Monthly Archives: November 2015

The New Class Season 4, Episode 21: “The Fifth Wheel”

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Oh, yippee, aren’t I just lucky that we get another Space Camp episode this week since the first one was so amazing! Why don’t we just move the setting of the show to Space Camp and do everything there! I mean, why the hell not? It’s not like this is a show about high school!

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Well, we open with Ryan and Rachel getting so lovey dovey with each other that even Barney the Dinosaur would want to kick the shit out of them for being more fake sugary than a bowl full of Splenda. Ryan’s got Rachel’s breakfast and that’s the most amazing thing a boyfriend could ever do for his girl. Why do I get the idea the writers of The New Class were never touched by the opposite sex in high school?

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Nicky tries to imitate Ryan’s example but, as with everything in the Nicky and Maria relationship, it comes off as horribly fake and worthy of deaf.

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Naturally, all of this is making Eric and Katie want to lose their lunch, Katie probably because she once dated one of those boys. Katie says she’s glad Eric is as single as she is because those whom the writers have chosen to marginalize without significant others have to stick together.

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Unfortunately for Katie, it seems like more students have arrived since the last Space Camp episode because Eric has yet another one episode crush on a girl named Karen and he’s planning on making her his until the writers forget he exists.

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Well, we need something to break up all this lovey stuff so we get it in the form of Screech being an idiot again, for some reason testing rocket shoes for Commander Connors in the middle of the cafeteria. Leaving aside the fact that Screech is testing something in a completely inappropriate place where it could injure someone, why the hell is Space Camp testing experimental gear anyway? Did the writers put more than five seconds worth of thought into their gags?

Well, in any case, Screech is in charge of getting people to sign up for three days in a space shuttle simulator. Ryan and Nicky don’t want to do it because that means they would miss the dance in three days. Yes, you read that right. Even at Space Camp, we’re having a god damned dance because these characters look for even the flimsiest of excuses to have yet another dance.

Eric initially agrees that the space shuttle simulator idea sucks ass until Karen says it sounds like fun. Seeing the opportunity to get a girl into a small, confined space with him, Eric changes his mind.

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Before boarding the shuttle, Katie begs Eric not to leave her with the saccharine quadruplets but he says this may be the last chance this season for him to get laid and he’s not turning that chance down.

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After Eric boards the shuttle, we meet part of Katie’s plot for this episode, Gordon, a guy who likes her a lot but I guess we’re supposed to think is really icky because he likes sci-fi and is really intelligent. Seriously, if this guy is supposed to scream the Screech or Weasel vibe, the writers failed miserably. He’s reasonably attractive, well spoken, and will probably be making a lot of money in a few years. But we’re supposed to hate him because intelligent people sucks ass unless they’re in the opening credits. This annoyed me about shows in the nineties: they depicted their geeks as being incredibly hot to the point one couldn’t figure out why they were ostracized. Think about it: 90210 had Brian Austin Green, SeaQuest DSV had Jonathan Brandis, and Boy Meets World had Lee Norris, all very attractive men who were repulsive to women, for some reason.

I’m really trying to figure out why I’m supposed to find Gordon repulsive. Is it because he wears a tie? Is it because he looks like he was a runner-up for the role of Nicky? God only knows.

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Katie gets excited because Karen’s sick and thinks that means Eric won’t get to go on the mission after all.

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Unlucky for her, she forgot Mr. Belding and Screech don’t have subplots yet. Yeah, after all that talk two weeks ago about how Space Camp is for the kids, Mr. Belding and Screech have decided that Space Camp is for them as well. Yeah, let’s leave the horny teenagers alone for three days without chaperons. That makes a whole lot of sense. Unless the Space Camp staff is keeping an eye on the gang, in which case, why the hell are Mr. Belding and Screech there in the first place?

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Though Eric’s initially horrified to find he’s on the mission with Mr. Belding and Screech, he soon falls into playing card with Screech.  I do have a question about this space shuttle simulator: is it really simulating the conditions of a space shuttle mission as advertised if you can walk around freely in it because of gravity? I get there’s some things you can’t get around, but if this is their idea of simulating space, I can see why Space Camp California went out of business.

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On to the suplot for our love birds: Ryan buys Rachel a really stupid jacket to help her remember how much Space Camp sucks. Yeah, really, this is basically their subplot for the episode: Ryan buys a stupid jacket for Rachel and she hates it but doesn’t want to hurt his feelings.

Conveniently, there’s a meteor shower that night so Nicky suggests they pack a picnic for it. Katie realizes that the couples will probably be fucking under the meteors and doesn’t want to be alone so she asks Gordon out despite the fact he’s supposed to somehow be repulsive to her.

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After a commercial break, surprise, surprise, Nicky gets in on the bad jacket subplot by buying one for Maria.  This is such a riveting subplot.

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Back in the shuttle simulator, Mr. Belding’s unable to sleep in the bag strapped to the wall. He soon discovers that Screech and Eric ate his food. So he’s hungry and cranky and I’m sure this won’t play into his subplot at all in a few minutes. He wants to leave the shuttle but Screech tells him he can’t because it will end the mission.

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At the meteor shower, everyone’s having fun except Katie. The couples decide to give her and Gordon some privacy to get to know each other better, but Katie freaks out and calls them back when Gordon dares to try and touch her. Katie serves desert as the boys get the bad jackets back out because that’s such an amazing subplot.

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Maria proceeds to spray whipped cream all over her jacket, claiming clumsiness, and, despite the fact that I’ve never seen whipped cream stain anything, claims she’ll now have to have her jacket cleaned and won’t be able to wear it to the dance.

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Rachel gets in on the “spraying whipped cream on yourself” action, and I’m beginning to think this is really a fetish thing and has nothing to do with the stupid jackets. She just wants an excuse for Ryan to lick her. Eeew.

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Back on the shuttle simulator, it’s day two and Mr. Belding has officially gone insane. I think it’s from knowing Screech for nine years but they claim it’s because he can’t handle the pressure of the simulator that doesn’t really simulate. Despite just a couple minutes ago saying they couldn’t end the simulation early, Screech calls mission control and ends the simulation, literally throwing Mr. Belding off the shuttle.

Funny enough, the voice of mission control is the same voice of Eric’s stupid robot from last week’s episode. I guess Screech found a use for it after all: to be a slave to the whims of The New Class writers.

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Back at the cafeteria, Gordon’s being a horrible person buying Katie flowers and telling her how much he likes her and shit. What a monster! He asks her to the dance and, since she’s suddenly codependent this episode despite being single and fierce back in the hospital episodes, she says yes.

Also, the boys had the stupid jackets cleaned so the girls can wear them to the dance. When will this subplot end?!?!

Mr. Belding, Screech, and Eric come in and Mr. Belding reveals that he was the reason they had to end the mission early: he just couldn’t handle the pressure and he suddenly knows what it means to be Screech.

Eric asks Katie to the dance and she says yes. She only realizes she now has two dates when Rachel points it out, and we cut to commercial with the non-committal music of The New Class playing.

Back at the shuttle simulator, Screech tricks Mr. Belding back in under pretense of looking for his watch because he really wants to kill Mr. Belding and take over Bayside. No, the real reason is he reasons that the best way to make Mr. Beldig feel better is to give him a full on panic attack so he pretends they’re accidentally locked in the simulator.

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Katie decides to try to make Gordon not want to go to the dance with her by having him agree to a pre-dance agreement that he won’t do anything remotely charming. This disappoints her as he signs the agreement and says going with her will be enough. What a monster!

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Katie tells Eric she can’t go with him and loudly proclaims that Gordon’s such a horrible person she’s guaranteed not to have a good time because Gordon sucks ass despite seeming to be an attractive, intelligent, all-around great guy. Gordon naturally hears and says that Katie doesn’t have to go with him if she doesn’t want to and that this whole show is stupid and how did he get roped into being in it.

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Back in their dorm, the girls wear their stupid jackets. Katie sulks in and can’t believe Gordon’s feelings are hurt just because she was a bitch to him the whole episode. The surprises you learn on this show.

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In the simulator, Screech pretends to be having a nervous breakdown. Isn’t it a funny thing that Dustin Diamond is worst at looking like a spaz when the script calls on him to act like a spaz. A janitor comes in, telling the duo he needs to clean up and Mr. Belding realizes that, once again, he’s been fooled by the world’s biggest dumb ass.

At the dance, Eric makes fun of the stupid jackets. The girls finally come clean that they hate the jackets and the boys ask why this was even a subplot since they’re men and don’t give a shit about clothes. And thus ends the dumb jackets subplot.

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Screech apologizes to Mr. Belding for trying to fool him, saying he hoped a panic attack would do him good. Mr. Belding says he’s grateful that Screech tries to cause him pain and says that he’s accepted the fact he won’t be the first principal on the moon, despite the fact that would be more preferable than being in three more seasons of this show.

Katie finds Gordon and apologizes for being a jack ass. She says she should have told him how she felt all along and not use him as an outlet for her codependency and possible future sex addiction. She asks him to dance.

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And the episode ends with Katie dancing with the most attractive geek in the franchise’s history. Well, unless you count Tori Spelling out of make-up. If we count her, all bets are off as I think she’d easily sway Katie to the dark side of bisexuality.

The College Years Episode 11: “A Thanksgiving Story”

I swear, it’s complete coincidence this is the episode for Black Friday. But, in any case, now that you’ve had a good Thanksgiving meal (at least if you’re reading this in America), let’s ruin it all with Thanksgiving, Saved by the Bell style.

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In the cold opening, the boys are packing to drive home for Thanksgiving when Kelly rushes in, excited that Thanksgiving weather in LA is going to be in the nineties. Well, what the hell do you expect? Los Angeles isn’t exactly known for cold weather. You act like it’s the first time you’ve been there. Screech pontificates about being eighteen and just sounds like an idiot.

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Mike’s not going home for Thanksgiving, though, because he has twenty underprivileged kids coming for Thanksgiving dinner. He has four Raiders tickets to give away and gives them to Zack Morris after he gives them a bull shit story about having a brother in the Peace Corps who just got home from Guatemala. Naturally, after Mike leaves, he tells Slater he’s planning on scalping them for some major money because Zack Morris is just like that: a complete jack ass. Oh, Zack Morris, never stop being a selfish imbecile.

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After the credits, we find out Alex is going home with Slater because, when you date someone for a short amount of time in college, it’s obviously love and you need to introduce them to the family. I get the idea that none of the writers for this show have ever been to college.

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Kelly tries to follow their example by offering to take Leslie home to meet her family, but Leslie says that Thanksgiving has never been a big deal around her place because of rich people shit. Instead, she’s going to stay and help Mike with the decorations for his Thanksgiving.

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At the student union, Leslie makes stupid little decorations that Mike says these kids will murder her for. Also, NBC Sports is sending Marv Albert over to do a pointless cameo since viewers of football halftime shows enjoy seeing washed-up NFL players doing random things.

Meanwhile, the boys are ready to go and, since Cal U’s staff have no boundaries, Mike loans them his truck to drive back to LA, all the while making them promise not to allow Dumb Ass in the driver’s seat.

Now, Mike knows Screech is a complete idiot but he still waits for Zack Morris and Slater to go outside and asks Screech to help him move the pool table.

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Of course, this leads to Mike injuring himself when Dumb Ass doesn’t lift the pool table. Had this show been renewed for a second season, Screech would have killed Mike. After all, he did kill Danielle to make room for Kelly.

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Zack Morris and Slater go back to the suite where they discover Screech continuing to injure Mike by pushing him into a vending machine. Screech tells them he has to stay and help Mike since he’s pretty much responsible despite Mike’s protests that he doesn’t want the dumb ass anywhere near him considering bad things only happen when Screech is around.

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The remaining four strike out for LA singing the classic Thanksgiving song, “La Bamba.” It wouldn’t be Saved by the Bell if something didn’t go wrong, though, so, in the midst of Alex worrying if Slater’s family will like his new psycho girlfriend, the truck breaks down.

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So Slater works on the truck as Zack Morris and Alex scare everyone by recounting fake Twilight Zone episodes. It’s to the point that Kelly won’t even go to the restroom in the woods.

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Back at the suite, Leslie nurses Mike but is horrified when he tells her he won’t be able to cook dinner and that it will fall to her since, you know, she’s rich and shit so she doesn’t even know that tsp. is the abbreviation for teaspoon. I’m sure nothing could possibly go wrong with this plan.

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Mike’s horrified when Screech says it’s time to take Mike’s temperature and he pulls out a turkey thermometer. When he discovers Mike’s not into having his ass probed, he says he intended to use it for the turkey, which will make absolutely no sense in a few minutes when we find out Mike’s ordering the turkeys in already cooked.

Back at the truck, Slater discovers the oil pump’s out so they don’t know what they’re going to do given they’re somehow in the middle of nowhere in between San Francisco and LA. So, Zack Morris and Kelly naturally talk about all the good times they’ve had in broken down cars over the years since that’s what I would want to talk about.

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They see a car coming and Alex does the idiotic thing, threatening to shoot them with a flashlight if the strangers help our idiot. Yeah, she’s citing a fake Twilight Zone episode again because it’s cool to pretend to know something about classic sci-fi without having to actually do any research.

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We discover that the student union is just like The Max: as long as you’re in the opening credits, you can do whatever the hell you want to, including hosting Thanksgiving meals. Leslie’s majorly failed at cooking dinner and the kids are due any minute.

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And Mike’s still not learned his lesson about Screech’s idiocy as he put Screech in charge of ordering the turkeys. Mike intended them to be fully cooked but Screech, being a complete dumb ass, ordered them frozen.

Lucky for Mike, the competent members of the gang show up, along with Alex, and kick into high gear to salvage the dinner Screech and Leslie nearly ruined, and just in time because the kids have arrived! Also, we find out Zack Morris got himself onto stand-by for a flight by pretending to be a doctor since the theme of the episode is Zack Morris being a jack ass.

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In the kitchen, Screech tries to thaw out the turkey with a hair dryer as Mike realizes it’s time he depended on someone who has at least a measure of competence. So, he sends Zack Morris to find any open store and buy food.

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Kelly helps Leslie with the vegetables as she tells Leslie stories about how important Thanksgiving’s always been for her family. Leslie’s sad she’s never had this experience because, you know, rich people shit.

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Leslie tries to entertain the kids with a rousing game of “Simon Says” but this group of inner city kids who are only troubled because the script tells us they are say no fucking way to subjecting themselves to the whims of a moron.

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Slater tells Alex she loves her even if she is a complete moron and his family will love her. He prepares to kiss Alex as one of the kids from The Sandlot looks  on, hoping to get some pointers.

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Back in the kitchen, Zack Morris returns with items procured at a 7-11 and proceeds to bring some racism into the episode by imitating an Indian convenience store episode. Oh, that old Thanksgiving tradition of casual racism! They work to see what they can salvage out of the items Zack Morris bought.

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But Mike has more important things to worry about, like the fact that Marv Albert’s arrived and everything sucks. Alex acts insane around Marv Albert because it’s what she does and Mike tries to hurry along the interview but Marv is determined to see everything.

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And everything he sees as the gang reveal a feast of turkey jerky. Marv Albert realizes this story sucks and switches to commercial so he can go wonder where his career went wrong that he’s on a Saved by the Bell spin-off.

Zack Morris has a ticket back to LA but everything sucks at the dinner. Fortunately, though, it’s time for pointless cameos, each of which Kelly nearly has an orgasm over.

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First, it’s time for an old alumni of the franchise, Jonathan Brandis, bearing a turkey because…you know, he’s famous so he just happens to have extra turkeys.

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Marsha Warfield, who was on Empty Nest at the time, shows up with a second turkey because, you know, she’s Marsha Warfield.

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Six from Blossom brings some pumpkin pies.

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And, in the contrivance of contrivances, Mr. Belding just happens to be in San Francisco visiting his mother so he brings some potatoes and obsesses over the celebrities so he can have an opportunity to appear in every Saved by the Bell series. Yeah, they were all watching Marv Albert’s broadcast and all happened to have extra food lying around and all happened to be in San Francisco so they all decided to stop by Mike’s Thanksgiving. They also all invite themselves to dinner because, you know, why the hell not.

Yeah, there’s absolutely no reason for any of these cameos except to give NBC the opportunity to say, “Hey, here’s a bunch of other celebrities from other NBC series! That makes it a special episode!” At least Marv Albert’s appearance kind of pushed the plot along. The rest of the cameos barely last a few seconds. Even Mr. Belding’s.

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Kelly gives a speech about how she now has a shoe horned lesson about learning you can having Thanksgiving wherever you are and not just at home, especially if you have random celebrities show up with food to save the day at the last minute.

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And we have just enough time for one more cameo, franchise alumni Brian Austin Green coming in with cranberry sauce so he can have the opportunity to be an asshole to Dustin Diamond again.

Zack Morris takes Kelly aside and tells her he’s giving his ticket to her because he’s selfless all of a sudden and shit. The description of this episode in the box set says that Kelly was homesick so Zack Morris bought her the ticket by scalping his Raiders tickets. As usual, the writers for this franchise were incompetent and forgot to actually depict either of these things so we’re kind of left with it feeling like it came the fuck out of nowhere.

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But our episode ends with the real reason Zack Morris bought Kelly the ticket: so he could get a little something something from Kelly before she leaves. Of course, the really interesting story is Jonathan Brandis and Brian Austin Green mobbing Mr. Belding to ask him whatever happened to their old sixth grade teacher as Mr. Belding pretends to not know what the fuck they’re talking about.

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During the credits, we have more incompetence with food. How fun. In any case, Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! May you have a meaningful Thanksgiving with lots of random celebrity appearances!

The New Class Season 4, Episode 20: “Science Fair”

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We went nine years in this franchise without a science fair so why the hell not because science fairs are exciting and shit, right? Oh, god, why do I review this show? Oh, yeah, because there’s people on the internet who enjoy reading my pain.

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And we’re off to a good start as Screech annoys Mr. Belding with his senior year science project: an automatic nose blower. Yeah, seriously, this is what almost caused Bayside to win the science fair one year because in the Saved by the Bell universe, science fairs are multi-school competitions since the writers of this show have no idea how high school actually works. What’s worse is it’s this incompetent project that’s supposed to be Screech’s crowning achievement despite the fact it never works and not the fact Screech invented artificial life. God, I hate this show.

Mr. Belding despairs over the fact Bayside has never won the science fair as it’s never been featured in an episode before. Fortunately for him, he’s placed the most incompetent person in the opening credits in charge of the fair, Screech, so they’re naturally going to win this year!

Screech gives the gang a pep talk about how they’re the six in the opening credits right now so they’re Bayside’s only hope. For some reason, Eric and Maria are super excited about building random things despite the fact that they’ve never shown any predilection towards this before. But, hey, this is characterization on the fly so why the hell not!

Ryan and Nicky think science fairs suck ass so Rachel and Katie decide the dynamic duo have time to get them tickets to see “Hamlet” starring Keanu Reeves. Yeah, you might notice the issue here: everyone knows Keaunu Reeves is a hack who could never do Shakespearean theater. Yeah, and this episode may be horribly out of order since it appears that Nicky and Katie are suddenly together again. Oh, The New Class, always confusing your viewers horribly.

Well, Ryan and Nicky don’t want to go but they realize it might get their dicks wet so they decide they’ll go anyway.

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Oh, The Max, home to whatever our gang needs it to be, including building science fair projects apparently. Eric’s project is turning a vacuum cleaner into a robot, which would be a good idea except, um, need I remind these idiot writers this is coming the hell out of nowhere?!? Where was he during the baby simulator episode when he could have just reprogrammed his doll to stop crying!

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Oh, and Maria is doing something involving sorting recycling, which means she’s invented the art of sorting!

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In the other plot, we see Ryan and Nicky playing video games instead of buying tickets. Oh, the predictable setup for horrible conflict.

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Back at Bayside, Fuzzy shows how smart he is by inventing the pencil because Bayside’s best and brightest are all apparently complete morons. In fact, Screech doesn’t think any of the inventions have any merit so he pressures them to come up with better ideas so he can live out his dream of winning the science fair that he’s way too invested in well into his twenties.

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The bell rings, signaling the end of…science fair class? Jesus Christ, I’m beginning to think everything’s a class and there are no extracurricular activities at this school. Anyway, Ryan invites Rachel to lunch and she says it’s a good thing he and Nicky bought the tickets because everyone wants Keanu Reeves’s bone and the play sold out.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Screech continues to annoy Mr. Belding with his stupid contraption that doesn’t work.

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Eric comes in with his new and improved robot, which is super great now because it has a hat and arms. Screech thinks Eric’s robot is suddenly super great and could win, so Screech sends Eric to class while he plays with Eric’s robot and demonstrates his lack of ethics.

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Back at The Max, Maria invents the conveyor belt to help her sort trash. Brilliant, Maria, just brilliant thinking there. Screech comes to get Eric so he can see his new and improved science project.

Ryan can’t get tickets to the play and finds the only ones available are from scalpers for $100 a piece. Rachel and Katie come in and Ryan’s about to tell them the truth when they reveal they’re going to pay for dinner for the four before the play. Ryan seems to love food because this is enough for him to not give a shit about telling the truth anymore because they might get laid. Ryan and Nicky decide they have to find a way to get money and buy the tickets from the scalper.

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Back at Baysde, Screech reveals he’s invented Kevin’s mentally challenged brother, Dustin Diamond. Eric’s skeptical that the new robot is very different from his but Screech insists that this robot could win the science fair. Ryan walks in as Screech demonstrates his stupid artificial intelligence and he gets a plan on how to make money.

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This is by having Stupid Face the Robot put stuff in his locker…

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…and then sell the robot to do the random extras’ chores. Mr. Belding shows up and is impressed that Eric’s suddenly become a genius in robotics against type.

In Mr. Belding’s office, the robot cleans Mr. Belding’s office but he becomes suspicious when the robot starts talking like a fucking moron, much like a certain administrative assistant he knows. Screech confesses that he helped Eric cheat and, rather than firing Screech for yet another display of gross incompetence, convinces him to make things right.

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So Eric comes in and Screech tells him that he’s decided he was wrong to do his work for him. Having created life a second time, Screech is going to kill his new life form. Eric’s understandably upset since he didn’t ask for Dumb Ass’s help in the first place and now he has to start all over again. He marches out of the office, all the while wondering why he has to be the only character in Screech’s former role to last more than a season.

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In a classroom, Eric rebuilds his robot as Maria comes in to take her garbage. Maria gives Eric some bull shit about how awesome he is and how he’ll probably get a job at NASA someday.

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This leads to a dream sequence where Ryan’s an astronaut in trouble who has no idea what to do because he cheated on his high school science project and because his time at Space Camp apparently meant nothing.

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Unfortunately for Eric, his only hope is Screech in a rain jacket doing a bad impression of Obi Wan Kenobi. He says he can’t help Eric avoid death because that would be cheating. Yeah, that’s the real reason you can’t help Eric and not because you’re a dumb ass.

This last five minutes the writers work hard to try and convince us that the moral of this episode is that we learn things when we do our own work and not that Screech is the biggest fucking moron in this franchise’s history.

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Well, it’s science fair day and, in case you want to know Screech’s running gag in this scene that’s rammed down your throat, it’s that Screech can’t tell that the judge is a woman because he’s never really felt the touch of a woman; Violet and Alison were hallucinations, which explains why he never mentions them now. Also, Rachel and Katie have invented a Swiss Army make-up kit because they’re girly girls unlike that stupid butch Maria.

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Speaking of which, the judges are impressed that Maria’s managed to invent both the conveyor belt and the magnet for her trash sorter. Also, Ryan and Nicky show Rachel and Katie the tickets, which makes no sense as they already said they bought them so why are their guilty consciences trying to prove they really did?

But, oh no! It looks like Eric might not show up!

Of course, this is The New Class‘s attempt to inject tension into this scene, which fails miserably as it’s crystal clear Eric will show up before the end. And he does, of course.

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And his robot now shines Mr. Belding, impressing the judge but distressing Ryan and Nicky as they’ve rented the other robot out to half the school and Screech murdered it.

The judge decides that Eric and Maria’s projects suck less than Valley and Westwood’s so she awards a tie for first place to the two.

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Screech overreacts that Bayside won the competition for the first time.

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Eric pretends like he learned a valuable lesson.

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And our episode ends with Ryan and Nicky learning nothing as the people they sold Eric’s robot to demand a refund and Ryan decides they’ll just have to do all the chores for them since they couldn’t possibly just tell Rachel and Katie the truth.

The College Years Episode 10: “Dr. Kelly”

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In our cold opening, we learn that Kelly has taken a job at the campus student health center. Zack Morris shows up to collect some money that Kelly owes him and she reveals she’s broke. Zack Morris tells her no problem as Screech is such a dumb ass he’ll just find a way to scam the money out of him.

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A medical emergency shows up in the lobby of the medical center rather than, say, the hospital where it would make sense because we need an excuse for Kelly to suddenly be drafted as a nurse since the medical center apparently doesn’t have anyone more qualified for medical assistance than the part-time front desk worker. Also, Zack Morris faints because he hates needles. What exactly was the point of this cold opening?

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After the credits, Kelly tells Leslie and Alex how awesome it is to help save someone’s life and he even asked for her phone number! Saving lives is like super cool and stuff!

Alex has a new job as well: as a waitress at Skeeter’s, a sleazy restaurant in town, where she can make as much as $150 per hour. She’s decided she doesn’t mind showing the goods as long as she gets that sort of cash, though Kelly and Leslie are shocked she’s working for such a place, especially given Zack Morris, Slater, and Screech are hanging out there.

Which brings us to Screech’s subplot: being obliviously in love with a waitress at Skeeter’s who flirts with him for tips because he’s too much of a dumb ass to realize that no woman in her right mind would ever want to touch him. Oh, and I guess he already forgot about what’s her name from last week. I know I have.

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And, speaking of subplots, Slater’s subplot will be holding double standards about not wanting Alex to work at Skeeter’s while simultaneously wanting to go to look at the girls’ goods. Oh joy. One of those subplots.

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Meanwhile, Mike needs a subplot as well, and it turns out he’s been invited to try out for the 49’ers again because it’s really common for middle-aged washed-up former athletes to be invited to play professional football again. Mike’s initially hesitant so he crosses boundaries again in order for the boys convince him that he needs to try out the writers can pad out this episode a bit. How considerate of them. Mike says he’ll try out but the boys are helping him get in shape because no one wants to watch a plot with just Mike.

Also, strange enough, Screech is still helping Mike with his autobiography. Did Saved by the Bell actually remember a minor subplot from a previous episode? I think hell has frozen over.

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Alex puts on her most revealing dress to interview at Skeeter’s while Leslie spouts quasi-feminism. Wait…I thought Alex said she had the job, not that she was going to interview. Make up your mind, plot!

Kelly studies for chemistry as Zack Morris comes out and shows he’s suddenly become really awesome at chemistry because he associates the women he dates with the periodic table since that’s all it takes to pass Chemistry at Cal U. Kelly reveals that, since working at the medical center, she’s decided she wants to go pre-med. Zack Morris tells her that’s just silly because she’s Kelly and she’s not supposed to be smart and stuff. He tells her to be realistic and do something easier, like replace Shannon Doherty on 90210. Because Zack Morris doesn’t ever give bad advice, she instantly abandons her hopes of becoming a doctor.

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We next go to Alex’s first night at Skeeter’s. Wait, this is sleazy in the Saved by the Bell universe? Is this their answer to Hooter’s? Barely revealing dresses that look like something you should wear to a funeral? Seriously?

Well, in any case, lots of guys want to touch Alex’s breasts and she puts up with it because this is her assigned subplot this episode.

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But Slater doesn’t like it or the fact that Alex is giving her peanuts away to the whole restaurant because being jealous is his thing.

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Oh, and Screech’s waitress, Debbie, comes around and calls him “Sugar Britches” a bit more. Oh, now I see how this place is humiliating: waitresses being forced to hit on Screech! Oh the humanity!

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Zack Morris goes to hit on a random hot waitress he can only see the back of and is surprised to learn that it’s Kelly. Yes, Kelly took Zack Morris’s advice so seriously she decided to get a job at Skeeter’s because she’s now living for the money.

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Alex is already fed up with being hit on so she throws a drink at a guy who didn’t even do anything to her. When he threatens to go to the manager, she quits, thus ending the most pointless subplot ever. Also, Screech throws more money at Debbie, thinking he’s going to marry her in an epilogue movie in Las Vegas.

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The next morning, Screech wakes up Zack Morris and Slater at 5:00 am to help Mike practice.

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And so we get a montage of Mike doing random things to train for football with non-professional athletes, which I’m sure will be really helpful when he’s practicing with guys much younger and stronger than himself. And so we get to watch two  minutes of Mike’s mullet bouncing around wand stare at his legs in his way too short shorts. I think the only thing worse I’ve seen in this franchise is the time Screech posed in a speedo for that calendar.

Now that I have that nightmare in my subconscious, let’s rejoin Kelly, who’s busy being lectured by Leslie with regards to her choice of job. Kelly tells Leslie she’s a spoiled little girl who doesn’t have any concept of what work’s like and convinces her to fill in for Kelly at the student health center since Kelly apparently forgot to quit her other job and since the writers of this franchise still think that people can get substitutes for their jobs when they want to take time off.

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Leslie soon finds the job difficult as she’s apparently a glorified secretary or some shit and also has to change bed pans. And, since she’s a spoiled rich girl when it’s convenient to the plot, she finds the work difficult and offensive.

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Zack Morris comes in, nursing an injury from practicing with Mike. He won’t say what his injury is but he apparently hurt his penis as he says it’s something he doesn’t want to discuss with a girl. Since there’s no testosterone at the health center, he goes away, suddenly feeling better since girls don’t know anything about penises, even female doctors.

Kelly comes in and tells Zack Morris and Leslie she’s quitting at the health center because she only wants to work at Skeeter’s.

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Back at the suite, Mike’s off to try out but Slater says he’s too cheerful for football right now. The boys help Mike get pissed off so he can channel that in practice. Naturally, the only one of them capable of pissing off Mike is Screech. Unfortunately, Mike takes his anger with him to practice rather than murdering Screech where he stands.

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At the student union, everyone decides to be judgmental of Kelly working rather than taking class seriously. She tells them she has a future working for a sleazy restaurant and she’s good at it so fuck school!

At Skeeter’s, Screech finally discovers no woman really wants to touch him, especially Debbie, when he sees Debbie flirting with another guy. And thus ends the Screech subplot.

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Zack Morris tells Kelly he’s an idiot and she should have learned by now not to take anything he says seriously. He thinks she can do pre-med now and has a chemistry test to prove it. Turns out Kelly got an A, which is suddenly incentive for her to come to Jesus and turn her life around. Hallelujah!

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We wrap up Mike’s subplot by learning that Mike made the team but choose not to be on it. He could only think of his thesis for his master’s degree while he was trying out so he decided he’d rather be on this show that’s sure to last more than one season, right? But he leaves the room and falls into Screech’s arm. Rather than this being a homoerotic admission from Mike, it’s because he’s full of shit and a broken man after trying out with younger players. He asks Screech to take him to the medical center and threatens his life if Screech says anything about it. Oh, Mike, you cock tease!

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Leslie and Alex are worried Kelly didn’t sleep in her bed because they were hoping for some cuddles. Kelly comes in and says she quit Skeeter’s and they just missed her because she got up early.

Kelly thanks Zack Morris for correcting his previous bad behavior.

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And our episode ends with…Zack Morris kissing Kelly? Odd, is this an out of order episode? What the fuck is up with them kissing just out of the blue? I don’t understand any of this shit!

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During the credits, we get to see more of our dumb training montage because two minutes wasn’t nearly enough time for it.

The New Class Season 4, Episode 19: “The Wrong Stuff”

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You know what this third-rate rip off needed? Why, a trip to Space Camp of course, because if there’s something this show was missing it was seeing Screech act like an astronaut. Welcome, folks, to the subplot trying to rival the Semester at Sea arc from last season for the stupidest idea for a The New Class story!

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And we start off wonderfully with Nicky being amazed by an Apollo 13 astronaut suit in the lobby and Eric wondering if someone is still inside. Yes, Eric, the Grim Reaper is waiting inside to finally kill this show. God, if only…

The gang exposit about how wonderful it is to spend two weeks at Space Camp to make up for the away from Bayside episodes this season only being lame trips to the mall and the hospital. They somehow get high school credit for two weeks at Space Camp, but apparently only for them because the producers could only afford one guest star this episode. Yeah, notice how by now they’re not even trying to pretend that the gang are receiving preferential treatment?

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Mr. Belding says they have Screech to thank for that and our resident idiot comes out dressed in a stupid looking helmet. He says he attended Space Camp five years ago so he arranged for our gang to get to have the experience as well. Well, five years ago he would have been a senior at Bayside so maybe he fit it in between Hawaii, Malibu Sands, and Palm Desert. Or maybe Bayside has always just been really loose about the requirement that students actually attend school.

In any case, you know what the problem with this whole scenario is? Space Camp California didn’t open until 1996, the year this episode aired. Yeah, the idiot producers didn’t even bother to research the business they’re doing a giant promotional arc for. Welcome to the pain that is my life on Mondays.

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We’re introduced to Commander Skip Connors, Space Camp director who was also in charge when Screech was there. Nicky represents him as “the guy who trained all the astronauts” because the writers have decided Nicky needs a love of space as a complementary characteristic to being from New York. I’m betting it’s never mentioned again after this episode.

Commander Connors tells the gang to check into their dorms and meet back at 14:00, which Rachel somehow mistakes as being two months from now because we have stupid Rachel this episode.

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Lucky for us, 14:00 is the next scene or else we’d have to suffer through a subplot. Commander Connors introduces the gang to the MMU, Man Maneuvering Unit, which Ryan has somehow missed seeing on the many television series it’s been featured on so Nicky takes the opportunity to say it will simulate being in space.

Screech, Rachel, Ryan, and Eric suck ass at the MMU. Of course, Nicky is the only one that gets it and he gets some praise from Commander Connors.

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Maria gives Nicky a congratulations kiss to remind the audience that, yes, despite there being episodes where they act like they barely know each other, they really are a couple this episode.

Commander Connors dismisses everyone to eat and reminds them they need to seelect a Moon Mission Commander by tonight. Nicky starts plotting, sure that they will select him since he’s the only one competent with regards to space travel.

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In the cafeteria, we finally get our subplot, Mr. Belding getting jealous over Screech’s attention to Commander Connors. Also, we find out Mr. Belding saw the soccer coach’s ass. No, really, he actually says he did. I’m disturbed that he brought this up in conversation…

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We need some conflict for the episode so, of course, Ryan wants to be Moon Mission Commander in addition to Nicky because why not since Ryan doesn’t know shit. The gang take a vote and Ryan wins because it’s the best way to piss Nicky off and get the plot rolling. Seriously, this is so contrived. Why wouldn’t you vote for the guy who actually knows what the hell he’s talking about.

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After a commercial break, Nicky and Maria eat again because the cafeteria must be the most interesting place at Space Camp. Nicky thinks Ryan’s acting like a jackass as commander and Maria gives him the great advice to “chill out.”

The rest of the gang join them and says his first act as commander is to choose a crew. He has to leave two people at Mission Control, which no one wants to do because it’s more boring than the cafeteria, and Ryan says they’ll choose based on performance on the simulators today.

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Meanwhile, Screech gets Commander Connors breakfast and calls him “chief,” making Mr. Belding jealous. How exciting. Mr. Belding also apparently isn’t capable of getting his own breakfast so he goes hungry due to Screech’s negligence of him.

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Maria and Katie compete trying to collect flags. Maria gets all of hers while Katie sucks ass.

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Next is endurance, which Eric sucks at. Ryan goes just over a minute while Nicky lasts over three minutes. A close up of Ryan while Nicky’s on the simulator seems to suggest he’s either jealous or constipated. I think I’d actually rather see the constipation plot and that’s something I never thought I’d say.

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Ryan’s ready to pick his crew. Katie volunteers to work mission control while Ryan chooses Nicky to stay behind as the other mission control person because he’s a petty jackass. Ryan claims that it’s because Nicky was “showing off” on the simulators which apparently means doing the best since there was no indication that he was doing anything but his best.

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And if there’s any question what they’re going for here, it’s resolved in the next scene where Rachel and Maria fight over who has a bigger jackass for a boyfriend. Seriously, every time they try to make Nicky out to be an asshole, they don’t do a very good job at it. Oh, boy, Nicky’s confident and possibly mildly arrogant about his own abilities. How horrible!

They decide they’re not speaking to each other and Maria drags Katie into it by telling her she better not be a skank and steal away the boy that Maria stole away from Katie. Damn this show and their completely cluelessness about real teenagers.

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The predictable result is that everyone fights during their practice mission and the rocket simulates exploding on the launch pad because everyone except Eric is acting like a moron. 

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In the cafeteria, Mr. Belding lectures the gang on acting like mature representatives of Bayside and shit, and says that, unless they turn it around before the big mission tomorrow, they’re going to go home early and everyone will receive a F. After Mr. Belding and Screech leaves, the girls make up but Nicky says Ryan’s still a complete idiot and says he’s leaving.

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In the dorm, Eric packs Ryan’s clothes and says he and the girls voted that Ryan and Nicky are both idiots and are going home so they can stay. Ryan and Nicky instantly realize the lesson of the episode and make-up, promising to work well together.

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No, this is not a repeat cap. They seriously do almost exactly the same scene over again. Commander Connor say they’ll barely have enough fuel for the trip so there will be no room for error. Mr. Belding gives them a motivational speech and they prepare for take-off. They take-off and arrive on the moon without any problems (boy, those are words I never thought I’d say on this blog).

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Rachel and Maria collect the moon samples and need to get back before the shuttle runs out of fuel. The hatch won’t open, though, and Nicky helps them in rewiring the hatch because he apparently knows everything about the electric configuration of the simulator. This helps them get back in and take off with just enough time to get back. What’s never addressed is whether this was an actual part of their simulation or whether the simulator was just in such a state of disrepair that the hatch jammed. Way to leave questions about the state of repair of the business you’re trying to promote, The New Class.

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Commander Connors says Mr. Belding is awesome and motivated the gang through his threats to take them home and spank them. He says he sees now why Screech is constantly up Mr. Belding’s ass despite the fact that Commander Connors acted earlier like he hadn’t seen Screech in years and…why am I even trying to logically understand this. This is The New Class, where I’m lucky if they maintain continuity within the same scene, much less in the same episode.

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In any case, our episode ends with our shuttle crew celebrating their victory and Ryan thanking Nicky for helping them even though Ryan was a complete douche bag to his stepbrother this entire episode.

Firsts: Space Camp.

The College Years Episode 9: “Screech Love”

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In our cold opening, Zack Morris obsesses over a random girl he sees next to Screech. Since it’s common knowledge that no woman will willingly touch Screech, Zack Morris assumes she’s single and decides to go after her using the fact she’s carrying a tennis racket as an ice breaker, but not before, unfortunately for him, the butt pirate himself comes over and flirts with him. Eww…

Saved by the Bell here takes another opportunity to prove they have no idea how to show rather than tell because, after Zack Morris leaves the table, Slater tells Screech that the girl Zack Morris wants to fuck is Linda Addington, one of the best tennis players in the United States. It seems like lots of washed up sports stars come to Cal U for its reputation in poor faculty-student boundaries and horrible frats.

 

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Zack Morris starts small talk with Linda and asks her to play tennis with him, interrupting her every time she tries to tell him she’s a good tennis player. She agrees and he goes away thinking she’ll be totally fuck him after she sees how awesome he is at tennis.

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After the credits, Zack Morris returns to the suite having been humiliated off camera by Linda, but she’s beautiful, rich, and famous, so he’ll still date her. Yeah, that scene where we hillariously see Zack Morris get his comeuppance? Not included because we have much more important subplots to worry about.

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Like Kelly and Leslie trying to get laid by sophisticated men. Yeah, no joke, this is their subplot, if you can even call it that: throwing a party so they can meet mature guys because women are nothing if they aren’t with a man.

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At the student union, Slater and Alex reveal their subplot: Slater thinks the play Alex is suddenly in sucks ass and doesn’t want to attend it anymore. And, besides, Alex hasn’t attended any of Slater’s wrestling meets so why should he show any interest in the things she likes? Alex agrees to attend one of Slater’s wrestling meets if he comes to her play one more time. We also learn that, since Alex is bat shit crazy, she doesn’t know the difference between professional wrestling and real wrestling and seems to think Slater’s going to be a WWE fighter.

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Meanwhile, Linda’s having trouble in astronomy so Zack Morris recruits Screech to tutor her since he is supposed to be smart and shit. She also impresses Zack Morris with the fact she’s shared bubble gum with the queen because…old lady gum!

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At the wrestling meet, Alex talks about how barbaric she thinks wrestling is while Mike and Kelly try to convince her wrestling is like ballet. Well, Slater did once do ballet to help out Zack Morris so I guess anything’s possible.

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Alex kisses Slater good luck so he won’t get hurt and Slater’s all, “I’m a masculine man so I can’t kiss girls! Wait…I have my gender norms backwards, don’t I?”

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Slater instantly shows how much he’s improved in wrestling over the past eight episodes by pinning his opponent within ten seconds. Mike comments how much better Slater’s wrestling is from the pilot and convinces Slater that Alex’s kisses are magic and make him wrestle better. We also find out Mike used to play football with a lizard in his shoe because cruelty to animals is magic!

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Back at the suite, Linda learns the difference between constellations and stars because she doesn’t understand first grade science I guess. Yeah, I took an astronomy class in college. If this is what Linda’s having trouble with, she’s not going to pass the test, even if Screech is able to magically help her study.

They commiserate over how they’re both outcasts because Linda’s beautiful and famous while Screech is a complete dumb ass. Yeah, they’re completely the same. Also, the audience proves once again they need to get laid more often because they literally lose their shit over Screech and Linda looking at each other. Zack Morris arrives to take Linda to the movies and Linda thanks Screech for a wonderful night of telling her things she should have learned in elementary school.

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The next night, Screech is late bringing Lina back following tutoring and Zack Morris is worried because they were supposed to go on a date that night and he needs to lose his cursed virginity. They arrive back, Screech revealing he took Linda for sexy stargazing at make-out point. Yeah, only Screech wouldn’t realize that the fogged up windows around him were’t the result of chain smoking. Also, am I the only one who finds it creepy Kelly’s commenting on all the inside knowledge of make-out point wearing a giant crucifix? Linda cancels on Zack Morris for their date

Zack Morris begins to believe that the impossible is happening: a woman finds Screech touchable. Yeah, this is something that inexplicably happens every once in a while. Zack Morris tells Screech that maybe he shouldn’t tutor Linda anymore now that she has a first grade knowledge of astronomy and Screech replies that ending their tutoring relationship should be up to Linda since she might want to get up to a second grade knowledge!

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At the student union, Slater tells Mike he’s still undefeated because of Alex’s magic kisses. Alex says she’s sick of wrestling and Slater says acting sucks ass so they insult each other in the stupidest way possible: by telling each other to break a leg and good luck. Alex runs out crying, upset that she never gets a good subplot on this show.

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Screech teaches Linda about Kepler’s Law using pool balls. He says, before long, she’ll have a middle school understanding of astronomy and she won’t need him any longer but she says she has equal ineptitude in biology so she might need Screech’s assistance for a long time, despite the fact that Screech is probably clueless on the difference between boys and girls.

Zack Morris comes in just as Screech is about to invite Linda to a lecture on Jupiter and tells her he got two tickets for them to the lecture because lectures are frequently so full they have to issue tickets. Screech looks devastated he won’t get to start the biology tutoring right away.

That night in the boys’ room, Zack Morris brags to Screech about taking Linda to make-out point for hot fucking and implies that Screech could never get Linda because no woman is that desperate. Screech packs his things and says he won’t live with anyone who thinks he can’t get women and, since it’s completely easy to switch rooms at college mid-semester , says he’s moving out, punching Slater on the way out for no reason. Too bad Slater doesn’t take that as an excuse to kick the living shit out of Screech.

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Screech decides the most reasonable course is to move in with Mike because, once again, the staff of Cal U have no sense of boundaries. Instead of telling Screech to fuck off and go settle his problems on his own, Mike lets Screech move in to his apartment. Naturally, Screech wastes no time in beginning to annoy the shit out of Mike because it’s what he does.

At yet another wrestling meet, Alex looks like she’s not showing up, making Slater nervous. She shows up at the last minute, though, and gives him one of her magical kisses as he starts his match. She soon discovers that his opponent’s girlfriend gives him magical kisses as well.

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Naturally, this leads to Alex and the girl getting into a giant cat fight because being overly invested in your man is the best thing you can do. When Slater tries to break up the fight, he’s disqualified, thus ending our “Alex has magical kisses” subplot.

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Back at the suite, the writers remembered that Kelly and Leslie were supposed to be having a subplot as well, so they talk about how much they want to fuck all the guys at their party. But Linda comes in and all the guys are obsessed with her because she’s rich and famous, proving to Kelly and Leslie that all guys are stupid and shit. Also, another thing that changed since the first episode is apparently that Mike suddenly dropped his no parties rule because he doesn’t show up wanting to obsess over Kelly and Leslie’s party.

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In Mike’s room, Mike can’t wait to have Screech out of his room as quickly as possible since his method of doing dishes involves taking a bath with the dishes in the tub. Eww…

Screech talks about how he misses one of the few women who have ever thought he wasn’t hideous. Mike tells him that maybe Screech doesn’t deserve Linda if he can’t tell her how he feels. He pushes Screech out and tells him to go tell her how he feels now so we can get this episode over with already!

Screech rushes into the party and tells Linda he likes her. Linda says that it’s not an appropriate time because he’s in his pajamas and he rushes out embarrassed.

 

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Zack Morris takes Linda into the hallway and says that, since there’s only a couple minutes left, he’s had a sudden change of heart and thinks that, since she’s dumb enough to like one of the most idiotic characters in the history of television, she can have Screech. He even tells her where to find him. He then proves how much of an asshole he still is by immediately picking up another girls and taking her to the party. Oh, Zack Morris, never stop looking at women as play things here for your amusement!

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She rushes to Mike’s room where she does something this actress won’t be proud of later in her career: kissing Screech. They profess their everlasting love for each other as the audience loses their shit, which is why Linda will never be mentioned again.

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Screech makes up with Zack Morris and Slater and decides to move back in, promising to be friends forever, or at least until he inadvertently takes a six year internship.

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And our episode ends with Mike bringing all of Screech’s shit back to the boys’ room because he wants Screech out of his life as quick as humanely possible.

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During the credits, Screech annoys Mike some more, and then tries to dry hump him. Yay for more things to talk to my therapist about.

The New Class Season 4, Episode 18: “Campaign Fever”

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We open to discover Mr. Belding doesn’t have anything better to do so he’s  suddenly become the guidance counselor and is personally advising Rachel on how to make herself more marketable to colleges. See, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. Colleges want more. Just ask George W. Bush.

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Meanwhile, Screech has become a pirate. His explanation is that he had a band mishap since Screech is apparently the band teacher now because why the hell not. He interrupts the advising session since he has no sense of boundaries to use the oft-forgotten intercom to announce student council elections in the most annoying way possible: using patriotic music. Yep, after last week’s very special episode about the 1996 Presidential Election, this week we get another election. Why do I get the idea this was a badly conceived theme Saturday? There are clues along the way that this episode takes place much earlier in the season, especially the fact that Nicky seems to be closer to Katie than he should be following his whoring ways, not to mention the fact that several scenes from this season’s opening credits come from this episode. I think they paired up these two on purpose.

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It turns out that, yes, Screech remembering the intercom exists has a narrative purpose since it gives Rachel the idea to run for Student Council President. Ryan, naturally, wants to run her campaign since he’s the one with the least integrity

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Meanwhile, Maria suddenly works for the school television station again and is on the beat looking for comment on the upcoming election.

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Nicky, Katie, and Eric are all, “We weren’t in the scene where the election was announced so we don’t know about it, but come to our production of Bye, Bye, Birdie, because we need a subplot to motivate us!”

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Yeah, for some reason, Bayside no longer has a drama teacher because the rap version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs sucked so much. As such, Katie’s director of the school drama program because…plot. And, yeah, they suck as much as you’d imagine they would. But this isn’t truly important to Katie’s story arc so let’s cut it off here.

Yes, Mr. Belding comes in and announces that, yet again, Bayside is facing its millionth budget crisis and has to cut all funding for the drama club in the middle of a production. Well, Mr. Belding, maybe if you weren’t busy personally advising students and actually hired staff, you could have, I don’t know, DONE YOUR FUCKING JOB AND MANAGED THE FINANCES SO THERE ISN’T A BUDGET CRISIS EVERY FEW EPISODES! Fucking hell.

Katie’s outraged by this latest round of incompetence from Bayside’s faculty and thinks the students ought to have a say in how the school’s money is spent. Lucky for her, our resident butt pirate picks that very moment to come up and personally recruit people to run for student council. Eric nominates Katie, saying people will listen when she talks and he just really wants to be in Bye, Bye, Birdie because nothing jump starts an acting career like being in the high school production of a musical.

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Rachel and her campaign entourage come along, and they find they’re running against each other. They wish each other luck, hoping that this doesn’t lead to a mediocrely executed conflict.

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At The Max, Maria tries to interview Katie about her campaign but Eric decides to hog the camera and make everything about himself. Maria gets bored with talk of issues and shit.

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So, when Rachel’s entourage comes in, she rushes over to cover a real candidate. See, last week Rachel learned that propaganda and empty slogans are more important than talking issues so she’s decided to run on the platform of, “I Love Everyone, Even Butt Pirates!”

Nicky steps in to act as Katie’s campaign manager so Katie won’t lose and convinces her she needs to change to a less sustenance-based campaign.

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Jesus, did Rachel go to a baby photographer to get that photo taken? I’m surprised she isn’t naked lying on a rug with a teddy bear in hand. Actually, that may have made this episode more interesting.

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And her campaign strategy is helping to make it easy for her classmates to masturbate over her. Yeah…this is the equivalent of Alex P. Keaton having a photo of Ronald Reagan on his nightstand on Family Ties. Creepy. No wonder Marty McFly wanted to change the future.

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But, hold on! Katie has a bad rap to back her up so everyone suddenly loves her because a bad rap is the most important factor to being electable. Katie starts talking about issues, though, so Nicky tells her to shut the fuck up and let the rap do its magic.

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Oh, yeah, the world’s worst pirate has a subplot about doing stupid polls and making idiotic electronic shit. I wish one of them would blow up in his face so we can have a very special episode about Screech being in a coma.

At The Max, Ryan volunteers Rachel to buy everyone there’s soda to counter Katie’s new superficial campaign. No question about where the money for this is coming from. It’s just happening. Also, Screech and Maria come in for the sole purpose of announcing that Katie’s catching up in the polls, as one would expect from this plot, and Maria invites Rachel and Katie to debate each other.

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Where are they going to debate each other? Why, on…Maria’s…talk…show…

Oh, god, Maria now thinks she’s Ricki Lake.

So Ryan’s strategy is to make Katie look like she only cares about the drama club and wants to see the other clubs die a horrible death. Nicky won’t let Katie give in, though, and, instead, shows a superficial campaign video about how awesome Katie is. It’s about as bad as one would expect.

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Of note, though, is a rare exterior shot of Bayside that looks like it was shot by Norman Lear in the ’60s. I’d be interested to know if this is actually the same building from Wedding in Las Vegas. Actually, if you look closely, aren’t those the Verdugo Hills in the background?

Eric and the drama club decide suddenly that Katie’s campaign doesn’t really care about them because we need a catalyst for Katie to suddenly change again before the fourth act.

Seriously, this is The New Class‘s idea of conflict. Ryan mildly suggests Katie doesn’t care about other clubs, Nicky and Katie act like superficial politicians, Eric pretends to be outraged over Katie’s predictable behavior, and Rachel sits there looking pretty. Serious, can the writers of this show please take some remedial fiction writing classes? The least they could do is throw me a predictable plot about Rachel and Katie slinging mud at each other.

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Eric tells Katie she totally sucks now because she’s become a real politician. Katie decides that the scorn of a friend is enough to totally change her perspective and fires Nicky as her campaign manager. She says she wants to make changes at Bayside so it’s time to bore her fellow students with issues and shit.

At The Max, Katie reveals her new strategy of talking about shit and Rachel thinks it’s totally cool Katie’s acting on her principles. Eric rejoins the campaign to help her and they start pushing their agenda on the student body.

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In the gym, it’s time for the polls to open as the candidates give their final thoughts. Katie’s all, “Vote for me because I care and I’ll form a council to make sure the faculty can’t abuse their positions and shit!” Rachel’s all, “I need a sudden, flat resolution to this non-conflict where there wasn’t true mud slung, so I’m dropping out of the election and throwing my support behind Katie!” Mr. Belding calls for an instant verbal vote of affirmation from the extras assembled since they’re the only students who really count.

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Katie and Rachel celebrate the resolution of their non-conflict as Rachel secures a place as one of Katie’s new advisers.

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And this very special episode of The New Class that doesn’t understand how conflict works ends with Screech’s vote counting machine blowing up in his face as, once again, Screech places Bayside in danger of burning to the ground.

The College Years Episode 8: “Professor Zack”

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In the cold opening, Zack Morris listens to War and Peace being read by Joey Lawrence because he has a test in English and the best way to study is apparently to listen to an audio book of one of the most notoriously difficult novels ever written. Since he already has a B in this class, he should be able to without anyone giving a damn, but Professor Lasky gets upset when he realizes Zack Morris isn’t listening to his lecture on prehistoric housekeeping with rocks being better than stupid things like washers and dryers.

After Screech interrupts Lasky a few times with inane comments, he decides Zack Morris should come to his office and talk about the implications of not paying attention in class when, due to Lasky’s incompetence, he already has a passing grade.

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After the opening credits, Lasky lectures Zack Morris on the importance of learning in a class that he’s already passing. Lasky gets a phone call that his scooter is being towed so he leaves Zack Morris alone in his office so we can quickly establish the plot.

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And, wouldn’t you know it, in walks Jennifer, a girl who thinks anthropology is sexy as fuck. She’s looking for Lasky so he can autograph her copy of his book and, though she has a seeming obsession with him, has no idea what her idol looks like. Zack Morris takes advantage of this opportunity to possibly lose his cursed virginity at last and tells her that he’s Lasky, leading to instantly want to fuck Zack Morris’s brains out.

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At the suite, Mike and the girls get their subplot rolling, trying to raise money to buy a big screen television so Mike can watch lots of football. Mike wants to sell candy but Kelly thinks that idea is lame as fuck since you don’t get much money out of selling candy.

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Mike asks the girls if they have a better idea when in walks Slater to give Alex a chance to oogle his ass.  Alex suggests they sell a pin-up calendar. Leslie channels her inner quasi-feminist in the worst tradition of Jessie and declares that the idea is sexist and Kelly agrees with her so we can have a bit of conflict for a second. When Alex clarifies that she means exploiting the boys, Slater instantly volunteers and Mike, pissed off that no one ever wants anything to do with what he suggests, says they’ll just see who sells more since why the hell not.

Kelly likes the idea but Leslie declares that sexism can be towards men as well because she’s slightly more consistent about her quasi-feminism than Jessie but Kelly and Alex assure her that all men at Cal U will be able to pose for the calendar.

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Wouldn’t you know it: at that very moment, the face that even a mother couldn’t love walks in and Leslie invites our resident moron to pose for the calendar as she hopes to sabotage Kelly and Alex’s efforts just because she wants to be a dick apparently. Unfortunately for everyone who has no desire to lose the use of their vision, Screech declares that his mom sent him a new Speedo he can wear because God apparently hates me and wants to punish me.

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At the student union, Slater tries to convince Zack Morris to tell Jennifer he’s not really Lasky, but Zack Morris is all, “I want to get my dick wet!”

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After some lovely talk about fossilized cow dung, Jennifer declares randomly that she’s the chancellor’s daughter because we need some conflict to move this plot along since it would be too easy to just have it be a normal girl.

In class, Zack Morris tells Slater that all he has to do is keep away from Jennifer and she’ll get the hint and he won’t have to face the consequences of pretending to be a Cal U faculty member. Unfortunately, she’s stalking Zack Morris and shows up at class, which leads to Screech acting like a moron and nearly blowing the lid off Zack Morris’s lies to both Jennifer and Lasky. No one should ever tell Screech anything.

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Back at the student union, Mike threatens to kill a guy allergic to chocolate unless he buys lots of candy bars. Naturally, no one calls the police or file a formal complaint with the dean over this criminal behavior. Yeah, this will be a running gag throughout the episode: that Mike forced everyone at Cal U, including Lasky and the chancellor, to buy candy bars and no one cares about his unethical behavior.

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Meanwhile, Leslie tries to convince Kelly and Alex not to commit the mortal sin of photographing nearly naked men. She changes her mind, though, when Slater shows up and she decides she wants to watch Slater nearly naked.

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Slater suddenly develops modesty, though, and feels used and disgusted when Kelly and Alex first have him take his jacket off and then have him take off his shirt. Also, check out the extras in the background who have apparently never been touched by a man.

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Meanwhile, Slater shows up with his stupid bicycle to be photographed. God, shoot me now…

In Lasky’s office, Zack Morris asks Lasky what he would say if a student wanted to date him.

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He instantly teleports to the student union and tells Jennifer the answer: that it’s unethical for a student to date a professor. Jennifer says it totally makes her horny that Zack Morris is willing to give up love for his ethical principals, and says she’s going to her father first thing in the morning to tell him she’s quitting college so she can have Zack Morris inside her. Yeah, the only thing I can figure is that this is a lazy way of superficially setting up characterization for a later episode.

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Zack Morris decides it’s time to get rid of this psycho girl so, at the movie theater, he has Screech show up to annoy the fuck out of Jennifer, which would normally be a good plan. Unfortunately for him, Screech even manages to fuck up being annoying. Is there nothing that Screech can’t find a way to be an idiot about?

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Lucky for Zack Morris, he has a plan B: have Alex pretend to be his wife. This leads to Jennifer punching Zack Morris and then Alex punching Zack Morris since she’s not far behind Screech in the idiot category, and then a fake pregnant Kelly pushing Zack Morris into an old lady when she turns out to be plan C, and then an old lady punching Zack Morris. For once, I wish this was a plot that centered around Screech. There would be something so cathartic about seeing Screech punched multiple times.

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Back at the suite, the girls finish the calendar and break the news to Screech that he’s stupid and won’t be in the calendar. Also, Slater suddenly doesn’t like having his half naked body lusted after by women because this show doesn’t seem to give a damn about consistently characterizing Slater. Leslie has a solution that will satisfy both Slater and Screech.

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Yeah, somehow having Screech’s face on Slater’s body makes Slater’s body look a hell of a lot less attractive. Also, the girls raised $2,000 while Mike only raised $300, thus meaning the girls won and get to watch lots of stereotypical stuff young adult girls are supposed to watch in the mid-nineties like 90210 and Melrose Place.

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At Lasky’s office, Zack Morris returns books he borrowed to impress Jennifer. Lasky gets a call from the chancellor and starts to head over to his office. Zack Morris confesses that he pretended to be Lasky and Lasky acts pretty mellow for someone whose career could be in jeopardy.

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The chancellor grills Lasky but Lasky doesn’t turn in Zack Morris despite his level of assholery. Jennifer comes in and confirms that’s not the guy she wanted to fuck and the chancellor apologizes to Lasky as Jennifer goes into heat over the real Lasky because anthropology is sexy.

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Zack Morris rushes into the chancellor’s office and confesses to everything, apologizing to Lasky and Jennifer. The chancellor offers to discipline Zack Morris but, since this is Saved by the Bell, Zack Morris’s only punishment is to take Lasky’s place square dancing with senior citizens. Well…isn’t that special…

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Zack Morris is left alone in the chancellor’s office and our episode ends with Zack Morris considering whether to impersonate the chancellor in order to fuck a girl who thinks college chancellors are hot as fuck. And so we go back to the status quo for another week since Zack Morris never faces consequences for his actions.

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During the credits, we get a cut scene of Screech thinking he’s sexy during the photo shoot and more opportunity to see Zack Morris punched in the face.

The New Class Season 4, Episode 17: “Vote Screech”

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It’s a good start to an episode when it begins with Screech not understanding how an elevator works. This is promising when the first few seconds make me wish I were in a coma since obviously I’m supposed to find it hilarious that Screech fails at basic modern life skills.

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Speaking of things I’m supposed to find amusing, Mr. Belding’s dancing for Yukon Yogurt’s new flavor, “Cha Cha Chocolate.” No, really, he’s dancing to a horrible pun. Jesus Christ, I want this episode over already…

So we get our subplot right away: it’s time for the 1996 Presidential Election, the first Screech gets to vote in, and he’s doing his patriotic duty by researching pedantic details about the candidates, such as the catnip the Clintons’ cat prefers. God, this is only two minutes into the episode…

I guess at least they got the detail right about it being Screech’s first presidential election. It’s just too bad he’s going to obsess too much over Bill Clinton and Bob Dole for the next twenty minutes.

It turns out, though, that Mr. Belding is the polling captain, which means he has the completely made-up duty to plan a get-out the vote campaign. Naturally, he places Screech in charge of said campaign since he supports conservative policies and having Screech beg you to vote will make you more likely to support the death penalty.

In our main plot, the Frozen Stiffs are playing a Monday night concert at the club. Yes, the Frozen Stiffs, because the Flaming Twigs were unavailable that night.

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Disaster strikes, though, when the Frozen Stiffs cancel conveniently while the gang are gathered in front of the promotional poster. What has the world come to when we can’t have our Frozen Stiffs?!?! Good thing Ryan, Nicky, Eric, and Katie suddenly have musical abilities and a band so they can save the concert. Rachel and Maria ask to be backup singers and they’re naturally allowed because it moves the plot along.  Also, Maria’s one of only two members of the current gang who have been shown to have musical talent, if you want to call what she has talent.

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So we go directly to practice, where the gang practices the only fake song they know, “I keep falling/head over hills for you.” Something’s off, though, so Ryan has Maria sing alone and she’s good because they dub someone over her who sounds nothing like her normal voice. Rachel’s not so fortunate to have the benefit of the Milli Vanilli treatment so she sucks ass at singing and sounds like she’s not even trying which, knowing Sarah Lancaster, I wouldn’t be surprised if this were the case. The guys go over for a pow wow but no one wants to tell Rachel she sucks ass. I guess we have a main plot!

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Thankfully the main plot is interrupted by Screech coming in to tell them that Mr. Belding has decided to force them into his get out the vote campaign because he wants complete control over their lives even outside school hours. The gang agree to be a part because they figure they have nothing better to do today so why the hell not.

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The result is the gang harassing people in the mall to vote and, rather than telling them to fuck off, they become walking, talking cliches regarding voting, expressing every cynical catch phrase ever such as “My vote doesn’t count” and “It doesn’t matter who’s president” and “big business controls the government.” Oh, god, it’s going to be one of THOSE episodes where we attack an exaggerated stereotype of cynical people.

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The bright side is that Screech tries to do better and gets a woman to place a bumper sticker over his mouth. Maybe it’ll be a permanent addition to his wardrobe and he’ll never be able to speak again.

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Meanwhile, Rachel says she realizes she was off key during practice and says she’ll just sing in a different key. Her different key is worse than the first, though, enough to make windows break and small babies cry. Oh, wait, that was just Screech making small babies cry.

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Speaking of Screech’s relations with people, he angers an old lady who assaults him and pulls his hat through his head. Mr. Belding randomly gives us some statistics about how in the 1992 election, only half the people who could vote did vote. Screech decides it’s time for him to single-handedly make America vote by holding a rally in the mall, because a rally at a Los Angeles mall is sure to completely turn around the entire structure of the political system.

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His plan, of course, is to to go to Jean-Paul’s and dress up as George Washington, because…

Oh, god, why the hell am I even questioning this bull shit?

Ryan tries to tell Rachel she sucks but she mistakes his comments for criticism of Maria in a hilarious misunderstanding. She says it’s a good thing it’s not her because, despite just a few minutes ago realizing she was off, she says it would devastate her to find out she sucks ass.

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Screech has Nicky and Eric pull him through the mall in a boat yelling for people to vote and come to his rally, because seeing an insane man whom the government once mistook for a space alien dressed as George Washington totally makes me want to vote. Why, that’s the first thing I think of when it comes to voting! On the good side, Nicky and Eric “accidentally” toss Screech out of the boat, making him run off.

Ryan tells the rest of the gang he couldn’t bring himself to tell Rachel she sucks ass, but he has a plan that won’t backfire in any way: record Maria singing Rachel’s part and turn off Rachel’s microphone. Because people totally won’t be able to tell that Maria’s singing two parts.

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No one comes to the rally, either because Screech scares people away from doing whatever he does, or because he’s crazy enough to have created “Bill Clinton potato salad ,”  “Bob Dole cole slaw ,” and “Perot pudding.” Yeah, those hideous blobs are supposed to be Clinton and Dole’s heads, because nothing screams divisive politics like sculptures of picnic food.

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Naturally, Rachel catches the gang just as Maria’s recording her tracks with her fake voice. Maria conveniently exposits what they did with Rachel standing behind her, and she runs out devastated that no one told her how much she sucks.

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Mr. Belding and Screech are devastated over the fact that not one person came to their sucky ass rally, saying no one cares. Screech says that there’s no point to any of this so he probably won’t even vote since it will conveniently move the plot along.

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The gang find Rachel in exactly the same place they were in the last scene. She says they should have told her the truth despite her whining earlier and they apologize, saying they still want her in the band despite the fact she has a voice to rival William Hung’s. And thus ends the main plot about Rachel sucking ass at singing five minutes early because we have more important things to do, like convince the youth of America that participating in the political arena is cool.

They find Screech called into work at Yukon Yogurt because he is too depressed over voter apathy. Mr. Belding is the only boss in the world that would work on because he only enforces rules when it matters to the plot. Instead, Mr. Belding gives the gang and the viewers a lesson in civics and why the election matters to them, instantly leading them to think elections kick more ass than the Frozen Stiffs and making them want to do something about the political situation.

The most puzzling thing about this scene is that Mr. Belding establishes for the first time that these mall episodes occur during the summer despite the fact that Nicky has just moved to LA when he got the job at the movie theater. Leave it to The New Class to take the only season whose chronology made sense and make all that continuity go away with two lines. Way to go, guys. Keep reaching for higher and higher levels of suck.

Also, why the fuck is a presidential election happening during the summer? I guess this is a wacky alternate universe where July 4th is election day.

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We cut to the concert where the gang play an instrumental song while Eric claps. Wow…this is just lazy. The writers couldn’t even be bothered to write lyrics. Mr. Belding forces Screech into the club for what turns out to be a two and a half minute video about how awesome voting is as the audience loses their shit over Eric singing. Yeah, no kidding. This is worse than a Tea Party rally when they bring out pandering country music stars. Their concert even has a projected American flag and red, white, and blue balloons dropping from the ceiling because patriotism rocks!

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At the polls, Mr. Belding initially has no one wanting to vote. No, really, no one wants to vote in a presidential campaign. At all. But suddenly the cynical customers come up and tell the gang that their concert convinced them that participating in the democratic process totally kicks ass.  Yeah, some grown ass people decided based on some teenagers’ propaganda that they would shed years of cynicism and vote.

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Screech comes around, too, saying the gang caring about voting made him care again, so he comes to vote.

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And our episode ends with the disturbing realization that Screech now plays a role in determining the future of our country.

Thanks, Peter Engel, for that little putrid pile of propaganda. Can we get back to jealousy and fundraising plots again now?