Monthly Archives: March 2016

The New Class Season 5, Episode 12: “Secrets and Liz”

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We open to find the writers have suddenly remembered that Maria had her own talk show a time or two before, so they decide to finally do something else with it. And our opening segment is Screech gluing himself to a board because nothing says high quality television like a complete moron engaging in antics that make me yearn for the comedy genius of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.

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Meanwhile, Katie is shocked to discover Eric kissing his newest one episode romance, and the look on her face makes me think she’s never seen a kiss before in her life. Katie’s mad that Eric’s superfluous romance is getting in the way of his duties as yearbook photographer, but Eric just thinks Katie needs to get laid as no guy has touched her since Nicky dumped her.

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And, speaking of our resident womanizer, we find Nicky trying to cock block Ryan’s attempts at a date with Liz. He’s unsuccessful, though, and the two are set to see a movie. Now, I didn’t comment on this too much last week, but Nicky’s attempts to move in on a girl Ryan’s already actively dating are pretty dickish. If this is an attempt to recreate the Zack Morris/Slater romance over Kelly, they’re failing miserably and just making me think Nicky’s a fucking asshole.

Nicky reveals to Eric that he likes Liz and Eric’s all, “You know Ryan’s going to get her. Why are you even trying?” Nicky decides he just needs a good first date to impress Liz and she’ll come running  to him.

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Mr. Belding brings a letter to Maria from Cool TV, which I assume is a television network in the Scooby-Doo universe. Maria says she wrote to them suggesting they need a teen talk show and, since network executives always respond to unsolicited pitches, they wrote back saying they’re sending someone to see Maria’s talk show. Why do I get the idea this is how The New Class got most of its story pitches: high teenagers writing in asking for episodes on herbal supplements and gangster rap?

Liz butts in and asks Maria if she’ll ask the Cool TV producers for Smashing Pumpkins tickets, because nothing says Smashing Pumpkin fan to me more than the preppy Christian girl look Liz exudes. This serves no real purpose other than to let Nicky overhear that Liz likes the Smashing Pumpkins and he decides he has to get tickets so he can take her on a date.

In Mr. Belding’s office, Mr. Belding decides he’s going to have a minor subplot and tells Screech he wants to go on Maria’s show to help her. Since the plot demands it, Screech is horrified that Mr. Belding won’t look cool, but decides to go through with it anyway so he can have something to do the next fifteen minutes. He basically threatens Maria to cut off her show unless she agrees to put him on, and she reluctantly agrees, saying this better not ruin her chances of meeting Shaggy and Velma.

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Nicky approaches one of the infamous The New Class students who’s way too old to still be a student, looking for Smashing Pumpkins tickets. The guy, whose name is…Bongo…

Bongo…Bongo…what the fuck, The New Class? Why did you give a character a name that makes him sound like a character from a talking dog film? Did the writers lose their book of baby names that day and decided Bongo sounded realistic enough? I mean, shit…

In any case, Bongo…god, I hate that name…tells Nicky to fuck off because he’s taking his girlfriend to the Smashing Pumpkins since they’re cool and the hip kids are into them and stuff. He sees Ryan and Liz laughing and tells Eric he’s determined to get those tickets because he needs some vagina that’s not connected to Katie or Maria.

The representative from Cool TV shows up and seems normal enough, ready to witness the excitement that is Maria’s talk show.

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Screech convinces random extras to laugh hilariously when he touches his nose. Naturally, he hides behind a plant in direct line of sight of the camera and is never seen by anyone because people in this universe are fucking blind when it’s convenient to the plot.

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This has the effect of the audience roaring with laughter at Mr. Belding’s stupid jokes as Maria wonders if she wandered onto the set of America’s funniest Home Videos.

Katie and Eric are on next to talk about some stupid shit with the yearbook, but they end up getting involved in some Jerry Springer-like shit regarding Eric’s one episode romance, or it would be Jerry Springer-like shit if Jerry Springer existed in the world of Barney and Friends. No, Katie isn’t jealous. She just wants Eric to stop having a romantic life and devout all his time to the gang like he usually does. This results in everyone throwing fits and running off set.

Maria thinks her big chance is gone, but the network exec tells her that she likes Maria’s Jerry Springer-light bull shit and tells her she’s bringing her boss to the next show. If Maria can keep up this semblance of drama and conflict, she could get a contract!

 

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In the hallway, Nicky convinces Bongo to sell him the Smashing Pumpkins ticket by getting the old janitor to say he likes them because personal taste in music means nothing if old people like the same things you do. Bongo says he’ll meet Nicky at The Max later with the tickets. By the way, no joke, the janitor is played by the studio teacher because they apparently wanted to reward him for putting up with bull shit all these years.

Maria overhears and gets Eric to tell her the dirt: that Nicky likes Liz and wants to take her to the Smashing Pumpkins concert. She walks off, contemplating how this figures into her plot.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Mr. Belding is distressed to learn that Screech doesn’t think he’s cool, so we get a scene of the most uncool person in the world trying to teach Mr. Belding how to be cool. Jesus Fucking Christ. It’s like they turned on the camera and just told Dustin Diamond to do stupid shit.

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At The Max, Bongo comes in dressed as a rodeo clown looking for Nicky. He tells Ryan about the tickets and Ryan gives Bongo the money, saying he’ll give the tickets to Nicky. After a screen wipe, Nicky comes in and Ryan tells him Bongo decided not to sell the tickets after all, devastating Nicky. What the hell is the plan? For all Ryan knows, Nicky planned on taking him to the concert. Why does he automatically assume they’re for Liz? And, all the while, Maria’s been listening in nearby.

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On the set of the talk show, Maria’s convinced Ryan and Liz to come on the talk show together as the captains of the swim teams, because the writers remembered Ryan’s a swim team captain, too.

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We’re unfortunately treated to Screech’s makeover of Mr. Belding into a cool guy, and this just convinces me, once again, that Screech wouldn’t know cool if i sucked his dick.

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With the Cool TV execs watching, Maria dishes the dirt on Ryan, Nicky, and Liz, leaving Liz either uncomfortable or in need of using the restroom and Ryan and Nicky mildly angry at each other.

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In the hallway, Maria’s psyched the execs want to give her a show, and the whole gang’s mad at her for her little Ricki Lake bullshit.

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Mr. Belding takes Maria aside to tell her he’s cancelling her show for being all tabloid and shit and to give her a little special talk about not hurting people to get big as everyone walks away from her.

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In Cool TV’s office (I’m actually impressed their office isn’t a redressing of the bedroom or classroom set), the execs tell her they want lots more Jerry Springer and less Oprah. They tell her they’re going to make her the queen of sensationalism, if The New Class knew what sensationalism was.

At The Max, the execs throw a party to celebrate and film a promo spot for the new show, but Maria says she can’t go through with the Jerry Springer shit and would rather be Oprah, and, if that means she doesn’t get a deal, she’s out.

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Maria apologizes to the gang and says she learned the lesson of the episode: don’t try to create a Jerry Springer-like show that dishes out running plots for the show. They accept her apology, but there’s still one unanswered question.

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And our episode ends without answering it, as Liz is left to contemplate what this all means for her future on the show since she is, after all, a glorified prop to be fought over by Ryan and Nicky at this point.

The New Class Season 5, Episode 11: “Friends Behaving Badly”

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We open in Mr. Belding’s office where the gang are bummed to find out that Bayside is in the middle of one of its many budget shortfalls so the six of them won’t be able to take the annual ski trip only people in the opening credits can take. Uh, Screech’s grandfather owns a ski lodge and is indebted to the gang for its continued existence. You could at least make it something they won’t be able to get around rather.

Yes, this is your standard fundraising episode, except this time we’re going to have a “country fair,” whatever the fuck that is, as the writers of this show are really running out of ideas for believable events the gang can put on for their many fundraising needs. Nicky’s going to organize and the rest of the gang agree to help except for Liz because suddenly swimming makes her too busy to help but not too busy to have a part-time job. Also, shouldn’t this shit be an issue for Ryan, too? Oh, I forgot, it’s not convenient to the plot.

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In the hallway, Liz expresses worry because she’s never skied. Ryan assures her that he’ll teach her since he wants a piece of that Liz action sometime this season. After she walks away, Eric reminds Ryan that they both suck at skiing so they vow to practice before the trip.

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And now meet our subplot, the new French teacher, Ms. LaGrange, and I honestly don’t know whether she’s a bad actress or doing a horrible French accent as there’s very little information about her on IMDB. The running gag is that Ms. LaGrange thinks Mr. Belding is a hunk of burning love.

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Naturally, Mr. Belding tries to impress her with his grasp of French and talks about how he wants her pussy on his head. After he leaves, Screech starts convincing himself that people can’t find each other attractive without wanting to jump in bed with each other. Now, normally, I would be on Screech’s side here as nine times out of ten this would be a “evil teacher trying to get our character to cheat” plot. This is the tenth time, though, where we’re just going to do stupid innuendo and misdirection.

Nicky gives the rest of the gang scripts for an advertisement where they all come out of the bathroom at The Max in costume and sing “Old MacBelding had a Fair.” I’m not sure I want to know what Old MacBelding does on that farm. They agree to learn the script but then quickly get distracted by shit involving the ski trip.

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Mr. Belding asks Ms. LaGrange for something sexy to say to his wife in French. As Screech watches from nearby, Ms. LaGrange teaches him to say the equivalent of, “I love you, my little cabbage,” which I’m sure will go over well if they’re planning on taking a date to a farmer’s market.

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Naturally, Screech jumps to conclusions as we go into a dream sequence where Mr. Belding is dressed as a horrible French caricature and planning on running off to Paris with each other. It’s nice to know that, no matter the nationality, we’ll always have Saved by the Bell to be insensitive. Screech decides it’s up to him to prevent Mr. Belding from leaving the show prematurely.

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At The Max, Liz discovers the rest of the gang has completely forgotten about Nicky’s stupid script because they’re ADHD and completely forgot about anything they’re not doing in that very moment.

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Nicky shows up dressed as a guy from Deliverance and talks about being a farmer before he starts singing, causing everyone present to cringe in disgust. Nicky runs off, asking people to come to the country fair.
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Back at Bayside, everyone apologizes to Nicky for not dressing up as country caricatures. They apologize and promise to do better.

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In Ryan and Nicky’s room, Maria and Katie show up with…a goat…

Yeah, in this universe you can apparently rent goats.  They give Nicky the goat and run off, leaving him to take the goat outside so it doesn’t shit in the house. What a shitty situation.

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While Nicky’s gone, Ryan and Eric spend all of ten seconds on deciding to do a potato puppets booth and then start jumping on the trampolines from “Jessie’s Song” with skis on because this somehow helps them practice skiing.

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At The Max, Screech runs in to interrupt what he assumes must be hot hamburger fetish time between Mr. Belding and Ms. LaGrange to do things that he hopes will turn Ms. LaGrange off to Mr. Belding, like imply that he needs a hearing aid or that it’s his seventieth birthday. Okay, so old people are now unattractive in the Saved by the Bell universe, joining the long line of people considered ugly including the fat, the disabled, and the intelligent. I’m sorry but being old in and of itself does not make you ugly. Look at Ian McKellen or Judi Dench. Of course, Saved by the Bell relies on horrible stereotypes so there’s no questioning Mr. Belding’s unatractiveness.

Liz comes in and tells Nicky he needs to stop letting the rest of the gang take advantage of him and make them do some of the work. Nicky instantly decides he may need to as the goat, which he left outside, apparently electrocutes itself as it chews through the electrical lines of The Max.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Nicky tells Mr. Belding they’re not ready for the fair because no one wants to do any shit. The others lose their shit that Nicky would demand anything out of them so Mr. Belding says he’s cancelling the fair and the ski trip until they pull things together at the last minute as usual.

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In the hallway, Screech overhears Mr. Belding telling Ms. LaGrange that he can get her the book she wants, A Ticket to Paris. He doesn’t hear that it’s a book and starts freaking the hell out thinking his fantasy sequence is coming true so we can keep up the subplot fake tension and Screech has the opportunity to do stupid shit.

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Meanwhile, the gang are mad that Nicky didn’t just want to do shit for them but Liz tells them they’re a bunch of fucking morons who didn’t do shit. They instantly agree with him and go to tell Nicky they’re sorry. They ask for another chance and say that they’ll convince Mr. Belding to give them another chance and that they’ll do the work this time.

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So we get a montage of corn shucking in The Max. That can’t be good for hygiene or business. Does this place never get health inspectors?

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Next we see the girls laugh like morons because Katie accidentally painted Maria’s face.  How quaint.

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Finally, we see them set up a…cow milking station? What the hell kind of fair is this going to be? Because I like to pay to squeeze milk out of a balloon. At least I hope that it’s a balloon.

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Also, the goat’s apparently not dead and walks through the hallway advertising the fair because…why the hell not?

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And, with that, it’s time for the country fair, where people are really confused what stereotype they’re supposed to be representing. It seems we have a barbershop quartet singer and a salsa dancer joining in.

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Nicky thanks Liz for talking some sense into his idiot friends and tells her he appreciates that she’s the only one at Bayside he can actually count on.

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Our subplot wraps up as Screech dresses like a gypsy woman tries to convince Ms. LaGrange that he and Mr. Belding had a pig baby together. No, really, that’s a pig in the blanket because what this episode was lacking was more farm animals. Mr. Belding comes up and Screech begs them not to run off to Paris together.

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Just then, Ms. LaGrange’s husband walks up and they go away embrassed Screech apologizes and Mr. Belding tells him the moral of this subplot is, “Don’t be a fucking dumb ass and poke your nose into your boss’s affairs.”

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Our gang discover they’ve raised enough money for the six of them to go on the ski trip because fuck everyone else at Bayside. It’s a good thing the students at this school are so willing to go along with our gang’s every whim so they can have a magical high school experience.

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And our episode ends with a dumb struck Ryan finding out that Nicky wants to date Liz, because apparently we’re bringing back the rivalry running plot after all. Isn’t it nice to know this show will never have a original idea?

Firsts: Nicky likes Liz, rivalry over Liz.

The New Class Season 5, Episode 10: “Her Brother’s Keeper”

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We sure are at the mall a lot this season, and we’re there again this week as Ryan, Nicky, and Liz, our Media Mania employees, talk about a movie trivia contest the store is sponsoring where the grand prize is a…jet ski? This must be one hell of a trivia contest,  with super hard questions that will stump. Of course not! This is The New Class we’re talking about!

In any case, Ryan wants to win that jet ski but Nicky reminds him that employees of Media Mania are disqualified. Ryan says that never stopped him before, which should be a sign for Nicky to watch out for a half-baked scheme, but when did characters on this show ever show common sense?

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Speaking of lack of common sense, we see our resident idiot being fired upon by a little girl with a water gun, which just warms my heart to see that even small children can’t stand his incompetence. His boss calls him to go look for a raccoon, because that’s what’s truly important in a security gig…

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…and Screech quite literally runs into Mr. Belding carrying a bunch of report cards. Mr. Belding’s pissed off that Screech has been negligent in his duties at school, and the stack of report cards were supposed to have been sent off already. In any case, this is the first indication we’ve had that any of the mall episodes take place on a weekday. Geez, the second episode in two seasons about a realistic portrayal of time management. Let me guess: they’re going to contradict each other, aren’t they? Also, was mailing the report cards something only Screech could do, to the point it required Mr. Belding to immediately go to the mall and chew Screech out?

We also get our A plot: Maria’s going to help her little brother, Tino, find a job.  Katie and Eric think that’s a bad idea as Tino’s a huge slacker, but Maria’s all, “But he’s my brother and stuff!”

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And Tino does show up an hour late looking dressed for a Nirvana concert. Maria decides to take Tino to get some nice clothes, and, by the next scene, he’s already been turned down for a job at a sporting goods store because he asked about extra days off before he even got the job.

Tino’s played by actor Harley Rodriguez, who was fresh off starring in Sweet Valley High. More recently, though, you may have seen him on The Amazing Race. Strange enough, I think The Amazing Race is a step up over the garbage he’s been in.

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The next stop is the Cookie Jar, where Maria coaches Tino within earshot of the manager. Fortunately, he has selective hearing so he doesn’t hear about how Tino’s already screwed up.  Despite the fact we know Liz had no previous work experience before she worked there, the manager is uneasy about Tino never having had a job before. Yeah, a cookie store is a place that can be choosy about who they hire because lots of people with experience want to work there. Maria  charms the manager, who hires Tino, figuring he can’t be any worse than the girl who didn’t realize cookies were unhealthy.

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At Media Mania, we find out Liz sucks at writing trivia questions since every one involves swimming. Swimming is to Liz what New York was to Nicky last season, isn’t it? Funny enough, Liz’s question about what stroke the swimmer in Jaws was performing when she was attacked is better than the stuff they actually come up with. Don’t worry: after this scene, this plays no further role in the episode. Yay for time wasting!

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Ryan and Eric commiserate over the jetski and suddenly realize Ryan could get Eric to enter and Ryan will help him cheat because that sort of plot wasn’t obvious based on earlier comments by Ryan.

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And Screech now sucks at two jobs as he’s writing a budget for Bayside while an alarm goes off in the mall. I’m pretty sure that’s the principal’s job and, at most, the administrative assistant would type and proofread it but who cares about making sense!

Maria and Katie visit Tino at the Cookie Jar…

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…and find that he’s burned them because he didn’t use a timer. The manager’s pissed that yet another person in this universe is incompetent and decides he’s finished with these people and their family members, firing Tino. Admittedly, that is a bit of an overreaction for a first offense on the first day, but what do you expect in the Saved by the Bell universe.

Maria tells Tino not to worry as, since she’s assistant manager at the Teen Machine, she’ll pull some strings and get him a job there.

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In the food court, Maria pulls Tino away from a girl to tell him that his new job starts tonight. We’re supposed to believe Tino’s a slacker because he already wants time off to spend it with the girl, which feels so forced considering the shit this franchise has pulled over the years involving jobs.

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It turns out the trivia contest is actually a paper test you take with you and turn in because that wouldn’t encourage people to cheat. Ryan pretty much fills out the quiz for Eric since he’s apparently an idiot when it comes to pop culture trivia. And they’re stupid easy questions like, “Who played the villain in the first Batman film?” and “In which movie did Alicia Silverstone play a rich Beverly Hills teenager?”

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Mr. Belding shows back up at the mall to chew Screech out for the Bayside budget, which lists his salary as $13.00 a week. He tells Screech that he’s going to have to redo the budget. He also has to get back to Bayside so he can monitor detention. Wait…when does Bayside hold detention? Does Screech just randomly leave his job at Bayside to do shit at the mall? If the writers had given a moment’s thought to the chronology of this episode, it could have actually been good and made a valid point, but I’m so distracted by how little sense this subplot makes that I’m losing the point.

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And, after Mr. Belding leaves, Screech brings in some students and tells them detention is in the movie theater today. I…I can’t even. This is the guy that was so valuable to Bayside last season Valley wanted to steal him away.

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At the Teen Machine, Tino breaks a lot of glasses, prompting Maria’s new manager for the episode to wonder how she got into this stupid show. The manager tells Tino to get to work slicing new  fruit for that night and toss out the old stuff. Tino tells himself the old fruit still looks good and walks off with it, leading the studio audience to have a “uh oh” reaction.

There is something I’ve been wondering this season. There was an episode last season about how Maria couldn’t take the assistant manager job at the Teen Machine because she couldn’t manage her time with the job. Yet, she’s suddenly the assistant manager again and working weekdays. It’s nice that the writers haven’t forgotten their usual inconsistency that I’ve come to expect out of this series.

At Media Mania, Nicky announces a three way tie with Eric and two other customers. Well, no wonder. You made the quiz so easy to pass and cheat on that anyone who has access to even late nineties internet could win. As such, they will have a special tri.ia play-off to decide who wins the jet ski.

Eric’s initially not worried because he suddenly forgot he’s an idiot with trivia but Ryan reminds him. Ryan decides he’s going to find a way for Eric to win because that’s not the Ryan way.

Mr. Belding corners Screech and says he saw the detention students in the theater. He tells Screech that he’s tired of this incompetence and Screech is going to have to choose between jobs. Oh, please let him pick the security guard! At least that way he won’t be in as many episodes!

At the Teen Machine, Ryan shows Eric a bunch of equipment he’s going to use to win the trivia contest. See, they’re going to watch movies all night long on four VCRs, because that’s a great way to learn shit.

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Suddenly, everyone’s getting sick off the punch. The manager realizes instantly that it’s spoiled fruit and fires Tino for not throwing out the old stuff as instructed. She also fires Maria because apparently, in this universe, assistant managers are always responsible for their employees’ actions. I’m pretty sure that’s a wrongful termination suit right there, but, once again, we don’t give a damn about realism on this show so what the hell.

In the food court, Maria tells Katie she can’t believe the manager just fired her after working there so long. She also says she feels sorry for Tino because he was fired twice in a day. Katie tells Maria that Tino is a fuck up and not to feel sorry for him. Katie tells Maria that she enables Tino by getting him jobs and then making excuses for him, because you should never try to help your screw-up relatives, ever. What a great moral for the week!

Ryan quizzes Eric on trivia, starting with the name of the Jedi master who trained Luke Skywalker. I would have said Obi Wan Kenobi but they were apparently looking for Yoda. Something tells me the writers don’t know much about Star Wars to pick an ambiguous questions. In any case, Ryan doesn’t know either answer, making him hopeless about his chances at winning. Ryan says he’ll think of a plan to cheat and shit.

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Maria confronts an air drumming Tino and tells him she can’t help him any more. He’s a fuck up and she’s going to follow the moral of the episode: never help people. She leaves to find another job, leaving Tino doing some nice emoting.

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Screech ultimately decides to stay at Bayside, unfortunately for me, but not before he makes a big deal about wanting to keep the uniform. Mr. Belding tells him to just shut the fuck up and end this pointless subplot that hasn’t gone anywhere this season.

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At Media Mania, Ryan implements his plan of transmitting the answers to Eric via a radio. Unfortunately for him, the radio interferes with Screech’s, and Screech just happens to be having a competent moment. In his last act as security guard, Screech exposes Ryan and Eric cheating and they’re disqualified. And Screech takes the two of them off to mall jail, ending that subplot. Shouldn’t Ryan be fired for suborning cheating? I guess we’ll see if Media Mania is ever mentioned again.

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Tino finds Maria and apologizes for being a fuck up. He says he convinced her manager to give her job back because we’re just hitting the reset button after this one.  He promises that, from now on, he’s going to take care of things himself and he’s off for another job interview at the movie theater, hoping maybe he can be replacement Rachel there.

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And our episode ends with Maria and Tino embracing as Katie looks on as if to say, “I helped!” Katie looks so smug in this screenshot as if to say, “I did something this episode!” Well, Katie, you barely did. Thanks for playing.

The New Class Season 5, Episode 9: “Big Sister Blues”

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We open episode one hundred of The New Class to learn that Katie’s won an award for a poem she wrote. Now I just have to pause for a moment to let that sink in. Great shows get cancelled every season, but this piece of shit made it past one hundred episodes. Peter Engel had blackmail on someone at NBC. That’s the only conclusion I can come to on why this show lasted so long.

Katie’s teacher invites her to read her poem but then interrupts every few seconds to gush about how awesome Katie’s older sister Robyn is until the bell rings and Katie hasn’t gotten to read her poem. Two things: one, I’m impressed they actually remembered Katie has a sister. Two, there’s a recurring theme in this episode that the adults are overly obsessed with Katie’s sister, which is actually pretty fucking creepy. And it’s only the adults who are obsessed as the rest of the gang are too busy with subplots to give a fuck about her.

Naturally Katie exposits  the A plot to Nicky and Eric: she wonders how she can live up to Robyn, who was captain of the volleyball team, valedictorian, Rhodes scholar, and, of course,  the second coming of Jesus who brought peace to the Middle East and cured AIDS and cancer, and caffeine pill addiction all in one afternoon. Cue a predictable plot that I can already tell is going to bore me. I want Eric’s horribly white gangster rap back for me to laugh at.

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In the hallway, Maria asks Katie and Liz in the most passive-aggressive way possible if they intend to run for homecoming queen as she’d really hate to run against her friends and kick their asses. Naturally, they both say no since the plot demand it and Maria enlists Katie to nominate her since that’s a thing now I guess.

And, so we can get all the subplots going, Ryan asks Liz to the homecoming dance, presumably because the last two girls who dated Ryan had to leave the show after doing so.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Mr. Belding and Screech obsess some more over Robyn as they read an article in the Bayside Breeze about her. Okay, I guess I believe the school paper would do a front page article on this sort of thing. More amusing, though, are the other headlines, including “Dog Bites Principal” and Dorms Get a Face Lifting.” Bayside has dorms now? What the fuck?

While we’re at it, we get our final subplot of the week: Screech has a hard on for Robyn.  Apparently their time as students at Bayside overlapped, but it’s not clear by how much. They couldn’t have been in the same graduating class since Screech was the valedictorian of his class but, you know, whatever. It’s not the biggest question this franchise has ever posed. In any case, Screech refers to Robyn as the one that got away. Maybe Lisa can finally breathe easy since Screech is now obsessing over other girls from his high school days.

Back in the hallway, Ryan’s confused about why his obvious love interest of the season would turn him down, the one who looks good in a Speedo. Nicky and Eric decide they’ll go spy on Liz and find out what’s preventing her from getting with the plot.

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Mr. Belding comes out, congratulating Katie. She mistakenly believes someone gives a shit about her poem, but, no, he’s just obsessing over her sister again. Mr. Belding asks for Robyn’s phone number, presumably so he can call her up and breathe heavy on the phone as he thinks about how awesome Robyn is.

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At The Max, Nicky and Eric pontificate to Liz about how depressed Ryan is that she won’t get with the program. Liz tells them that she likes Ryan, but the writers have inexplicably written her so that she’s never been on a date in her life, seemingly the first student in the history of this franchise who didn’t have time to do a million things and have a social life. Nicky and Eric promise to coach her on what to do on a date because the two most qualified people to help her are the guy who cheated on his girlfriend and the one who can’t keep a relationship for longer than an episode. Nothing could possibly go wrong!

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Mr. Belding tells Screech the news: since they’re all enjoying their obsession over Robyn, he’s decided to bring her into the episode. She’ll be coming to homecoming to accept the Distinguished Alumni Award. Now, don’t get me wrong, becoming a Rhodes scholar is a big deal, but I find it difficult to believe that this qualifies her for such an award. These awards usually go to someone who’s contributed significantly to their community over a long period of time. I mean, we know Bayside has had at least one successful alumnus who even agreed not to tear the school down. Surely there’s someone else they could give this award to!

Naturally, Screech’s first thought is how he’s going to make it with Robyn because eew!

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Katie doesn’t take the news well either, almost immediately going into a dream sequence where she’s trying to read her poem at homecoming.

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She’s interrupted by Robyn floating in dressed as a life-sized Barbie doll.

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She decides that she has to do something so Robyn won’t show her up at homecoming, so she decides to run against Maria for homecoming queen. They both nominate themselves, making me wonder why Maria was so obsessed about finding someone to nominate her.

Meanwhile, at Nicky and Eric’s prompting, Liz messes up her lines until she finally gets out to Ryan that she’d like to go to the homecoming dance with him after all.

After a commercial break, the writers decide to pretend that Maria and Katie are huge rivals for homecoming queen by having Maria talk smack to Katie in the hallway. I don’t know who they think they’re kidding, though, since it’s obvious they don’t give a shit about this plot and it’s actually lower on the totem poll than the subplot about Screech having a boner for Robyn.

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So Nicky and Eric coach Liz on what to do on her date with Ryan. They pick the only person worse than the two of them to give dating advice, and he promptly pretends to drive a car and talk about Robyn and shit. Nicky and Eric fight over the best way for Liz to impress Ryan,  talking about whether Ryan has  kissable lips or not, and she runs out, having suddenly realized her mistake over asking the three biggest relationship idiots for advice.

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And, yeah, it’s this scene, the one that’s caused a new generation rediscovering this season’s opening credits on YouTube to ask, “What the fuck?” Yeah, Screech decides that the only reason Robyn would reject him is his face, but I think his face is the least of his concerns since most people would rather date the Elephant Man than Screech.

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Naturally, Robyn comes in during this, prompting Screech to pretend to be Mrs. Belding and shit in the worst impression of a woman I’ve ever seen on television. He gets away quickly so she won’t realize he’s a potential sexual offender.

The first thing I notice about Robyn is that they managed to find an actress who matches Lindsey McKeon’s bad acting. I guess I can believe they’re sisters after all.

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Naturally, every other adult in Bayside rushes out to obsess some more over Robyn. This is becoming really fucking creepy. Interestingly enough, something I didn’t realize before, Frank Bonner is playing the creepy ass teacher way too obsessed with Robyn. You may remember that he played Mr. Harrington, Alison’s father, back in the country club episodes of season two. Has he come to get revenge on Screech for dating his daughter by steal a girl Screech is obsessing over?

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In the gym, I guess Nicky and Eric are busy randomly urinating against the wall. Seriously, did they think Ryan wouldn’t see them if they couldn’t see him? Yeah, their real purpose is to give Liz some more misdirection about the date and shit and confuse her so much she runs off, declaring that she’s just going to die a virgin and shit.

Mr. Belding gives the results for homecoming queen. Of course, Maria wins.

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This makes Katie so sad she gives her best “I have diarrhea” face.

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In the hallway, Maria apologizes to Katie for winning but Katie says she didn’t care about that shit anyway as it was just a cheap plot device. Katie says it means, though, that she won’t be able to make the dance since she can’t stand the way the faculty of Bayside obsess over Robyn.

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Ryan tells Liz that Nicky and Eric told him why she’s been acting like a spaz and tell her not to worry as he was horrible at this dating thing as well before he was on the show. He tells her it will be okay and she should just give into the fate of the predictable continuing plot of the season. She agrees and their fate is sealed.

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In Katie’s room, Katie tells Robyn she can’t stand being overlooked by the Bayside faculty. Robyn apologizes for being the object of the WKRP in Cincinnati guy’s wet dreams, and says that she thinks Katie is awesome for her poem and shit. Also, it’s super terrific that Katie has friends as Robyn only had creepy stalkers like Screech.

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At the homecoming dance, Liz enjoys dancing with Ryan and he doesn’t call her stupid for stepping on his feet constantly. Nicky and Eric congratulate themselves on setting them up, leaving Nicky to wonder why he didn’t set a girl like Liz up with himself. There’s a hint of potential rivalry here but, with this franchise, it could go either way and we may never see this line turn into anything.

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Screech approaches Robyn dressed as a…gay pimp…the fuck if I know what this outfit is supposed to look like. In any case, she says she liked him as well because apparently every woman in this universe thinks the dumb ass that was once mistaken for an alien by the American government and grew up to talk like a brain dead chipmunk is hot. She goes off to dance with him until she sees Katie come in.

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Robyn tells Katie she’s glad that she came to the homecoming dance. Katie says she’s decided they’re not competing and she wanted to be there for Robyn. And our episode just kind of ends, without really resolving anything except Screech getting his long fantasized dance from replacement Lisa. Well…that sure was an episode! Now let’s never speak of it again, unless the throw away line from Nicky actually goes somewhere.

Firsts: Ryan likes Liz.