Punky Brewster, Saved by the Bell/Peacock TV

Reboot Wars: ‘Punky Brewster’ Or ‘Saved By The Bell’ – Which Was Better? (OPINION)

News, Opinions, Peacock, Scripted, Streaming

Note: This is an opinion piece. The opinions are only that of the author and do not reflect the site as a whole. Thank you.

Article includes SPOILERS for Peacock’s Punky Brewster & Saved by the Bell reboots. 

The ‘80s and ‘90s are a hot commodity on various streaming services. NBC jumped into the streaming wars with Peacock TV. The streaming service offers old shows, current shows and a slate of originals. 

Two recent additions to Peacock TV under the ‘originals’ label include reboots of beloved sitcoms Saved by the Bell and Punky Brewster. Both feature original cast members reprising familiar roles. 

The Punky Brewster reboot premiered last month. How does it compare to the SBTB reboot that dropped in November of 2020? 

Both Reboots Feature a New Generation

Zack Morris is a dad now! The Saved by the Bell reboot puts “underprivileged” kids into the same school as Zach and Kelly’s son Mac and Jessie Spano’s son Jamie. And that school is Bayside High. 

Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack,) Tiffani Thiessen (Kelly) and Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie) return to their old stomping ground. Slater (Mario Lopez) is the school’s gym teacher now. Zack’s out-of-date-rich-kid shtick was funny in the ‘80s, but his son’s similar antics fall flat. 

Penelope “Punky” Brewster is also a parent on the Punky Brewster reboot. But her kids are less cringy than the SBTB offspring. Her new foster daughter Izzy is a Punky mini-me, straight down to the mismatched shoes and sass. 

‘90s movie star Freddie Prinze Jr. plays Punky’s husband, Trevor, notes Today.

Reboot Wars: Saved by the Bell vs. Punky Brewster

The new Saved by the Bell does bring back many of the main characters. Even Lark Voorhies returns as Lisa Turtle for a quick scene. However, Peacock didn’t extend an invite to Dustin Diamond to play Screech in the reboot. Instead, they explain his absence with a throwaway line about being on the International Space Station. 

Sadly, Dustin Diamond passed away a few months after the reboot premiered on Peacock. After his death, the streaming service got slammed by fans for excluding him. While SBTB will return for Season 2, viewers won’t get their wish of Screech being part of it. 

As viewers of the original Punky Brewster know, Punky didn’t go anywhere without her best friend, Cherie. In a genius casting move, actress Cherie Johnson reprises her role of Punky’s BFF. Ami Foster also briefly appears as their snooty childhood friend Margaux. 

Both reboots are heavy on the cheese factor. But Punky Brewster wins the reboot wars with a heartwarming peek into grown-up Punky’s life. Meanwhile, over on SBTB, Zack Morris is still the same jerk he’s always been. 

Do you prefer the Saved by the Bell reboot or the new take on Punky Brewster? If you haven’t seen either yet, both are available to stream on Peacock’s streaming service. 

Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more TV news and opinion pieces. 

Jennifer Havener

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