NBC Pardons Mario Lopez With ‘Saved By The Bell’ Reboot Soon After His Trans Children Comment Backlash

“Saved By the Bell” is getting a reboot with original castmembers Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley reprising their roles as Slater and Jessie. NBC Universal will air the series on their upcoming streaming service Peacock (yes, every network has got to have one now). The series will be written and executive produced by Tracey Wigfield. OG “Saved By the Bell” alumni, Peter Engel and Franco Bario will return as producers. 

This comes in the wake of NBC Universal announcing several rebooted series for Peacock including “Punky Brewster”which will star Soleil Moon Frye as a grownup version of the namesake, and a “Battlestar Galactica” reboot led by “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail. Peacock will roll out in April 2020 with over 15,000 hours of television. 

“Saved By the Bell”

No, the returning cast members won’t be playing students again, the rebooted plot is actually a bit more of the moment than that. NBC Universal’s logline for the series reads: 

“When California governor Zack Morris gets into hot water for closing too many low-income high schools, he proposes they send the affected students to the highest performing schools in the state — including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the over-privileged Bayside kids a much needed and hilarious dose of reality.”

Yes, Zack Morris is governor. Instead of following a group of rich kids, we’ll be watching a group of outsiders checking the privilege of the elite. I like this premise as an update, although it was extremely subversive in the ’90s to have black, Latinx, and Asian American actors portray the elite in the first place. Have we forgotten that Lisa Turtle was originally supposed to be a white character until Lark Voorhies nailed the audition and snagged the part?

Fans want to know if Zack Morris is governor, does that mean Mark-Paul Gosselaar will be returning too? The Wrap spoke to Gosselaar’s representative, but they and NBC Universal did not want to comment. Interesting.

Mario Lopez says it’s a done deal

Lopez, who is 45 now, confirmed he will be reviving his role as A.C. Slater. He said he may even have a mullet again.

“The deal is being done,” he told Access Hollywood. “It’s gonna happen. We are going to be rebooting “Saved By the Bell” for the new NBC streaming platform. I might be bringing back the mullet.”

The Mexican American actor played Slater from 1989 to 1993 on “Saved By the Bell,” then reprised his role in “Saved By the Bell: The College Years” in 1994 for one season. 

Elizabeth Berkley reacted perfectly

“I’m so excited. You know I just can’t hide it,” Berkley wrote in a retweet. The tweet featured an old meme of Jessie’s character hopped on caffeine pills. The episode “Jessie’s Song” has become something of a phenomenon because of her over the top performance — and of course, people wondered if caffeine pills can cause erratic behavior? No. 

“The show itself just has a goodness and an innocence and I think, especially from the feedback we’re getting, doing a redo of the scene, it really brings people back to their childhood, when it was more simple and more easy,” Berkley told E! in 2013 when she appeared on “Dancing With The Stars.”

“You go through things in life and when you get reminded of that simple time, it brings about a sweetness.”

Did Jessie and Slater wed?

The reprisal of Lopez’s and Berkley’s roles has fans wondering if this means Jessie and Slater are married with children in the reboot. Sources are saying it will focus on them as new parents but no word if they will be parenting together. Although a fan favorite, the two were an odd couple with Slater cast as the brutish jock and Jessie the feminist overachiever. The two dated during the original series and while Zack is governor, NBC Universal hasn’t revealed what the pair will be doing. 

Yes, we’re an era of reboots

It’s hard to believe that “Saved By the Bell” first aired in 1989, the year I was born, but here I am an old millennial internet ghoul. The series comes in an era of what some might call “too many” reboots. However, with the number of scripted television series airing, services find reboots to be an easy solution in an increasingly competitive market. 

“Reboots and updates of beloved series remain in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming platforms look for proven intellectual property with a built-in audience in a bid to cut through a scripted landscape expected to top 500 originals in 2019,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.  

“The ‘Saved by the Bell’ sequel will make noise and likely help drive interest (and subscriptions) to NBC’s forthcoming service, which joins a wave of similar upcoming offerings from the likes of Disney, WarnerMedia, Apple and Viacom’s BET.”

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This Christmas, Give These Holiday Movies A Chance To Bring Some Latino Pride Into Your Festivities


This Christmas, Give These Holiday Movies A Chance To Bring Some Latino Pride Into Your Festivities

@themoviescene / Twitter

‘Tis the season to binge-watch holiday movies with your family over coquito to avoid political discourse, mi gente! Latinos are far from a Christmas classic movie complete with a game of longana, a Tía “Y El Novio?” Marta, and the beauty of how English-speaking American-born nietos and Spanish-speaking immigrant abuelitas always find ways to connect in love over a wide dearth of experiences. We need a movie that revolves around the traditions of Nochebuena and the ritualistic chagrin of how gringos take their trees down on Dec. 26 instead of Jan. 6 as is proper. Still, while we don’t have a mainstream, high-production movie that adequately expresses Latino culture or perspectives, we still have Christmas movies that feature Latino leads living in and navigating a White Christmas, or offer the novela version of a family navidad. 

Here are our tried and true favorite Latino-led Christmas movies.

1. “Nothing Like the Holidays” (2008)


This one is an oldie but a goodie. Featuring a Puerto Rican family living in Humboldt Park, Chicago, as they spend what would be a classic Nochebuena until threats of divorce are casually mentioned at the dinner table. Directed by Alfredo De Villa, the film features the largest Latino cast to date on a holiday movie with the likes of John Leguizamo, Luis Guzmán, Elizabeth Peña, Alfred Molina, Freddy Rodriguez, Melonie Diaz, Vanessa Ferlito, and Jay Hernandez. Plus, they threw in Debra Messing to play John Leguizamo’s character’s wife, who tries her best to fit in with the family. At one point during dinner, she asks, “Why is everyone fighting?” Leguizamo’s character responds by saying, “They’re not. They’re just conversating.” Welcome to a Puerto Rican Nochebuena. ????

2. “El Camino Christmas” (2017)


When did Christmas movies become action adventures? Netflix’s 2017 “El Camino Christmas” may not give you those warm holiday spirit fuzzies, but we get to bask in the glory of Jessica Alba and Emilio Rivera’s roles in a misunderstood liquor store hostage situation that does touch on the greater effects of miscommunication around the holidays. Jessica Alba essentially narrates the “Christmas Eve nightmare” where a man searching for his father gets mistakenly apprehended by police in what becomes an escalated situation. Claro, the bodega is owned by Latino Emilio Rivera.

3. “Christmas Bounty” (2013)


Francia Raisa stars in the ABC Family television film classic of a private school teacher gone bounty hunter. Raisa plays Tory, an elite school teacher engaged to be married around the holidays. Normal, right? Not quite. Turns out, Rory is a retired bounty hunter who is lured out of retirement for one last capture. While trying to maintain a sense of normalcy and keep her secret past under wraps from her fiance, Tory calls up her ex-boyfriend for help with the bounty. A Christmas classic!

4. “This Christmas” (2007)


“This Christmas” is probably the most realistic depiction of the holidays you’ll find on television, starring Afro-Latinos Laz Alonso and Lupe Ontiveros in an all-Black cast. The story revolves around the Whitfield family as they spend Christmas together for the first time in several years. A novela to end all novelas ensues, with Christmas cheating, the belt version of la chancla, and confessed hidden talents. If you’re looking for validation that yours isn’t the most dysfunctional of all the families, watch “This Christmas.”

5. “Santa Claus” (1959)


If you understand Spanish or don’t mind English dubbing, “Santa Claus” is a true Mexican classic. What starts out as a delightful look into Santa Claus’s North Pole toy workshop and his “all-seeing eye,” ends up becoming a battle between the devil himself and Santa Claus, with the fate of Christmas at stake. It’s basically the Mexican novela version of The Grinch Stole Christmas, except it’s a far more likely character: El Diablo.

6. “Holiday in Handcuffs” (2007)


Brace yourself for what, under scrutiny, is a problematic plot during which Melissa Joan Hart’s character kidnaps Mario Lopez’s character to pretend to be her boyfriend at a Christmas family gathering. Because sexually objectifying brown men is the perfect material for a rom-com. Mario Lopez’s character eventually suffers Stockholm Syndrome and falls in love with his captor, leaving his rich fiancé to be with her, months after the kidnapping. If you dissociate from how problematic the movie is, you’ll at least enjoy watching baby Mario Lopez.


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The Past Decade Has Definitely Been A Reboot Era: Here Are The Decade’s Best—And Worst—Reboots


The Past Decade Has Definitely Been A Reboot Era: Here Are The Decade’s Best—And Worst—Reboots

Sony Pictures Releasing

With 2019 narrowly coming to an end, we’re getting ready to say goodbye to a decade. The 2010s have been a nostalgic ride. From the return of 80s “mom jeans” and Seinfeld-esque fashion trends to the revival of 90s music, fashion, beauty, and cinema. Whether we were discussing the return of crop tops, or boy bands, the decade looked back on the 90s with a vengeance —and Hollywood led the nostalgia train. 

Some of these reboots were hits, some were most definitely misses.

90s remakes and reboots dominated the box office in the past 10 years —and there are only more to come (e.g. Jumanji, Cats, Sonic, Mulan, Top Gun… the list goes on). So, as we bid the 2010s goodbye, join us in looking back at the best and worst remakes and reboots from the bast decade. 

Maleficent 2014 and 2019

Instagram @maleficentxcrystal

Although the Angelina Jolie-led fairytale about the “Sleeping Beauty” villain didn’t impress critics, who gave the film only a 40% on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences loved it. Reviewers praised the film’s visuals and special effects as well as its overall storyline.

Spider-Man far from home

Instagram @spidermanmovie

Not a 5 year period goes by without a studio picking up another Spider-Man remake project. And 90s children are happy to watch each and every one of them. On this occasion we went back to Peter Parker’s teenage years and even though it wasn’t the best remake of the spidey franchise, he went as far as to make an appearance alongside Thor, Iron Man and Black Panther in Avengers.


Instagram @disneyaladdin

I for one can confirm that the live-action remake was a masterful attempt at adapting the 90s children’s classic. From the diverse casting to the musical adaptations, special effects and Will Smith’s epic genie; 2019 Aladdin was a total hit. 

Jurassic World

Instagram @jurassicworld

The 2015 film, successfully rebooted the early 1990s franchise. The reboot of 1993’s Jurassic Park cemented Chris Pratt as a bonafide movie star —and there’s already a sequel in the works.

Beauty and The Beast

Instagram @beautyandthebeast

Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast pleased, even the most demanding fans. The remake, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens was a super faithful adaptation of the 1991 classic. This remake though, set a very high bar for all the Disney live action adaptations that followed. 

Power Rangers

Instagram @powerrangersmovie

The iconic TV superheroes of the 90s got their own reboot this decade, but the film received mixed reviews. Fans of the original series responded positively, but the film came second at the box office —only after another 90s staple, Beauty and the Beast.

Men In Black: International

Instagram @meninblack

The galaxy defenders made a comeback this decade, and despite Chris Hemsworth’s endless charisma, cameos from Emma Thompson and Bill Hader, Men In Black: International still wasn’t a huge success. 


twitter @eranuestro

The reboot of this 80s cult classic angered the male masses. Apparently, women who bust ghosts are somehow unacceptable. This film sparked outrage online and the trailer on youtube, as well as it’s IMDB page got record breaking negative reviews. Effectively redoing the original movie with the genders flipped smacked of political correctness and revisionist history. Or at least, that seemed to be the argument.

Terminator Genisys

Instagram @terminator.genisys.fan

The 80s and 90s reboot was a total flop. Despite Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the Terminator franchise, the film still tanked. 

Blair Witch

Instagram @blairwitchmovie

The Blair Witch Project was a 90s cult favorite. The reboot featured man of the same plot points and managed to recapture the magic of the 1999 classic. However, now that everyone knows that The Blair Witch Project was definitely not a documentary, the franchise lost its edge.

Independence day resurgence

Twitter @robzchildren

Not even Jeff Goldblum was able to save this Independence day —at least not without Will Smith, that is. 

Dumb and Dumber To

Instagram @jimcarey_

Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels reprised their roles as Dumb & Dumber, 20 years later! Unfortunately, the reboot failed to impress the public, and not even the most diehard super fans were on board. Only time will tell whether or not the film develops the same cult following as the original did. 

The Karate Kid

Instagram @thekaratekidmovie

Ok so first of all, the “Karate” kid learned Kung Fu in the 2010 version, not Karate as the title —and the original 1984 film— implies. 

The Mummy

Instagram @themummy

The original franchise was a thrilling, fun adventure film with lots of references to Indiana Jones. The 2017 remake, however, was a paint-by-numbers exercise designed only to set up a new shared universe. 

Teenage Ninja Turtles

Instagram @tmnt_2014

So for all of us who grew up in the 90s watching The Ninja Turtles, the show was all about martial arts and personal growth. All the 2014 remake focused on was exaggerated CGI —I mean those muscles, really? They’re turtles after all— and epic destruction scenes.

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