"At first, they're so exciting. And then, it gets even more exciting. But after that, it gets so scary."

By Rosy Cordero
August 10, 2020
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There's a new Saved by the Bell reboot teaser trailer and this one gives an obvious nod to its predecessor.

As teens fill-up the hallways of Bayside High for a new school year, they can expect to see a lot of guidance counselor Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley Lauren). As an alumna of the school herself, there Spano experienced plenty of mischief back in her day. And if she can help save a new generation from making the same mistakes, she's going to try.

In a famous plotline from the original series, Spano gets addicted to caffeine pills. Her childhood friend Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) confronts her after seeing her cry for help. Spano is able to repay the favor when finding Morris' son Mac (Mitchell Hoog) recommending that his classmate Daisy (Haskiri Velazquez) take stimulants from a similar bottle.

“The teaser is from a really great episode that pays homage to that moment where Jessie still has some interesting feelings about that time,” Berkley Lauren said about the teaser during Peacock's CTAM presentation on Monday. “Of course, one of the most loved episodes is the ‘I’m so excited’ caffeine pill episode — and to this day, people still come up to me and say those three words.”

Velazquez and costar Alycia Pascual-Peña spoke during the panel about the importance of representing their communities in the reboot of a series that was so culturally important. Series star Mario Lopez, who will reprise his role in the reboot, was one of the first Latinos a generation saw on television.

"Mario is one of the first Latinos that we saw on screen, and it's one of the reasons that I love the show," said Pascual-Peña, who is Afro-Latina. "And Lisa [Lark Voorhies] was one of the first multi-dimensional black women that we saw on the show. I really have so much love and admiration for this show because we get to progress conversations that need to really be discussed in a transparent forum. I think the show deals with these issues in such a beautiful way, specifically in my experience getting to play an Afro-Latina is such a blessing."

She adds, "For most of my life as an actress in this industry, there were never roles written from my experience and I deal with the erasure of my experience in my community within television and film — so, I really have to pay my dues. I have so much love for [creator] Tracey [Wigfield], and to [Executive Producer] Franco [Bario] for essentially rewriting this role and making little girls and women, and a community that looks like me, speaks my language — as an immigrant's first language Spanish — is honestly one of my favorite parts of being a part of the show."

Series star Josie Totah, who came out as transgender in 2018, is also proud to represent her community on the series. She portrays popular cheerleader Lexi, who is both admired and feared by her peers.

“Getting to play a transgender role on screen is obviously very rare,” she said. “There’s almost zero representation of people in the trans community. Growing up as a young trans girl, I feel that never seeing myself [on TV] made me never feel truly accepted by the world."

She added about her character, “She’s in theater, evil, and the most popular girl in school — she just happens to be transgender and I feel that getting to that is an incredible opportunity and I can’t wait for people to see themselves on screen in that way.”

Actor Dexter Darden is excited to take the baton from the original series and hopes the reboot pushes the conversation of inclusivity even further.

"Originally, Saved by the Bell was one of the few shows that showed racial diversity in general," Darden explained. "We weren't used to seeing Black women who were on a show with white women and white men who were on the show with a Latino man. And so to be able to bring that back and really cross racial boundaries and generations and show that inclusivity is important and that everybody has different colors, different races, different genders, can all do the same job equally. It's great having all individual communities represented on the show. We have Josie on the show who is putting the transgender community on her shoulders and trying to bring that to a new light. It's special for us to be a part of it."

No release date for the new Saved by the Bell has been announced as of yet.

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