The New Class Season 5, Episode 16: “Screech and the Substitute”

I’ve been so ready to get past the love triangle episodes. I’m so sick of hearing about Ryan and Liz and Nicky at this point. And we’re finally past that stage! But what hell hath been brought upon me? Why, it’s a stupid fucking Screech episode, maybe the worst episode of the season so far…

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We open to find that being an administrative assistant apparently means obsessively cleaning up your boss’s office Danny Tanner style.  Yeah, why’d I ever expect this show would understand what an administrative assistant does if it hasn’t to this point. Mr. Belding wants Screech to go and take the new substitute music teacher on a tour of the school so he can get his plot going, but Screech is all, “I want to stay here and be an obsessive compulsive jack ass who forces you to keep a clean office!”

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That is, until Screech sees she’s a beautiful woman who gets his libido going. Meet Claire Martin, the substitute music teacher, who’s just so golly gee willickers excited to be here until they hire a new permanent teacher, or until the episode is over, whichever comes first. Screech immediately jumps in to tell her all about how he was once a member of the glee club and shit and takes Claire through Bayside.

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His first stop, of course, is to introduce her to the only six students she really needs to know. The gang reflect that it’s painfully obvious Screech has a boner for Claire and how it’s too bad he’s a complete and total loser and will never be able to attract someone like her. Now, I know I’ve been saying I don’t understand Screech’s appeal to women for years, but why are people suddenly noticing just because it’s convenient to the plot? I mean, Screech dated the pink Power Ranger last season and no one batted an eye.  This season, suddenly everyone thinks Screech is a total loser, which is an improvement in objective perception, but it’s just the fuck out of nowhere.

Also, in case you forgot the love triangle plot was over, Screech randomly tells Claire that Ryan and Liz are dating, because the first thing I want to know about my students when I start a new school is all about their love lives!

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In glee club, the gang, plus three token extras, sing a rendition of the ’50s R&B song, “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” because, if there’s anything kids in the ’90s liked, it was music kids in the ’50s listened to.  Of course, they’re great and shit goes well, even with Eric showboating and Screech dancing like a fucking moron.

Interestingly, the keyboard player is the same guy who played keyboard for the Glee Club in “Fire at the Max,” even if they did change his name in this episode because who can be bothered with stupid shit like continuity. Turns out he’s the composer for the franchise. Yes, every original song from the original series and The New Class that you thought was cheap and horribly written can be attributed to this guy, even the stupid Zack Attack songs from “Rockumentary.” Thanks, guy, for enabling one of my least favorite episodes of the original class!

After practice, Screech starts getting fucking creepy and stalker like, sorta like that guy you know likes you but he just stares at you from across the room constantly. Since this is The New Class, Claire thinks Screech’s borderline stalker behavior is charming.

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The girls tell Claire that they enjoyed the practice and they’re looking forward to working with her. Claire tells them that she loves Bayside in the five minutes she’s been here and hopes that, when she gets a permanent job, it’s at a place like Bayside.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Screech obsesses over Claire even more, to the point he writes shit on Mr. Belding’s papers. How does this guy still have a job? Screech wonders whether he has a chance with Claire and Mr. Belding is all, “You dated the pink ranger for fuck’s sake and you’ve been stalking Lisa Turtle since 1988! Why did you suddenly develop a self-esteem complex!”

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Screech randomly asks the boys if they’ve seen Claire and tells them he’s going to ask her out on a date. She just happens to come in at that time and Screech sits in the booth next to the boys so they can conveniently listen in on what they assume will be his rejection. Well, Claire has the same disease that the pink ranger had last season in that she’s unable to see how horrible of a person Screech is and she instantly agrees to go out on a date with him. Also, the audience loses their shit over Screech going on a date with Claire because they haven’t been on dates in years.

The girls come in and the boys fill them in. Liz thinks it’s adorable that Claire has such low standards to date Screech but Maria, using the same logic that Eric used earlier this season to declare his football coach racist, decides Claire must have some nefarious plan if she’s lowered herself to dating Screech. Maria recalls that Claire wants a permanent job and, since Screech is too much of a loser to ever be touched by a woman, she decides that Claire must be dating Screech to get close to Mr. Belding and get the job. That’s some real detective work there, Maria. I’m glad you were able to find that and pull it out of your ass for the sake of this episode’s plot.

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Back at Bayside, Claire had a wonderful time at the symphony despite the fact she was there with Screech. Mr. Belding comes in and, because Claire complemented Bayside and Screech complimented Claire, most of the gang decide that must mean Maria’s random gibberish must be true and Claire is going to hurt Screech. I say most because, as usual, Liz is in the role of the voice of reason who thinks our gang is a bunch of fucking morons. But the rest decide they have to do something…

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…like invite a faculty member to your bedroom, because it wouldn’t be the first time Screech has been in the bedroom of one of his students. The plan is for Screech to play poker with them and for the guys to talk about how shitty it is to have girlfriends and how great it is to be single, which Eric should know lots about. In the end, though, Screech thinks dating is even better than ever and they didn’t even bring sexual favors into the conversation!

In the gym, just before another practice, the gang decide to try another plan: to suck ass at singing since Mr. Belding’s coming to watch them. They just hope the three extras will join in and sing as horrible as the gang does. So Mr. Belding comes, they suck big time, but Screech covers for Claire, telling Mr. Belding they’re improving and he leaves, convinced he has one of the worst glee clubs in the city despite the fact he’s heard Eric singing before and should know what he sounds like, gangster rap or not.

Screech asks the gang what’s up since he’s apparently the only person at this school with plot foreknowledge and they admit to him that they think Claire’s using him to get a job at Bayside. They pretty much tell him he’s a fucking loser who can’t get a girl to touch him based on his looks and personality and he walks away dejected.

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Screech goes to the classroom and breaks up with Claire, citing the flimsy evidence that’s been presented to him. Claire tries to talk some sense into him but he used up his quota of common sense when he figured out the gang was up to something.

In the hallway, Claire tells Mr. Belding that she’s gotten a permanent job at another school and then tells the gang she’s excited but it’s being overshadowed by Screech acting like a fucking dumb ass. The gang are shocked to find out that Claire genuinely likes Screech and Liz is all, “I told you so! I’m the morally superior character on this show once again!”

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The gang find Screech at The Max and tell him that Claire really likes him after all and that they’re stupid and shit.  They tell him they think they have a plan to get Claire back for Screech.

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At the recital, the glee club sounds great considering Claire’s only been there for less than a week. I know I’d make a substitute teacher lead a recital after she’s only had a short amount of time to practice. Also, there’s randomly another extra in the performance because apparently the gang sucked so bad they needed a ringer.

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The gang engage their plan by having Screech bellow out a song about how stupid he was to listen to the gang and how much he likes Claire while the audience just sits there wondering why they have to go to this school where they’re subject to the whims of six students with entitlement issues. And, no joke, they rush out as quickly as possible when the song is over.

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Screech and Claire makeup and the audience loses their shit over their kiss. Claire forgives Screech and tells him she likes him for the dumb ass that he is and promises they still get to date even after she goes to her new song. And our episode ends with the relization that this is the only time we ever see Claire, which makes me think her body is buried somewhere along with Danielle, Tori, Alison, and the pink Power Ranger.

10 responses to “The New Class Season 5, Episode 16: “Screech and the Substitute”

  1. I was waiting for you to review this one! 🙂

  2. I never understood why TNC always had to hook Screech up with a hot girl. They never did in the original show. His only GF was Violet. The other girls he went on a date with is because they thought he had money. Or they thought Screech could give them things. Or they did it on a bet or pitty. But on TNC hot girls are always attrachted to him.

    But hey that’s TV for you, the hot girl with the slob, King of Queens anyone?

    Isn’t Screech 21 or 22 by the time this episode aired? Think of the scandle there would be if media found out that a school faculty member hanged out with students after school. Gets involed in his personal life and hanged out with them in their bedrooms.

    I wonder if he continued doing that once the show ended and he became principle of Bayside? (SPOILERS By the Way.)

  3. Never understood why Screech had to date hot girls either on this show other than he had to get something out of doing the show. Next weeks episode should be fun since it’s one of the stupidest reasons to have a clip show ever.

    Random note but out of all theTNBC shows that were on right now, TNC was easily the worst and lasted the longest. Go figure

  4. WeirwoodTreeHugger

    From that last screen cap, it really looks like the actress who played Claire really didn’t want to be kissing Dustin Diamond. Can’t say I blame her!

  5. ILovedKellyKapowski

    I think Dustin Diamond made it a condition of his return to the franchise that he needs to hook up with a hot girl at least once every season. Just like Dennis Haskins’ contract says he needs to do something in every episode, even if it has no relevance at all to the main plot. The keyboard player must’ve been the negotiator for TNC’s producers at the bargaining table.

    I recognize Claire from the revamped Beverly Hills 90210 that first aired in 2008. She played Naomi’s mom, and still looked damned good!

    • I was wondering that as well. DD must have had it in his contract that if Screech does go on a date the girl can’t be a nerd, or doing it out of pitty or a bet.

      I remember that DD said he hated the way Screech was protrayed in the original show. So it would make sence if he had it in his contract.

  6. Bayside has a keyboard player on the payroll? How has his name never been brought up during their bimonthly budget crisis meetings?

    Another club for Liz then, for all it’s fault this show really shines a light on just how much free time Olympic hopefuls actually have.

  7. ILovedKellyKapowski

    Claire’s new job at “Willowbrook Academy” is the same snooty school where Megan was supposed to transfer to in “Goodbye Megan”.

    According to Megan, it’s “the best school in California!”. Congratulations, Claire. AND you get to be far away from Screech!

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