Lifetime’s ‘Saved by the Bell’ movie draws heavy Twitter jeers

From left: Taylor Russell McKenzie, Dylan Everett, Alyssa Lynch, Julian Works, Tiera Skovbye and Sam Kindseth play the cast of "Saved By the Bell."

There were no sharknados to be found in Lifetime’s “The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story” that aired Monday, but the behind-the-scenes drama about the early ‘90s teen sitcom drew its share of social media scorn and commentary.

The movie, based on the tell-all book “Behind the Bell” by former cast member Dustin Diamond (who played Screech), promised a gossipy look at the hook-ups, rivalries and other tawdry doings on and off the set of the seminal series that aired from 1989 to 1993.

But despite being primed for a trashy good time, a lot of fans seemed surprised by the TV movie’s odder moments, such as a Diamond fantasy in which he got lots of pretty ladies into a hot tub with him while sporting a bizarre, cartoonish he-man torso. Or that they tried to give the story a happy ending, despite the troubled later careers of Lark Voorhies (Lisa Turtle) and Diamond, who released his own sex tape in 2006.

As New York style blogger Diana Middleton wrote, “Can’t believe I watched the whole #SavedByTheBell movie. Lost 100 brain cells and my dignity in the process.”


NitWok wrote, “I’ve never seen so many guys tweeting about a Lifetime movie since ‘Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?’”

NBC News reporter Jillian Sederholm live-tweeted the movie, but one tweet summed up her reservations: “When the actor playing Screech is more attractive than actors playing Zack and Slater, there is a problem.”

Lifetimealicious, a Twitter feed dedicated to Lifetime’s original movies, shared Sederholm’s feelings about the casting, singling out Julian Works, who played Mario Lopez (A.C. Slater). One criticism, among many, “The actor playing Slater’s head is too small to pull off his massive mullet.”

Voorhies didn’t have anything at all to say about the film or Taylor Russell McKenzie, who played her in the film. On Monday she wrote, “I did not watch, and will not watch.”

However, one aspect of the movie that received rave reviews was the soundtrack, which featured such ‘90s acts as Bel Biv Devoe.

“10 minutes in and I already want this unauthorized savedbythebellsoundtrack. Classics,” tweeted one viewer.

Other people described the soundtrack as “rad,” “dope,” “sick” and said it “slaps.”

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