The New Class Season 7, Episode 8: “A Mall Shook Up”

Christmas has come early for me this year for this might be the most unintentionally hilarious episode this show has ever had. Seriously, I haven’t laughed so much at an episode of this franchise since “Pipe Dreams.” Oh, where has this episode been for the last 137 stupidly boring fucking episodes of this series?

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We’re at the mall this week as the horrible pun in the title might suggest, and we open to find Mr. Belding chewing Screech out for trying to bring food into Gadgets & Gizmos despite his new clearly posted sign. Screech promptly stuff his sandwich in his face and proceeds on his way because he already knows Mr. Belding isn’t going to do shit to him at this point in the series.

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Meanwhile, a small tremor of an earthquake shakes things about a bit and none of the gang even react except Nicky because the writers suddenly remember NEW YORK and decide to have him freak out over them. The rest of the gang say earthquakes are so common in L.A. they are used to them. If they’re so common, though, shouldn’t Nicky have experienced one already in the three years he’s been on this show? Eric proceeds to shake the tables to freak Nicky out because he’s a fucking jerk, and Tony thinks macaws are probably hot girls because there’s going to be a macaw in one of the subplots and we need to make Tony look Tommy D level stupid.

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So, yeah, the pet store has a macaw and Eric’s trying to teach her to pick up women because he’s still a playa. Liz mentions that Maria thinks her boss, Mr. Carey, is a big jerk, and a badly dubbed voice actor proceeds to have the bird repeat Liz that “Maria thinks Mr. Carey is a big jerk!”

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Screech hides a Cup ‘o Noodle from Mr. Belding on top of this jukebox, and Mr. Belding is sure to exposit that it cost $10,000 because, if Gadgets & Gizmos can’t sell the cheap junk they already have, I’m sure they’ll be able to sell a really expensive jukebox. Also, I’m not sure Mr. Belding can really get $10,000 for this jukebox given that it’s used, having been a fixture of The Max for all those years.

As predicted, Screech spills his soup all over the machine, instantly shorting it out, and he’s nearly caught by Mr. Belding…

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…when the most unintentionally hilarious episode of The New Class really begins! Yes, it’s a big earthquake this time, and we get to see the reactions of all our main characters! Mr. Belding and Screech wonder why they keep getting caught up together in earthquakes, both real and fake.

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Maria steadies some glasses at the Teen Machine because that’s apparently the most important thing in the world right now.

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Katie randomly starts running through the mall and past a gay pride shop.

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Eric’s trying to beat Tony for stupidest person this episode and tries to give the animals instructions on how to survive the earthquake. Liz gives people instructions to get under the tables because she’s so useful and shit, while, at the movie theater, people are still running around in the middle of an earthquake.

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A couple kids are still in the theater, and Tony is all, “YOUNG CHILDREN COME WITH TONY TO THE PLACE OF THE SUNLIGHT!” The girl doesn’t want to leave, though, because her brother, who happens to be Tum Tum from 3 Ninjas 4 (you know, the horrible one you didn’t see with Hulk Hogan as a villain), won’t leave. Tony grabs the girl, practically throws her over his shoulder, and is all, “TONY TAKE LITTLE GIRL TO PLACE OF SUNLIGHT NOW!”

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This leaves Nicky to save Tum Tum. Tum Tum doesn’t want to leave, so Nicky gets out his flashlight and tells him he’s Flashman and, wherever the flashlight shines will be safe.

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I’m glad to see Tony is also a fan of Choushinsei Flashman, the 1986 entry in Japan’s long-running Super Sentai series of shows that would eventually come to America as Power Rangers! Tum Tum, never being the brightest of the 3 Ninjas, believes that Nicky is a Power Ranger as Nicky picks the boy up and runs out of the theater literally just as a set director drops a beam over where Nicky and Tum Tum were just standing.

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Given that the movie theater is apparently falling apart from the stress of the earthquake, I don’t understand why these fucking idiots have not evacuated and why Maria’s just sitting near a giant movie film reel while paramedics sort out the dead. Please flash back to Gadgets & Gizmos and show me that something fell on Screech! That would make this a truly glorious episode!

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Nicky delivers Tum Tum to his mother as I’m wondering why she wasn’t in the theater with her damned fucking kids to begin with. The mother calls Nicky a hero, starting a long line towards a truly hilarious main plot point that’s overshadowed by the fact that the movie theater was only one of two places seriously affected by the earthquake enough to nearly kill people. We’ll get to the other one soon enough.

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And, just for fun, here’s Ben Gould’s best, “I could have been killed!” face. Yeah, it looks like every other face Nicky ever puts on, and that’s what makes it utterly hilarious that they want me to believe Nicky’s traumatized.

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The gang arrive back at the food court where Liz informs them that, despite the fact that multiple people were nearly killed, the mall should be open again in two days because earthquakes are another thing the writers of The New Class don’t understand.

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One of the construction workers recognizes Nicky from the paper, and he and the others are surprised to learn that Tum Tum’s mother told a reporter all about Nicky being a Power Ranger. This begs the question how the paper got photos of Nicky without him realizing what they were for. Nicky’s photo is even bigger than a fireman’s who rescued six people in an elevator off-camera because it was more important to show Katie being interrupted from shopping for gay pride merchandise than to actually show that part of the episode from one of our characters’ perspectives! No, why show that when Maria can just clumsily tell us about it!

Tony wants to go see the movie theater and Nicky, reasonably, says it must still be closed off since it nearly killed two people. The construction worker, though, is all, “Naw, it’s cool now that the crew are done throwing shit around,” so Nicky and Tony go off to see the theater.

Eric comes back to report the macaw has escaped, and Maria’s brief elation is interrupted by the realization the bird is flying around the mall and spreading how much Mr. Carey sucks ass.

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Mr. Belding’s depressed that pretty much everything’s been destroyed in the earthquake, but it’s okay because they have earthquake insurance and he and Screech will be able to take off lots of random time from their jobs at Bayside to clean up the mess. Also, unfortunately, Screech is still alive and decides to let Mr. Belding think the earthquake destroyed the jukebox so he can claim insurance on it.

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In the theater, Nicky has flashbacks about the earthquake and rescuing Tum Tum, and this is where the writers of a good show would have explored the effects of trauma and PTSD on the human psyche. But this is The New Class so, instead, we’re just going to get Nicky being a little jumpy yelling at people for calling him a hero. Tony proceeds to remind Nicky how close he came to dying and insists on making Nicky realize he nearly didn’t make it to the series finale, and, really, why does Nicky not punch Tony in the fucking face and let out some of that pent up PTSD out? Really, why do the writers insist on making Tony give Tommy D a run for stupidest character on this show?

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At Gadgets & Gizmos, an insurance inspector shows up to make sure the same earthquake that hit the rest of L.A. also hit Gadgets & Gizmos. He talks about putting lots of people in jail for insurance fraud, making me wish he would throw Screech in there and burn the key. He’s okay with everything until he sees the jukebox, and proceeds to snip a random piece of wire from the back of it to “test” because that’s the best way to figure out if someone’s lying about how one particular item in the store was damaged. Yeah, it’s not like he could have just asked to have someone look at the bloody thing!

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In the food court, Maria and Eric search for the macaw in the midst of reconstruction by parodying cartoons of jungle hunters.

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The oft-mentioned Mr. Carey finally shows up, so Maria and Tony have to randomly start singing when the macaw, which seems to be right above them, starts yelling how Mr. Carey can suck a dick. Maria then rushes Mr. Carey off so Eric can keep looking for the bird.

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Liz says the mall wants to hold a random awards ceremony for Nicky and the firefighter while more random construction workers call Nicky a hero and Tony and Katie talk about Nicky being a hero. Nicky’s all, “If Tony thinks I’m a hero, it can’t be true!” and rushes off to cause some conflict.

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We get our first glance at Nicky’s room of the past two seasons, and it appears they’ve moved all of Ryan’s stuff out because they figure he’s never coming to visit again since he’s not in the credits any longer. Katie comes in, telling Nicky that his mom told her to come cheer her son up in his bedroom (even though Nicky’s mom lives in New York since his dad married Ryan’s mom), and we find out the real reason Nicky doesn’t want to be called a hero: he was scared when he rescued Tum Tum. Yes, it wasn’t trauma or PTSD. It was that Nicky was fucking scared and that’s why he can’t accept being a hero. And, yeah, the firefighter wasn’t scared at all and shit.

So Nicky’s going to quit his job so he doesn’t have to go to the mall anymore and it’s just hilarious how Ben Gould is trying his damndest to emote on this flawed, flawed script.

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So the macaw flies right back into its cage just as Mr. Carey comes looking for Maria again. This time, the macaw tells Mr. Carey that Maria thinks he’s a supermodel, making me wonder if we’re about to get another sexual harassment episode. Instead, Mr. Carey buys the macaw, and we’re left to wonder if the bird will ever tell Mr. Carey how much he sucks. Alas, though, this subplot is over!

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Katie introduces Nicky to the firefighter, who basically gives Nicky the moral of the episode: even heroes are scared in the midst of danger, and that he was scared when he was rescuing six people off camera. Gee, I’m so glad The New Class was here to deliver that astounding message to me since I didn’t’ get it off, say, PBS shows when I was preschool age!

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The insurance investigator decides the earthquake did cause the jukebox to break and shit and complements Mr. Belding and Screech on being so honest. As soon as he leaves, Screech confesses he spilled soup on the jukebox and, as usual, there are absolutely no consequences to the world’s worst employee. This is a man in his fucking twenties at this point and Mr. Belding just treats him like he’s a child! I would say Little Zack is going to be fucked up when he’s older, but let’s not kid ourselves: Mrs. Belding is essentially a single parent given how often her husband is away from home. But, yeah, Mr. Belding took out insurance against employee damage to merchandise because I guess he did one sensible thing knowing he has Screech as an employee, so he’s not going to return $10,000 of the insurance money since they would have to pay it out anyway on another plan. Great lesson for the kids there, Dicky.

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The pep talk from the fireman makes Nicky show up to receive an award from the mayor of…Palisades. No, I kid you not: The New Class has now upgraded Pacific Palisades to a city and not just a neighborhood as even Wikipedia tells me it is. Jesus fucking Christ this episode! Well, as the gang, the fireman, and Tum Tum look on, Nicky tells everyone what he learned today about fear, and, as our episode ends, I practically expect one of the G.I. Joes to jump out and scream, “And knowing is half the battle!” Oh, well. Here it is, just because I can’t think of a better way to round out this mess of an unintentionally funny episode:

4 responses to “The New Class Season 7, Episode 8: “A Mall Shook Up”

  1. “The girl doesn’t want to leave, though, because her brother, who happens to be Tum Tum from 3 Ninjas 4 (you know, the horrible one you didn’t see with Hulk Hogan as a villain.”

    I’ll be the jerk. Hulk wasn’t the bad guy in that movie. It was Loni Anderson and Jim “Ernest P. Worrell” Varney. I liked it better then 3.

  2. I at least found some enjoyment in this episode and compares to the next eight painful episodes it’s easily the best one and tmis the closest you can get to calling an episode entertaining.

    I have also been reading Peter Engel’s new book and it’s not bad. He mentions how in season 1 of TNC he wasn’t really confident of the cast they had and he wanted to recast. But NBC and Kellog’s had an agreement to put out a cereal box with the cast on it that had already been printed so they couldn’t recast.

  3. ILovedKellyKapowski

    I’m surprised Mr. Belding hasn’t already put in multiple insurance claims from Screech damaging his store’ merchandise. I figured these insurance payouts were the only way Gadgets & Gizmo’s has stayed open, cuz they sure as hell can’t sell shit to pay the rent.

    It also makes me wonder why the insurance company hasn’t cancelled the policy – waaaaaay before this big earthquake happened.

  4. Did you guys know that this show actually got a daytime Emmy nod for outstanding children’s series? In 2000, TNC was nominated along with Nick News, Crocodile Hunter, Zoom, & Bill Nye (the winner). This would be the lone nom for the TNBC block.

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