The New Class Season 5, Episode 8: “Boy II Man”

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We open with plot dump as Eric passes out fliers for the Teen Machine’s open mic night. Maria asks him why the fuck he’s passing out fliers if he doesn’t work there and Eric says he’s going to “win” the open mic night so he can sing there every night. Seems logical to me. Why do I get the feeling the writers of The New Class have never been to an open mic night?

Meanwhile, Liz is freaked out because she’s realized the cookies she’s selling are unhealthy. Yeah, please tell me she’s not supposed to be the smart one now that Rachel’s gone.

And Ryan would rather hangout with Liz than listen to what Nicky says. Okay, at least they’re going slightly back to the characterization we were introduced to two seasons ago.

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And in subplot number three, we find out Mr. Belding continues to spend all his free time at the mall without his wife and son because he’d rather hang out with his idiot administrative assistant and his students. But, more important, the powers that be at the mall have decided Screech is the right person to train a rookie. While you might expect this would stoke his ego, he instead thinks he’s so important he doesn’t have time to train a rookie.

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But his attitude soon changes when he realizes the producers have dressed up an actress to appear as Violet might had she not moved to 90210. This is Lucille, and she’s a kiss ass and thinks it’s so awesome that Screech is a huge idiot she can learn from. And before you go thinking she could be a recurring love interest for Screech, remember: this is The New Class, where we haven’t had a recurring character since season three.

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At the Teen Machine, Eric performs and, predictably, “wins” since the only other person that night is flapping his arms in some semblance of Irish dance. That means he gets to perform at the Teen Machine all week, which is an honor I guess.

But, in the crowd, there’s one man who I think may be too old to be at the Teen Machine. This could be a very special episode on bad touches, or it could be another predictable plot about Eric making it big in the music industry.

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Yes, this is Teddy, a music agent from Fat Town Records, and he wants to offer Eric a music contract. He tells Eric to meet him at the Teen Machine tomorrow for lunch where he’ll tell him what he has to do in order to be a big star.

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The next day, Screech teaches Lucille the ins and outs of “patrolling stores. The owner of The Cookie Jar makes a big deal about wanting to give them free cookies, but Screech reminds Lucille that this is a plot point for their stupid subplots and they can’t accept free food from store owners.

And now it’s time for the episode to take a turn towards crazy-ville. Yes, if ever there was a “so bad it’s good” episode in the vein of “Jessie’s Song” or “Pipe Dreams” for The New Class, this is it.

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See, Liz has suddenly decided she doesn’t want to serve cookies to fat people. This woman, who needs to become a recurring character so she can slap the shit out of our regulars, is none too pleased that Liz has decided to no longer sell cookies. Liz starts insanely rambling about cookies being poison and her boss has to serve the customer to keep her from slapping the shit out of Liz. Her look in the screen shot says it all. And thus ends our “cookies are evil” subplot, although I’m waiting for a very special episode on junk food soon. Seriously, this woman might be my favorite character on this show since Milton and Ron left.

The next day, in the food court, Liz can’t believe she got fired for not selling cookies in a cookie store, and Katie’s all, “You’re insane!” Ryan decided it’s time for their subplots to converge and he pressures Nicky into hiring Liz at Media Mania because there just happens to be an opening when they need it.

Meanwhile, Teddy tells Eric there’s more to being a star than talent, and he’s going to have to reinvent himself to be a star. This is going to include changing his name to “Thug Dog Little” and rapping about raising hell. No, really, they say the word “hell” in the Saved by the Bell franchise. I think this is about as edgy as they’ve ever gotten in this franchise. Yes, Eric is going to be a gangster rapper and, dear god, why do I get the feeling this is going to be gloriously awful?

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Maria tries to give Eric the standard “be yourself” pep speech, but Eric is all, “I want a record contract and I’m going to get it however I have to!”

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Mr. Belding comes to find out how Lucille’s doing and sees Lucille bringing a burrito to Screech, because that’s the sort of training he’s supposed to be doing. Lucille proves she’s been learning from Screech, though, by acting insane at the possibility of Mr. Belding carrying a drink into a store.

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At Media Mania, Ryan doesn’t want to listen to Nicky because he’d rather hang out with Liz. He, quite literally, pushes Nicky around, and Nicky fires Ryan for being a dumb ass. He runs out, yelling about how he’ll find a better job and fuck all you fools!

In the food court, Ryan reveals to Katie he can’t find a job, and Katie’s only role this episode seems to be moving subplots along so she  suggests he go to the Cookie Jar and get Liz’s old job.

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And, yeah, he gets to work making cookies.

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And Lucille forgot her wallet and accepts a free cookie. Screech runs away and loses his mind as he decides how this horrible crime should be punished.

And now it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the debut of Thug Dog Little.

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And dear god it’s gloriously awful. So awful you must view it for yourself.

This is what white people in their eighties from the suburbs think gangster rap is like, because when I think of the great gangster rappers like Snoop Dogg and Tupac, I think of my parents riding my case and dropping out of school.  Yeah, Thug Dog Little is so rebellious! I’m so scandalized!

It’s scary, but this makes Vanilla Ice suddenly not seem like such a poser by comparison. Yeah, Teddy really knows what the hip teenagers want. Why do I suspect the only reason they cast Teddy as an African-American was so we didn’t accuse the writers of being horribly racist here.

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Back at the food court, Screech reveals he knows Lucille took the cookie and he has to turn her in for this horrible crime.

Liz sees Ryan running to the Cookie Jar and, as official plot-mover-alonger, Katie lets her know that Ryan’s working there now.

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And Mr. Belding takes time out of his day to get away from the family and lecture Eric on saying the “hell” word. Eric’s all, “But I need a contract!” Mr. Belding kindly delivers the moral of the episode: to be yourself and promote the things you like, which will be a huge wake-up call for Jessie, who’s no doubt still stripping in Vegas. But Eric’s not having any of this because Thug Dog Little has a record contract!

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Liz confronts Ryan at the Cookie Jar and tries to get him to just apologize to Nicky for being an idiot. Ryan doesn’t want to until his boss comes out and chews him out for putting two extra chocolate chips in a cookie, prompting Ryan to quit because we’re all now sure there’s narcotics in these cookies making people who work there do crazy shit.

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A random white kid tells Eric that he loved Thug Dog Little’s performance and that his gangster rap really spoke to him, convincing him to drop out of high school and drift pointlessly. Eric suddenly realizes his lame version of gangster rap may overly influence stupid white people who don’t know not to do something just because it’s in a song, and he has a decision to make.

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At the Teen Machine, it’s time for subplot resolution as Lucille says she was reprimanded and has a spot on her record, but she’s happy Screech set an idiotic example she can follow. So, when Maria gives Screech a free fruit punch, Lucille drags Screech off to be reprimanded for violating the rules. Good, it’s about time Screech had some consequences for something, even if they are stupid.

And Ryan apologizes to Nicky and ask for his job back. Nicky’s all, “Sure!”And our pointless subplots are wrapped up without any long-term consequences for anyone. Well, except for Liz not working for the Cookie Jar anymore, but now she can be closer to Ryan so the writers can force them together.

Eric comes out on stage, having ditched the Thug Dog Little shit, and raps about staying in school, because this episode just keeps getting more and more ridiculous.

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Teddy asks Eric what the fuck he’s doing and Eric tells him he has to be himself and rap about what he wants to. Teddy is all, “No contract for you!,” and our episode ends with Eric being all proud and shit that he refused to give into the dark side of gangster rap made by the most white bread people ever.

Oh my lord. Was I high for the last twenty minutes? Gangster rap and non-nutritious cookies. It’s like God’s telling me, “Don’t worry. The next year will have some ridiculous bright sides.”

3 responses to “The New Class Season 5, Episode 8: “Boy II Man”

  1. WeirwoodTreeHugger

    I’ve seen people in real life suggest that fast food restaurants turn away fat people. So, Liz’s behavior is appalling but not that unrealistic.

    I’ll have to try and listen to Thug Dog later. Raps written by white TV show writers in the 90s crack my shit up. There was a good one on Clarissa Explains it All too.

  2. ILovedKellyKapowski

    I’m on Liz’s side, that black woman was grossly obese, and could have skipped a few cookies. She should be thanking Liz for saving her from a heart attack. In addition, people like that add to everyone else’s rising health care costs. It’s not right. Kudos to Liz for standing up for her principles!

    And Liz isn’t refusing to sell cookies to everyone. She is only turning away fat customers. Yes, that is technically discrimination, but there is a greater purpose to focus on.

  3. Actually, on the original series, Mr. Belding tells Jessie: “Hell I wanted to marry Christy Brinkley, but it didn’t happen.”

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