A parent’s harshest critic can often be their child, and those youthful takes can certainly sting as much as anything else, even if their opinions can often be uninformed. Saved by the Bell vet Tiffani Thiessen knows a thing or two about it, as she shares two children with husband Brady Smith: 13-year-old daughter Harper and eight-year-old son Holt. While the younger sibling is arguably below the ideal age range for the Saturday morning comedy, his teen sister is ripe for it, and she apparently did get through the first run of NBC episodes, even if she wasn’t exactly screaming its praises from a high school rooftop.
Thiessen is promoting her new themed cookbook Here We Go Again: Recipes to Level Up Your Leftovers, which is meant to curb food waste via unused leftovers, while also helping to keep grocery spending down. That’s the kind of adult perspective the Kelly Kapowski actress wants to impart upon her kids, as well as other families, even if they’ve got a ways to go before reaching that milestone. That said, Harper apparently has quite the mature perspective when it comes to Saved by the Bell’s comedy and pacing. Speaking with ET, Thiessen shared the following:
She actually just recently finished going through the entire few seasons of the show, and this is what she said, 'Ehh.' She's like, 'TV back then was kinda boring.'
Now, I’ve been a Saved by the Bell fanatic for many more years of my life than I wasn’t, and I will defend each and every iteration of it (minus The New Class). And really, I can’t think of a more finely crafted and admittedly superlative revival series than Peacock’s perfecto Saved by the Bell, short-lived as it was. All that said, I can’t exactly stand in court with my hand on a bible and attempt to claim that the O.G. SBTB run was the epitome of ‘90s television, and makes shows like Breaking Bad and The Wire look like The Brady Bunch.
Most of us who grew up with Saved by the Bell as a morning or afterschool go-to have an undying affection for the show in spite of, and because of, how “ehh” it could be. So many years later, it’s harder to defend some of the show’s plotlines — with Mark-Paul Gosselaar voicing regret over a few episodes — while being easier to recognize just how toxic Zack Morris was. All that said, it’s a very special and unique brand of broad comedy that remains memorable largely due to the talents of MPG, Tiffani Thiessen, and the five other regulars that made the characters their own.
All that said, I totally get how Saved by the Bell could come off as boring compared to the thousands of TV shows that have come out in the meantime. But it’s not like there aren’t also still teen/tween-geared shows being produced that hinge on the same kinds of cornball plots and goofy tropes. So let’s just all agree there’s a sliding scale at play here.
Tiffani Thiessen, who revealed some years back that she’d tested to play Rachel on Friends, was possibly throwing back to another one of her famed ‘90s characters, Beverly Hills 90210 bad girl Valerie, when lighting up a join…candle to celebrate the publication of her new book.
Considering it was only a handful of years ago when Thiessen talked about her daughter first watching SBTB, and how she was hesitant to have Harper watching all the kissy moments, I can only assume it’ll be another few years before 90210 makes its mark as a family watchalong.
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