There are few things my generation can all agree on. I’m sure that can be said about most generations, but I feel like now a days everyone loves to play the devil’s advocate and there are only a select amount of universally loved things. I do think it’s safe to say the protagonist of the teen sitcom “Saved by the
” is one of them though. Zack Morris is an icon and it’s been both a blessing and a curse for the actor who portrayed him, Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Bell
The sad fact is this, MPG is Zack Morris. Just like Mark Hamill is Luke Skywalker and Jaleel White is Steve Urkel. This happens all the time. James Van Der Beek is so deeply associated with Dawson Leary that in the upcoming ABC pilot “
Apartment 23” he’s playing James Van Der Beek! It’s difficult to sympathize with these guys when they’ve undoubtedly seen large profits from their past success. However, it’s also easy to relate to someone not being able to advance in their career because they’re always viewed as set in one role.
After “Saved by the
” MPG dyed his hair brown and sought out dramatic roles to help further distance himself from his teen idol past. He played a detective on the last few seasons of “NYPD Blue” and grew his hair long for two seasons of the TNT drama “Raising the Bar” to look even less like Zack Morris. He made other television and film appearances, but the only dramatic role I enjoyed was in the made-for-tv movie “Dying to Belong” with Hilary Swank. Swank’s roommate was killed in a sorority pledging accident or something, and MPG played the love interest (his character’s name was Steven Tyler, ugh). One exception to his dramatic roles was the underrated “Dead Man on Campus”. Say what you will, but I enjoyed this movie a lot and while it wasn’t exactly watching Zack Morris Goes To College (or an R-Rated “Saved by the Bell : The College Years) it was damn close. MPG thrived in the role and displayed the gift he has of turning the constant schemer into someone exceedingly likeable and charming. Bell
Now it appears things have changed for MPG. Maybe it’s the acceptance of his role in pop culture, maybe he realizes shows with comedic tones are more up his alley, or hell, maybe he just needs the money. Whatever it is, it seems like we’re about to be given a glimpse of what Zack Morris grew up to be.
MPG plays lawyer Steven Bash in the upcoming “
and Bash” on TNT. Now just by judging the trailers and what it says on TNT.com, Bash and partner Jared Franklin are two unorthodox ambulance chasers that catch the eye of the head of a big firm. The two are tapped to enlist in the corporate ranks and then hijinks ensue. One thing I was very happy to read is the romantic storyline will focus on Franklin , leaving Bash to be going after different chicks every week. As happy as I was when Zack and Kelly danced outside the prom, I always enjoyed single Zack more. And really, was there any doubt at all that Zack Morris was going to grow up to be a lawyer someday? Franklin
I don’t know if “
and Bash” is going to make it. I’ve never watched a TNT series so frankly (haha!) I don’t have high hopes. But I can say I always root for MPG. He gave me as much enjoyment in my childhood as any character from TV, movies or books. He might not be the best actor in the world but there’s still enough talent there where MPG should be a part of our lives. Next Wednesday at 9pm, I’m going to be very happy to welcome MPG/Zack Morris/Steven Bash back into mine and I don’t think I’ll be alone. Franklin
And if there’s a part where he looks at the camera and says, “Timeout” I’m going to lose it.