Monthly Archives: August 2016

The New Class Season 6, Episode 8: “Guess Who’s Running the Max”

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We open in the hall at Bayside, with Screech running into Mr. Belding while roller blading and wearing a gay pride shirt. Seriously, when you see where their subplot is going, this shirt is going to seem really ironic! Mr. Belding tells Screech to cut this shit off since he’s constantly doing stupid and idiotic dumb fuckery, and Screech acts offended that Mr. Belding would reprimand him for doing stupid things. How Screech manages to not get killed by random household objects is beyond me.

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In our main plot, the Teen Machine is “closed for remodeling,” whatever the fuck that means, and Maria’s looking for part time work. Tony’s all, “TONY FIND JOB AT MAX FOR MARIA! MARIA AND TONY WORK TOGETHER!” Maria’s unsure at first whether she should work with her idiot boyfriend, but Tony’s all, “TONY AND MARIA HANKY PANKY ON BREAK!” and this is enough to convince her.

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In our other subplot, Eric got a new Walkman as a gift but Nicky’s suspicious that shenanigans are afoot since the card is addressed to “Cornelius.” Eric finally reveals that his real first name is Cornelius, which sends Nicky into a fit of hysterics over what I assume is his amazement that the writers decided this should be a subplot.

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At The Max, Maria already has the job and is impressing her new boss, Mr. Ranaldi, because, yes, The Max has yet another new manager since the casting department didn’t have the foresight to try and keep the old manager under contract for an additional episode. And Tony and Maria enjoy the perks of hankey pankey at work.

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And the wacky hijinks continue as Nicky reveals Eric’s real name to Katie, who also thinks it’s hilarious that the writers would turn this into a subplot.

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Oh, and Mr. Belding catches Screech having lunch with the principal from Central and talking about how much of a better boss he would be. So, we’re just going to forget that an entire episode a couple seasons ago focused on why Screech didn’t want to go to another school? Okay, just checking.

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Back at Bayside, Screech discovers that Mr. Belding is finally sick and tired of doing this same idiotic stuff every week so he’s decided to hire a new administrative assistant. OH HALLELUJAH! YES! MY PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED! Unfortunately, they decide that they need to make it work for the kids, though, and, I kid you not, they’re going to seek counseling for their relationship issues.

Jesus fucking Christ. Could this show make Screech and Mr. Belding out to be gay lovers any more than they already have?

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At The Max, Eric finds out that Nicky told Katie about his real name, who told Liz, who had nothing better to do this episode so she told the whole school. Now everyone knows the subplot of the episode is about Eric’s name and shit. Eric’s pissed off that an entire subplot now revolves around his real name and runs out of the restaurant.

Mr. Ranaldi tells Maria and Tony that his sister is having a baby so he has to go to San Francisco. He says he wants to leave Maria in charge because of her previous experience as a manager and because she knows payroll and scheduling and shit. Jesus, how long does he think he’s going to be gone to see a fucking baby? This isn’t bereavement leave, buddy. In any case, Tony says he’s okay with it because most reasonable people would be, and Mr. Ranaldi immediately runs out to go to San Francisco as Tony reveals to Nicky that, surprise, surprise, he may not be as okay as he acts.

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After a commercial break, Maria’s doing awful things like asking Tony to do his fucking job, and this guy too old to be hanging out with teenagers gives Tony shit for it.

Nicky tries to apologize to Eric for spilling his secret, and Eric decides the way to make it up is for Nicky to tell Eric a secret about him. Nicky’s like, “That’s fucking bullshit,” and gets the hell out of there.

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And now Mr. Belding and Screech go through relationship counseling, and I couldn’t make up this shit if I tried.

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The counselor gives them foam bats to express each other in a complete rip-off of The Simpsons, and Screech proceeds to beat Mr. Belding with the bat when he says he’s sick of wacky plots every week and Screech not respecting him as his boss. Fucking hell, I’m trying to figure out what Mr. Belding is supposed to have done wrong! He’s working with an insane person who seems determined to be as insane as possible.

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Maria and Tony meet at a redress of the Eiffel Tower set for a date as Tony freaks out over everything Maria says. Tony’s all, “ME NO LIKE GIRLFRIEND BOSSING ME! TONY IS MANLY MAN!”

Eric randomly shows up after Tony goes to get some ice cream and Maria asks Eric if she’s acting different. Eric’s all, “No, Tony’s just forcing super toxic masculine bull shit because he has no other character traits he can fall back on.”

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Back at Bayside, the counselor asks herself what life decisions she made to end up in the second to last season of The New Class. She has them pretend to be each other, and Screech basically portrays his boss as elderly, obese, and incompetent, while Mr. Belding portrays Screech as an insane man who once brought a tiger into Bayside. Seriously, who has the problem: the guy who brings a tiger into a high school or the one who wants his students to be safe?

The counselor gets sick of all this bull shit and gets the hell out of there while she still has a career to salvage.

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At The Max, Eric wears the bad wig he did back in season four to try and get some information on Nicky and Nicky nearly falls for it because recognizing faces is hard. Seriously, how is it no one can tell the difference between a person and the same person in a wig?

Maria tells Tony to get off his break and give a table their check. It’s wrong, so they ask to see the manager and, when Maria comes back, Tony goes off on her for…making him look bad? What the fuck was she supposed to say? “Oh, sorry, no manager for you today! You must deal with bad actor waiter!” Seriously, this plot makes absolutely no sense, and it doesn’t help that Tony decides to break up with Maria over her doing her job.

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After a commercial break, Mr. Ranaldi is back and happy with the job Maria did during the indeterminate amount of time she was manager.

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And Tony’s all, “NOW MAN BOSS BACK AND MARIA AND TONY HAVE HANKEY PANKEY AGAIN!” Maria gets sick of his bullshit, though, and throws a sponge at him, telling him he’s an idiot and bordering on being like one of the guys from the MRA episode. After she walks away, Nicky basically puts Tony in his place and tells him he’s acting like a moron and needs to stop in order for this plot to be resolved.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Screech is packing up random shit that’s he’s keeping there for some reason, including the bad Eiffel Tower hat he bought in Paris, because the way to maintain some continuity was to remind me of those episodes. They start talking about their feelings and shit and though, as usual, Mr. Belding has done absolutely nothing wrong, they decide they both see the other’s point of view and so Screech, to my dismay, can stay on this show a while longer.

And the other subplot is resolved when Eric calls Nicky’s grandmother and then announces on the intercom that Nicky takes baths every night with his Beanie Babies, because if there was a worse possible subplot than one about Eric’s name, that was it.

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Tony finds Maria on the Eiffel Tower park and is all, “TONY SORRY FOR BEING BADLY WRITTEN FUCKHEAD! TONY LOVE MARIA AND WANT HANKY PANKEY BACK! TONY NO ACT LIKE IDIOT ANYMORE THIS EPISODE!” This is apparently enough for Maria to forgive Tony and press the reset button in less than a minute, because breaking up with someone for doing their fucking job isn’t a warning sign of an emotional abuser at all.

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And our episode ends with Tony getting his precious hankey pankey back and, for once, the audience doesn’t have time to lose their shit as we fade into the end credits.

Is it just going to be a running theme this season that every episode is pointless?

Firsts: Eric’s first name (Cornelius).

The New Class Season 6, Episode 7: “Hands Off”

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We’re back at the mall this week with Liz vomiting up some exposition about Katie getting a new boss at the gym, because I guess Liz thinks she’s important to this show now that she has some job as a glorified administrative assistant. Liz asks Katie why she’s not there working to suck up to him and she’s all, “‘Cause I’m hella hungry! Go fucking bug someone else!”

Also, Maria says that Liz is only sixteen in this episode. So that means she won’t be graduating at the end of next season, right? I know: it’s my fault for expecting this show to maintain some sort of continuity.

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But then Katie’s new boss, Jack, comes around and randomly introduces himself because Katie’s in uniform. She suddenly wants to kiss his ass because she wants some extra hours at work so she can pay for college and shit, because a job at a gym can totally pay for college.

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At Petzilla, Eric invites Nicky and Tony in to see the new baby hamsters. But Tony is all, “TONY NO LIKE HAMSTERS! TONY STAY OUTSIDE LEST TONY SMASH HAMSTERS! TONY DESERVE A DAYTIME EMMY!” After Tony leaves, we get our first subplot of the episode: Eric’s going to help Tony get over his fear of hamsters. Nicky asks Eric if he really thinks he can do that, and Eric gives perhaps the most honest reply ever heard in this series: probably not, but he doesn’t have anything better to do. It’s refreshing to see the writers admit they couldn’t think of shit for Eric and Tony to do this episode so they invented a stupid subplot.

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And, in our other subplot, Gadgets and Gizmos is having financial difficulties. Surprise, surprise. A business managed by Mr. Belding having financial problems is almost as cliche as the fundraising plots of this show. This is like the third store Mr. Belding’s managed for his brother-in-law. Maybe the guy should stop leaving his businesses in the hands of the guy who’s kept Screech on the state of California’s payroll for five years.

Screech suggest they air a commercial during the Superbowl, and I’m surprised the writers actually know how expensive it is to air a Superbowl commercial. But that does give Mr. Belding an idea and he decides to air a local commercial in hopes of attracting business.

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At the gym, Jack seems to be really amenable to Katie’s asking for more time. Eric comes running up talking about how he can bench hella lots of weight now and she gives him a hug of friendship. This makes Jack jealous and he says he hopes he can get hella good hugs like that if he can bench, too. This leaves Katie and Eric confused by what he means since sexual innuendo is beyond the grasp of the characters on this show.

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At Gadgets and Gimmicks, Mr. Belding’s commercial sucks and basically consists of him knocking shit over and breaking things. Screech, in a rare moment as the voice of reason, tells Mr. Belding they can’t air that commercial, but Mr. Belding tells him it’s already being aired. They wait for a mass of people to come shop at the store, but even several Photoshop transitions can’t make people want to shop at this store.

But, amusingly enough, if you pay attention to the background, you’ll see that the Sega Saturn is for sale at Gadgets and Gimmicks. Two things come to mind for me about this: that severely dates this show, and I hope Sega asked for their money back for the product placement since no one’s going to buy shit featured on this show.

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Back in the hamster subplot, Eric decides to randomly put on a lab jacket so he can test how severe Tony’s hamster phobia is, because he’s doing something medical related that could severely scar Tony since he’s not an actual medical professional, get it? Eric asks Tony to get his cell phone out of his gym bag, and a stuffed hamster flies out. Tony jumps back and screams, “TONY NO LIKE STUFFED ANIMAL! TONY SMASH!” He runs off, punching random extras who happen to be in his path.

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Back at the gym, Jack decides to cop some feels of Katie. Yeah, after twelve years, the Saved by the Bell franchise has decided to tackle sexual harassment in the most unintentionally hilarious way possible. Yeah, sexual harassment is a real issue, but you can tell this is written by someone who knows nothing about the issue. As a result, Jack is like the most brazen harasser in the history of harassing.

After he leaves, Maria, who was on a treadmill in the background and witnessed the entire thing, asks Katie what the hell was up with that. Katie’s all, “He’s probably just a poorly written caricature of a serious issue. Besides, I can’t tell him to fuck off yet. We’re not even halfway through the episode.”

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After a commercial break, Maria continues hounding Katie about Jack’s advancements into the food court. There, she tells the rest of the gang about it, and Nicky’s ready to go give him a reasonably sliced chunk of his mind. Yeah, Jack would smash Nicky. Katie’s all, “No! I can’t learn a lesson yet! It’s too soon in the episode! But maybe I’ll just politely ask him to be better written and it will solve everything!”

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Back at Gadgets and Gimmicks, the store’s overrun with customers, but Mr. Belding soon discovers it’s because Screech filmed a commercial of his own. This could have been one of the few smart things Screech has done on this show, except he promised way too cheap merchandise he can’t deliver on, like ninety-seven cent camcorders. Mr. Belding begins to lecture Screech on false advertising, but Screech is all, “We already had a false advertising subplot when we worked at Yukon Yogurt. If I didn’t learn my lesson then, do you think I’ll learn my lesson now?” He goes off to sell more shit over Mr. Belding’s objections.

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Back at the gym, Jack tries to…anally probe Katie I guess? Katie tries to tell Jack to stop that shit, and he’s all, “I’m just having fun as a poorly written character! Now I’m going to continue being a blatant caricature by punishing you for speaking up in front of all these extras by giving you horrible and shitty work!”

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At Petzilla, Tony’s ready to get over his fear so Eric tries to give him a hamster. He’s unsure at first, but then a woman obviously too old for Tony comes in who loves hamsters, so they handle a hamster together, leading me to wonder if Tony and Maria are still dating. So Tony’s now okay with holding hamsters…

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…but, when a middle-aged man in a rat costume randomly comes in, Tony screams and faints, because that’s the most realistic looking mouse in this episode I guess.

So, if you’ve thought this episode was ridiculous so far, you’re about to see it crank up its ridiculous powers to the max.

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Liz confronts Mr. Belding and Screech, saying she’s had complaints about their store. Treating her security guards like police officers, she drags them away as if mall cops have some sort of authority to do shit.

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Back at the gym, Katie can’t make it to the movies with the others because she’s busy working and shit. She lies to Nicky and tells him the talk with her boss went okay. As soon as Nicky’s gone, her boss comes out and tells her she needs to get used to blatant sexual harassment and let him touch her and shit. Katie decides she’s going to get with the program and let him feel her up at will.

At Petzilla, Eric tells Tony they have too many hamsters so the store is selling some of them to a laboratory for research before PETA comes in to protest. Tony suddenly wants to adopt all the hamsters.

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And when a man comes in who Tony assumes to be a scientist because he has glasses and shit, Tony flips out and yells, “TONY SMASH EVIL ANIMAL TORTURER PERSON!” After the man runs away in fear of Tony’s bad acting, Eric lets him know that wasn’t a person from the lab, but at least this bad subplot is over.

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In the food court, Maria brings in a crucial character from the past to convince Katie to stand up to her boss: Maria’s mother. Yes, the character who had one minor appearance previously because I guess she’s a lawyer and shit. It’s Mrs. Lopez’s job to give the audience some nice exposition about how sexual harassment is illegal and the boss can’t retaliate. It’s your standard lecture The New Class has to give during its many very special episodes because the writers aren’t talented enough to write these points into the episode without ham-fisted exposition.

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And now, yeah, the mall apparently keeps an interrogation room in its basement where Liz interrogates Mr. Belding and Screech over the false advertising. Yeah, it’s about as ridiculous as it sounds. It’s supposed to be funny, but I just wish we’d get back to the sexual harassment subplot so we can get this episode over with. Mr. Belding says they’re going to give the money back they earned from false advertising, which I’m not sure how they’re going to do that, but, whatever. He also laments that Gadgets and Gizmos is broke again. But then, one of the guards  says his feet are tired, and this gives Screech an idea.

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Yes, the solution to this subplot was in selling foot massagers to mall cops, because that, by itself, will earn the store enough money to stay in business I’m sure.

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Back at the gym, Jack tries to kiss Katie and she goes off on him with witnesses around, and I’m surprised the audience didn’t think they should lose their shit considering how easily impressed they are by kisses. It’s about as expected: she says she’s going to report him and he threatens to fire her. But then the clincher is that Maria walks up and says he better worry about keeping his job, and this zinger from a random customer he’s had no interactions with the entire episode is enough to put him in his place and send him away.

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Katie apologizes to Nicky for lying about her talk with Jack, and our episode ends with the gang sans Liz gathered around looking smug about teaching the kids another valuable life lesson in twenty minutes. I’m sure Liz is absent because she’s busy interrogating Jack about sexual harassment in her special dungeon down below.

The New Class Season 6, Episode 6: “Win, Lose, or Cheat”

This one’s a doozey folks, so try to keep up. I apologize for how stupid this all sounds, but, I swear, it’s this whole stupid episode…

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We open in the movie theater, where Tony and Maria confirm through exposition that they are, indeed, dating now, in case you’re like me and confused as to their status after their single major interaction at the dance two weeks ago. Glad to know they’re such a loving couple in love now.

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But, just as they’re getting ready to go hot and heavy with each other, the rest of the gang shows up. This really serves no purpose other than to delay Tony’s attempt to finger bang Maria and so Nicky and Katie can give some exposition about a teen dating show called Two of Hearts coming to Bayside. Naturally, Nicky and Katie plan on trying out because they’re suddenly The New Class‘s answer to Zack Morris and Kelly. Also, Liz wants to be a producer all of the sudden because she suddenly has time for all that shit with her swimming and all.

Tony and Maria tell the other’s to fuck off…

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…and Tony is all, “YOU…ARE…BEAUTIFUL…LET…US…KISS…AS…I…GROPE…YOUR…EAR…FOR…I…AM…ACTING!!!” It’s their first kiss and, yeah, I actually went back and check from two weeks ago. The New Class actually restrained themselves from having Maria and Tony get to first base sooner so the audience could lose their shit.

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At Bayside, Screech suddenly has a thing for biker magazines that look like they were printed in the ’70s. Yeah, our subplot involving him and Mr. Belding this week is that they suddenly both want a motorcycle, so they decide to buy one, because Mr. Belding is having a midlife crisis I guess and Screech thinks women will finally want to touch him if he has one.

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The producer of the show, Del Stevens, and the host, Kitty Katz….I cannot believe I just had to type that pun. Seriously, Kitty Katz. I can’t even…

In any case, they show up and it turns out they’re literally having the game show at Bayside because why the hell not! Who needs television studios when you can just film your show at random high schools? I wonder if this was the solution to one of Bayside’s many budget crises after Mr. Belding took the gang on way too many field trips…

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Liz asks Del for a job as a student producer and he’s instantly like, “Sure! Why not!” If jobs in television are that easy to get, I should head on down to the local station and get one of my own!

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And Eric gets a job doing a commercial during the show, because it makes no sense to just, I don’t know, tape advertisements for your show’s sponsors when you can just have a random student possibly fuck it up live on the air! They were looking for someone who can act, but they’re on The New Class so they’ll have to take what they can get.

Nicky and Katie ask Maria and Tony if they’ll be trying out and they say they don’t know. Turns out Tony doesn’t know shit about Maria but, when they find out the prize is two new cars, they decide to go for it.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Mr. Belding and Screech now co-own a motorcycle which is, for some reason, in Mr. Belding’s office, the same office that held a tiger and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the last few weeks. I don’t know why Mr. Belding doesn’t learn from the past never to do shit with Screech, but he’s done it anyway and now Screech is going to take the bike out for a spin. Let’s hope he doesn’t wear a helmet.

It’s time for auditions, but not before we find out Liz’s all-important job is getting Del coffee and stuff! Aren’t you glad Liz is doing important things like that on this show now!

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Nicky and Katie are first up and keep completing each other’s sentences as if they’re some cliche-ridden characters. The only other auditions are for a couple who hate each other until Maria and Tony come along. They haven’t been dating for long, but Del and Kitty see potential in them, telling them they’re going to be the winners.

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And, how they are going to achieve this is by Del and Kitty giving Maria and Tony the answers ahead of time so they can memorize their answers. Kitty tells them the audience wants to see cool kids win so this is how they do it. Unfortunately, Tony is nowhere in the vicinity of cool, but the writers want us to believe he is since he’s theoretically following in the footsteps of Zack Morris.

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Meanwhile, surprise, surprise, Screech managed to crash the motorcycle while racing his new motorcycle friends. I see there’s a poster in the background for a sailing club. Can’t Mr. Belding just make Screech the faculty adviser so he can sail to a desert island and get stuck?

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Eric uses his gig on the commercial to get lots of dates because, you know, he didn’t learn anything from trying to be a playa on Nicky’s cousin a few weeks ago.

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And Liz continues doing important tasks like getting Del’s food. Eric and Liz might as well not even be in this episode if the writers are just going to invent stupid mini-subplots for them that jar us from the main plot and make no sense!

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Maria and Tony debate the ethics of cheating, especially since it would mean Nicky and Katie can’t win, but then Nicky and Katie come in and talk smack about their superior relationship, so Maria and Tony suddenly decide they want to win.

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Back in Mr. Belding’s office, Screech lost the motorcycle in a bet with his new motorcycle friends. Naturally, this pisses off Mr. Belding because he hasn’t had eleven years of experience to know that Screech screws up every thing he touches.

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And it’s time for Two of Hearts!

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Basically, it’s a rip-off of The Newlywed Game except they aren’t married so I’m not sure the point. The questions start out easy, but then switch to things like what video-game character would you be. Yeah, Nicky wants to be Yoshi because he likes putting things in his mouth I guess and is lonely since Ryan moved away.

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And, yeah, after round one, Maria and Tony are up by fifteen points.

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In the all important Liz subplot, Liz gets tired of doing chores for Del so he promotes her to executive student producer and she runs off to do more of his chores because she’s an idiot this week.

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Nicky and Katie suspect Maria and Tony are somehow cheating because how could any relationship be better than their superior one? , and this starts to make Katie think she and Nicky don’t really belong together and Maria starts to feel guilty for the stress on their relationship. Don’t worry, Maria, they haven’t asked the question when Nicky first cheated on Katie yet. That’ll really stress it.

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Eric does his little commercial and it’s for Zit-Off cream, because a guy dancing and singing in a pimple cream tube costume make me want to run out and buy that particular product. Or it could just be bad writing and a chance to put someone in a stupid costume.

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At The Max, Screech’s plan to get the motorcycle back is to have Mr. Belding dress in the same rebel biker get-up he wore last season and act bad ass to Screech’s friend, with Screech insisting his friend will back down. But his friend is ready to be the shit out of Mr. Belding until they realize the guy was once a student of Mr. Belding’s. The biker apologizes and gives Mr. Belding the motorcycle back, thus ending that subplot. I bet it’s also the last we ever hear of the motorcycle!

Back on the game show, Maria and Tony win and advance to the final round, leaving Nicky and Katie fighting over whether they’re actually soul mates. The final question is where they first kissed…

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…and they give false answers that are likely discarded away-from-Bayside episode locations for this season. Maria jumps out and tells the world the game show is rigged as Kitty Katz runs for her litter box. It seems as if it’s impossible to cut off a camera when a character is monologuing about the moral of the week.

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Liz answers the phone and it’s Del’s boss firing him mere seconds after Maria’s monologue, which is a sure way for a wrongful termination suit without bothering to investigate if the accusations are true or not, but this is the same universe where it’s possible to build a house in two weeks.vlcsnap-2016-07-18-19h50m14s1

Maria and Tony apologize to Nicky and Katie for cheating and our episode ends with the couples hugging each other, going deeper and deeper into that self-obsession hole.

So what was the moral of this bloody episode? “If you’re on a game show being hosted out of your high school, don’t cheat if you’re offered the answers by a producer?” Or perhaps it’s, “Don’t fucking do anything with Screech because he’s an idiot.”

Most likely, the moral is, “Don’t watch six seasons of The New Class since it will rot your brain.

Firsts: Maria and Tony date.

The New Class Season 6, Episode 5: “Cigar Wars”

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We open at The Max with Tony distracted looking at something. Eric throws a paper wad at him to snap him out of whatever trance he’s in, and we soon learn that Tony’s looking at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue at a picture of Cindy Crawford in a bikini. Also, why do chefs at The Max suddenly dress like Chef Boyardee? Is that how the producers really think short order cooks dress?

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And soon all three of our male cast are doing the same. Judging by the looks on their faces, I’d say this is the closest they’ve ever come to seeing a naked lady. Don’t worry: this has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the episode except that Tony reveals he likes to smoke cigars and cigar-shaped objects.

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Soon the girls come in and Tony lets them know he’s having a party at his house after the game. Since these are women, they’re expected to bring food, CDs, and clean up afterwards because we needed a sexist joke in there for some reason.

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Back at Bayside, meet Mrs. Gore, who committed the incredible sin of being the then-Vice President’s mother. Also, she parked in Mr. Belding’s parking space, which means she gets a stern lecture on parking etiquette as Mr. Belding lets her know he had her car towed. This kind of dickishness is so out of character for Mr. Belding that it’s transparent this scene only exists to set up tension between the two of them. After all, on this show, if a character needs a trait to move the plot along, just graft it onto him even if ten previous years in the franchise completely contradict it.

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In his office, Mr. Belding finds out he’s the center of this week’s subplot. See, Screech was randomly looking through Mr. Belding’s permanent record and discovered that he was missing a credit to graduate. The principal at the time waived the credit because Mr. Belding was such a good student and Screech starts pulling a guilt trip against Mr. Belding for supposed special treatment. Um, that’s not automatically special treatment. Most school districts have procedures for waving credits under special circumstances. But Screech is on board with the bad writing and won’t let up so Mr. Belding agrees to take a class to make up the credit. Gee, I wonder whose class he’ll be in.

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At Tony’s party, the boys have a cigar to celebrate their victory over Unnamed Team. And so it begins. We didn’t ask for season three’s anti-smoking episode and we certainly didn’t ask for this one.

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Yes, Katie and Liz come out to sternly judge the boys for smoking cigars because, in this universe, being a friend means being a judgmental prick. Maria, being the only one of the gang who was around for the last anti-smoking episode, decides she’s sick of seeing this again so she grabs a cigar and starts smoking.

And we proceed to get a PSA about the health and social effects of cigar smoking as Nicky, who didn’t know he wasn’t supposed to inhale a cigar, runs to throw up. Well, I’m looking forward to a waste of the next fifteen minutes of my life.

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At Bayside, Screech tells Mr. Belding there was only one class that wasn’t full, which I find extremely unlikely, and that’s Mrs. Gore’s drama class because of course it is. They prepare for some wacky hijinks as the audience loses their shit because I guess they think Mrs. Gore abusing her power as revenge against Mr. Belding means they’re going to fuck.

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Meanwhile, Tony received a note in his locker from Rick Mancuso, the quarterback of Westwood’s team and one of Tony’s rivals when he was a student at Valley. I guess, once again, those rules about who is and isn’t allowed in Bayside don’t matter when it’s convenient to the plot. In any cast, Rick Mancuso talks smack to Tony about the upcoming Bayside vs. Westwood game.

And from that, we go to Katie approaching the gang to continue lecturing them on the dangers of cigar smoking. She’s come complete with brochures and everything because that’s what friends who are trying to be nosy assholes about an activity that doesn’t affect them in any way act.

Since this isn’t the last anti-smoking episode, most of the gang doesn’t need an exploding dress or a dream sequence to stop smoking cigars as they read to the camera from Katie’s brochure about how evil we all are if we smoke cigars. Now I remember why I used to turn the TV over to cartoons: I didn’t like waking up on Saturday mornings to lectures, and that seems to be all The New Class is anymore.

Of course, we need someone who doesn’t buy Katie’s propaganda or else the plot can’t move forward, so Tony is all, “TONY LIKE CIGAR! TONY SMOKE CIGAR! TONY IS ACTING!” as he pulls a cigar out of his shirt pocket. The others are incredulous, reminding him that, as with most public schools, tobacco use is strictly prohibited, and Katie breaks open Tony’s cigar to lecture him on the chemicals in cigars and…Jesus fucking Christ, how long is this fucking thing going to go on! How many times can they tell us in one scene that cigars suck ass?

Well, Tony finally tells them all to do what they want but he’s going to continue smoking cigars, which should be a reasonable choice since he’s not affecting them in any way. Of course, they’re not going to accept that as an answer…

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…and, as Tony walks away, we get the rest of the gang putting on their best judgmental faces as we cut to commercial break. Fucking hell, I don’t want to be friends with any of these assholes!

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At The Max, the cigar shaming continues as the rest of the gang try to have an intervention because they think Tony’s addicted to nicotine. Tony finally gets sick of this fucking bullshit and agrees that, if they will stop this shaming, he won’t smoke anymore cigars until after the Westwood game, which seems to shut them the hell up for the time being.

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And, as if this entire episode wasn’t idiotic enough for you, the king of idiocy picks that moment to walk in The Max and stress Tony out with an article comparing him to Rick Mancusso, because that was really necessary for a staff member to track down a student to tell them a newspaper is talking smack about them. Judging by the photos in the article, though, I’m guessing Rick Mancuso is the better quarterback given that Tony has his best “I need to poop!” face on, another tally mark for his great ACTING!

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Speaking of acting, back at Bayside, Mr. Belding practices a scene with Liz and he seems to be bad at acting himself. Liz tries to express sympathy for Mr. Belding but reminds him that it’s fucking stupid her grade depends on Mr. Belding getting this right so he better shape up, because your grade in drama courses is always dependent on other people’s acting ability, right?

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So in walks Screech, come to tutor them. Liz utters perhaps the most self-deprecating line of the franchise as she asks Screech if he knows anything about acting. No, Liz. The answer is no. He’s been with this franchise for eleven years and his idea of humor is doing contortions in his face. You should run out of this scene now while you still can.

But, of course, neither she nor Mr. Belding run out of the scene, we get lots of stupid shit from Screech trying to pass as comedy as he tries to convince Mr. Belding to act like a bumble bee. Mrs. Gore mercifully comes in to interrupt the idiocy and Mr. Belding decides he just wants to drop the course. Mrs. Gore tells him that Screech revealed the missing credit to her and, if Mr. Belding drops out, she’ll go to the school board and get them to count his credits and, since that’s the line this episode is going with, Mr. Belding stays in the course.

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In the hallway, Tony gets mad that everyone’s wishing him good luck against Westwood tonight and Maria comes to check on him. He says he wants a cigar to take the pressure off and he decides he needs to get his head together for the game.

Screech won’t leave Mr. Belding the fuck alone with his bumble bee routine so he hides in a hallway near a janitor’s closet to practice his lines. He hears a bucket overturn in the janitor’s closet, opens it…

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…and finds Tony inside about to smoke a cigar, because, on an open campus like Bayside obviously has since everyone’s constantly leaving school to go to The Max, the place I would go to smoke during the day would obviously be inside a fucking janitor’s closet.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Mr. Belding tells Tony he has to suspend him for the tobacco possession and shit, meaning he’ll miss the Westwood game. Tony tries to pull a Zack Morris and walk out with some manipulation that Mr. Belding has forgiven him, but it comes off as worse than if Brian had done it, which is pretty fucking awful. Tony begs Mr. Belding to let him play in the game, but Mr. Belding is like, “Hell no!”

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In the hallway, Katie approaches Tony and starts bugging him about cigars again. He, and I think very rightfully so, bites her head off for being a fucking asshole. And that’s when the writers pull out what may be the biggest fucking contrivance in this show’s history. See, Katie has a reason she’s being a giant asshole about cigars. Her favorite uncle, who she loved so much he didn’t even have a name, died of throat cancer last summer because of cigar smoking, and now she’s just incredibly judgmental about cigar smoking and shit. Of course, this uncle has never been mentioned before and will likely never be mentioned again, but it’s the writers’ way of trying to manipulate you into not thinking Katie’s preaching is fucking annoying. Frankly, I’m a little bit pissed off they pulled this out of their asses three quarters of the way through the episode, but it’s here and now let’s just see if we can finish this bullshit.

And I just realized: this timeline means that Katie was off at Space Camp, never mentioning her dying uncle and having a good time dating a loser so she wouldn’t feel lonely while Nicky was doing the hanky panky with Maria.

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In drama class, Nicky and Eric have a scene about, I assume, out gay soldiers on the enemy line. Mrs. Gore gives them both As and says that was outstanding acting, which I assume explains why she’s about to pass what follows. It really says something when actors can’t convince me they’re acting in a fake acting class.

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Of course, Mr. Belding follows them, and Screech tells him Liz is home sick today so he’s filling in for the scene dressed as Little Bo Peep. What follows must be one of the more horrifying scenes in the history of this franchise. I kid you not: Screech chases Mr. Belding around the room, demanding a kiss and making canon the idea that Screech is only on this show because he wants Mr. Belding’s hot body, hence explaining why he’s constantly obsessing over Mr. Belding’s eating habits.

Mrs. Gore tells Mr. Belding that she now has a new sympathy for having to put up with that for ten of the eleven years he’s been a part of this franchise, and she’s passing him just so she never has to see that scene again. And that means Mr. Belding passes the class because, in the Saved by the Bell universe, taking a class for one week and completing a single assignment is enough to pass an entire class.

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At Tony’s house, Tony is depressed to hear that Bayside is losing the game without him. Maria shows up and Tony tells her, “SHAMING AND MANIPULATIVE PLOT CONTRIVANCES CONVINCE TONY THAT CIGAR SMOKING BAD! TONY STOP SMOKING BECAUSE MARIA BELIEVE IN ME! TONY SMASH!” With that, Tony smashes his last cigar. And our episode ends with the reset button pressed as a second anti-smoking episode has now convinced anyone who had any doubts that smoking must be awesome if The New Class hates it.

In my review of season three’s “No Smoking” that maybe I should take up smoking so I wouldn’t have to review anymore of this series. You know, if I start chain smoking now, I might not have to finish this series. I swear, if I have mental issues at the end of this project, it’s because of this fucking series.

The New Class Season 6, Episode 4: “The Young and the Sleepless”

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We open with the girls harassing Nicky about hanging a banner for the homecoming dance. I almost hoped this was a repeat of last season where they’d talk about how much more awesome Ryan was at hanging signs than Nicky, but it’s just a pointless scene that has absolutely no bearing on the rest of the episode other than to piss Nicky the fuck off and then give him a chance to kiss Katie and make up for her being an ass so the audience can lose their shit. I wonder if he regrets dating all three of these girls yet?

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Eric, meanwhile, is excited that he stayed up until 3:00 am to talk to his love interest of the episode, Sheryl. Tony’s all, “YOU…CANNOT…STAY…UP…UNTIL…3…A…M…WE….HAVE…A…DANCE…THIS…WEEK…I…AM…ACTING!” Eric’s all, “Your bad acting is not going to make me think I need more than a few hours of sleep a night since it’s  a plot point this episode!”

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After the boys leave, Katie brags about how good Nicky is in bed, while Maria tries to get Liz  to go to the dance with her. Liz knows she has a future career in Contemporary Christian music, though, and can’t get with that lesbian shit, so she tells Maria she already has a date, leaving Maria the only dateless one of the three.

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And, in our inevitable Screech and Mr. Belding subplot, Mr. Belding seems nervous that one of his old classmates is coming back to Bayside to be honored by the school board as an outstanding alumnus.

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Screech decides to search through Mr. Belding’s old yearbook for clues to who this alumnus is, and it turns out this person called Mr. Belding “Bucket Head” because, well, I guess the ’60s in the Saved by the Bell universe were a strange time when the worst thing you could be bullied for was the shape of your head. And then comes one of those scenes that makes me question why Screech still has a job as he proceeds to demonstrate for any viewers who may never have encountered a bully how bullies operate, including giving Mr. Belding a wedgie. Jesus, why is this man not in a mental ward?

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In football practice, Eric sucks because of lack of sleep. He insists that he just needs to study plays, but he also has to write a history paper, pick out some songs he’s going to sing, and masturbate to Sheryl, so he’s got a full plate that’s going to require him to stay up all night again.

Also, Maria and Tony randomly hate each other again because the writers apparently forgot that they resolved that subplot three episodes ago but, you know, whatever the fuck creates a stupid subplot.

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Rick, the alumnus, shows up, ready to give Mr. Belding a wedgie, because that’s what the writers think grown-ass men do: act exactly like they did in high school, just older and fatter. Do these writers even live in the real world? In any case, Mr. Belding runs off to hide.

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And Maria and Tony argue over Tony popping Maria’s balloons and shit, which leads Nicky, Katie, and Liz to decide the two of them should hook up because they need to get together somehow. So they decide to set the two of them up on a blind date to the homecoming dance.

And Eric’s psyched that he was able to finish all his shit and is now functioning on two hours of sleep. Liz is all, “The plot says you’re going to burn out,” and Eric’s all, “Nuh uh!” as he runs into the lockers. And, as I watch this episode unfold, I can’t help but think these are the most privileged fucks in the history of the world that sleep deprivation and bad writing are the worst problems they’re facing in their world right now.

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At a practice for the dance, Eric can’t remember the lyrics for any of the songs and is cranky and shit.

Meanwhile, Katie, Liz, and Nicky move in to set the blind date up, telling Maria and Tony they’ll meet at the dance because they need some payoff for this subplot. Tony is all, “THIS…IS…COOL…ACTING…IS…HARD!”

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And, in Mr. Belding’s office, Screech tries to help Mr. Belding with his bully problem through role play which culminates in Screech giving Mr. Belding another wedgie. Jesus Christ, it’s not that kind of role play! Leave Mr. Belding’s underwear alone!

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After the game at The Max, Eric sucked so hard that they lost the game so Tony and Nicky let him know how much he sucked. This sends him into another plot contrived rage in which he exposits he got an F on his history paper and is late to pick up Sheryl. Yeah, you have a hard life, Eric. Hard life.

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At the dance (oh thank god they only waited four episode for yet another dance!), Rick gives Mr. Belding a wedgie because that’s what grown ass men in this universe do I guess.

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And, to Maria and Tony’s consternation, the others reveal that Tony is her blind date.  But Eric’s not arrived yet. Where could he be?

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Why, he’s driving with sleep deprivation and shit while trying to drive and talk on his cell phone while apparently swerving into oncoming traffic and shit, which should be a sign something is wrong, but we have five more minutes of this show so he can’t learn his lesson yet.

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Maria and Tony decide to dance and shit because why the hell not.

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And Eric’s picked Sheryl up and is now engaging in road rage because, you know, sleep deprivation and shit.

Back at the dance, Maria and Tony decide they’re enjoying each other’s company and may decide to start liking each other again.

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Rick tries to give a bucket to Mr. Belding so Mr. Belding tell him to stop it and Rick is all, “Sorry! Geez!” I guess that’s how easy it is to take care of adult bullies. Someone tell all the bullied kids of the world all they have to do is demand respect from their bullies and everything will be okay.

Nicky tries to sing in Eric’s place but sucks ass, and I’m not sure why Eric not being there is such a big deal. We know that Maria can sing. Why isn’t she substituting for him!

Maria and Tony decide they like each other just as a really bad crash sound effect plays outside.

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Everyone rushes out to find Eric’s crashed his car into the school, as you do.

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The paramedics come out and treat Eric and Sheryl. Eric says he hit the brakes too late and Sheryl’s all, “I forgive you Eric since we’re never going to see each other again after this episode!” Seriously, this is the only role this actress ever had, so I assume a concussion killed her character. Katie’s all, “Nah nah! Told you so! Sleep deprivation!”, which leads Mr. Belding to spout off a speech about the dangers of sleep deprivation and shit, complete with statistics, because, if there’s one thing you can almost always count on this franchise for, it’s to handle very special episodes as clunky as humanely possible.

Eric’s all, “Sucks for the consequences I’m going to receive,” but I’m willing to bet this little incident is never mentioned again. And our episode ends with the gang gathered around Eric, yet another social problem solved by bad writing from a show that doesn’t even understand how houses are built.