The second season of the Saved By the Bell revival arrived on Peacock last week and in addition to paying tribute to Screech actor Dustin Diamond who passed away earlier this year at the age of 44, the series also revisited aspects of the original series and its characters’ pasts, including a major moment from the short-lived Saved By the Bell spinoff, Saved By the Bell: The College Years. Specifically, the revival addressed Kelly Kapowski’s (Tiffani Thiessen) decision to give up her dream of becoming a doctor and now, series executive producer Tracey Wigfield explains why that was such an important subject to revisit.
In The College Years, Kelly walks away from her plans to become a doctor when she agrees to marry Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). It’s a decision that comes up in Season 2 of Saved by the Bell, with Kelly telling Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley) and Lisa (Lark Voorhies) that she’s seeing a tutor to prepare for the MCAT exam, but later has doubts and tries to say that it was fate that saw Zack interrupt her educational plans for marriage. Jessie counters that it wasn’t fate at all, causing Kelling to realize that it was her own choice that had gotten in her way. For Wigfield, having a chance to revisit that proposal was important.
“I remember even as a 12-year-old being flabbergasted that that was how they decided to end that season,” Wigfield told TVLine. “Zack asked her to marry him, so she just picked that instead, and we were supposed to feel good about it for her? Even as a kid, I was like, ‘What? Why? She’s never going to be a doctor now!'”
The season ultimately sees Kelly decide to go to med school – and sees Zack be supportive of his wife’s choice. Wigfield explained that it just felt right to have Kelly finally get her due after all this time.
“I felt like in this show, where a lot of what we do and what we mine comedy from is looking at the old show and reevaluating it through a 2021 lens, it felt like it was time to give Kelly her due, and let her have some of that ambition that I think people were excited [to see] in The College Years,” she said.
And Kelly’s story isn’t the only one that got a bit of revisiting in Season 2. The season also saw Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkely) added to The College Years via a new “flashback”. As fans may recall, Berkely didn’t appear in the spinoff series originally.
“I think it was perfect,” executive produce Franco Bario said. “That was the point of the clip, that she just shows up at The College Years for a random reason. I mean, a lot of those clips [in the Slater/Jessie montage] were sort of, like, ‘Hey, these were things that never really happened, but we’re acting like they did,’ which was fun.”
Saved By the Bell Season 2 is now streaming on Peacock.
from Ultimate Comic Blog