There’s a saying about burning bridges and how tough it is to build them up again, but it escapes me at the moment since watching Dustin Diamond’s behavior outside of Saved by the Bell makes it pretty clear why he wasn’t given the invite to come back. It’s more confusing why the network wasn’t willing to work with Lark Voorhies than it is to think of why they wouldn’t work with Diamond given that her unfortunate mental health might actually be easier to work around. The way that Dustin Diamond has been seen to behave when he’s away from the show is nothing short of disgraceful at some moments and while Screech might be a missing part of the show as Jeremy Dick of TVWeb states, it might be that he’s a part better left unheard at this point given that the rest of the cast might be a little unsettled by his presence. The tell-all book titled Behind the Bell was a gesture that went way too far it sounds like as those mentioned in the pages have refuted the acts that Diamond spoke about, no doubt feeling that they’d been betrayed in some manner by a costar that was hopefully going to be a little better than that. Of course whether their reactions are valid or not all depends on if a person believes Diamond when he states that the words were penned by a ghostwriter that took his words out of context.
Dustin might have to keep waiting for the moment since at the moment it doesn’t appear as though there are any plans to bring him back into the fold. There are still plenty that say that Screech, having been such a big part of the show, should get another chance to come back and round out his own story, but there are plenty of arguments against this as well. One of course is that the new story isn’t going to be about the old actors, as it will be introducing a new set of kids whose lives will take precedence. The veteran actors are likely going to be on the periphery or perhaps seen as fixtures of the show that are there when needed and possibly absent when not. It’s hard to say just yet since there’s still a ways to go until the show is unveiled and we get to see how everything comes together, but unless Screech was going to be a plan from day one, which it doesn’t appear he was, then it’s likely that he won’t be brought back unless there’s a serious change of heart that allows for his costars to reconsider his expulsion.
Looking at this from a different angle one could possibly say that it was kind of difficult to play the part of the geek on the show throughout the years and then have it follow him for a good amount of time after. The role of Screech was really all that made Dustin famous since after the show he didn’t really go on to do anything else other than get in trouble now and again and write the book, sorry, be misquoted somehow, and then go on reality TV to make a fool of himself. At this point there really aren’t that many people on his side when it comes to gaining any sympathy. There aren’t a lot of people against him but there still aren’t a lot that are willing to stand up for him either since throughout the years Diamond has kind of made it a point to make a nuisance of himself and has squandered a lot of goodwill when it comes to his personal character if not his onscreen character. Screech was admittedly a big part of the show and leaving him off would be akin to leaving Urkel off of Family Matters but in a much more positive way since Diamond really didn’t go all that far to mending any links between himself and his costars according to most reports. At this point even thinking of putting him on the show might actually cause the program to suffer a bit of backlash.
Stranger things have happened and if the network decides to let him on then there will be a lot of people headed to their keyboards soon after to write down just why it was wrong to think that he’ll never make it back to the show. But the likelihood of that is fading quickly as many upon many people probably just want to see what the new show is all about and could care less whether Screech is there or not. When you think about it, fans of the old show kind of stopped caring about Screech before the college years even came about since it was obvious that the character was never going to change. Matt Parker of 80s Kids has more to say about Diamond if you’re interested.