the fourth wall, but as a way to stop the action, enabling Zack to figure out a situation and sometimes determine his next course of action. Sometimes, he even altered the situation - leading some to wonder if he had super powers. Daisy definitely does not possess the same super powers that Zack had, as she only uses it a way to talk to the audience and share her thoughts.
Some day I want to see a show that does the “no filler episodes” thing from the opposite direction. Just a whole season worth of low-stakes character pieces that seem to move the overall story absolutely nowhere, then episode 26 pulls all the triggers at once and this massive Rube Goldberg machine of a plot the show’s been quietly setting up in the background the whole time hits you like a truck.
OV349 - Old (2021) - Mythic Quest and Star Wars: The Clone Wars
In this “parking lot special” episode, Tiny and I review M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film, Old immediately following a theater screening of the film.
Show Start - 00:28
Our Theater Experience - 01:49
Quick Potpourri - 07:10
Old (2021) - 08:45
Non-Spoiler - 16:09
Spoiler - 32:21
Closing the Ep - 1:05:43
Patreon Clip - 1:06:27
Pre-Recorded Outro - 1:07:43
Matt's Review: Fear Street Part One: 1994 (2021)
Matt's Review: Fear Street Part Two: 1978 (2021)
Matt’s Review: Fear Street Part Three: 1666 (2021)
Matt’s Review: Old (2021)
Ben’s Review: Old (2021)
Ben's Review: Pig (2021)
Ben’s Happy Valley Essays - Midwest Film Journal
Ben’s Di$ney Essays - Midwest Film Journal
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