Ah, it’s been a while since we had an episode about wrestling (since Slater was on the show, actually), so The New Class has decided to shoehorn in a love of wrestling on characters who have never mentioned the sport before in their lives! How convenient!
And our episode opens with Screech being a creepy fuck as usual. He’s hiding behind a trash can, waiting to pounce on his prey.
And his prey is Mr. Belding, of course, because he can’t keep his hands off the Mr. Belding’s manly muscles. Screech says he’s practicing his wrestling moves since he’s the team nutritional consultant, which I’m sure involves lots of wrestling, and Mr. Belding basically tells him to cut the fuck out before he kicks him in the balls.
Ryan and Rachel find Screech and tell him that Ryan wants to sign up for varsity tryouts…even though Screech just said he was only the nutritional consultant and not the bloody coach! God, not even two minutes in and this episode can’t keep track of what it’s already established! Can I stop reviewing yet?
Rachel says that Ryan was the star on the JV league last year even though it was never mentioned in twenty-six episodes that he was a wrestler so he’s a shoo in for varsity this year. I smell a retcon the size of Tommy D becoming a football star. Nicky also signs up for a lower weight class than Ryan because he’s from New York and shit.
Meanwhile, Bayside’s going through one of its biweekly financial shortages caused by too many long distance field trips and sending students to Catalina, so Maria and Katie’s subplot this episode will involve figuring out a way to make up for administrate incompetence at Bayside. All their ideas suck ass, though, as they involve shit that won’t even help a little bit. Rachel suggests they do a jocks of Bayside calendar since that’s close enough to a plot from an original series episode to count as derivative and Maria and Katie decide it’s a great idea.
At The Max, Maria holds sign-ups for the Boys of Bayside calendar while flirting with men obviously too old to be jocks at Bayside since, once again, the producers of this show seem to have no semblance of what a teenager looks like. Katie gets pissed off that Maria’s lady parts are going crazy over the guys but Maria’s all, “I’ve got to get a date somehow since the writers won’t let me have a steady boyfriend yet!”
Screech comes in with some juice for Nicky to drink to bulk up. Though he claims it’s made of egg, wheat grass, and sea urchin, I don’t trust that’s really where Screech got the ingredients for that shit.
Ryan’s super-confident that he’s going to make the team at his weight class so he’s already planning a victory fucking with Rachel to celebrate. Of course, in the most cliched way possible, this can only mean that he’s not going to make the team.
At the photo shoot, Maria insists our too old to be a high school student take his shirt off so the audience can lose their shit. She’s used three rolls of film on this guy and Katie’s getting extremely pissed off since she’s inheriting some of Jessie’s quasi-feminism as of this episode because this guy isn’t just a piece of meat. Shirtless or clothed, I think you’re exploiting him just a bit to get money to help the ever-deficit ridden Bayside.
Meanwhile, Mr. Belding heard non-students are having their pictures taken for the calendar so he shows up to get a place himself. Unfortunately, he doesn’t take his shirt off so Maria’s not at all interested.
As with Eric, who seems to have somehow found a way to get a toll free number in an era before they were cheap and readily available. Of course, as established last week, everyone on this show is posh and upper class except for Katie.
Ryan shows up for his photo, still arrogant he’s going to be on the wrestling team, and I really am not sure what is up with t-shirts under singlets this episode. It shows up throughout a good deal of the episode despite the fact it looks fucking stupid. I’ve never known anyone on a wrestling team to do this. Maybe it happened and I just didn’t know about it but it seems to defeat the purpose of a singlet.
So it’s time for the tryouts and Ryan’s up in the 142 pound weigh class, even though, according to Wikipedia, 142 pounds isn’t an actual weight class for high school varsity wrestling. Instead, it would be 145 pounds. But who cares about accuracy, because this guy totally takes Ryan down like he’s nothing because Ryan’s obviously never wrestled before. The coach tells Ryan he can only have one person per weight class, which I’m not sure is true at all but I can’t find anything confirming or denying it, and Ryan’s crushed that he won’t have a Letterman to give Rachel and get laid.
Also, why the hell is Screech the referee? Do the writers for this show not understand what the hell a nutritional consultant is?
At The Max, Ryan’s still bummed he didn’t make the team because now Rachel won’t fuck him and tells Eric that, since, in a bit of contrivance, tryouts for all weight classes aren’t held on the same day, Ryan has two days to lose eight pounds and make the 134 pound weight class, which also isn’t a real weight class but who the hell cares? He tells this to Nicky, who reminds him that he’s trying out at 134 pounds but Ryan tells him it’s too bad because he’s going to make it and get rid of his cursed virginity.
Meanwhile, all the shirtless jocks don’t know whether they should have taken their shirts off for the pictures but Maria assures them they’ll make great fapping material for the calendar. Katie comes in and is all, “Feminismz! Equality! Shit like Jessie would say!” and quits the calendar.
Ryan and Eric come jogging in with Ryan wearing…oh my god…that’s not seriously what I think it is! It’s a fucking Slim Suit! If you don’t remember these things, this was one of the biggest scams of the exercise industry!
Yes, these things claimed to help you lose weight while you sat around and did nothing, but worked best when you exercised in them, almost like it was the exercise doing it and not the stupid suit that looks like an alien costume from the original Star Trek. I never thought anyone would be dumb enough to buy one of these stupid things, but it seems like the props department for The New Class were just that stupid.
Ryan tells Screech to sign him up for the 134 pound weigh class tryouts, and Screech tells Ryan that losing so much weight can be hazardous to your health. So…this is going to be a very special episode on male eating disorders? If so, it’s actually quite progressive for 1996. If this is the direction they’re going with this episode, I’ll be impressed they tried to tackle this subject back then, even if they do completely fuck it up.
Katie rallies the jocks to fight back at posing shirtless for a calendar, but they don’t seem to speak the English language and look at her, obviously confused and revealing why they’re still in high school well into their twenties.
So Ryan continues exercising and skipping meals throughout the day, including doing push-ups in class, because, luckily, all of Bayside’s faculty will overlook shit as long as it progresses the plot.
The night before tryouts, Ryan’s down to 136 so Eric tells him to give it up, uttering nonsensical things about giving a Letterman jacket to Rachel and losing his virginity. When Ryan insists he can still make the weight, Eric tells him he’s not going to help him anymore since he’s talking crazy like about The New Class actually letting someone get laid.
After Eric leaves, Nicky finds Ryan barely able to stand up but still insisting he’ll make the weight. Nicky tries to tell Ryan that making the team isn’t worth risking his health over, but Ryan leaves to go jogging again.
In the gym, Maria’s got a ton of orders for shirtless jock calendars. Katie brings in the jocks with conveniently rehearsed lines about not being mindless slabs of meat that they obviously don’t understand. They tear their photos off Maria’s display and say they’re quitting the calendar because stuff, and Maria gets pissed off, asking Katie what she’s supposed to do about getting a calendar out to the people who bought one.
Meanwhile, Ryan makes weight and prepares for his match with Nicky. Eric tells Nicky that Ryan feels like a loser for not making the team and is afraid he will be a perpetual virgin.
Also, we randomly get Screech and Mr. Belding doing a bad homage to The Three Stooges…for some reason. I wish just once this show would make sense.
Nicky throws the match and lets Ryan win. Ryan realizes right away what Nicky has done, but Nicky denies throwing the match, leaving Ryan to have a guilty look on his face about making the team.
In the hallway, Mr. Belding congratulates Ryan on a successful eating disorder and for making the team and reminds him that, conveniently, the match against Valley is tomorrow because who the hell cares about actually giving athletes a chance to practice and condition before the competition season starts.
Ryan confronts Nicky on throwing the match and Nicky tells Ryan that he did it because Ryan’s a whiny little bitch so now he gets to be on the team.
Katie tells Maria there’s still got to be a way to do a sports calendar and then opportunity falls stupidly on its ass.
Yes, their brilliant idea is to do a calendar full of photos of Screech being sporty because it will supposedly appeal to the everyday person who isn’t much of an athlete…which makes sense in the mind of no one except the writer of this episode.
God, why me?
So we get a montage of Screech having his picture taken in various athletic apparel. I wish he’d stick that fencing sword up his ass. At one point, Screech wears a basketball tank top for the “Panthers,” making me think the writers forgot what Bayside’s mascot is.
And it all culminates in…OH DEAR GOD NO! SOMETHING I NEVER WANTED TO SEE! SCREECH IN NOTHING BUT A SPEEDO! WHY ME? WHY AM I BEING PUNISHED WITH IMAGES THAT WILL HAUNT MY DREAMS AND GIVE ME PTSD FLASHBACKS?!?! WHY ME?!?!? WHY!?!?!
Well, after having a bit of a meltdown there, I returned to writing this review, ensured that the resulting trauma will eventually be addressed using a cocktail of psychotropic drugs. I’m left with one question: who the hell will buy pictures of Screech in a Speedo? Luckily, Maria and Katie are able to produce the calendar overnight and sell it at the Valley match the next day, where people practically knock each other down to get pictures of Screech in a Speedo because…he makes them feel better about themselves. Well, this is true, but it’s not worth the nightmares and hallucinations. Trust me, I know.
The gang wait for Ryan to come out for his match, but, then…
Nicky comes out wearing the singlet instead, suddenly without a t-shirt for some reason. Ryan tells the gang he felt guilty because Nicky threw the match to let him on the team and he couldn’t let Nicky do that.
Wait, the moral of this episode isn’t about male eating disorders. It’s about being a god damned fucking good sport. They had the chance to do something progressive with this episode and they choose to ignore Ryan doing things that were clinically unhealthy. Not only that, but these are the exact same fucking things they condemned Lindsay for doing a couple years ago, but this time it’s a guy so it’s okay. And it’s all in favor of a good sportsmanship moral…
I hate this show. I hate this show with all my guts. I want this show to die a slow agonizing death at the hands of the Olson twins and that Vicki robot from Small Wonder. Vengeance is mine. The New Class, your days are numbered…
Naturally Nicky quickly wins the match because we’re running short on time and Screech is the referee which I’m sure is a conflict of interest and makes no sense but I don’t really care anymore because all hope I had for this episode is gone.
And we still have one more scene I have to watch now that I’m really sad this episode vomited all over so much good potential, where basically Rachel tells Ryan she doesn’t give a fuck about wrestling and only liked it because it’s important to him and shit.
And our episode ends with the audience losing their shit over Ryan and Rachel kissing at a private table for two in The Max, because we may not be able to have a progressive episode on this show, but at least the management of the god damned Max will always capitulate to the whims of our main characters.
Between seeing so much potential for this episode flushed down the toilet and witnessing the horror of Screech in a Speedo, I think I’m off to alternately drown my sorrows down with whiskey while vomiting, all the while crying that this is what my life has become.