Don’t wake me up…

If there’s one thing guaranteed to make me feel like a 12 year-old again, it’s reminiscing over old-but-not-ancient tv shows. Especially the ones that aren’t actually the agreed ‘classics’ but the sort of not technically great but still holds a place in your heart stuff, that has the power to make one generation alone go goo-goo eyed yet cause blank stares and bemusement to everyone outside this narrow range.

So how are these pictures of the Saved By The Bell cast all grown-up for making you feel old? Take that, High School Musical, this will you be in 20 years!

In the UK, this used air at 9.25am on Channel 4. Oh, the days when I used to wake up at 9.25am through my own volition.

Zack Morris was my best friend Tom’s first gay crush. I wanted to be Kelly Kapowski but was probably always more of a Jessie Spano (sans the addiction to ‘I’m so excited! I’m so excited! I’m so…. scared’ caffeine pills). My Saved By The Bell tee from is the most commented-upon item in my wardrobe, eliciting knowing smiles and thumbs-up from random passers-by every time that I wear it (well, at least I hope that’s why they were smiling).

The cast look amazing and it makes my heart go all warm and fuzzy to see them back together again (this behind-the-scenes video is cute too). Of course, you’ll notice Screech is missing. In-between making porn, becoming a chess master and desperately flogging t-shirts on his website, I guess he was too busy. Or he just wasn’t pretty enough for this shoot. Or, given the number of years he clocked up with the SBTB franchise, he’s STILL working for Mr Belding.

Jimmy Fallon unsuccessfully tried to reunite the cast on his show (Screech and Tiffani ‘Kelly’ Thiessen didn’t sign up, although Thiessen released an odd viral about how busy she was which suggested that she was game), so I guess this photo shoot might be the closest we get. Although Mario Lopez (ah… those dimples are still cute as ever) does tantalisingly hint we might get a future reunion show later. Fallon’s attempts did result in this rather awesome interview with Zack Morris. He is STILL the coolest kid in school.

UPDATE: Come 2014, he finally managed to reunite four of the Bayside gang… I challenge you not to grin your way through this! And how do they all look EXACTLY THE SAME? Was there something magic in the water fountains at The Max?!

As a consolation present, Fallon instead reunited the California Dreams cast. HELL YEAH. In the UK, this would often air immediately after Saved By The Bell and was basically the same, except this lot were in a band (the ‘song an episode’ premise features in another childhood favourite obsession, Jem & The Holograms). It came from SBTB’s genius producer, Peter Engel who, once he’d found a successful formula, sure as hell stuck to it (Hang Time, Malibu CA, City Guys) – young attractive cast, cheesy jokes, “issues” episodes and a cavalier attitude to cast changes to keep the dead horse flogged for as long as humanely possible.

Again, the cast look sickeningly-good (possible because they’ve not exactly been exhausting themselves with work ever since) apart from the Latino one, who wore a leather jacket back in the day signalling his ‘bad boy’ character, and is now nearly unrecognisable (hang on, isn’t he Weevil in later seasons of Veronica Mars?!). Sly, the slightly rat-faced Tom Cruise-alike (couldn’t sing so became the band’s sleazy manager and of course, best character) even whips out the six-pack – oh, the desperation of out-of-work actors (not that I’m complaining).

But the real fangirl squeal is reserved for when the cast actually sing the theme tune (at 9.30 in the vid). Yes, these folks sung and played their instruments for real (although the badly-mimed, leotard frenzy that was the girls’ band in SBTB still remains a guilty pleasure that pops up way more often on my iPod than I’m ever going to admit).

I’m going to repeat – they sing the theme tune. Live. The warm fuzzy feeling produced by the SBTB photos just multiplied tenfold into a shivery happy glow. It’s actually a brilliant mellow theme song, which transports you instantly to laidback lounging on the beach. Amazing harmonies, evocative instrumentation, fantastic vocals (possibly in the days before Autotune existed). It’s actual theme song GOLD. In fact, let’s watch in all its full-length 90s glory – just wait for that guitar solo.

And it made me feel like a carefree child again for a few precious hours. These dreams *are* good.

Pictures: People Magazine

One response to “Don’t wake me up…

  1. I appreciated this! Great article!

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