Saved by the Bell‘s revival series on Peacock is back for season 2 — just in time enough for a Thanksgiving holiday binge.
In season 2 of the show, “Bayside High gears up to compete in the Southern California School Spirit Competition. Daisy is determined not to get sidetracked by ‘Bayside nonsense,’ but when a cute new student is elected student council VP, she finds herself in way over her head. Mac sees the competition as a way to finally step out from his father’s shadow. Jamie leans on Lexi in the wake of his parents’ divorce while Lexi struggles to be a more understanding girlfriend; Aisha seeks a new outlet after football is canceled; DeVante finds love with a rich Bayside girl, and Slater and a newly single Jessie grow closer despite their tumultuous romantic past.”
Ahead of the season premiere, Shadow and Act spoke with series stars Haskiri Velazquez, Mitchell Hoog, Josie Totah, Alycia Pascual-Peña, Belmont Cameli, Dexter Darden, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Mario Lopez about round 2 at Bayside High.
“I think for Devante, he kind of grows the most,” said Darden of his character’s growth. “[In season 1], everybody else was kind of already established, whether it was being at Bayside or having a relationship tied to Bayside. Devante was the only one who was kind of flowing and finding their way through Bayside. And in season 2, he’s much more grounded there. People already know he can sing. People already know he’s intelligent and he’s interested. And so he’s really just finding himself in this new community and finding a clever and intelligent way to like integrate himself [and] really make this place home. He got a job [this season], so like it’s really cool to just be able to grow with him from season one into season two. And then, as an actor, just craft an arc in season 2 that can hopefully tie into something else in the future.”
On Aisha, Pascual-Peña explained, “Aisha kind of does a full 180. First season, she’s super comfortable. She kind of becomes the ‘it’ girl being the quarterback of the football team and she has this relationship. And a lot of that is stripped away because of the pandemic, which I think we can all relate to, [and] just kind of reinventing herself and learning new things about herself after the pandemic. And you see her kind of struggle through this new adversity of understanding who she is and how she values herself and how she identifies not only in her culture but her sexuality. And she finds herself in a new relationship in a way that she didn’t expect.”
Co-signing what Darden said, she added, “It was so exciting like Dexter was saying, to kind of develop in an interesting, innovative way and to add just more dimension to who Aisha already was. And also have conversations that I care so much about, whether it’s visibility of the LGBTQIA+ community, especially as a Black woman and also just like being a Afro-Latina and how my Spanish sounds differently and how I’m perceived differently. So Aisha really gets into a lot more this season and I love that she kind of goes on her own individual journey that’s kind of not as tethered to other characters. Because we get to learn more about her and have more conversations that I hope progress the needle and employ people to have those conversations at home.”
The new kids aren’t just making progress this season, but the OG cast is as well. The new season has a ton more nods to the original series. It also has as a heartwarming tribute to original series star, the late Dustin Diamond, in the first episode with Berkley Lauren, Lopez, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen and Lark Voorhies.
According to Berkley Lauren, while the first season was more so re-establishing them and this season that goes even further.
“We really had to kind of catch people up on what has Jessie become as a grown up? What part of her is still the same as when she was a kid? Because we all still have the core and essence of who we are, but we hopefully evolve and grow and expand. And so the first season was just about like, OK, here’s where she is. She’s a mother now, she’s a professional, she’s just come back to work at school and just establishing that. But she was married in the first season, and the marriage was on the rocks, and I think people kind of wanted her, by the end of the season, to reclaim her Jessie power.”
Speaking about Slater in season 2, Lopez added, “He’s a lot of fun to play because he’s one of those guys that’s kind of stuck in his era, listens to the same music, rocks the same clothes, has the same game, and he’s a little emotionally-stunted. And I think he wants to kind of grow in all those areas. So he’s much more emotional, and he has some eye-opening things that happen to him, and it was cool to kind of explore that.”
Saved by the Bell season 2 is now streaming on Peacock. Watch the interviews below: