Welcome back to my personal torture that is Saved by the Bell: The New Class. This week, we’ll be stereotyping and denigrating something that is very dear to my heart: comic books. Now I have no qualms about admitting it: I am a certified geek. I am also what some have come to call a “socially acceptable” geek, that is, one who is able to function very well in society, unlike the stereotypes we see in the Saved by the Bell universe. For me, geekdom started with two things: Star Trek and comic books. Today, we’re going to see a bunch of stupid, ignorant writers completely miscategorize the latter of the two.
See, comics are an amazing storytelling medium. They can bring stories to life in ways that no other media can. Graphic novels such as The Watchmen, V for Vendetta, The Walking Dead, All-Star Superman, We3, and Fables prove that comics aren’t just for kids, or geeks, anymore. In 1992, a year before this episode, Maus, a graphic novel by underground legend Art Spiegelman, even won the Pulitzer Prize for his amazing Animal Farm-like depiction of his father’s experience during the German holocaust. Comics are studied in universities today and the taboo against grown women and men enjoying comics is nearly gone.
But don’t tell that to the writers of The New Class.
Right, you’ve had enough commentary. Let’s get this over with. We open…with people pulling lots of random stuff out of their lockers for a school swap meet. Token Native American extra in the foreground seems to have a vacuum cleaner while the extra behind him has a sleeping bag.
Okay, why the hell do all these people have all this random junk at school? It looks like the prop department was just throwing everything at the wall this episode hoping something would get some laughs. Congratulations, they failed miserably on all counts. Wait, more importantly, why the hell is a school sponsoring a swap meet to begin with? Do classes only occur when they conveniently do not interfere with plot points?
Oh, and, yeah, Mr. Belding has really bad allergies now because it was needed for the stupid subplot and because sneezing is now considered the funniest thing on the planet. Welcome back, Crunch. It figures that the man-boy stupid enough to believe Scott was a female is the one buying his t-shirts with holes in them for $10 a piece. Oh, and don’t worry, that goes absolutely nowhere. And either Crunch never figured out the deception from the last episode or he discovered through his dates with Scott that he enjoys the love that dare not speak its name.Mr. Belding discovers a bottle of perfume called “Jungle Passions” on the girls’ table, which just happens to be a perfume that isn’t made anymore that Mrs. Belding loves. He buys it as her anniversary present and proceeds to beat his chest in his worst George of the Jungle imitation.And it’s more stereotypes for our little train wreck of an episode in the form of the Dorkman brothers, whose purpose is to sexually harass Megan and Vicki. Oh that hilarious sexual harassment.And, inexplicably, it’s another semi-successful actress who got her start on The New Class. Ladies and gentleman, I present the girl of one face and mood, Sarah Lancaster as Rachel Meyers. You may recognize her horrible acting from Scrubs, Everwood, and Chuck, but she got her start on this shitty show. This is Rachel’s only appearance this season, but she plays a much larger role in four more episodes.
So Rachel’s role here is basically to give Scott an erection and make him go to stupid lengths to get tickets to a Janet Jackson concert because she apparently loves Janet Jackson. As usual, Scott is disingenuous in his efforts as he hates Janet Jackson’s belly button. Makes no sense but it is ironic in light of what happened a few Superbowls ago.Scott is desperate to find $200 to buy the tickets but the boys have only made $10, despite the fact that Crunch just bought Scott’s t-shirts for $20. Jesus, it still wouldn’t be enough to buy the tickets but can’t we manage to be consistent within the same scene?
Weasel spent the $10 on comic books which must mean he spent the other $10 on hookers and blow. But, low and behold, one of the comics is the ultra-rare issue #59 of Defender Dog, especially ultra-rare because it’s not a real comic. Weasel’s insistent that the comic book is worth a lot because it has a misprint of Defender Dog with a Milk Bone for a tail. Number one…is this really what the writers believe a comic misprint is? Someone had to draw that picture. It doesn’t just pop magically out of thin air on the printing press. Number two, even if it is a misprint, comic misprints rarely are worth more than the regular comic. In fact, more often than not, this causes a comic to decrease in value. Basically, this entire scene and plot is bull shit.Scott and Weasel leave the comic in Tommy D’s hands so they can go call someone named Honolulu Harry and find out how much the comic is worth. A cut later, Weasel says the comic is worth $600 (*cough* bull shit *cough) and the duo start bumping butts in celebration, which strangely doesn’t put off the approaching Rachel, who is ecstatic that Scott is going to take her to the Janet Jackson concert.
Meanwhile, Tommy D, the idiot he is, has sold the comic to the Dorkman brothers for $9 despite the fact that he was just told to hang on to it until they found out how much it was worth. If this comic got any more forced, I might have to beat my head against the wall.
At The Max, it’s time for Scott to try and con the Dorkman brothers out of the comic book for $50, which they reasonably refuse. This sends Scott to plan B, which is to whore Megan and Vicki out on a date at the folding chair movie theater with the Dorkman brothers. Their sole purpose, of course, is to try to use fucking as a means to get the comic back. We have an excruciatingly long scene that tries to force out more humor based on geek stereotypes before we cut back to Bayside. We discover the Dorkman brothers sold the comic to Crunch to buy the girls lockets, which, like little bitches, they refuse. I swear, so far the Dorkman brothers have done absolutely nothing to deserve this treatment. All this over the damned comic book that Tommy D was idiotic enough to sell to begin with!Scott decides he has to find Crunch so he can get the comic back, but not before Weasel does his impersonation of “Chinese square dancing,” which I can’t decide if it’s racist or not since the reference makes no sense. You can’t just throw two things together and call it a joke. If that was the case, I could say “Antarctic guitar” or “Russian surfing” or “Kenyan skydiving” or “Full House funny” and you guys would just be falling over in hysterics. Okay, I admit, the last one is so unbelievable it’s funny.
Meanwhile, the writers remembered they had a subplot and Lindsay runs down the stairs to reveal that the bottle they sold Mr. Belding is actually her grandmother’s travel bottle of arthritis rub, made out of congealed sulfur and fish oil. Boy the writers on this show really love their fish oil. For whatever reason, they refuse to take the sensible route and simply tell Mr. Belding about the mistake and refund his money because that wouldn’t allow for these stupid hijinks. Instead, we get a scene where the girls try to get the bottle away from Mr. Belding while he can’t smell the perfume because of his allergies.
In his quest to find Crunch, Scott runs into Rachel, who is super stoked to be going to Janet Jackson and reveals she gave up a Southern California ski trip to go to the concert. She gives Scott a kiss on the cheek, sending the audience into hysterics and leaving Scott glancing lustfully at the girl he hopes will take his cursed virginity.
Crunch then comes around the corner and reveals that he will not give up the comic because he’s a huge Defender Dog fan and issue 59 was the only one missing from his collection. He also barks and talks about tap dancing. Yeah.
Because what Scott wants is the only thing in the world that matters, we have another elaborate plan in a new set: Honolulu Harry’s Comics. By some strange coincidence, according to Yelp, there used to be a couple Hawaiian themed restaurants in the Greater Los Angeles area. Apparently during the hard times they specialized in traditional Hawaiian fare and non-existent comic books.
And here’s where I get pissed.You just fucking established that Crunch, a star football player, is a huge comic books fan. Why the hell does Tommy D have to dress up like Steve Urkel’s retarded white friend to be a comic book fan? Grrr…this is so insulting…Anyway, this is Honolulu Harry, and the plan is for Tommy D to get Honolulu Harry to take him back to look at the comics, which are in an X-rated theater style back room. I…really hope they’re just looking at comics back there because I don’t particularly want to imagine either one of them doing anything else back there…Weasel dresses up as Herschel from The Walking Dead because that’s supposed to fool Crunch into believing that Weasel is Honolulu Harry, who’s going to show Crunch how to take care of his comics. First, if Crunch is a comic collector, he already knows about this stuff. Second, THIS LOOKS NOTHING LIKE HONOLULU HARRY! But, yeah, it works, because I suppose if Crunch couldn’t tell the difference between Scott and an attractive girl before, he would believe that Herschel looks like Honolulu Harry. So Scott and Weasel convince Crunch that Defender Dog hella sucks and basically rob the comic from him. Way to commit a crime, guys.Meanwhile, Honolulu Harry is pissed because Tommy D dared to touch the comics. Imagine that: a comic book shop where you touch the comic books. He throws all three of them out despite Scott’s protestations that he wants to sell a rare comic book because it makes complete sense to kick out someone that had nothing to do with the crime in question who wants to do business with you.
Back at Bayside, the gang’s study hall teacher has sore bunions, so this means, of course, that Mr. Belding has to act as a substitute teacher. Yeah, the only purpose of this scene is to give Mr. Belding an opportunity to take the comic away so we can draw out this train wreck for another five minutes.
Oh yeah, the girls are still concerned about the perfume, so they sneak in Mr. Belding’s office and replace the counterfeit with the genuine item because the rare perfume just happened to be lying around Lindsay’s house…again. Once more, no real conflict. You didn’t spend the money. Give Mr. Belding his fucking money back and apologize for Christ’s sake!
But now we see the idiotic reason this subplot happened to begin with. The boys sneak in Mr. Belding’s office to retrieve the comic book. They find it, but the boys and girls surprise each other and Mr. Belding walks in. As they scramble to hide, the bottle conveniently breaks all over the comic.
Tommy D is the only one not able to find a hiding place in time so he takes the wrap, telling Mr. Belding, whose allergies conveniently cleared up when the plot demanded it, that he’s self-confessing to setting off stink bombs, which mean spankings for him.After Mr. Belding and Tommy D leave, the gang discovers what’s happened to the comic and, in case you didn’t predict this like two minutes ago, it’s ruined.
At The Max, Scott is bemoaning the fact he’s not getting laid tonight when the Dorkman brothers conveniently walk in with a pair of Janet Jackson tickets to give Megan and Vicki. The girls convince the brothers to give them the tickets and they will meet them there. Of course, the girls give Scott the tickets right as Rachel walks in, meaning that our heroes have defrauded someone twice in this episode. But…the Dorkman brothers only gave Megan and Vicki two tickets. Does this mean there’s going to be an orgy at the concert between Scott, Rachel, and the Dorkman brothers? Won’t Rachel figure out what happened when the brothers get pissed that their tickets were given away to someone else?No matter, because Rachel’s happy to go see Janet Jackson, Scott’s happy he may get laid, and the girls self-congratulate themselves on their last minute defrauding of the Dorkman brothers.
Firsts: Rachel Meyers.