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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.