You can’t keep Lisa Turtle in her shell. After speculation that she was missing from the upcoming Saved By The Bell reboot, Lark Voorhies is confirmed to return with a role in the series.
According to NBC streaming service Peacock, “when the show picks up with Lisa, she is thriving with a successful career in fashion.” It’s exactly where we’d expect her to land—after all, in the original series, the Bayside High student was the stylish girl of the clique.
So why was Voorhies excluded from the reboot trailer? While no official comment has been made, we do have some speculation on that matter. Digging into NBC’s statement – “when the show picks up with Lisa” – seems to indicate that she will be appearing later on in the series. NBC also hasn’t confirmed how many episodes she will be in at this time, so it could be that her reprisal of the role is more of a guest appearance than a staple character.
We also know that Voorhies overcame enormous obstacles on her way back to the show. In 2012, her mother told People that the former teen star was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. At the time, her daughter denied the claim that she was suffering from any mental health issues. But in February, the 46-year-old clarified things in an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show.
Addressing her alarming behavior in a 2015 ET interview, she explains to Dr. Oz that her official diagnosis is schizoaffective disorder.
“[That interview] was a perfect example of what it does and how it behaves,” Voorhies told the host. She also admits to feeling shunned because of her disorder. “I have to admit I did feel a bit slighted and hurt when I was not invited to be part of the Saved by the Bell reunion, as well as other cast members’ events,” she says. “Yet of course, I also realized that having this puzzling disorder may have played a major part in that factual decision.”
Referring to a 2019 reunion dinner where everyone except Voorhies and Diamond was in attendance, the actress says, “They have the right to do that and they’re happy in their element and they can have it, certainly … [but] family isn’t kept complete without its lead.”
Given everything she’s been through, we’re glad to see her back in the fold, even if we missed her in the first official trailer. Who knows, NBC may drop another, and hopefully we’ll see our old friend Lisa Turtle looking stylish as ever.
The Saved by the Bell revival debuts on Peacock on November 25.