Saved By The Bell Characters We Hope To See In Season 2 Of The Reboot
The first season of Peacock’s “Saved by the Bell” reboot was a pleasant surprise – an enjoyable, absurdist sitcom with compelling new characters alongside tons of Easter eggs for fans of the original show. Though they did not all appear to the same degree, it was incredibly pleasurable to see our favorite characters back on screen. For example, we quickly learned that Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley) and A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez) now work at Bayside High –- as a guidance counselor and gym teacher, respectively –- and that Jessie’s son attends the school.
We also saw Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), who is now the Governor of California and married to Kelly Kapowski (Tiffany Theissen), pop up in three episodes of Season 1. Their son Mac has now taken over where Zack left off as the class troublemaker. Even Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies) made a brief appearance, wherein we learn that she is a fashion mogul with multiple lovers. Aside from the main crew, a few other friendly faces (diner owner Max, cranky math teacher Mr. Dewey) showed up. Here are some other characters we would love to see in Season 2 of Peacock’s “Saved by the Bell” reboot.
All of the main characters were back in the first season reboot, except for Screech and, for some reason, Mr. Belding. Screech’s absence was understandable, given the tension that arose from the late Dustin Diamond’s tell-all book and his distance from the rest of the cast. But we have no idea why Dennis Haskins was not back to make a cameo as the beloved Mr. Belding. The 70-year-old Haskins is still alive and well, and we hope he appears in Season 2.
There were certainly never appropriate principal-student boundaries on “Saved by the Bell,” but it was always fun when Mr. Belding and Zack went head-to-head — something they did throughout the entirety of the original series. In fact, Mr. Belding is one of only three characters (along with Lisa and Zack) to have made the jump from “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” to “Saved by the Bell.” Standout storylines included when Mr. Belding made Zack date his niece, when the crew damaged Mr. Belding’s car, and when Mr. Belding’s wife went into labor in an elevator.
Tori Scott was designed to take the place of Kelly and Jesse, who did not appear in a number of episodes filmed after the show originally wrapped (via Screenrant). But the 10 Tori episodes never really made sense, primarily because “Saved by the Bell” was not aired in any sort of logical order. One week, Tori would be Zack’s love interest, and the next, Tori would be gone, Kelly and Jesse would be back, and their disappearance would never be mentioned. Tori was not in the graduation episode, which caused a stir at the time (per Today). But even though half of the old characters would not know her, we can’t help but want a cameo from Tori in Season 2 of the reboot.
Tori was a tough biker chick, rarely seen without her black leather jacket, and the actor who portrayed her – Leanna Creel – no longer works in Hollywood. “I look back now and I’m like, oh, my gosh, like, it was definitely of its era,” Creel told Today in July 2021. “You know, some of the things, I just cringe now, like, ‘Oh, my gosh,’ the stereotypes and the sexism and, oh, my gosh, it’s really shocking. And at the time, again, I was so young and naive and that’s just the way things were done.” With the reboot’s tongue-in-cheek humor offering a wink to some of these issues, perhaps Creel would enjoy bringing Tori back, at least for a one-off episode.
Leah Remini is one of the most famous names to have come out of the original “Saved by the Bell,” but we are still hoping she is not too famous to turn up on the Peacock reboot. Remini appeared in six episodes of the original show, playing Stacey Carosi. Stacey was the boss of the crew when they worked at the Malibu Sands beach club, an establishment owned by her father Leon Carosi. Stacey and Zack originally butted heads but eventually became romantically involved, much to the chagrin of Leon.
Remini guested on Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s podcast “Zack to the Future” in the summer of 2021, and the two actors discussed their undeniable chemistry. “There is not a single person that Zack comes into contact with, in my opinion, that had a chemistry that you and I had,” Gosselaar told Remini. “And, to top it off … the audience is really into us. They really, really loved seeing Zack and Stacey together.”
Both actors attributed their on-screen sparks to them enjoying each other in real life, despite being four years apart in age (Remini was 21 and Gosselaar was 17). “And we liked each other,” Remini said. “We got along, we laughed, we had a good time — I don’t know if you remember that, but there was never any, like, weirdness between us.” East Coaster Stacey always seemed like a fish out of water in Malibu, but perhaps Zack could bump into her somewhere as part of his gubernatorial travels.
Tori Spelling only appeared in three episodes of “Saved by the Bell,” but her character, Violet Bickerstaff, made an incredibly memorable impression. Violet was a shy, nerdy girl who hailed from a wealthy family with extremely overprotective parents. Her parents were not approving when she started a fling with Screech, who was her entry point into the group. We could easily see Violet as a mom on the reboot, and how fun would it be if the nerdy girl had blossomed into a total babe?
“Saved by the Bell” was one of Spelling’s earliest roles, and Violet was against type for the actor best known as Donna Martin from “Beverly Hills, 90210.” She starred in the glee club episode, the chess episode, and the one where the gang throws a party at Screech’s house (and break his mother’s beloved Elvis statue). In February 2021, Spelling posted a touching tribute to Dustin Diamond, her “first onscreen love,” on Instagram, which makes us think that perhaps it would be cool to see her play Screech’s widow.
There were a number of dumb jocks that appeared throughout the run of the original “Saved by the Bell,” but Ox and Moose were the two most notable ones. Of the two, Ox appeared in more episodes and has the more fleshed-out character. As such, he is the one we would most want to show up on the reboot. His portrayer, Troy Fromin, is still a working actor and, though he has many upcoming roles listed on his IMDb, they seem to be minor ones. Conceivably, he may have the time to jump right back into playing lovable Ox.
Altogether, Fromin appeared in nine episodes of “Saved by the Bell,” though he played a different character (named Scud) in the first instance. Five of these appearances were uncredited, as is the case for many of the background characters on the show. Though the reboot had Fromin pop in as “second man in line” for Season 1, we feel this was a missed opportunity to have him play Ox. Since the character was on the football team with Slater, so they could still be buddies, and Ox could appear in that capacity for Season 2. Or maybe he could be a former pro player who comes to inspire the Bayside team or the owner of a toga company (in homage to the toga episode where the character got very drunk).
Though only one of her four episodes was credited, “Saved by the Bell” is where actor Bridgette Wilson-Sampras (sans Sampras at the time, as it was pre-wedding to tennis superstar Pete Sampras) got her start. Her character, Ginger, was one of the backgrounders who was little more than a stereotype. Ginger was your typical “dumb blonde,” who had little substance and who was more concerned with her looks than anything else. She was also a waitress at the Max at one point, but even there, the joke was that she could not remember anything.
Ginger mainly popped up in the later episodes that were missing Elizabeth Berkley and Tiffany Thiessen, but her pairing with Zack never really worked. Even shallow Zack could not take Ginger’s vapidness for long, and so the character never went anywhere. Wilson-Sampras deserved better and perhaps inviting her onto the reboot could help to redeem the character. Maybe Ginger became a neuroscientist or something completely against-type. Or maybe she is exactly the same — even then, we want to see it. Wilson-Sampras does not act much anymore, but that should not stop producers from knocking on her door.
As Jeff Hunter, actor Patrick Muldoon appeared in three episodes of “Saved by the Bell.” Muldoon would then go on to achieve greater fame with roles in soaps like “Melrose Place” and “Days of Our Lives,” but we will always know him as the guy who broke up Kelly and Zack. There was a brief mention of Jeff Hunter in Season 1 of the reboot, but it was a quick line that went nowhere. So, we would love if the reboot would bring Jeff back and revisit the character in light of 2021 sensibilities and the #MeToo movement.
Let’s be real in that Jeff was a creepy character for a few reasons. First, there is the age difference between college student Jeff and an underage Kelly, who was roughly 16 or 17 when they dated. Then, there’s the fact that he immediately cheated on her (and was caught in the act at a club called The Attic). And most crucially, he was also a man in a supervisorial role who started up a relationship with his younger employee. In retrospect, “Saved by the Bell” got a lot of things wrong, but the Jeff storyline was one of the ickiest.
We did not see a lot of parental influence on “Saved by the Bell,” but when a mother or father would pop up every once in a while, it was a welcome change of pace. Zack’s mother Melanie appeared in three 1991 episodes, and it is a character we would love to revisit in Season 2 of the reboot. Given that there are already two generations of Morris characters on the reboot, why not give us a third? We could imagine many storylines where Mac’s grandma could enter the picture.
Melanie was a kindhearted woman, as evidenced by the two-part episode where she and Zack welcomed a homeless family into their home on Christmas. She was also stern, which she showed in the fake I.D. episode where she reprimanded the kids for sneaking into a club. Beyond that, we did not learn a lot about the woman who created the monster that is Zack Morris. The character’s portrayer, Melody Rogers, has no IMDb credits since 2005 as of this writing, but if she won’t come back, a simple recast will do.
“Saved by the Bell” was never subtle with its portrayal of “dorks” and “nerds.” Not only did they often wear stereotypical clothing like tape-covered glasses and pants hiked up to their armpits, but they were also frequently given names that played on their nerdiness. There was Melvin Nerdly, Edgar Pointdexter, and Maxwell Nerdstrom – and of the three, we think Nerdstrom would make the best guest star. Though Maxwell appeared in only two episodes, his storyline in “House Party” was especially memorable.
Maxwell (played by Jeff Asch) is an extremely wealthy Bayside student who mistreats his girlfriend Violet. Violet eventually leaves Maxwell for Screech, but when the gang breaks an Elvis statue at a house party, they must suck up to him for the funds to replace it. They host a poker game and lose all of their money, as well as Screech’s dog – and then force poor Jessie to go out with Maxwell in order to get the pup back. The cocky nerd gets what is coming to him in the end, but we imagine he would still be a sexist, entitled brat, which would make him the perfect Bayside parent if he were to show up in the reboot. Asch has not worked since 2004, per his IMDb, so maybe this is his perfect re-entry point into the industry.
If parents were scarcely featured on “Saved by the Bell,” siblings were almost non-existent. There seemed to be a lot of only children on the show, but even for the characters who did have siblings, brothers and sisters were not often present. When they did show up — like Slater’s sister or Kelly’s baby brother — it was for one episode at a time, and the characters rarely mentioned their siblings otherwise. We would welcome any “Saved by the Bell” sibling onto the reboot, but if we had to vote for one to appear, our vote goes to Eric Tramer, Jessie’s evil step-brother.
Actor Josh Hoffman portrayed Eric in two 1991 episodes of the show, both revolving around his “wicked step-brother” character. Eric quickly butted heads with Jessie, as well as Zack and Slater, and a whole revenge plot ensued. He also romanced Lisa, which was a welcome storyline, since Lisa rarely received good love interest options (Screech notwithstanding). Since Jessie and her son Jamie are main characters on the reboot, bringing in a long-lost relative would be easy and interesting.
Nurse Jennifer appeared in only one episode of the original “Saved by the Bell,” but that has not stopped actor Nancy Valen from capitalizing on the part. On an episode of “Zack to the Future,” Valen told hosts Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Dashiell Driscoll that she has even gone to “Saved by the Bell” events to meet fans of hers. Since we have not yet seen a school nurse on the reboot, perhaps Jennifer could fill that role. Valen also said that Kathy Ireland was originally slated to play the role and that she only replaced her after the first table read.
Nurse Jennifer’s episode was quite memorable in that it had a number of fantasy sequences and ended with the nurse teaming up with others to teach Zack a life lesson. After dumping Kelly for the “hot nurse,” it was fun to see things get turned around on Zack when Jennifer pretended to have a jealous pro-wrestler husband. Valen spoke highly of her time on “Saved by the Bell” when she appeared on Gosselaar’s podcast, and seems like an easy get for the reboot.
The Zeffirelli Twins
Considering how many “Saved by the Bell” fans can easily recall the Zeffirelli twins, you would think they had been heavily featured in every episode. In reality, the twins were kind of just there — rarely given the chance to speak and never receiving credit for appearing in an episode. The two actors who portrayed the Zeffirelli’s – Allyson Thurston and Jennifer Schelling — do not even appear to have IMDB pages. And yet, we can’t help but want to see them on the reboot, if only for the nostalgia factor.
The twins were frequently seen in the halls of Bayside, most often in matching outfits and giant scrunchies. They never interacted much with the core gang, and we never got to learn about their individual personalities. As the sisters noted in an interview on “Zack to the Future,” they were simply background artists who lived in the area and who got paid to hang out in the background whenever they would get the call from producers.
Lara Lyon portrayed Louise in three episodes of “Saved by the Bell,” two of which were uncredited appearances. But even with minimal screen time, Louise proved herself to be a lovable, engaging character. She was one of the only female “nerds” at Bayside, and she serves on Zack’s team during the army ROTC program episode. She also went on a date with Zack in another episode, though he was simply using her to win over the other nerds in hopes they would vote for him in a school song competition.
In another episode, the one with the teen helpline, Louise expressed romantic feelings for Moose, one of the jocks. Perhaps the reboot could bring the mismatched couple back together, proving that love conquers petty high school cliques and unfair stereotypes. Or perhaps Louise could be given some sort of job at Bayside, such as librarian, lunch lady, or drama teacher. Her entry point to the group was mostly through Screech, who will not appear on the reboot given Dustin Diamond’s death, so the writers will need to be creative in how they connect her to the clan.
Rounding out our list of characters we want to see on the “Saved by the Bell” reboot’s second season is Rhonda Robistelli, the jock that appeared in two episodes of the original “Saved by the Bell” (one uncredited). Rhonda’s portrayer, Kirsten Holmquist, got her start on the show, and continued to work sporadically up until 2002. She appears to have stopped working then, as she has no credits from the last two decades, but did appear on “The View” as recently as 2010.
Much like the other minor “Saved by the Bell” characters, Rhonda was slotted into a specific role — that of the tomboy jock who boys did not want to date. “Look, I’ve got nothing against Rhonda Robistelli. I’ve just got this thing about dating anyone who holds the school shotput record,” Zack said. Nonetheless, the two did go out once, and their date ended with Rhonda planting a big kiss on her “Zacky.” She also tried out for the cheerleading team, with Rhonda’s masculinity being the obvious joke there. The reboot has evolved from the original show in how gender is discussed and portrayed, and so it would be cool to see Rhonda come back and get a bit more respect.