The New Class Season 5, Episode 4: “Football & Physics”

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We open with Screech apparently believing it’s five years ago and he’s a student at Bayside. I can only assume he’s lost what little bit of sanity he may have been desperately holding onto and is simply going through an automated process of what was, no doubt, the only time in his life he wasn’t a complete outcast.

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No, that would actually be semi-interesting and finally explain shit about Screech’s insanity. No, he’s put an ironing board in the locker and is using it as his desk. No fucking joke.  So we immediately get his subplot: he wants some space of his own, but Mr. Belding tells him they don’t have enough space for the dumb ass to have an office. He agrees, though, to give Screech a corner of his office until they figure out something more permanent, which I’m sure won’t backfire at all with the world’s most incompetent administrator.

The more urgent questions, though, is: Is that Lisa on the ironing board? Is Screech seriously hoping Lisa will return to him and marry him? Fucking hell, this is psychotic bull shit right there. Someone call her and tell her to take out a restraining order. Now.

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Meanwhile, Eric runs into Mr. Belding after catching a football. Yes, Eric’s still the only football player in the cast so you just know that, with football in the title, this episode is going to revolve around him. That’s not very comforting considering how I felt about his episodes last season.

In this episode, Ryan and Nicky are helping Eric practice in the middle of the hallway hoping to be a starter. He says the new coach is giving him extra special love and attention for his football game so he’s all fired up. Mr. Belding tells him to take the practice outside like a normal person and then brags to Screech that’s how you handle misbehavior, not with detention or any such nonsense for potentially hurting someone.

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And, with that, it’s time to find out the girls’ subplot for the week. To sum it up: Rachel’s awesome and Liz sucks ass. Yes, throughout the episode, we have to listen as Maria and Katie talk about how awesome Rachel was and how they wish she’d move back and how much better she was in bed than Liz. In this case, they miss Rachel for shopping because Liz has never been in a mall in her life, even though she was in the very first episode this season. Every time The New Class tries to have consistent chronology, they take a couple steps back. Also, what the fuck is up with Katie suddenly liking shopping despite how much whining she did last season when Rachel and Maria started bragging about their expensive purchases. God, it’s like a dog with ADHD.

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In the locker room, we meet Coach Wagner, who’s busy giving his team a pep talk about the game against Central. Don’t worry: this game will have absolutely no bearing on the plot beyond this scene except for a brief scene at half time. He also reminds his players they have to keep their grades up to play on the team.

After the rest of the team leaves, the coach tells Eric he’s starting wide receiver against Central. Coach says Eric earned it since he’s the most unbelievable football star in the history of the sport, but he hopes it’s not for nothing since he saw Eric is taking physics, which is a hard subject he’s sure Eric won’t be able to handle. He suggests Eric drop Physics so he doesn’t jeopardize his chances on the team and asks Eric to at least think about it, thus giving us our main conflict for the episode.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, we discover Screech took what little space Mr. Belding gave him and put a fucking plant in the middle of it, because that makes complete sense. And Screech acts as insane as can be expected, insisting Mr. Belding call him on the phone and then letting it go to voice mail, all the while flirting with Mr. Belding. God, why does Mr. Belding put up with Screech year after year?

In physics, the class is super hard on the first day and the boys don’t know how they’re going to pass.

And, in the hallway, Liz sucks at shopping apparently as someone stole a dress Maria wanted, so she sucks ass and Rachel rocked.

The boys come out and Eric tells everyone he’s thinking of dropping the class to make sure he can stay eligible for football. Maria tells him he’s great at science, which, I thought, was Nicky since he was the one who was good at astronomy. So much for consistency.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Screech is getting more ridiculous with the office, as is to be expected, even trying to order wallpaper. And now it’s time for you, the viewer, to experience the most terrifying Screech one liner on the face of the planet.

God, if I heard that sound in real life, I would run as fast as I could.

Eric comes in and has Mr. Belding sign his drop form, surprising Mr. Belding but surprising me even more that you need the signature of the principal at Bayside to drop a class. I’m beginning to think that Mr. Belding and Screech really are the only administrators at this school. Eric says he’s sure and Mr. Belding signs the form.

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In the hallway, though, Eric finds out that Coach Wagner didn’t advise his son, who’s also in the physics class, to drop the class as well. No, really, this guy is the son of the guy playing Coach Wagner. I’m sure, with his acting, there’s no other way he would have gotten this gig. Eric’s immediately suspicious as evident by the look on his face.

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Liz continues to suck as she’s not good at giving Maria advice on what to do about Nicky’s sucky cologne. Well, that was a thrilling foray.

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Eric asks Coach Wagner why he didn’t tell his son to drop the class and the coach says he’s more the physics type and shit. Eric just needs to not worry his little head over physics. Ryan and Nicky come in and Eric declares that there’s only one reason Coach Wagner would tell Eric to drop the class and not his son: racism!

Whoa, whoa, whoa, there, The New Class! I was actually taken aback on my first viewing when I got to this point. I would be the first to call out racism on this franchise and I have on quite a few occasions in the past. This is not one of them, though! They have not established racism yet! That’s not the only reason! It could just be that Coach Wagner’s son sucks ass at football and he’s selfishly trying to make sure Eric stays eligible based on his past experience with physics! Jesus, the one time this franchise tries to tackle racism and they prove they don’t understand it! How surprising from the show that dressed Screech up as a Jamaican last season to defraud a DJ out of tickets to an awards show!

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Screech continues to go overboard on the whole office thing, as he does.

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He even brings a student in to be his personal assistant because history shows that, if you give Screech even a little space, he tries to take the whole house!

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Mr. Belding tells Screech that sharing the office isn’t working and they need to go back to normal. Screech sulks out of the office, disappointed on being called out on his bull shit. More disturbing, though: I think that’s a picture of Zack Morris on his desk. I’m really beginning to think Screech has no life outside Bayside and is still pining for his days as a student. Would it really surprise you if he had no friends in his adult years? I mean, it wouldn’t really be that different from Dustin Diamond’s life.

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At The Max, it’s time for the football kick off party, which I’m pretty sure is just some made up shit to give us some chance to have some more tension between Coach Wagner and Eric. But, first, Nicky’s cologne still sucks ass, and Screech whines about not having his own office.

Meanwhile, Eric randomly asks another black football player if he’s taking trigonometry this semester. The player tells him that Coach Wagner convinced him to drop the class since it is hard, and Eric decides that he’s right about Coach Wagner being racist. I’d say that’s circumstantial evidence but it’s still not clear cut this is racism. Two people is hardly a big sample. But we’re going to assume it’s a definitive establishment of racism because The New Class is too lazy to do a good job at anything.

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Maria and Katie make fun of Liz for not having perfume in her purse, telling her, again, how much she sucks compared to Rachel. Liz loses it and tells them she didn’t join the cast of this show to be compared to a character who had inconsistent characterization and was defined by men for three of the four seasons she was on the show. She marches out, leaving Maria and Katie wondering what crawled up her ass.

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Eric tries to duck out before Coach Wagner can introduce him, but he’s too late.

At halftime of the Central game, Coach Wagner tries to figure out what’s wrong with Eric since he dropped three passes. Eric smarts off to Coach Wagner and the coach puts Eric off the team.

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In the hallway, Maria and Katie randomly have Nicky take a picture of them with Liz. They use this opportunity to apologize to Liz for comparing her to Rachel and tell her that, just like the picture, it’s the three of them now and, though Liz will never measure up to Rachel, they’re just going to have to put up with her.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Eric comes to get a slip signed to add physics again. Finding Screech is the closest thing to a competent adult there, he tells Screech an adult did something mildly shitty to him  and he has to decide what to do. Screech tells him that, even if it’s hard, he has to confront adults when they do wrong despite the way we’ve seen Bayside’s faculty abuse their authority in the past.  Also, Screech randomly brings up the incident with Mr. Belding and the desk, saying he went too far.

Mr. Belding overhears and signs Eric’s slip. After Eric leaves, Mr. Belding tells Screech he’s sure they’ll figure out something about space. Screech proceeds to immediately take things too far and knocks shit off Mr. Belding’s desk after taking it over. Nice to know Screech will never have a semblance of sanity in this series.

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Eric confronts Coach Wagner and, though the coach is immediately resistant to the idea he’s racist, Eric convinces him and they kiss and make up, the coach telling Eric he never intended to make Eric lose faith in himself. Coach Wagner vows he’ll make it up to Eric, though he’ll never be seen again.

But, more important, we find out that Space Camp definitely happened during the previous summer as it’s one of the reasons Eric cites that he can handle physics. Well, guess Ryan was exaggerating a bit about how long he had to save himself for Rachel since she couldn’t possibly have moved to Boston until late summer due to being at Space Camp! God, that was two episodes ago and this season can’t keep track of what it’s already established. Does the show consciously realize how big of assholes they make their characters out to be?

vlcsnap-2016-01-03-18h49m26s46In any case, our episode ends with Eric celebrating for single-handedly ending racism in the span of a minute and a half, because The New Class does special episodes the way they do everything: half-assed.

3 responses to “The New Class Season 5, Episode 4: “Football & Physics”

  1. ILovedKellyKapowski

    I think it’s amusing how Eric thinks Coach Wagner is a racist, when Eric himself only dates black girls. (Talk about the pot calling the kettle, well, you know …)

    Also, is this the only Eric-centric episode that doesn’t involve him wanting to get into a girl’s panties?

    On a darker note, it seems that black people are the most willingly to call others racist (whether it’s true or not) in order to further their own agenda. (Johnny Cochran, I’m talking about you too!) Eric, way to propagate this stereotype!

    Accusing someone of being racist (or any other prejudice) is a serious accusation, and needs to be backed up by solid evidence. It could seriously ruin a person’s career and life (i.e. Mark Fuhrman). If I were Coach Wagner, I would sue Bayside for slander and defamation.

    Finally, I find Eric to be a good physics student about as much as I believe he’s Bayside’s greatest football star since Slater. From what I can see, he only has 2 interests: singing and girls. But whatever!

  2. Is it me, or the more I see Eric, the more I see Wallace from Veronica Mars???

    Seems like their the same character. Kind of like how Professor Lasky was the less slimeball version of his professor character on Veronica Mars.

  3. You know a character (Liz) is bad when even the show itself talks about how they’re not as good as the person they replaced LOL

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