“Saved by the Bell” actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar has admitted that it is difficult for him to watch certain episodes of the ’90s series. In particular, he found an episode featuring his character Zack Morris exploiting Lark Voorhies’ character Lisa Turtle to be challenging to watch. Gosselaar discussed this episode on the “Pod Meets World” podcast hosted by “Boy Meets World” stars Danielle Fishel, Rider Strong, and Will Friedle. He revealed that in that particular episode, Zack charges his classmates $1 to kiss Lisa without her consent, as she was desperate to pay off her father’s credit card debt. Gosselaar expressed his conflicted feelings about rewatching this episode on his own podcast, “Zack to the Future,” in 2020. He acknowledged that the episode seemed less carefree and innocent when viewed through the lens of today’s society, compared to how it might have been received by a 13-year-old or the audience of the ’90s.
In 2020, Gosselaar reprised his role as Zack Morris in a reboot of the series, which was short-lived. On the “Pod Meets World” podcast, he continued the discussion by addressing other controversial storylines from the show. One episode that came under scrutiny was “Running Zack,” in which Zack explores his Native American heritage for a school project. In the episode, he wears a full Native American headdress while presenting his ancestry report to the class. Gosselaar acknowledged that there are certain aspects of the show that would not be filmed in today’s climate, and he recognized that there were problematic elements present in various episodes. He emphasized the importance of trying to maintain a positive outlook and viewing the episodes as products of a different time.
“Saved by the Bell” aired from 1989 to 1993 and became a significant part of ’90s pop culture. Gosselaar’s reflections on certain episodes highlight the evolution of societal norms and the need for critical examination of popular culture from the past.