Entertainment

The Trailer For the ‘Saved By the Bell’ Reboot Just Dropped and Slater Is Front and Center

Photo: Universal Television/YouTube

The trailer for the “Saved By the Bell” reboot dropped on Tuesday and it actually looks…good? We’re so excited, we just can’t hide it. The series has long been in the works, with the reboot being announced all the way back in September 2019.

The reboot will revolve Zack Morris (who is now a California governor) after he “gets into hot water” after he closes a bunch of low-income high schools. Governor Zack’s brilliant idea is to send the kids affected by the school closures to the “highest performing schools in the state”, which naturally, includes Bayside High. According to the synopsis, “the influx of new students gives the over privileged Bayside kids a much needed and hilarious dose of reality.” We never imagined “Saved By the Bell” tackling class-conflict before, but hey! Weirder things have happened in 2020.

Much of the original cast is slated to appear, including Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris, Elizabeth Berkley as Jessica Spano, Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski, and of course, Mario Lopez in the legendary role of Slater. Thankfully, Slater appears like he will be in the show quite a bit, playing a coach to the high school students (why aren’t we surprised?).

In addition to the original cast, it looks like the series has also added a bunch of new characters to flesh out the new series. One of those characters will be “Mac Morris”, Zack Morris’ mini-me son. And judging by the trailer and promotional materials, the show’s lead will be a Latina character named Daisy, played by newcomer Haskiri Velazquez.

Lopez has been vocal about his excitement for the reboot, recently telling Women’s Day that the reboot is “much funnier, to be quite honest.” “It’s got a different look and feel and much more mature ‘Saved by the Bell’,” he explained. “But I think they [struck] a good balance with this nostalgia in the new version.” He also teased that he might “bring back the mohawk,” but it appears we weren’t that lucky.

And now that we saw the trailer, we have to agree with Lopez. The new series appears to be a sort of tongue-in-cheek meta-commentary on the cheesiness of the original ’90s series. The plot device of the “outsiders” (i.e. lower-income students) coming into Bayside High is genius. It means the show can be cheesy and over-the-top while poking fun of it’s self in a self-aware way. In other words, it’s the best of both worlds.

The series is set to premiere on Wednesday, Nov. 25 on NBC’s streaming service Peacock.

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‘Saved By the Bell’ Reboot Mocks Selena Gomez’s Kidney Transplant and Francia Raísa Thinks It’s Not Funny

Entertainment

‘Saved By the Bell’ Reboot Mocks Selena Gomez’s Kidney Transplant and Francia Raísa Thinks It’s Not Funny

It appears that the Saved By the Bell reboot is off to a bad start. The much anticipated NBCUniversal’s Peacock series garnered tons of negative press over the weekend for making what many viewers considered inappropriate jokes about Selena Gomez’s health struggles.

One of the offensive scenes in question had two characters arguing about whether Gomez’s kidney donor was “Justin Bieber’s mom” or Demi Lovato. Later in the episode, a wall was spray-painted with the words: “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?”

Fans flocked to social media to condemn the program for making light of Gomez’s harrowing health journey.

“I can officially say that this generation is full of some sick and insensitive ppl,” wrote one Selena stan on Twitter. “The fact that if her surgery went wrong, she wouldnt be here today. and a whole ass show producer thought it was okay to mock her for it? the script writers too? what??” Many similar sentiments were echoed on social media.

The blowback became so bad that NBCUniversal was forced to apologize for the tasteless joke. They have since removed the “jokes” from the episode.

“We apologize. It was never our intention to make light of Selena’s health. We have been in touch with her team and will be making a donation to her charity, The Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at USC,” they said in a statement.

Selena Gomez’s kidney donor, fellow actress Francia Raísa, addressed NBCUniversal’s apology via Twitter. “Appreciate the apology but let’s not forget about the donors that potentially felt offended and dismissed from the spray paint written on the wall,” she said.

Selena Gomez has been candid about the trauma she’s endured over the years due to her autoimmune disease, lupus. Gomez’s lupus forced her to undergo chemotherapy and eventually, seek a kidney transplant.

“I had arthritis. My kidneys were shutting down. My mentality was just to keep going,” Selena revealed in a 2017 interview with the Today Show. “That was it. And I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life and that was the day I came home, when I found out, and [Raísa] volunteered and did it.”

But Gomez’s kidney transplant wasn’t the end of her health journey, both mental and physical.

After her surgery, Gomez struggled with body image issues, specifically surrounding her surgery scar. In a recent Instagram post, Gomez revealed that it took her a while to become confident in her own skin after her surgery.

“When I got my kidney transplant, I remember it being very difficult at first showing my scar,” she wrote. “I didn’t want it to be in photos, so I wore things that would cover it up. Now, more than ever, I feel confident in who I am and what I went through.”

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CBS Pledges to Make the Casts of ‘Survivor’ and ‘Big Brother’ 50% People of Color

Entertainment

CBS Pledges to Make the Casts of ‘Survivor’ and ‘Big Brother’ 50% People of Color

Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

CBS just announced that it is committing to making at least 50% of the casts of their unscripted shows Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC). CBS also announced that they are devoting 25% of their unscripted budget to BIPOC creators. The changes are expected to take effect in the 2021-2022 season.

“The reality TV genre is an area that’s especially underrepresented, and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling,” said CBS CEO George Cheeks. “As we strive to improve all of these creative aspects, the commitments announced today are important first steps in sourcing new voices to create content and further expanding the diversity in our unscripted programming, as well as on our Network.”

CBS’s unscripted TV shows include fan-favorite staples like “Survivor”, “The Amazing Race”, “Big Brother”, and “Love Island”. The network has regularly come under fire for failing to cast diverse talent in both their scripted and unscripted programs. Unlike other broadcast networks like ABC (Grey’s Anatomy, literally any other Shondaland show) or NBC (This Is Us, Superstore), CBS has a reputation for white-washing its programming.

Last year, a former CBS Diversity & Inclusion executive wrote an op-ed in Variety accusing the company of having a “white problem”.

“While CBS proudly touts its diversity programs, a close look beneath the surface reveals that the company is unconcerned about creating space for minorities,” wrote Whitney Davis, who is a Black woman. “CBS continues to promote its diversity initiatives in public, while internally minorities are practically invisible.” 

In June of this year, a group of Black “Survivor” alumni created a petition demanding that the stalwart show make 30% of its cast BIPOC. They also asked that BIPOC are given “equitable screen time and opportunities to participate in marketing and promotional events.” The show’s Black alumni alleged that they were ostracized, gaslighted, and short-shrifted while they were contestants on the show. The petition received almost 8,000 signatures to-date.

As is expected, fan reactions have been mixed. Some people are happy that CBS is making the effort to fix the structural problems of their company. But others feel that the commitment is forced and will result in BIPOC cast members being treated as tokens.

This person is confident that CBS’s unscripted shows will simply improve by including more people of color on their cast lists.

If anything, this decision will add some much-needed change to their tired formulas.

This person was ready to submit their application.

Now that people know the playing field is more even, we’re sure that CBS will receive a more diverse pool of applications.

This person has doubts as to how CBS will approach choosing and casting POC.

It’s one thing to talk about diversity, but it’s another thing to actually choose people who represent a range of diverse cultures.

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