I’ve thought long and hard about how I’m going to deal with this episode. I know this is an extremely sensitive topic and let me make it clear at the outset: sexual assault is never okay. If you have sexually assaulted another human being, you are an immoral piece of shit because you take away dignity and right to self-determination from that person, and it takes years of therapy to heal, if the victim ever does heal. I have no sympathy for perpetrators of sexual violence.
It’s the ’70s again in an episode of The New Class, which must mean we’re back at Cal U! Man, these episodes are some of the worst out of order I’ve ever seen! We open with the gang goofing off rather than studying as Mr. Belding thinks they’re doing. Imagine that Mr. Belding thought a bunch of teenagers in San Francisco would study rather than enjoy their time away from school. He’s even more out of touch than we thought.
Mr. Belding and Screech come in and tell the gang they’ve been invited to tea with the dean of admissions, which Mr. Belding considers “fun.” Mr. Belding hopes that, the better impression Cal U has of Bayside, the better chance their students have of being admitted. This is especially important since Screech was a part of the last batch of Bayside students to attend Cal U and has, no doubt, given the school the impression that all Bayside students are complete morons.
After Mr. Belding and Screech leave, the gang commiserate over how they want to get invited to the “big Kappa Zeta party” since going to frat parties worked out so well for them in the last Cal U episode. Ironically, Kappa Zeta, in real life, is a sorority, proving once again the writers of The New Class suck at basic research skills. Ryan tells them not to worry because he’s sure he’ll come up with an unrealistic plan to get them into the party.
After the boys leave, Rachel tells Lindsay and Maria that her neighbor, Craig, goes to school at Cal U and, since he knows how into older men she is, that she should call him if she was ever in town. It’s a good thing she didn’t call him when she first got to Cal U or there might not be much time for this episode and the writers may have actually seemed like they had some common sense! It’s also a good thing that she’s stalky enough she remembers his number at Cal U by heart. Rachel finally calls Craig, and he tells her to meet him at the student union in a half hour.
At the student union, Ryan, Tommy D, and R.J. pretend to have already been invited to the party to a couple of frat guys in an effort…to actually get invited. Makes a lot of sense! Like most things he touches, Screech ruins their efforts when he comes in and says it’s so great the college students are showing hospitality to the high school students.
Meanwhile, Screech is attacked from behind by a woman named Mabel who works at the student union and is inexplicably in love with him despite being way older than he is. Notice how she touches his firm man bosoms in an effort to stimulate him erotically.
Creepily enough, she also has a “Days Since Screech Left” chalkboard. For the record, I will not be keeping one of these once I’m done reviewing The New Class as it would only cement in my mind how much pure and unadulterated crap I’ve watch for this blog. For the record, if Mabel’s days are correct, Screech has only been gone around 535 days, which doesn’t seem near enough time for all the events in the second season to have taken place. Also, as with most of the things in this episode, it’s a good thing Mabel didn’t see Screech in the first Cal U episode or they wouldn’t have the opportunity to talk about it now!
The girls meet Craig, a walking, talking Ken doll, at the student union. He offers to take Rachel for a walk, but she says she needs to meet the dean so he agrees to pick her up at the dean’s office afterwards. Mr. Belding, Screech, and the gang meet Dean Eagleton in her office…
And she turns out to be bat shit insane and obsessed with forcing her really bad poetry on others. Oh, what I would give for Brian’s bad poetry about Rachel right now. For some reason, Mr. Belding won’t allow Screech to use the restroom so we build up tension about whether we’re finally going to witness him pee his pants. We’re actually shown a clock that seems to imply she’s kept them there for four fucking hours.
Later, Craig drops Rachel off at the dorm, and becomes enraged when he realizes he’s on the set of a show where French kissing is considered a home run. As a result, Rachel won’t kiss him and he runs out angry, telling her to grow up.
The next day, Lindsay and Maria wonder if Rachel is overreacting the way they overreacted about Rachel and Ryan in the last episode. R.J. brings in flowers that Craig sent her to apologize and they decide it must be one huge misunderstanding because jackassery is automatically offset by flowers.
Ryan calls the girls into the common room, where he tells the gang his new idea: if they can’t go to the party, bring the party to them! He intends on getting everyone who would have gone to the frat party to come to a party in the dorm instead. This means posting a notice that Dean Eagleton is coming to the frat party to read her poetry. Of course, they buy it without any question and decide to come to Ryan’s party instead.
We also have some lameness from Screech trying to sneak around Mabel. After Screech runs out, Ryan tells Mabel the best way to win Screech’s heart is to allow herself to be manipulated by Ryan and cater their party.
Craig comes in and asks Rachel to go to the campus comedy club. Lindsay and Maria encourage her to go so she says yes.
Craig tries to forcibly kiss Rachel and won’t let go of her arm. She gets loose and runs away.
Okay, I’m so torn on what to say about this. Yes, forcibly kissing is sexual assault in the eyes of the law. Yes, it’s wrong if this actually happens. But I think I have two objections to Craig as a sexual deviant. First, considering how fast the characters on this show move to kissing, it’s completely out of character for Rachel to not want to kiss him. Second, I feel like The New Class is kind of wussing out on the sexual assault story line, as we’ll see.
Back at the dorm, it’s time to get ready for the party, and Ryan arranged for Dean Eagleton to invite Mr. Belding and Screech for another poetry reading. It’s never really explained how he does this but it’s a nice contrivance to advance the plot so yeah.
Lindsay and Maria go to get Rachel and she shows them a bruise Craig caused when he grabbed her. Yeah, I don’t believe that came from simple grabbing. It looks like Craig punched her. I may be wrong, but I don’t believe the human body reacts that way to simple grabbing. Lindsay tells Rachel she needs to tell Mr. Belding but she’s all, “No, that would be inconvenient to the plot so let’s not!”
Oh my fucking god. Did they not learn anything from “Running Zack?” There are times I wonder if this show has any concept what it’s doing. On top of that, she’s rhyming about “Indians” and popcorn in the same stanza. I think I just died a little bit inside that people can be this stupid.
Mr. Belding and Screech find out Dean Eagleton is retiring at the end of the semester so they’re all, “Fuck, there’s no further use in us pursuing this subplot!” and get the hell out of there.
At the party, this guy has the hottest date of them all. You know, when there’s a female lead opening at the end of the season, maybe she should join the cast. She can’t be any worse than the leads who have graced this show already!
Mr. Belding and Screech arrive back to find the party. Ryan and Lindsay convince them that the college students insisted on throwing them a farewell party and, since Bayside students are so renowned for their honesty, they instantly believe them and let them continue with the party. So…was the whole Dean Eagleton subplot just completely unnecessary?
Also, in an episode about sexual assault, Mabel sexually assaults Screech without any comment. Yes, besides her constant touching of Screech, she has now handcuffed herself to him. Jesus, the hypocrisy of this episode.
Craig shows up at the party and Maria and Lindsay tell him to fuck off. He pretends nothing happened but the music conveniently goes silent long enough for all the extras to gather around as Rachel tells loudly what happened. Craig tries to deny it but one of the extras just happened to have been forcibly kissed by Craig as well, which makes Mr. Belding intervene and take Craig outside to…recommend some counseling…
Yes, two counts of sexual assault and Craig gets nothing but a recommendation for counseling. So, the moral here, kids, is that, if you sexually assault women, there are no real consequences whatsoever!
FUCKING SHIT, The New Class!!!!
I have to admit that the sexual assault story line isn’t handled as poorly as Lindsay’s anorexia from last season, but it’s still handled pretty piss poor. Also, they apparently didn’t have the guts to actually make this episode about rape, which is something far too many teenage girls (and boys) have to deal with. I’m astounded, The New Class. Just a few weeks ago, you got a very special episode so right, and this week you get another so wrong. The inconsistency of this season astounds me.
The extras all immediately go back to partying since it’s not like anything important happened, and the gang tell Rachel they’re glad she’s okay and that it took a lot of guts to blurt out in a room full of strangers what Craig did. The girls hug and commiserate over their shared femininity..And our episode ends with Screech doing the worst impression of a person passing out I’ve ever seen in my life as he realizes he’s going to be forcibly married to Mabel in the morning.
I…I don’t know guys. I know this isn’t the last very special episode of the season and legend has it this isn’t the worst one, either. If there’s a worse one, I don’t know how I can take it.