Time out! Not only is this a holiday week, it is ALSO the premiere week for the Saved By the Bell reboot!
As we all know, most of the original actors are reprising their roles in order to introduce a new generation to the magic of Bayside High.
Elizabeth Berkley-Lauren is out promoting the reboot, and she sat with "Today" to talk about iconic moments from the original series. Some of those moments consisted of the caffeine pills episode, many of their dance and song episodes, and the Miss Bayside episode where Jessie did a dramatic monologue about turining into a butterfly.
Toward the end of the interview, Berkley-Lauren talked about what she loved most about playing Jessie Spano as a teen:
"I love that Jessie was confident and a little bit ahead of her time. She never apologized for being bold. And I really respect those qualities in women. I’ve been raised by an amazingly strong woman, my mom, and grandmas. And amazing female forces in my life have always shown me to speak up and speak out. And I loved being able to play a role like that, especially during a time where there weren't a lot of roles where you saw women be that strong without apologizing."
I grew up watching Saved By the Bell in the 1990s. I loved the character of Jessie for the exact same reasons. Jessie was a bold young woman. She seemed older than her friends because of that boldness. She knew EXACTLY who she was, even as a teenager.
There weren't that many bold female characters on TV, let alone bold teen girl characters. Jessie Spano was a trailblazer for Gen X and Xennials, generations that were teens when SBTB episodes premiered.
While I'm glad that we currently have shows that feature female leads, we still have a long way to go. Strong female characters should be represented better on TV, and in movies. It's important that girls realize that it is okay to be unapologetically bold. It's okay to be strong and free-thinking. Girls should not be afraid to speak up.
Girls need these role models!
The Saved By the Bell reboot will be premiering November 25 on PeacockTV!