If nostalgia was what TV viewers of a certain age were looking for when they tuned in to Lifetime's The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story last night, they were satisfied. The Dustin Diamond-produced movie told of ups (fame! friendship!) and slight downs (weird blackmail plots!) in the lives of the '90s sitcom's teen stars. But those of us who were drawn by that big "Unauthorized" in the title were sorely disappointed. What we were really looking for was the juicy saga of what happened to the stars later in life, and we were hoping the story of their early stardom would hint at the later scandals, too.
Here are six stories a truly unauthorized biopic would have told:
1. How Dustin Diamond ended up making a commercially distributed sex tape that actually shows a "dirty Sanchez." And then went on to appear in every celebrity reality show that would take him: Celebrity Fit Club, Celebrity Big Brother, Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling, and more.
2. Mark-Paul Gosselaar kept up a pretty good image during and after SBTB. But in an interview with People, he did confess that "All of [the SBTB cast] dated at one point or another—it was incestuous!" That would mean it wasn't just a cute flirtation with Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and an almost-kiss with Lark Voorhies. Where was his hookup with Elizabeth Berkley in this movie?
3. That time Mario Lopez was accused of date rape in 1993, but the prosecutors decided there was no evidence to pursue charges. Also, how about something on how his marriage to Ali Landry ended after two weeks in 2004 because she found out he cheated on her during his bachelor party. Gross.
4. Tiffani-Amber Thiessen's co-star drama apparently extended past being elbowed during photo shoots -- there were all sorts of rumors of feuds on the set of Beverly Hills, 90210. And if you want to get real Lifetime on us, talk about the 1999 suicide of her boyfriend, Suddenly Susan star David Strickland.
5. Sure, Unauthorized lightly joked about Elizabeth Berkley's big break not happening after the movie role she finally got. But really, just a brief behind-the-scenes glimpse of Showgirls would have made this movie 1,000 times juicier.
6. Last, and certainly saddest, would be the story of what ever happened to Lark Voorhies, who either made a conscious decision to turn into a full-time clown or, as her mother told People in 2012, is suffering from bipolar disorder. At the very least, we could have used a dramatic reading of Voorhies' book, True Light: A, superior, take, unto, the, premier, haloing, of, tenuation.
On the other hand, maybe Lifetime knows that this is what we really want, and they're holding off for a sequel. They're perhaps more diabolical and clever than that one exec lady in the movie who came up with Saved by the Bell: The College Years!
What did you think of The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story? Was something else missing?
Image via Lifetime