The last time we saw Zack, Slater, Screech and the gang, The Lion King was a brand new movie. The Sony Playstation was a hot commodity on the toy shelves. "The Sign" by Ace of Base was the biggest song of the year. And The Wonderbra counted for advanced technology.
Needless to say, the world was a completely different place. It's been over two decades since we wrapped our time with Bayside High, but they never really left our hearts. Fans have always harbored a soft spot for anything acid-washed, neon, or spandex, and our heartbeats go pitter patter whenever we hear that alarm bell and the lyrics When I wake up in the morning.
Up until now Saved by the Bell devotees have had to rely on reruns to get their fix, but now thanks to a new book by the show's prolific creator, Peter Engel, we're being treated to all new goodies. The tome, I Was Saved by the Bell: Stories of Life, Love and Dreams That Do Come True, tells all sorts of inside secrets about the writer/producer's journey creating some of the most popular teen shows of our memory (he's also responsible for Hang Time and California Dreams, among others).
We at E! News were lucky enough to snag the showrunner for a session of dishing on all things Saved by the Bell. We grilled him on everything and found out a few behind-the-scenes secrets along the way. For starters, Elizabeth Berkley almost wasn't the Jessie we know and love. "Elizabeth was originally being considered for Kelly," Engel told us. "But after casting Tiffani (Thiessen) for the role, we called Elizabeth to offer her Jessie. She was the last person cast."
And Mark-Paul Gosselaar? He was the least like his character of any of the show's stars. Who became friends the quickest off-set? That would be the real-life Zack Morris and Jessie Spano. And we know you're wondering about those infamous castmember-on-castmember romances. Engel swears that any off-screen drama never made it onto the show.
"There were a lot of romances over the years between the characters," he told E! News. "What was great was that when any of the actors dated, they were never dating on the show as well. So, if break-ups did happen in real life, they didn't impact the chemistry on the show."
And now for the moment we've all been waiting for. With no Saved by the Bell reboot on the horizon in the foreseeable future, we decided to grill Engel over what the whole Bayside gang would be up to if we were to get a reunion. Consider it a list of yearbook superlatives for the millennial generation. And yes, we made sure to ask about Netflix binges.