Welcome back to another season of The New Class! Aren’t I just lucky this, of all shows, is the one that lasted six seasons? Think about that a second and about all the now-classic shows that didn’t make it as long as The New Class has: Star Trek only got three seasons; Firefly, one; Freaks and Geeks, one; Twilight Zone, five; Twin Peaks, two. Hell, even the original Saved by the Bell only had four seasons! Just let that sink in: we are watching a show that somehow managed to outlast so many classic series by putting out complete and utter crap.
We open in the hallway to Nicky and Katie making cutesy wootsie sounds at each other just to remind us that they actually are back together and that wasn’t just a one episode plot like Zack Morris and Lisa or Tommy D and Megan. Screech comes down, acting like a moron about how much they’ve grown and shit like they’re preschoolers or something. I have to say, thank god Screech cut his hear. The longer it got, the more ridiculous he became. Does this mean we’re going back to a more tolerable, Good Morning Miss Bliss-era Screech? I could only hope. Also, the audience completely loses their shit about Screech’s appearance because they continue to be easily impressed season after season.
Nicky and Katie give us some exposition to explain why Ryan won’t be joining us this season: he got a scholarship to the best private school in the country, three thousand miles away. Now two issues: Ryan was never that good of a student; how did he suddenly get a scholarship to a private school? The second, of course, is the distance. The only city three thousand miles away from Los Angeles is Portland, Maine. The best private school in the country is located in Portland, Maine? Seriously?
The gang decide Liz must be miserable with Ryan gone but then Liz comes down and is all, “Everything’s the bomb!” The gang decide she must be in denial since she was all about Ryan last season, so much so that she nearly wanted Nicky more, which I’m sure won’t figure into this week’s subplot at all.
Mr. Belding comes around and asks Maria to report to his office second period so she can show a new student around Bayside. I’m sure that, with Ryan gone, this new student won’t play a major role at all.
Screech comes into Mr. Belding’s office to find an aged Little Zack sitting in Mr. Belding’s chair. I guess that, considering the last time we saw him was at the ski lodge in season two, this is about the right age for him to be now so kudos on not making him still be a baby or something. Little Zack’s school doesn’t start for a few more days so the school board totally let Mr. Belding bring his six year-old to school so he can see how exciting it is to be Mr. Belding and constantly have to deal with a complete dumb ass fucking up your shit all the time. Lucky him.
The new student, Tony Dillon (Tom Wade Huntington) comes in to introduce himself, and the most easily impressed audience in the world loses their shit over Tony’s introduction while the rest of us sit back and wonder, “Who the fuck is Tony Dillon?” I guess they’re anticipating they’re supposed to be awed by him. We get some exposition about how Tony’s a transfer student from Valley, where he was a star quarterback. Bayside has gotten five transfer students from Valley on this show. How is it Valley students keep finding their way to Bayside?
Also, I have to say, Tony’s acting on this show is atrocious. I won’t call it the worst we’ve ever seen on the show; after all, season two happened. But going from a guy who could actually act when needed to this is just…jarring…
Maria comes in and is none too happy to find out Tony is Ryan’s replacement. He tries to be cordial, but she’s all, “Fuck you! I remember what you did, you skank!” and walks off, telling him he can get a tour from someone else.
We get some stupid filler in a history class where Nicky wants to know what’s going to be on the final on the first day of school, but the important shit happens when Liz still seems happy so Nicky, Katie, and Eric decide to take it upon themselves to make Liz realize how miserable she is.
In the hallway, Tony tries to ask Katie for directions to the gym, but Maria steps in and is all, “My friends aren’t going to like you because I don’t like you either, you hoe bag!” Katie’s all, “What’s up with the new guy?” Maria says Tony was her date to her first prom in junior high but he stood her up. Katie says that was like four years ago and maybe Maria should actually try talking to him and see if he’s really the skany butt she thinks he is. Um, Katie, I hate to break it to you, but Maria was on this show four years ago, was at least a sophomore then, and has now been through four first days of school. Maria’s been held back a few times, honey.
Also, they make it pretty clear that this was a junior high prom Tony stood Maria up to. Who the fuck goes to prom in junior high? My school had an eighth grade dance, but it was hardly a prom! It’s like these writers have never been to prom themselves. Maybe Tony stood them up, too!
Maria tells Tony that, if he still wants to talk, she’s ready to listen. He tells her to skip class and meet him at The Max at 1:00 since Bayside obviously doesn’t care if their students skip class to further their social lives.
But Tony stands Maria up again and she tells the new manager of The Max, Mr. Lombardi, that Tony’s a complete cock head. This is the fourth manager of The Max we’ve seen. How did we get from a shitty magician to a pedophile to a guy who wanted to build a parking lot out of the real estate to Dom Deluise? Maria declares that, now that Tony has stood her up twice, the time for explanations is over and she’s now going to send him to whatever graveyard Screech buried Alison in.
Screech, at the next table and apparently not giving a shit that one of his students is busy skipping class, asks Little Zack if it’s cool to see how awesome his father is, and Little Zack responds that his father seems like a horribly written shell of his former self from the original series. Screech can’t believe that Little Zack doesn’t think his father is cool and shakes his head that someone would dare diss his gay lover.
Back at Bayside, Nicky, Katie, and Eric continue trying to convince Liz she’s miserable.
They even make her a heart-shaped collage of Ryan, including one from the episode he was in a Speedo. I wonder which of them was standing around photographing Ryan shirtless and even wrote, “Hot!” and “The Bomb!” over one of his photos, as if clipped out of an issue of Tiger Beat. I wonder if Katie had something to worry about between Ryan and Nicky after all…
Maria tells Tony she’s not interested in excuses and shit and runs off, as mature as one would expect her to be.
In the gym, the football team are working out and Screech puts out some fake weights for Mr. Belding to lift in the hopes that Mr. Belding’s fake strength will impress Little Zack. He does fine with the one on the floor and doesn’t realize that Screech is up to his usual idiocy, but a couple of the players aren’t so naive and find the one on the weight rack, replacing it and making Mr. Belding look like…a normal person?
Meanwhile, Maria comes in and tell the football team that Tony’s been talking smack about them and how shitty a football team they are. Everyone instantly believes Maria because half the football players are still going to high school well into their twenties…
…and they decide to make Tony pay for his sins by tackling him a lot, I guess? Tony has no fucking clue what’s going on and just chalks it up to everyone around here having no common sense.
At The Max, Screech arranges for a fake fight so Mr. Belding can break it up and impress Little Zack. Unfortunately, after Mr. Belding leaves, the two come up and tell Screech they want payment on this show as Little Zack realizes he’s caught in a cheap attempt at laughs that’s utterly failing because the writers of this show don’t understand comedy, even after six years.
Nicky, Katie, and Eric come in to find Liz on a date with a blonde boy named Brian. No! That’s not Brian! Brian is a fake Swiss guy who wanted to fuck Rachel! Wait, Liz is replacement Rachel. Maybe this is the fake Swiss guy and he’s become some sort of shape-shifter, continuing to attempt to get the blonde girl in the cast. In any case, the three insist that Liz is only dating this new guy because she misses Ryan, and Brian runs off in total fear and confusion of what the current cast is actually like.
Maria finds Tony’s gotten a job at The Max and reveals to him that she got the football team to fuck him up, and he’s finally tired of being the shitty center of a stupid plot and tries to tell him off, but Mr. Lombardi comes around and tells him he can’t talk to a customer like that and he’s fired. Geez, all the shitty things employees of The Max have done over the years and being a little rude to a customer gets you fired but sleeping with an underage employee doesn’t? What kind of rules does this place follow?
In any case, the camera pans away and shows Samantha Becker doing her best to emote that she’s feeling guilty over Tony being fired.
Back at Bayside, Katie overhears Tony on the phone trying to get another job followed by the entire football team coming around to tell them him they don’t like high school students who are still teenagers and they’re going to continue beating the crap out of him. He tells them that he’s signed a contract to be on this show so they better fucking get used to it!
Katie tells Maria that she’s a fuckwad for getting Tony fired but not even giving him a chance to explain.
And Nicky and Eric find Liz crying with a picture of Ryan sitting in a classroom and they feel good that they made her realize how miserable she is. After they walk away, she throws the picture in her locker and is all, “Fuck that shit! Ryan was a shitty ass boyfriend anyway!” and walks away with Brian to discover what fake nationality he is in this incarnation.
In Mr. Beldings office, Screech apologizes to Little Zack for being his usual idiotic self and trying to make Mr. Belding seem like someone he’s not. That’s when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar walks in, so a typical day with unrealistic occurrences at Bayside. Turns out Kareem goes to the same gym as Screech and is here to go to lunch with him.
Little Zack’s expression pretty much sums up my feelings on this: why the fuck is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on The New Class? I guess it’s a better excuse than how they got Jim Harbaugh or Shannon Miller on the show, but, still, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar couldn’t have been this hard up for money, could he?
In any case, Kareem is here for one reason: to tell Little Zack that school principals are cool. He then fades back into obscurity but not before giving Mr. Belding some long, hard looks after Screech claims he is the person he is today because of Mr. Belding. You know, that might be the most self-aware this show has ever been about Screech’s idiocy. Glad to see they’re finally realizing how stupid he is. Also, and I don’t know how to say this any other way…
YOU PAID FOR A CAMEO FROM KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR IN AN EPISODE THAT ISN’T EVEN SPORTS-THEMED JUST SO HE COULD TELL A SIX YEAR-OLD HIS FATHER IS COOL!?!?! ARE YOU FUCKING IDIOTS?!?!
God, I hate this show. After six seasons, I still fucking hate this god damned show!
So let’s wrap up our main plot as Maria apologizes to Tony for getting him fired and says she’ll get Mr. Lombardi to hire him back because The Max operates at the whim of our current cast. Tony tells Maria he missed her at The Max because a job interview went over and he didn’t show up to the prom because he couldn’t afford a tuxedo and was ashamed to be seen that way. Turns out his schtick is going to be that he’s poor and shit because, after the Paris trip, the writers forgot they already have someone poor in the cast. And our episode ends with Maria welcoming Tony to Bayside and Tony trying to get it on with Maria, setting us up for things to come this season.
You know what would actually be interesting: if Tony didn’t fully integrate into the gang for at least a few episodes. After all, Katie and Eric are the only other members he even talked to this episode. Of course, this is The New Class, so odds are he’s fully a member like he’s always been there and always will be by next week.
Firsts: Tony Dillon, Tony likes Maria.