Raising the Bar returns tonight for a second season on TNT (Mondays, 10 p.m. ET), and we’re happy to report that Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who stars as passionate public defender Jerry Kellerman in the sudsy Steven Bochco courtroom drama, gets a haircut in the first of 15 new episodes. We celebrated by having the friend of PopWatch take the EW Pop Culture Personality Test.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First things first, we hear there was a summit in your trailer on the day your hair was cut.
MARK-PAUL GOSSELAAR: That was pretty uncomfortable, having the head of TNT, Michael Wright,Steven Bochco, the second in command at TNT, Sam Linksy, the unit production manager, Caroline James, and my wife all in thetrailer watching “the cut” as it was deemed.
What exactly was the debate?
We wanted to stay true to what the character would do. But we didn’t want to go in a direction that I’ve already gone in for other characters…Yeah, there was a lot of things to consider. [Laughs] Too many things to consider — it was a two-hour process: “Let’s not go all the way short, let’s go medium length. Style it at that point, see what we think.” “No, that doesn’t work for the storyline. Let’s go shorter. Style that.” “How does that look? Well, take a little bit off here.” It was more complicated than it should have been, but they just wanted to make sure it was done right.
Was there a lot of discussion before your shirtless scene in this season’s second episode?
[Laughs] I hate takin’ off my shirt. I really do. You just become so vain. You start watchin’ what you eat. You’re like, Should I get a tan? But the character works in New York and he never sees daylight. All this personal drama that you put yourself through. I wish I could just be one of those guys who doesn’t give a f— and have a big belly hanging over my pants. That could be me in a couple seasons. I’m 35 now, I could just let everything go. But I can’t say I didn’t do a couple of push-ups. Not before the scene — that’d be a little too much — but the days leading up to it.
Now on to the Personality Test. When do you yell at the TV?
We’ll put the kids to bed and flip on the TV just to decompress, and my wife watches these s— f—in’ shows, man, that just get me goin’. Like Rock of Love. Ohmygod, I’m like “What the f— is going on with these women? And him?” That riles me up. For the Love of Ray J. Are you kidding me? Tough Love, I think it’s funny, but I watch that, too, and it’s still like, “What is going on here?” The one I actually do enjoy, because it’s a trainwreck, is Celebrity Rehab/Sober House. But literally, this is stuff as I’m walking by that I find myself watching for 10 minutes and goin’ “I can’t believe you just wasted 10 minutes of my life.” [Laughs] I get mad at my wife for watching it.
Did you ever write a fan letter to anyone when you were young?
No. But I wrote a love letter to someone who was five or six years older than me when I was on Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which turned into Saved by the Bell.I don’t remember her name. She worked on the NBC lot, where we filmed, in the gift shop. She wasan actor as well, and she got the role as, like, Zack’s first kiss. It was supposed to be an innocent kiss, but Zack takes it differently. And me, I fell kind of in love with her. [ Laughs]And I wrote her a love letter. I don’t know if I ever sent it, becauseI might have been talked out of it by my mother. But I did write it.It was that first feeling of having a crush on someone, and not understanding it.
The piece of pop culture memorabilia from your childhood you still have?
I still have a lot of my Star Wars figures. My son plays with them now. I have Clash of the Titans figures, the Kraken and Perseus, Harry Hamlin’s character.
What is your position on karaoke, and what is your song?
Not too big on karaoke. I might do some Nirvana or maybe Black Sabbath. Rock Band and Guitar Hero — totally into that.
The movie you have to watch every time you spot it on cable?
Raising Arizona. I have that on my TiVo always.
The person or band you need to see in concert before you die?
If Robert Plant were to sign back on to Led Zeppelin, I would feel very compelled to go see them wherever they would play.
Watch the season 1 recap of Raising the Bar below:
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