The New Class Season 2, Episode 1: “The Return of Screech”

They told us this day was coming. They warned us how horrible it would be and we didn’t listen. No, we thought, season one of The New Class was so horrible. Surely if they were able to save this show from cancellation they would make changes to make it better! We were wrong, and the reason why was answered for us in the opening credits. vlcsnap-2014-06-27-21h44m28s173 Lo, the approach of the Antichrist. vlcsnap-2014-06-27-21h45m30s25 We open the season with the first day of school, but remember this opening because when we get to next week’s episode, it’s going to make that episode make so much less sense. vlcsnap-2014-06-27-21h46m13s189The first order of business for the show this season is to replace the half of the cast that didn’t make it from last season. First, we have our Zack Morris character, Brian Keller (Christian Oliver), who is a foreign exchange student from Switzerland. They did this because the actor is actually German. I don’t know how good of an actor Mr. Oliver is in Germany, but his horrible acting grates on my nerves so much throughout this episode I don’t know how I’m going to last twenty-six episodes with him. Since we don’t need a fake Screech anymore, Weasel’s replacement is Bobby Wilson (Spankee Rodgers), whom the DVD cover promises is “hilarious.” Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it. Something tells me I may be yelling false advertising in my season two recap. And his name is Spankee. That’s amazing!

So we quickly get some forced character development on the two as they perv on the girls. vlcsnap-2014-06-27-21h46m04s97 Yes, Rachel is there with Megan like she always has been and always will be even though she barely had contact last season with any of the characters besides Scott. But who cares! They needed a character and Sarah Lancaster was dumb enough to come back! And it appears they’re going to play her as a Lisa rip-off despite the fact she showed absolutely no signs of that last season. So the deal is Brian wants to fuck Rachel but Rachel has a boyfriend, the former captain of the football team, who’s off at Michigan on a football scholarship.

Ugh, I can’t believe we’re just barely a minute in and the writers have managed to fuck up the one thing Rachel fucking did last season! One thing! They couldn’t remember one thing! You see, Rachel’s one thing last season is she got it on with Scott, so either she was cheating on her boyfriend with Scott or she had a very short summer fling. But here they act like this is a super serious relationship that has stood the test of time.

God I hate these writers. Oh, and they try to establish Bobby as being obsessed over Megan since seventh grade, which begs the question where he was all last season. I guess he was waiting in the wings for Weasel to be out of the picture because Weasel was such a threat.

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So Brian and Bobby approach Rachel and Megan. Brian pulls a rose out of his ass for Rachel and Bobby offers some chewing gum for Megan. This shit is so thrilling I tell you what.
vlcsnap-2014-06-27-21h47m48s122And here’s our other two returning characters. So, like that, they’re a gang. Yeah, just like Brian, Bobby, and Rachel have always been with the others. There’s no acknowledgement at all that this is something new. The writers just assumed that no one would give a damn.

The only other thing important that happens here is we get some exposition about Rachel’s jacket belonging to her mother and her mother not knowing Rachel has it. Gee, I wonder if this is going to play any role in the story in just a few minutes.
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Mr. Belding comes through the hallway and tells our new gang to all come to his office. And what important business does Mr. Belding have with our gang?
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Why, he’s called six of his students in to show off that the producers threw money at a new set for his office this season. Yeah, that’s actually a running gag throughout the episode: that he has a new, high-tech office that’s constantly malfunctioning. Funny stuff, let me tell you, by which I mean it’s totally lame and I won’t be focusing on it every time they go back to it this episode hoping for a cheap laugh.

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Oh and I should note that Mr. Belding has no idea the difference between a microwave and a fax machine. Seriously. He probably thinks the intercom microphone is a shower head too.

In another blink or you’ll miss it plot contrivance, Bobby notices that Mr. Belding has a flat tire so he sends his personal mechanic, Tommy D, out to fix it. Yeah, seems like business as usual but, trust me, it actually comes back in a few minutes.

Mr. Belding’s secretary calls him to tell him that his new administrative assistant, a student on work study leave from California University, has arrived. There’s so much wrong with this setup. First, the writers do realize administrative assistant is just a politically correct term for secretary, right? The first time they complain about the school not having any money this season, I’m coming back to this. Second, why does Mr. Belding not know who he new assistant is? Did he not interview candidates? Did he just tell Cal U that any old body will do? And where is Cal U supposed to be in California anyway? Is it really close enough that the candidate could just commute for classes?vlcsnap-2014-06-27-21h50m49s124

God, I won’t analyze this stupid scene any more. Let’s just say that the new administrative assistant is Beelzebub wearing a bikini lady tie. vlcsnap-2014-06-27-21h50m57s205And Mr. Belding is not amused. He was hoping Zack Morris or Slater would come back and do some cleaning for him under his desk. But, yes, Screech is back and he’s still trying to do the same shtick he’s been doing since Good Morning, Miss Bliss, except well into his teens.

So the running subplot of the episode is that Mr. Belding rightfully doesn’t trust Screech to do anything so he gives Screech menial tasks to keep him far away. First up is counting the lockers to see if they’re all there, which Screech doesn’t think seems weird at all. And, by contrivance, we find out Brian has Screech’s old locker.
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Meanwhile, Screech is scaring the shit out of Bayside’s faculty. Screech wants Mr. Maloney here to remember him, but Mr. Maloney is like, “Shit, you psychopath, this is my first and last appearance in this franchise. I don’t know you. You could be Tori for all I know!”

But before Screech can terrify anymore of Bayside’s teachers, Mr. Belding sends him to substitute in a room because one of the teachers got stuck in a revolving door at Taco Bell. Yeah… And I should note that none of the students ever refer to Screech as “Mr. Powers” because the writers are afraid the viewers of this show are such complete dumb asses they wouldn’t realize that Mr. Powers and Screech are the same character.

So Screech naturally overextends his authority and decides to make the seating chart for the entire year.vlcsnap-2014-06-27-21h54m56s46

This is wear Brian tries to get Screech to put him next to Rachel. Screech has a stroke and, since he is a complete dumb ass, proceeds to mix up the room in such a way that everyone is back to sitting in the exact same seat they were before.

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Tommy D comes in, having finally completed Mr. Belding’s slave labor but apparently does not realize there are things called showers and sinks at Bayside. Why is he that dirty anyway? He just changed a fucking tire. Did he have to stick his hand in the oil to do that?

Tommy D apparently didn’t bother to get a late pass from Mr. Belding so Screech grills him on it. In case you had forgotten in the last few minutes that Screech is a complete dumb ass, though, he writes Tommy D’s late pass for him.

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He then demands Tommy D hand over the late pass and pushes Tommy D into Rachel, getting oil on Rachel’s mother’s jacket. I’m so glad that we’re halfway through this episode and we finally have conflict.
vlcsnap-2014-06-27-21h56m46s87 I just love the look from the extra in the green sweater, too. She looks like, “Am I really in this stupid show? Is anyone watching me? May I have my check now?”

There’s also some new transition music that’s even more confusing than the original series’s transition music. It sounds like the composer of the Seinfeld theme was drunk.

At The Max, Rachel tries to assure Tommy D it’s not his fault even though it kind of is since he didn’t bother to wash his hands before coming to class. The jacket costs $700, so the gang decide the best way to raise the money is to have a party because it worked for Screech to replace his mom’s Elvis statue back in the original series. They decide to have the party at Bobby’s house since his parents will be out of town and Bobby agrees hoping to be able to slip a Rufie in Megan’s drink.

Meanwhile, Screech is still annoying Mr. Belding while singing Sesame Street songs. Next scene.

Brian, Bobby, Lindsay, and Megan trick some dumb cheerleaders into paying to go to the party, and Lindsay and Megan apparently aren’t cheerleaders anymore because the writers can’t remember everything they did last season.
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Tommy D promises Meat and the football jocks, including new jock “Hacksaw,” lots of meat they can suck on and convinces them they’re cool, so they’re in.vlcsnap-2014-06-27-22h02m11s43

And Megan and Bobby do the same with Milton and new geek Woodrow, because Kirby apparently decided that he was done with this stupid show. Oh, and they have delusions of being cool as well. Apparently, on this show, no one is cool except our six main characters. vlcsnap-2014-06-27-22h02m42s96

At what I assume is Brian’s house, Brian counts the money and finds out they have successfully copied a plot from the original series. But, uh oh! More conflict! They can’t have the party at Bobby’s house because Bobby’s parents decided to have the house fumigated for termites while they were gone, which means Bobby is either breathing in toxic gas while he sleeps or he’s homeless for the weekend sleeping on the street. Maybe Zack Morris will find him and date him.vlcsnap-2014-06-27-22h04m14s255

At The Max, Screech has decided to go to his old hangout so he can…color code Mr. Belding’s keys. As he completes this very important task, Brian and Tommy D go into action and trick Screech into unlocking the gym so they can have the “Don’t Tell the Principal” party in there. Yeah, did I mention Screech is a complete dumb ass?vlcsnap-2014-06-27-22h06m38s156

We only have a few minutes left so they decided to actually show a bit of this party, and it’s everything you would expect out of a Bayside party: Brian trying to get his dick wet with Rachel, Meat, Hacksaw, and the jocks eating lots of food, and Tommy D and Lindsay incompetently acting as DJs.vlcsnap-2014-06-27-22h06m59s114

Mr. Belding comes in, having been called by security and told that there were strange things going on, because that makes a lot more sense than, say, calling the police.
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Mr. Belding wants an explanation and Screech takes the fall, telling Mr. Belding that he let the kids have the party there. Mr. Belding tells Screech there will be spankings Monday morning, and the gang gives everyone their money back since the party only lasted twenty minutes, because twenty minutes is totally enough time in Los Angeles for Mr. Belding to receive a call from security and drive over.

Monday morning, Screech tells Mr. Belding he’s going to quit since the students think he’s lame, Mr. Belding doesn’t trust him, and he really shouldn’t be playing this character anymore since The College Years was cancelled.vlcsnap-2014-06-27-22h09m06s74

The gang comes busting into Mr. Belding’s office and confesses to what they did, leading Mr. Belding to give them two weeks detention. Rachel also tells us that, off camera of course, she told her mother about the jacket and was grounded for two months.

After they leave, Mr. Belding tells us the whole moral of this episode that we should have learned, in case we didn’t, was about telling the truth, which the gang learned from Screech because not telling the truth himself sure taught them! And, besides, everything turned out all right for Screech so it must be okay! Screech decides to stay at Bayside after all, because we could be so lucky for this to be merely a one-shot guest appearance. It’s going to be a long, long six seasons…

Firsts: Brian Keller, Bobby Wilson, Hacksaw, Woodrow, Brian wants Rachel, Bobby wants Megan, Screech as administrative assistant, Brian’s bedroom, Mr. Belding’s new office.

8 responses to “The New Class Season 2, Episode 1: “The Return of Screech”

  1. Wasn’t Bobby Wilson the name of Jaleel White’s character from the GMMB pilot? So they can make an obscure reference like that but forget/ignore what happened last season?

    Anyway according to the always correct wikipedia, Sarah Lancaster was only 14 during this season, so like Dustin Diamond (who was 17), she was younger than her character. Christian Oliver on the other hand was Dawson-ing it up at 22. So when you’re watching Brian and Rachel get together over the next half-year (you poor bastard), you’ll be watching a full-grown man prey on a young adolescent 8 years his junior.

  2. Wow. Okay, here we go…

    I’m curious as to where Mr. Belding’s new office is in relation to his old office.

    Mr. Belding’s new office contradicts that one lame flash-forward clips episode on the original series, but you’ll get to that in due time.

    CALU is “just over the bridge” from San Francisco. Bayside, which is in Palisades, an upscale L.A. neighborhood, is nowhere near CALU.

    If Screech is on “work study leave” (is there such a thing?), then I’m guessing he doesn’t have to attend classes and simply moved back into his parents’ house.

    I like the outside view of the school out Mr. Belding’s window. It’s rare that we get glimpses of the outside of the school.

    Anyone feel like checking if Screech’s locker and Brian’s locker are located in the same spot?

    It’s a moot point, though, since the red lockers were replaced with orange ones for really no reason.

    A small about of credit much be given to the writers for maintaining Screech’s interest in “Sesame Street” from that one short scene in that one College Years episode.

    Or maybe it was just a big coincidence.

    I look forward to your suffering over the next 25 weeks, good sir.

    • Even though Screech is part of a work-study program, I don’t think he ever returns to Cal-U. He only mentions it a few times.

      It is nice to see the outside of the school. I do wish we get to see the oak trees Zack mentioned in the oil episode.

      Screech actually gets a new apartment, as shown in the episode where Tommy D drops out of school.

      Screech’s locker was actually in that couple of lockers right next to the stairs. I think Brian’s was actually Zack’s old one. Either way, it’s was strange to see Screech take the Slater approach of getting lockers open.

  3. Unlike all of season 1 of TNC, after looking at your screen caps I do have vague memories of this episode. I remember Screech’s return and Beldings new office. I also wonder where it is in the school and more importantly what was done with his old office. I have no recollection of New Zack or the kid who I think was a Power Ranger. Also how has Milton not graduated yet, he is clearly 40. Good luck with Season 2, my hopes aren’t real high that it improved any since season 1.

    • Actually Bobby does kind of resemble the original Black Ranger, doesn’t he? But, no, different actor. This one didn’t do much of anything after The New Class.

    • Also it’s funny you mentioned Milton. In his first appearance last season, I honestly had a hard time telling if he was a student or a teacher, especially when they had him judging the cheerleading auditions. I had to look it up. The actor totally looks way older than he’s supposed to.

  4. Interestingly enough, no one even noticed that the school hallway looks different. It looks like you’re watching the show through a mirror – everything is opposite. I tried to justify that by thinking they were in a different part of the school (which is evident with Mr. Belding having a new office in a new location) However, it doesn’t explain how Screech could have his old locker in that same (new) hallway

  5. I wish that I actually preferred Weasel to Screech.

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