Why Elizabeth Berkley Lauren’s ‘Showgirls’ Jokes in ‘Saved by the Bell’ Are So Delightful
Even those who admire the movie Showgirls can admit that it wasn't a movie that had the best interests of its star in mind.
The 1995 box office bombshell was pilloried in its moment for its indulgent taste of scum; from a distance, it can be seen as a lovingly manic embrace of American trash culture by director Paul Verhoeven. But the movie's reassessment didn't save the prospect of its star Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, who last year said she was “bullied” for the role and “an outcast in the industry I worked so hard for. ”
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With all the joy that permeates "Showgirls", there is a sad story at the center: Berkley Lauren (who was just leaving Berkley at the time of "Showgirls") won worst actress at the wicked Razzie Awards and had limited future prospects. After leaving her role on the teen show Saved by the Bell, her future was suddenly shortened just because, as she said, she "fulfilled the director's vision". Even though she appeared at a public screening of the film in 2015, there are clearly still some bruises there: "I still feel protected by this 21-year-old girl," she said last year.
This feeling of overcoming is what makes Berkley Lauren's appearance in the new season of the restart of "Saved by the Bell" so relieving and so much fun. In essence, the adult cast presence has been boosted this season of the revamped, funnier "Bell," a choice that leads to somewhat mixed results, but Berkley Lauren has an episode-long homage or derision to their "showgirls." “Work that is brimming with fun and joy, being able to laugh at yourself.
Berkley Lauren's character Jessie Spano admits she feels unsexy and miserable with her friends (played by the original "Bell" co-stars Lark Voorhies and Tiffani Thiessen); She decides to channel the feelings she felt "after college" after a few months in Las Vegas. Soon Berkley Lauren is dressed like the protagonist of the "Showgirls" Nomi Malone and performs Nomi's strange hand dance and her aggressive pout; When asked where she comes from, she uses Nomi's famous bizarre answer: "Other places!"
Writing more of what happens would not do the subplot justice. None of this when it comes to comedy writing is reinventing the wheel: what's exciting here isn't necessarily the repetition of Nomi's movements and her lines, but Berkley Lauren's enthusiasm and willingness to reconsider a role that for some doesn't fit into that The pantheon of culture has entered - all the right reasons. As Jessie says of Mario Lopez's AC Slater character, "I tried to be sexy but I just looked crazy." It's as true now as it was then, but Berkley Lauren, having an easy joke, helps close the book on what was both an obstacle and a humiliation for a young star on the rise. Jessie explains that she loved wearing "Versayce" again and mimicking Nomi's weird mispronunciation in "Showgirls," enabling Berkley Lauren to partake in a joke culture that has been loving and not made for the last 25 years.
In contrast to its previous series, the restart of "Saved by the Bell" seems to be aimed mainly at adults and pop culture obsessed; Many of these viewers will understand what the "Showgirls" bit means to Berkley Lauren. But for real high school viewers of this high school comedy, this will likely be an introduction to "Showgirls." What better way for the new generation to experience this than with the understanding that Berkley Lauren was totally committed then and now stands by her work, even if it looks a bit extreme? TV reboots exchange the public's longstanding familiarity with their stars; Kudos to the person who gave Berkley Lauren the chance to turn the page.
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