It has been 27 years since we last heard the bell ring at Bayside High in Saved by the Bell and now we’re being introduced to a new set of students including a Latina played by Haskiri Velazquez in the upcoming remake. Latinx characters and actors still lack a strong presence on television with One Day at a Time being the only Latinx show on primetime. The inclusion of Velazquez as front and center in the series is a step in the right direction for Latinx representation.
The reimagining of the beloved and popular series features a new cast as well as some of the original cast members from the series that ran from 1989 – 1993. Zack Morris (played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar) was the most popular guy at Bayside and in the new series is now the governor of California, according to a press release. As a result of the backlash from closing too many underfunded high schools, he proposes they send those students to well-funded schools including Bayside High. This introduces a new dose of reality for both the students and the series itself as it originally highlighted their privilege, though it did occasionally deal with heavy topics including addiction.
“Why is everyone so rich?” asks one of the students as they drive onto campus in fancy cars and then we’re introduced to Haskiri Velazquez who plays Daisy, a smart, ambitious sophomore who is excited at the prospect of attending Bayside. “What’s up with these kids?” she questions later confronting Zack’s son, Mac Morris, “You only know how Bayside works for kids like you” adding, “privileged kids.”
“As a Latina, being able to play Daisy on Saved by the Bell means a lot to me. Daisy inspires me to be fearless and take on all challenges that come my way. I love knowing that Daisy will be relatable and inspiring to young Latinx girls. She’s also someone who’ll look like them! But, what I truly love about playing Daisy is that she’ll be someone that ANY young girl can look up to. For girls everywhere to know that they too can take on any challenge and overcome any obstacles and set goals for their future,” Velazquez tells HipLatina.
While Gosselaar is a recurring cast member (along with Tiffani Thiessen who returns as Kelly, Zack’s wife) Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Mario Lopez reprise their roles as Jessie and Slater as main characters in the new series. Lauren as the mother of Jamie (Belmont Cameli), the captain of the Bayside football team, and Mario Lopez is the physical education teacher and coach which makes total sense considering Slater was the resident jock on campus in the original.
While fans of the original will enjoy the chance to revisit Bayside High and the crew, it seems this remake is meant to be a more realistic reflection of what high school is like today. We’re here for it, especially when it comes courtesy of a Latina who isn’t afraid to speak the truth. Saved by the Bell will be available to stream Wednesday, Nov. 25 on Peacock, NBC Universal’s streaming service that’s free with registration.