Category Archives: All The New Class Episodes

Saved by the Bell: The New Class…Reviewed!

Saved by the Bell - The New Class

In philosophy, there is a theory that says all possible worlds exist in the same way ours does. So, there is a possible world out there somewhere in which The New Class was not cancelled after season seven. Instead, it continued with Screech as principal and a consistently rotating class, and is still airing to this day. In this possible world, critics look at The New Class as an icon of television in the same way they do The SimpsonsFamily GuySouth ParkLaw & OrderGunsmoke, and other long running shows. Also, Dustin Diamond is a sex icon and all the ladies yearn to be fucked by him.

Fortunately, that is not the possible world we exist in and, on January 8, 2000, the final new episode of The New Class aired, marking an end to the official Saved by the Bell franchise. It’s hard to believe that the franchise which always seemed a decade behind in its fashion and music managed to squeak into the twenty-first century, but it happened.

Meanwhile, in my world, I was blissfully unaware of how horrible a show I’d managed to miss. After all, I was nineteen at the time the show went off the air, so, not only am I as old as some of the cast, but I was the target demographic. Fortunately, I was busy getting into anime and B-movies so I had no time for what seemed like a stupid and brainless American teen comedy.

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Was I right to skip this series? Oh, fuck yeah! I had much better things to do with my time and much better shows to watch. But The New Class was still hanging around, waiting for a reviewer with a high tolerance for pain to review every stinkin’ episode. I’d like to say it was because I’d watched so much Mystery Science Theater 3000 growing up, but I would rather watch most of the movies on there any day without Joel, Mike, and the bots riffing them than ever watch another god damned second of this stupid shit.

And, so, I’ve done what no other reviewer I know of has ever done: I’ve reviewed the complete official franchise, including The New Class. Plenty have done the original series, and many, including my reviewing idol, Billy Superstar, have included Good Morning, Miss Bliss and The College Years, but none that I know of have ever tackled this shit stain of a show. Oh, how I envy them. I can’t unsee the last three years of my life, no matter how much I would like to.

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So how did a franchise that was once a guilty pleasure so-bad-it’s-good type show that is fondly remembered by many turn into this? Well, I’ll give you three guesses, and, if you say anything other than Peter Engel and NBC wanted to keep the cash cow that was Saved by the Bell going, you lose. It actually made sense for the original Saved by the Bell to go off the air after four seasons. But it had become a cult favorite by that point and NBC wasn’t so willing to let it go.

And so we got the horrible spin-offs that were The College Years and The New Class. Fortunately, they got rid of The College Years after a season. But why did The New Class stick around so long? I’ve had people argue to me that the reason was because it was good. No, the real reason was a Saturday morning show didn’t need the type of ratings a prime time one did, and The College Years just couldn’t compete while The New Class didn’t need to because kids can be stupid and will watch any old shit. So, no, I do not consider seven seasons of this show a real success when it was carrying the Saved by the Bell brand.

It wasn’t helped by its constantly revolving cast. I have no idea for sure why so many teenagers graced the halls of Bayside on The New Class. If I had to guess, though, I would say that, at least in some cases, the cast got too cocky and wanted more money. Dustin Diamond claims in his book that Peter Engel was unforgiving when it came to money, and this is why Kelly and Jessie didn’t return for the final episodes of Saved by the Bell. If this is true (and it is admittedly difficult to tell what that comes out of Diamond’s mouth is real), I would say some of them demanded raises and then walked when they didn’t get them. How else do you explain that Maria was with the series for four filmed seasons, but no one else made it past three? I could especially see this with, say, Bianca Lawson and Richard Lee Jackson, Bianca because she probably genuinely deserved a raise, Richard because he thought he deserved more as Jonathan Jackson’s brother.

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The real test is how well the show is remembered today and, as my commenters have pointed out, it’s really not. Many people remember Peter Engel’s other shows such as California DreamsHang TimeCity Guys, and even USA High. But how many really remember The New Class? Not a lot. In fact, it hasn’t been in syndication in at least a decade, and the DVDs are out of print now. For a show that lasted so long, The New Class has had virtually no staying power, and that really says a lot to me about how forgotten this series is.

I mean, people talk about Zack Morris, Slater, Kelly, and even Screech all the time as television icons from their childhood, but when was the last time you heard someone talking about the wacky Swiss boy, Brian, or the pretty gymnast, Lindsay, or the…whatever the hell he’s supposed to be, Tony. At their worst, characters from The New Class made me want to punch my screen. At best, they were bland and uninteresting with no definable characteristics.

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That’s because, at its core, The New Class wasn’t about the teenagers. It was about Mr. Belding and Screech, the only two consistent characters over the seven season run. Even when they try to focus on the teenagers, there has to be a subplot between these two, even if it’s ridiculous and contrived. I have a theory: The New Class is really about Mr. Belding’s slow mental breakdown. In the first season, he’s enjoying his job as he’s adjusting to life as a father. When Screech returns to Bayside, his sanity is slowly drained as time and time again Screech makes his life a living hell and makes him look like a complete fool to his colleagues. By the seventh season, Mr. Belding is ready to snap when he gets one final chance to get the hell away from Screech and takes it.

Really, it makes sense. I’ve seen a fan theory that suggested the time capsule clip show episode from the original series was really Mr. Belding imagining what his life would be like had Screech never came to work at Bayside. And it’s sad, indeed, to watch a once great character go downhill so much. Mr. Belding was not Mr. Belding any longer on this show. Instead, he was around to be Screech’s punching bag, and that’s not how I want to remember this character.

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The New Class suffered from never having a real identity of its own and always trying to imitate the original, not to mention a few plots ripped directly from other Peter Engel sitcoms. It was most blatant in the first season, but it never really disappeared. In fact, if anything, the more subtle the plagiarism became, the worse the show was.

To me, this is the real reason the series has had no staying power. In the absence of no real identity of its own, the series is instantly forgettable once you turn it off. I didn’t realize until I started putting the bottom ten list for this series together just how many episodes I’ve already forgotten from this series. Is there truly a reason to watch it over and over again?

This was compounded by the fact that the show tried to take all the things the original is remembered for and multiply them. An attempt to recapture the glory days of Malibu Sands led to a tradition of staging episodes in increasingly more ridiculous settings away from Bayside. People’s memory of Saved by the Bell‘s very special episodes led to some pretty horrible, preachy messages that got worse as the seasons rolled on.  Even Screech inventing a robot led to the invention of Kevin’s mentally challenged brother.

All, in all, I don’t have much more to say about this series or its characters I haven’t already said. It should have never seen the light of day, and then it stuck around for seven years with the most incompetent writers and cast I’ve ever seen.

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I think Billy Superstar got off easy reviewing Full HouseThe New Class was a horrible, painful experience from start to finish, and, once I’m finished with this blog, I never plan on watching it again. I spent nearly three years reviewing this damned show, and I feel like I’m dumber for the experience. I think it shows in my reviews as well. At times, I wondered how many more ways I could find to express my disgust with this show’s cast and its writers. One commenter even suggested a drinking game every time I call Screech a dumb ass.

And it’s the truth. I completely get why I’m the first person to review this series all the way through. It’s the ugly stepchild of the franchise and, I dare say, if they ever have a reunion movie, it would not surprise me in the least if they retcon everything from this show and declare it non-canonical. It’s time to leave this show behind, with my recommendation that no sane person ever put themselves through what I have. Unless you’re a sado-masochst, there’s really no reason you need to subject yourself to The New Class.


So what now for this blog? Well, I’m not quite done with the Saved by the Bell franchise yet. I probably won’t finish reviewing the comics as the Harvey ones are just fucking horrible and the Roar Comics ones are…well…actually pretty decent, making it very difficult for me to find stuff to make fun of in them. I reviewed the first volume of the Roar Comics version, so that should be enough to give interested people a taste.

That said, there are still some odds and ends in the extended Saved by the Bell universe I want to take a look at, so I’m going to spend the next couple months or so looking at some of the odder corners of this franchise. When I’m done, I will be doing a final retrospective on the franchise as a whole as well as this blog. In the meantime, though, tune in next Monday as we delve into the first installment of the odd, odd world of the extended universe with Who Shrunk Saturday Morning?

The New Class Seasons 6 & 7 Recap

Recapping these two seasons may be one of the most boring things I do for this blog, as these were two of the most boring installments of this franchise I’ve watched. Really, there just wasn’t a lot going on to piss me off like in past seasons other than general incompetence. It just seemed to be the show coasting along for two more years so they could milk every bit of this cash cow they could.

At this point, this show had long outstayed its welcome, and any possibility of laughs and redemption had died a slow, painful death. The six “teenagers” had long since grown up, all of whom were in their late teens and early twenties by this point, and you can tell they’re just absolutely bored by the horribly cliched scripts they’re being forced to deal with. And, by this time, Mr. Belding and Screech just look like they’re trying to do whatever stupid shit they can to remain relevant in a franchise that passed them by ages ago.

I’ve mentioned before my reasoning for recapping these seasons together. They were filmed as one twenty-six episode season and artificially split into two to draw out the show for one more year. I do try to be fair since I don’t know what incompetent baboon’s fault the horrible ordering of episodes is, but it did make these twenty-six episodes very difficult to figure out when they’re supposed to be taking place, and that’s a problem.

I suspect the show would have had a much more dignified ending had they stopped after season five.

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It didn’t help the cast was so weak this season. With the departure of Richard Lee Jackson, the producers had basically two choices: don’t replace him and just strengthen the five remaining cast, or bring in a new guy and hope they can make the audience give a damn about him in just twenty-six episodes. Unfortunately, they chose the latter, and Tony was certainly never going to be strong enough of a character to develop in such a short period of time.

On top of that, it’s obvious that some of the cast had already began to check out. Ashley Lyn Cafagna is barely around this season and Samantha Becker seems bored out of her mind. It’s kind of pathetic to watch. Needless to say, there’s no running thread of senior year as there was on the original series. In fact, there’s no mention that it’s the gang’s senior year or that graduation was coming up until almost at the very end. At one point, it’s even implied they would be around next year! It’s like they were trying to delay the inevitable as long as possible, hoping for a last minute order for a season eight.

Of course, this also confuses the timeline quite a bit. We know season two was right after the cancellation of The College Years in 1994, due to Screech’s arrival. Maria joined the cast in 1995 as a transfer student, implying she’d been at Valley at least one year, and, if this season is to be believed, they were the class of 2000. This means Maria, and Tony (who was supposed to be the same age as her) were in high school for at least six years. This school just wouldn’t let go of their souls.

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One positive thing is that it does feel like more episodes took place at Bayside. Other than the requisite mall episodes we’ve come to expect out of The New Class as well as the three episode police academy arc, every episode takes place in school. I didn’t do an episode count to see if that was actually the case but, after spending half of the last four seasons away from Bayside, it was refreshing to see the gang at high school so often in a show about high school. Mind you, the police academy arc was horrible and one of the mall episodes made me laugh very ironically, but, still, it’s nice we weren’t going to the Antarctic or some shit this year.

But a recap of these seasons wouldn’t be complete without mentioning NBC’s incompetence at airing them. How on Earth can you have a series finale that takes place before the actual final chronological episode? What were they thinking? I suspect, by this point, NBC didn’t give a damn about The New Class. Remember, they were only a year from cancelling the whole of TNBC in favor of that show kids love: Saturday morning news! They didn’t care anymore. Saved by the Bell had long passed its relevance to the world and, judging by what I’ve read, an increasing number of people didn’t even know The New Class was still on the air, if they ever knew it was to begin with.


Okay, let’s talk characters.

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Like Ryan before her, Maria’s turned into a shadow of what she once was. Almost completely gone is the angry character who won’t take shit from anyone, replaced with someone whose entire life seems to center around her relationship with Tony. I mean, really, other than an episode exploring her friendship with Katie and another with her father, Maria’s entire existence this season depended on Tony. Considering how underdeveloped her relationship with Nicky was in season four, this is surprising, and I’m realizing that, like Rachel, Maria’s a character who is at her best when single.

It’s a shame because I like Maria and would have liked to see her have such a stronger season. They could have turned her into the lead character this season, but it feels like Samantha Becker was just counting down the days until cancellation. Even the little thing they gave her at the end, being valedictorian, came the fuck out of nowhere considering she had an episode in season three where she was struggling with a class. I wonder what Maria would have been like in the hands of competent writers.

Samantha Becker is now Samantha Esteban, She continues to act to this day and hasn’t done bad for herself, though her resume certainly isn’t as impressive as others. Among her more recognizable roles, she had recurring roles on the short-lived television shows The System and From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series and in the films Training Day and Harsh Times.

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It boggled my mind for a bit why they wouldn’t develop Nicky’s character more this season and turn him into an actual draw for the series. And then I remembered: it’s because Nicky is boring as sin. He’s never had a definable personality other than NEW YORK, and it seems like the writers realized that this season as they awkwardly put him in things he’d never expressed interest in before, like as a football player and aspiring filmmaker.

Still, he wasn’t a bad character; he was just the catch-all for every trait Eric and Tony didn’t exhibit, which is kind of scary considering those characters. Nicky was never going to be as exciting as Zack Morris or Slater, but they at least could have given him some definable characteristics other than standing around with one look on his face all the time.

Ben Gould had a few more miscellaneous small roles after The New Class, but pretty much left acting after 2005, playing bass for a rock band for a while. According to IMDB, he later moved to NEW YORK for real to work in the restaurant business, but I’ve been unable to confirm this for sure. He’s keeping pretty low key nowadays.

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Katie’s all over the place this year, alternatively being the smart girl, the socially conscious girl, and the stupid girl depending on what the script calls for. She’s almost completely defined this season by her relationship with Nicky and whatever whim the writers had for her that week, and it’s hard to tell if any of it was out of character.

Even when the writers wrote something just for her, like her conflict about not getting a scholarship to go to New York with Nicky, it seemed contrived, especially given how obsessed Katie was with doing everything she could over the last four seasons to get scholarships and shit. She had definitely take over the smart girl role by this time.

Lindsey McKeon continues acting to this day and has seen some degree of success. Probably her most recognizable roles post-The New Class are in regular roles on Supernatural and One Tree Hill. She was also twice nominated for Daytime Emmy awards for a role on Guiding Light. She’s also tried her hand at blogging and writing.

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Eric is horribly underdeveloped this season, not even getting one of his usual wacky shenanigans with Screech episodes. He has an episode where he acts like an asshole to the rest of the gang to try and make a music video, and he gives a shit for some reason about the police academy, but that’s about it. There’s not a lot to say about him other than he likes to sing, in case you weren’t clear about that the previous two seasons.

Anthony Harrell tried his hand a bit longer at acting, but eventually gave it up to focus on his music, which continues to be a primary focus to this day. He comes from a family of musicians and even appeared in a reality show with his brothers in 2008, Brothers to Brutha. He and his brothers had a hip hop group together from 2002 to 2011, and Anthony did a bit of solo work. Nowadays, judging by his Instagram, he’s keeping busy raising his beautiful family.

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Liz is barely in these seasons. Sure, she appears in all twenty-six episodes, but she’s frequently reduced to an extra with a few lines. I’m sure some of the blame for this was that she was simultaneously acting in The Bold and the Beautiful during this season. Nevertheless, I’m willing to place some of the blame on the fact the writers never evolved her past a sex doll for Ryan and being obsessed with swimming. With Ryan’s departure, the writers didn’t bother to figure out anything else for her to do and, so, it’s frequently easy to forget she’s even still around.

Ashley Lyn Cafagna is now Ashley Tesoro. She didn’t keep up acting much beyond her 2001 departure from The Bold and the Beautiful. In fact, she went a completely different direction: Christian music, producing gospel and Christian country music with her husband, producer Anthony Tesoro. She’s also busy nowadays raising her two children.

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Where do I even begin with this season’s weakest link? Tony basically has all the worst qualities of Tommy D and none of the charisma of previous blonde leads like Ryan and Scott. To top it off, Tom Wade Huntington can’t act to save his life, and, as a result, Tony’s a character who’s all over the place, annoying the shit out of us and making me beg the question what I ever did to deserve such torture. Still, he’s almost exclusively defined by his relationship with Maria and being on the football team. I can’t help but question how the writers thought they’d make us give a shit about him in just the little time he had on this show.

Still, as you found out in my bonus post yesterday, I don’t quite rank him at the bottom of The New Class characters as at least he’s not Brian. Still, Tony was an entirely unneeded character in what was, no doubt, the weakest seasons of the show since the second. He was a desperation character and he didn’t work.

Tom Wade Huntington may be the biggest mystery post-The New Class since Spankee Rodgers. He had a few minor roles through 2005, and then he kind of dropped off the face of the planet, keeping no social media accounts I can find. To top it off, when I commented on Cookies and Sangria‘s Where Are They Now post for The New Class and pointed out they left off Rodgers and Huntington, an anonymous poster commented that Huntington has been dead since 2008. This sent me in a frenzy to see if I could confirm this rumor, and I have not. Through some persistent searching, though, I think I was able to track down his mother and sister on Facebook, and, judging by their posts, it seems like he moved back to his hometown in Missouri post-acting and is probably leading a relatively normal life.

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Mr. Belding and Screech have little to do during these seasons other than their C-plot of the week, which is usually a pretty terrible excuse for them to act gay and/or completely incompetent for cheap laughs from an audience who doesn’t have any idea how horrifying it is that two administrators would act this way. Both characters have very little interaction with the gang this season, and Mr. Belding especially is a shell of his former character. Dustin Diamond claims, in his memoir, that he and Dennis Haskins were almost relieved when this stupid show was finally cancelled, and that’s one of the few things I can believe coming from his mouth.

I wish Mr. Belding had a more dignified end, but I suppose getting a new job and getting the fuck away from Screech is about as good as we were going to get. Mr. Belding was one of my favorite characters throughout the original. It was so painful to see him reduced to this idiocy for The New Class. I’m glad he’s finally out of his pain.

But fuck Screech. Fuck Screech and his complete incompetence that was constantly being rewarded. Thank god he didn’t end up principal, at least on screen. It’s horrifying to think of him fucking up the young lives of his students. I’m so tired of him I just can’t muster the hate for him any longer.


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These two seasons will definitely go down as two of the least memorable, even if they’re not technically the worst. I find myself, as I prepare to give my worst list for the season, having already forgotten most of them as they really left that little impact on my memory. Some of you have said in the comments that these episodes never aired in syndication. If that’s true, it wouldn’t surprise me. There’s just nothing here of any interest, and, perhaps it’s fitting that The New Class ended so horribly unspectacular.


My Picks

As usual, here’s my picks for the best and worst of the year. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments below!

One Episode I Loved Ironically:

Season 7, Episode 8: “A Mall Shook Up” Don’t get me wrong: this episode is terrible. But it’s terrible in such a way that I was laughing hysterically the entire time at the sheer ridiculousness of Nicky’s mistreated PTSD after saving Tum Tum, not to mention the fact everyone stuck around the mall after falling debris nearly killed the two of them.

Five Episodes I Hated:

Season 6, Episode 5: “Cigar Wars” We did not need a second anti-smoking episode, especially one centered around Tony. It’s not quite as terrible as Lindsay’s anti-smoking episode from season three, but it’s certainly as preachy, and the reverse peer pressure and Tony smoking on the world’s most open campus are two of the stupidest things of this season.

Season 6, Episode 9: “Mind Games” This is a painful one to watch as the writers are obviously doing their best to try and depict an emotionally abusive relationship, and obviously failing hard at it. I don’t buy for a second Liz would put up with the bullshit in this episode, especially after how quickly she was shown to have the confidence to date again after Ryan’s departure. This episode was complete bullshit.

Season 7, Episode 5: “Liz Burns Eric” All three of the police academy episodes are ridiculously stupid, but this one has a special place in the pits of hell. Liz suddenly acts like an asshole to attract a boy she likes. Is it out of character for her? Does Liz have any character? Who knows. The sudden contrived friendship with Eric and Liz is pretty horrible too, since it comes the fuck out of nowhere.

Season 7, Episode 6: “The X-Friends Files” Another ridiculously over-the-top entry where the writers made a character an asshole for no particular reason other than it was convenient to the plot. How was Nicky the voice of reason for this episode while Katie was the impulsive asshat? I guess we’ll never know, but it made for a horrible episode.

Season 7, Episode 9: “Party Animals” What a terrible, preachy episode. Basically, don’t drink because it’s illegal and you might act like an impulsive asshole. I bet Nicky and Katie’s vow to never drink again lasted about two seconds until they got to their first college party. The fact that most of the consequences of the episode happened off-screen didn’t help either, and Mr. Belding and Screech’s subplot was more moronic than usual.


So that’s it for the recap. I’ll have another bonus post tomorrow. And this Monday I’ll have one final recap of The New Class as a whole, along with some news as to what’s next for this blog.

The New Class Season 7, Episode 13: “A Repair to Remember”

I’ve really been putting off this episode. After watching these idiots graduate last week, it really feels like a step backwards to go back and do this out of order episode. I want this show to be over already! Can’t I just give my summary of what I know this episode will be like: the gang are idiots, Tony has some bad acting, Screech acts like a moron, and everyone learns a valuable lesson in the end?

I guess you’re going to make me review it, huh. Well, here’s to the final episode of this god damned awful series…

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We open at The Max, where Eric comes in to give some exposition dump about the gang going on a ski trip to Tahoe. I’m impressed they picked a real place this time, though I wonder, if Screech’s grandfather owns a resort that one member of this gang helped save, why they don’t just go there. I guess that would make too much sense and prevent this episode from getting off the ground before it started. In any case, they’re psyched that Maria is going to take them all in her Jeep, which they claim has room enough for six.

One, I’m pretty sure that’s against regulations to allow students to drive to a school trip since the school would be liable should they get in an accident. More importantly, do these fucks not realize how big a Jeep is? Seriously, Nicky and Katie think they’re going to have enough room to fuck in the backseat. Possibly if they lay across Eric’s lap I guess.

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And, since it’s the final episode, I just had to show this screen shot of Nicky and Katie making out, not because I give a damn about Nicky and Katie, but because the extra behind them looks in awe to be seeing people mildly make out, possibly because a girl has never touched his winkey dink!

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Maria and Tony come in and Tony gives, in his usual graceful acting, our plot point this week. “CAR OF MARIA NO GO ZOOM ZOOM! CAR OF MARIA NEED NEW ALTERNATOR! MARIA GO GET ALTERNATOR FOR COUPLE HUNDRED DOLLARS AND CAR GO ZOOM ZOOM AGAIN!” Maria’s bummed because this means she won’t have any spending money for Tahoe, but she decides to get the car towed to a mechanic at lunch. If it’s not lunch, when the hell is this taking place? Is this official confirmation that Bayside students can just leave and go to The Max whenever the hell they feel like it?

Tony offers to go to the mechanic with Maria since girls don’t understand cars and shit, but Maria tells him to rest up his acting chops as he might be needed again later in the episode.

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Screech comes in, showing off his usual incompetence in life by trying to snow board in the middle of The Max. Turns out he’s the chaperon for the ski trip because apparently all of Bayside’s students have a death wish. The gang flee at Screech’s advance, and Mr. Belding comes in so we can get the introduction to their final zany plot: Screech has drafted a proposal to the school board demanding a raise because he’s shown himself so capable of doing his job over the past six seasons. Mr. Belding tells Screech that even the writers of this show, with their limited understanding of how schools work, know that, in a school with constant budget problems and being the middle of the school year when this episode is supposed to take place, know that a raise is unlikely for an employee more likely to be a liability to the school than an asset. Screech has his head up his ass, though, and decides he’s going to make it happen because plot!

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At the mechanic’s shop, the repairmen tell Maria that she also needs a starter, meaning the bill is going to be another hundred dollars. Katie says Maria should take the car for a second opinion, but Maria insists that would get in the way of the plot this week. Not only that, but she signs a blank work order because women don’t know shit about cars apparently just turned into women don’t know shit about how to do business. The result will be predictable, but let’s play along and pretend California Dreams hasn’t already done this plot.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Screech shows off a bunch of expensive shit that he’s splurged on because he’s so convinced the school board will give him a raise. Apparently the school board convened a meeting just to consider Screech’s proposal because Mr. Belding is already able to tell Screech they turned down his request for a raise because he’s an idiot and it’s the middle of the school year. Not to be deterred, Screech says he’s sure he’ll find some way to turn this into a full-blown subplot.

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And, just because it’s the final episode, here’s one more horrifying Screech face that would make me never want to send my child to Bayside while this psychopath is working there!

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Back at The Max, Maria delivers the shocking news that the repair guys were crooked and have charged her a thousand dollars for repairs they deemed necessary and are holding the car until she pays. Tony’s all, TONY KNOW TONY SHOULD GO WITH MARIA BECAUSE VAGINA PEOPLE KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ZOOM ZOOM MACHINES!”

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Back at Bayside, the gang continue talking about crooked auto mechanics as Tony decides he just needs to go down with Maria and use the power of bad acting to set the auto mechanics straight.

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Meanwhile, Screech is, for some reason, no longer the chaperon of the school trip, and Eric and Liz bemoan the fact that it will be hard to find someone as incompetent as him who will turn a blind eye to whatever whims they decide to have. Suddenly, Miss Biddy comes around the corner, apparently lost and disoriented after having escaped the dementia ward at the nursing home. Eric and Liz decide that this Miss Simpson rip off would be perfect to lead them on the school trip, and chase after her, apparently not concerned that she can’t even tell Eric’s a boy.

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And we get our reason Screech isn’t chaperoning the trip any longer: he’s decided to go on strike, because one lone employee on strike is sure going to put fear into the hearts of the school board. Not to be one to give up a chance to abuse his authority and engage in flagrant professional boundary violations, Screech starts recruiting random extras to support his campaign of idiocy, including one named Chuckles, which makes me think this guy’s going to grow up be in bad horror films.

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At the mechanic shop, Tony’s all, “GIVE BACK SEXY FRIEND OF TONY’S KEYS!” and the mechanic is all, “No!” The gang try to strike fear in the heart of the mechanics, who are all, “Prove we did anything wrong. You can’t because Maria is an idiot.” The gang go away, defeated by the idiocy of this entire situation.

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Back at Bayside, Miss Biddy is excited to be getting a trip away from the home, so excited that she thinks Eric and Liz are Nicky and Katie because they all look so alike. She’s also drafted a list of rules for the trip, and randomly starts talking about when she was in the military. This suddenly strikes fear in the hearts of Eric and Liz, even though, as far gone as Miss Biddy is, there’s no way she’ll be able to enforce said rules. But Eric and Liz want something to do in this final episode so let’s pretend there’s a real conflict.

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The rest of the gang continue recapping the events of the last scene, and decide to try to go to a consumer group to investigate the crooked business.

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Screech, along with his student minions, protest in front of Mr. Belding’s door and scare away random students who just need to meet with Mr. Belding. Rather than firing Screech on the spot for gross insubordination and threatening to suspend the students for going along with Screech’s idiot plan, Mr. Belding is just like, “Let’s let Screech act like an idiot and get it out of his system one last time.”

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And, to compound the idiocy, Screech holds a press conference, and it must be the slowest news day ever in L.A. if they have time to come listen to Screech’s idiot ramblings. One of the reporters asks Screech how he proposes to fund a raise from a school constantly in crisis, and Screech starts proposing to cut all the activities his supporters care about, leading them to question why they’re supporting the world’s most idiotic administrator and leave.

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In the hallway, Maria discovers that no consumer groups want to help her because she has no proof the mechanics ripped her off except a corroborating eyewitness and the unethical nature of presenting a blank work order to a customer. But that’s not enough proof for the Saved by the Bell universe because otherwise the episode would be over in five minutes. Tony is all, “MARIA STUPID GIRL FOR AUTO MECHANIC SCENARIO!” and Maria walks off pissed.

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Eric and Liz try to play Mr. Belding to send Miss Biddy back to the nursing home rather than on their ski trip, but he’s all, “I’ve gone on every other school trip the last seven seasons! I’ll just go along and make sure Miss Biddy is okay!”

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And Tony is all, “TONY SORRY FOR OUTBURST TO MARIA IN LAST SEASON. TONY CAN BE SUCH SELFISH PRICK SOMETIMES!” They wonder what to do until Screech walks by mumbling about the stupid reporters wanting actual news.

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Screech chains himself to Mr. Belding’s desk, continuing to demand a raise. Rather than firing Screech and having him forcibly removed from Bayside, Mr. Belding locks himself in as well and starts talking about the way budgets work. Screech finally realizes he’s a dumb ass who should have figured out how school pay works like five seasons ago, and unlocks himself from the desk to wait until next year for a raise. But he doesn’t have a key to Mr. Belding’s lock so, one more time, Screech has fucked over Mr. Belding for being way too permissive in his supervisory style.

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Since the mechanics haven’t met her and Screech has been busy being an idiot, Liz pretends to be a southern belle who knows nothing about car repairs, and the mechanics decide that, since she’s an idiot, they’ll take advantage of her as well.

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Maria and Tony rush in with a camera crew to bust the crooked mechanics, and they’re suddenly scared of being exposed, even though the news crew wasn’t inside the shop to film the bust. I guess they have the first ever news camera that can film through walls. The mechanics give Maria back her keys free of charge, but Maria says she’s still going to expose them with her magic tape.

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At The Max, everyone watches the news story that couldn’t possibly have been filmed, and Maria pontificates about the lesson of the episode being that, if you make a mistake and a shady adult takes advantage of you, you have to expose them. Also, the police are apparently shutting down the mechanics pending investigation, which I’m pretty sure is not how how fraud cases work, but this show hasn’t made sense the previous 142 episodes; why would I expect it to now?

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Eric says that, now that Screech is over his latest bout of stupidity, they don’t need Miss Biddy anymore, and Mr. Belding says he’ll just send her back to the nursing home with promises of extra Jello for dessert. And our episode, the season, and the series ends with Mr. Belding getting mad at Tony for kissing Maria at a place where he has no authority and assuring the gang he’s still coming along to teach them how to use a trash can lid as a sled, and god knows why we didn’t get a third ski trip arc in a series that seems so excited to recycle plots constantly, but let’s just be thankful the horrible experience that is Saved by the Bell: The New Class is finally over!


Holy fuck! I did it! I actually did it! I reviewed every last episode of this horrible abomination of a series and I’m really done this time! I swear, if someone digs up a lost episode of this show for me to review, it may really drive me crazy! All that’s left now is to wrap it up. I’ll have my usual season recap Wednesday, along with bonus reviews on Tuesday and Thursday. And, next Monday, I’ll give my final thoughts on this horrible series as a whole and finally put this series out of my mind for good!

The New Class Season 7, Episode 12: “The Bell Tolls”

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We open in the hallway with Maria and Tony excited to be finished with a final exam. Tony is all, “TONY RIP NOTES NOW!” and rips up his notes just as Eric comes out to tell him he’s an idiot and picked up his trigonometry note. Oh, Tony, you’re going to go out of this franchise just as big an idiot as you came in, aren’t you?

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Nicky and Katie brag all about their superior relationship that’s going to transcend their time at Bayside and how he can’t wait to show her around New York, which I assume is code for hot fucking. We finally find out that Nicky’s going to NYU for film studies even though he’s never expressed this interest before while Katie’s going to Columbia for journalism. Katie’s got to stop home before lunch, though, so she can find out how much of a scholarship she’s getting and whether there will be conflict about it this week.

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Meanwhile, Screech is busy decapitating flowers hoping to divine whether Mr. Belding’s going to leave or not.

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Mr. Belding comes up and reveals his decision to the gang: he’s going to accept the position so he can get the fuck away from Screech before this job takes his last remaining sanity. Everyone gives their teary, “We love you and learned our lesson last week so we’re not going to pressure you to stay and shit!” But Screech decides he needs a subplot so he’s in complete denial that Mr. Belding is leaving because that’s why he felt such a need to keep him at Bayside last week.

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At The Max, Maria decides that, since they’re going to be Mr. Belding’s last graduating class, they need to do something special for him to help him take away some memories other than the fragility of Screech. Eric wants to get I *heart* Belding tattoos but forgets he already has one. She decides that each graduating senior will wear a ’68 patch on their gown to honor Mr. Belding’s year of graduation. Whatever I suppose. I guess it’s an okay tribute, though an operation to remove all memories of Screech would be a better present.

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Katie comes in upset, saying she only got a partial scholarship to Columbia and can’t afford to pay the difference, which means she can’t go and will have to go to California State instead. Oh, poor Cal U, snubbed again by your lack of actual existence. Nicky, of course, is distressed he may not get his New York love fest after all.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Screech continues to think that Mr. Belding is putting him on by packing up his office. Mr. Belding finally tells Screech to shut the fuck up because he’s getting the fuck up out of here, and every ending is some other beginning’s end. Screech looks distressed as Mr. Belding leaves. Maria enters and asks Screech to present their very special present to Mr. Belding at graduation because they want to traumatize him one more time.

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In the hallway, Maria’s distressed the gowns are dirty, apparently not knowing things can be cleaned. Tony is all, “TONY AND ERIC USE MACHINE WITH SUDSY WATER TO CLEAN GOWNS!” Maria’s happy she doesn’t have to think about it anymore, but apparently misses that there might be something up about this, not to mention the fact she left this task in the hands of the two stupidest members of the gang., not to mention mention most gowns are dry clean only.

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Nicky runs up and says he’s decided not to go to NYU after all so he can still get his hot fucking. Katie’s excited but Liz has nothing better to do this episode so she acts as a wet blanket to remind her that going to NYU is a dream Nicky’s had since this episode.

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Later, in the hallway, Katie shits on all Nicky’s ideas to stay in LA, saying, “But what about NYU!” Nicky acts equally stupid by getting pissy with Katie and insisting he has to give up NYU for them to be together and shit and that’s just the end of the story.

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Meanwhile, our resident idiots ruin the gowns by putting an ink pen in with them. Not to worry, though, they prove their idiocy knows no bounds as they decide to put an entire bottle of bleach in the washer and rewash the gowns. These two are going to be voted most likely to die a very painful, stupid death, aren’t they?

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At The Max, the gang celebrate what could be their final time together at the place that was once owned by a guy who kept baby chickens in his pants by stealing shit. No joke. They steal shit and then decide they need to go back to Bayside one more time so they can move multiple plot lines along.

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Katie stays behind, though, to tell Liz she an’t let Nicky turn down NYU and is going to pretend to not give a shit about him so he’ll break up with her and go.

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Maria and Nicky meet Mr. Belding in the hallway as Mr. Belding’s taking out the last of his shit. After Mr. Belding’s out of earshot, Screech starts screaming at Maria about graduation and says he can’t handle giving a gift and shit.

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And, as if that’s not enough, Eric and Tony reveal that their idiocy has caused white spots to appear on the gowns because that’s exactly how bleach works.

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And Katie comes up and tells Nicky she doesn’t give a shit about him. He breaks up with her and decides to go to NYU. He doesn’t recognize this is a plagiarized resolution to a California Dreams episode and gets going.

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For some reason, Bayside decides to have graduation at the same place as the prom, which turns out to be Palisades Public Hall because the writers are continuing to believe Palisades is a city and shit. I guess the gym was taken up with Screech auctioning off Mr. Belding’s underwear or something.

Mr. Belding, of course, thinks the white spots on the gown are tie-dye in honor of his graduation year.

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He asks if anyone’s seen Screech and Screech overhears Mr. Belding talk about being emotional and shit.

Katie tries to talk to Nicky but he’s basically like, “Fuck off, whore!” and she runs off. Liz tells Nicky it’s about time, after four seasons, he wake up and realize when there’s a really contrived plot in action. Nicky finds Katie and confronts her on this. She admits she just wants him to follow his relatively new dream and that, if they’re meant to be together, NBC will order a reunion movie taking place in Las Vegas where they’ll be married. Otherwise, it’ll just be clear the viewers don’t give a shit about them. They decide to go their separate ways.

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It’s time for graduation and, of course, our main characters get to sit in the front row because they’re the only ones that actually matter. Yeah, that’s exactly how seating at commencement works: sit out of alphabetical order next to your friends. What the fuck ever.

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Maria gives a bit of a speech as Mr. Belding, Screech, and two people we’ve never met look on. Seriously, you just introduced us to the superintendent two weeks ago. Could you not have enough foresight to consider that maybe it might be good to have him back for graduation? Fucking incompetent writers to the end.

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Screech presents Mr. Belding with his present from the graduating class, an oil painting that will live on forever in the halls of Bayside along with Screech’s undying sorrow that they won’t grow old together and have babies.

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And then, we have the diploma presentation, and Mr. Belding gives each of our six characters a mini-speech about how proud he is of them and shit. If he does this for every graduating student, this must be the longest commencement ever. Tony here is all, “DIPLOMA LOOK DELICIOUS! TONY EAT DIPLOMA NOW!” Of course, all the extras already have their diplomas and I like to imagine Mr. Belding just threw them randomly into the audience yelling, Oprah style, “You get a diploma and you get a diploma!”

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Our six characters join a group of extras for our final scene as they sing the old school song. And, despite the fact we were supposed to have learned about the evils of sleep deprivation last season, they leave the lyrics about studying until 3:00 unchanged because this show is completely and utterly unable to continue anything past one episode, not even to mention the fact that it’s painfully obvious the only person singing in their real voice is Eric. Everyone else doesn’t sound at all like their real voices.

So Mr. Belding presents the class of 2000. Yes, in case you’re one of those still desperately trying to resolve this show with real time, this means Maria was, indeed, in high school for at least six years. And our episode ends with the realization that, after USA jettisons reruns of this show in a few years, no one will give a shit about any of these people anymore.

Of course, I think the biggest surprise is that the rumor I’ve been hearing all these years about Screech becoming principal in the final episode are not true. Thank god someone saw fit to not put him in charge of the lives of teenagers. Maybe that’s where the superintendent is: off trying to hire a new principal whose first act will be to fire Screech for his bull shit! Unfortunately, we all know that would never happen because this is the universe where Screech could go on a murderous rampage and only receive a lecture with the week’s lesson as his punishment.

Oh, hallelujah! After two and a half years, this stupid fucking torturous ass series with some of the worst writing and acting I’ve ever seen in my life is finally over! I need never watch it again! Maybe I should even burn my DVDs for some cathartic release because you know they’re going away in some deep, dark cabinet, never to see the light of day again! The end of this stupid fucking series was the best Christmas present I could have received this year!

Wait, what’s that you’re saying, comments section? There’s one more episode after this? And, to add insult to injury, the final episode is an out of order episode that has nothing to do with the end of the series? And I have to review it?

God damn it.

The New Class Season 7, Episode 11: “Mr. B. Goes to College”

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We open to discover that, once again, a random adult has wandered into Bayside and is just walking around the halls like they belong there. Were schools really this unsafe in the 1990s? I don’t remember my high school being so irresponsible, but who knows. He walks up to some random teenagers in the hallway who look like they may be getting paid for this episode to ask them where Mr. Belding is rather than going to the office and having him paged like a normal person.

Turns out this is Brian Campbell, an old frat brother of Mr. Belding’s, and he starts just telling stories about Mr. Belding to these kids he just met because that’s not creepy and shit. He says that was a long time ago, though, and he’s sure Mr. Belding doesn’t have an incompetent administrative assistant who makes him do stupid shit.

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Unfortunately, Brian would be wrong on that account as Screech has decided that, for graduation, they need to dress like horrible Middle Eastern stereotypes as a tribute to all the casual racism of this show. Mr. Belding gives some exposition about how Brian is now the president of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and he says he’s here looking for prospects for new faculty and thought he’d stop in so he can be in this eternally memorable show before it goes off the air.

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Mr. Belding and Brian go in his office to look through an old photo album and Mr. Belding invites Screech and the gang along to look at the album because, after twelve years in this franchise, Mr. Belding still has no boundaries when it comes to friendships with students, and I’m sure they don’t have class or anything to keep them away.

And then comes the real horror of this episode: it’s a clip show episode, the final of the franchise, and the gang randomly start telling Brian about the incompetent things Mr. Belding and Screech have done over the last four seasons. Unfortunately, they even show clips of the season five wilderness survival episodes because I wanted to see shit from those episodes again.

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And, after Brian has had a chance to listen to the stupid things that go on at Bayside, he’s all, “Now I want to offer you a job as dean at my university because I enjoy people who don’t fire completely stupid and idiotic staff members and break lots of boundaries!” Yeah, lots of people without PhDs get scouted out for upper level university administration jobs by former college classmates. Is this a diploma mill Mr. Belding is being offered? And we fade to commercial break with the gang wondering what the fuck just happened.

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We rejoin Mr. Belding in the hallway as Screech begs Mr. Belding not to leave him before they have a chance to consummate their love. Mr. Belding tells Screech to fuck off so he can think about whether he wants out of this torturous hell. Screech and the gang decide to be little assholes and convince Mr. Belding to stay at Bayside because they must maintain the status quo for eternity.

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At The Max,  Screech and the gang show Mr. Belding some clips about how he’s supposedly helped them, including Tony being all, “TONY STOP SMOKING CIGARS BECAUSE OF MR. PRINCIPAL PERSON!” Mr. Belding decides that’s a rock solid case that he’s needed in this franchise since Screech will obviously fuck things up even worse if left unsupervised, and says he’ll go tell Brian he’s turning down the job, looking dejected that he’s not getting away from Screech.

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Screech gives his constipated face as he and the gang realize they’ve been little assholes to convince Mr. Belding to stay, even though this is exactly what they did to a much less competent Screech a few seasons ago. But this time it’s wrong because Mr. Belding is going to die from a stroke due to stress before Little Zack enters puberty.

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Screech and the gang go to Mr. Belding’s office and convince him, though the power of yet more clips, how much he’s taught them to see both sides of the issue because that somehow means he should re-evaluate his decision to stay.

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What I find more distracting is that they actually show a clip from season two’s “The Return of Screech,” and I can’t believe I’d forgotten how much less annoying season two Screech was before he swallowed a dying squirrel later in the series. What’s more, they even show the horrible season two cast talking in the clip as if they actually existed, including my arch-nemesis, fake-Swiss Brian. I guess none of those people will be graduating next week since they were smart and abandoned this stupid show. Well, Screech does name Tommy D, Lindsay, Rachel, and Ryan by name as people Mr. Belding has influenced since they’re in the three season club, but fuck any of those other losers who have been on this show over the years. I guess that’s the writers of this show trying to figure out how to give closure for a show that’s lasted seven seasons but only seen one consistent cast member.

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Well, Mr. Belding says the power of clips has convinced him to rethink whether he wants to take the job because incompetent writers thought this would be some sort of cliffhanger going into graduation. And our episode ends with Mr. Belding putting the dreaded “To Be Continued” up on the screen as he promises to reveal his decision next week. Need I remind my audience that, the last time a cliffhanger on this show involved a clip show episode, they burned The Max down and brought Slater back for a very stupid cameo?

The New Class Season 7, Episode 10: “The Last Prom”

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Why, no, no, I don’t, because, last time Bayside had a prom for a group of students deemed worthy to be followed around by cameras, it was fucking stupid. I’m sure it will be just as idiotic this time, but, if I’m to get through these last four episodes, I have to endure it anyway.

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We open to find Eric singing creepily to random extras, presumably because Anthony Harrell’s finally cracking under the insanity of being in this stupid fucking show. Turns out he’s happy the characters are going to get to announce where they’re going to college, just in case NBC loses their mind and decide they want to try The College Years again. I have two questions: why is Eric just now getting his acceptance letter (and is it a legit university) and why are they doing this as if none of them have heard this in the clunkiest way possible. Writing, people! Writing!

In any case, our characters are going to:

  • Eric: The Chicago Academy of Music, which does exist but doesn’t offer degrees and mostly teaches children, so good luck with that, Eric.
  • Liz: Stanford. I guess she’s fulfilling Jessie’s dream.
  • Tony: San Diego State. No, I refuse to believe a college would admit Tony.
  • Katie and Nicky: Going to New York, university not specified so I have to assume they’re moving in with Nicky’s mom so Nicky can play video games all day while Katie raises their babies.
  • Maria: UCLA.

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Tony thinks Maria is going to be lonely so he assures her, “TONY ONLY BE TWO HOURS AWAY FROM MARIA SO TONY STOP IN OFTEN FOR THE HANKY PANKEY!” Maria’s excited to be meeting new people and be rid of The New Class cast, though, and maybe she might even get a role in a shitty Denzel Washington movie!

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We meet Liz’s date, who all but uses sex to get him to do whatever the hell she wants, which apparently involves climbing a mountain and getting her flowers because we’re portraying Liz as a greedy, selfish bastard this episode. Hoping to get into Liz’s pants before she goes Christian, the boy rushes off to find the flowers she wants.

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Our Mr. Belding and Screech subplot this week is that Mr. Belding trusts Screech to sort his allergy medicine, which it’s Mr. Belding’s damn fault for whatever consequences occur as a result. If h’s going to leave the man who walked in and thought a bunch of pills were candy in charge of his medicine, he deserves whatever is coming. Mr. Belding leaves Screech to sort them out on his own…

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…and Nicky and Katie, as co-chairs of the prom committee, walk in and distract Screech. Since Screech can’t even retain important instructions on a good day without high school students distracting him over the color of baloons, he mixes up the instructions. Rather than telling Mr. Belding, he lets him just swallow the pills and waits for whatever zaney antics are to come.

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At The Max, Nicky and Katie freak out that the napkins and tablecloths nearly didn’t match and apparently would have cancelled prom had they not. Even the writers realize how stupid this is as Eric starts making fun of them, but Katie says their last prom has to be perfect and shit since some of their acting careers won’t make it past the end of the season.

Tony comes over and wants to be a wet blanket to Maria’s excitement over college and is all, “TONY AND MARIA NEVER LEAVE THE NEW CLASS! TONY AND MARIA BE HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS FOREVER!” Eric senses something’s wrong by the over the top pouty expression on Maria’s face, and she confesses she doesn’t understand that Tony wants everything will be the same and wants to hold on to this show because it’s virtually all he’ll ever have: the final two seasons of one of the worst spin-offs ever.

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Back at Bayside, Eric breaks the news to Liz that her date was injured trying to get her stupid flowers. Rather than be concerned the guy apparently almost died, Liz is more worried that she now doesn’t have a prom date and mad that her date didn’t call to tell her he almost died. Eric tells her not to worry for he’s the character with lots of siblings and he’s sure he can get one of them to go to prom with her.

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Meanwhile, Tony gives Maria a calling card so they can call each other every night when they’re off at college. She tells Eric she can’t take much more of his bad acting smothering, but she says she can’t tell him he’s fucking stupid on their prom night and maybe she can just wait until the end of the series and then tell him. Eric reminds her that, since this is the plot of the episode, she’s probably going to need to tell him soon so she better get ready for it.

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It’s time for prom at wherever the hell this is…

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…and Katie thinks it’s perfect and beautiful and shit.

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Unfortunately for Liz, the only one of Eric’s brothers available for this episode was his brother Warren, so she’s now dating a twelve year-old I guess. He immediately tries to start kissing her and drags her away for a humiliating night.

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Tony gives Maria a bracelet to remind Maria of him when he’s long gone from acting, and she’s less than thrilled about the fake guilt trip he’s putting her through.

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Nicky and Katie are horrified to discover their band was sent to Tijuana. Instead of taking advantage of the perfect opportunity to have a California Dreams reunion, they send in a stereotypical Mexican mariachi band because I knew something stupid was going to happen at this prom.

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Oh, but not just one something stupids because Mr. Belding’s high and knocks food off the table so he can sleep. Screech randomly decides his job is to keep Mr. Belding from getting in trouble with the superintendent, Mr. Fenwick, because explaining you doped your boss may get you fired or some shit.

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Fortunately, we have casual racism to fall back on so Screech dresses Mr. Belding up as a mariachi singer. Though Mr. Fenwick doesn’t recognize Mr. Belding at first, a few racist stereotypes are all it takes for Mr. Fenwick to finally recognize a man as the same man with a really bad mustache and racist costume.

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Warren goes off to hit on Katie and Liz calls him a scuz bucket for hitting on another older girl when she made it pretty clear she didn’t like him. He runs off, tired of being a C-plot on a really horrible show and just biding his time until he can be in the movie adaptation of Holes with quality actors like Shia LaBeouf.

Oh, and Nicky gets punch spilled all over him and Tony feels the need to point it out to him. Tony’s a special kind of guy.

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Maria and Eric go outside to talk about how much Tony sucks and, the fuck out of nowhere, they start making out. In about the millionth time this subplot has happened on this show, Tony comes out and finds them there and runs off to figure out how to emote what he’s feeling.

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Liz finds Warren and apologizes for making him long for days of Shia LaBeouf and insists that, one day, he might even get laid. I swear, Warren’s a better actor than certain cast members on this show, and he’s like twelve. Why couldn’t he be a main character the last two seasons?

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Maria finds Tony and Tony’s all, “ERIC EXPLAIN TO TONY THAT HANKEY PANKEY ON BALCONY JUST BAD WRITING AND TONY FORGET ALL ABOUT THAT MANURE!” Maria tells Tony they can’t just forget about that manure, though, and they need to talk so they can have a climax, and not of the good kind.

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Mr. Fenwick demands an explanation of Mr. Belding’s condition and Screech finally admits to mixing up Mr. Belding’s pills because he apparently takes ecstasy for his allergies. This is the perfect chance for someone not Mr. Belding to fire Screech for his incompetence, but Mr. Fenwick, of course, has been fooled by Screech’s Siren song and can’t fire him. Instead, he turns this into a very special episode message about the dangers of taking the wrong dosage of prescriptions medicine, and, I swear, this may be the most shoehorned message of this series. In fact maybe, if Mr. Belding quits in like two episodes, Screech can be rewarded for his stupidity with a job he’s completely unqualified for!

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On the balcony, Tony’s all, “TONY HAVE HORNY FEELINGS FOR MARIA AND WANT MARIA IN TONY’S LIFE!” Tony tells him fuck that shit, though, and she needs to break free of his bad acting grip. She breaks up with him and gives him his bracelet back so she never has to think about him again after graduation.

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Inside, Nicky and Katie bemoan how stupid this night has been as Liz says Warren is off sleeping with Mr. Belding because that couldn’t be taken the wrong way.

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And our episode ends with our main characters having their final dance to a bad mariachi slow dance song as Maria and Tony promise to be friends at least to the end of the series.

Good lord, that episode was one huge mess. It’s like they wanted an emotional episode with six underdeveloped characters so they had to throw something together to pretend we’ve ever given a shit about any of them.

The New Class Season 7, Episode 9: “Party Animals”

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Well, we’re near the close of the season so that means it’s time for…semester finals. Okay, I guess that could work. We’ve only got a couple episodes left until finals. Let’s see where our brilliant writers go with this. I’m sure, knowing this show, it will be competent and Emmy worthy.

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We open at Bayside as Tony is all, “TONY ACE HISTORY TEST! ERIC GIVE TONY KISS NOW!” Eric gets the fuck out of the way and pushes Maria into Tony’s kiss instead because no one really wants to kiss him.

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But Nicky’s pretty depressed about the geometry test. Katie’s pretty bummed, too, because she’s poor again this episode and needs to think about scholarships. I mean, it’s only a few episodes to the end of the series. Shouldn’t she have been thinking about scholarships last season? The New Class, do you not know how scholarships work either?

Maria suggests they do the traditional thing that was just invented in year twelve of this franchise by having a end of semester party and shit. Liz is excited because this means she can have her first beer with her friends, but Nicky reminds Liz that the rest of them already had very special episodes about drinking, except Tony, who I assume is just drunk all the time with his stupidity.

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In the traditional Mr. Belding and Screech subplot, Screech hears a rumor from Valley’s lunch lady that some Valley students are planning on pulling a prank on Bayside tonight. Mr. Belding tells Screech to quit being stupid and pulling him into yet another lame ass subplot, but Screech reminds Mr. Belding that they once tied Mr. Belding up in his underwear. Actually, wouldn’t that be a good thing for Screech as it would allow him to see the object of his affections nearly nude? After all, isn’t that why Screech always stops dating the pretty girls he’s with on this show: because he realizes no one can really replace Mr. Belding?

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In Miss Bickle’s chemistry class…was Miss Bickle a chemistry teacher before? I can’t remember. I can’t be expected to give a shit about the minor characters of this show this late in the run. Anyway, Miss Bickle says next semester they’ll be studying the “mystery of hydrogen.” One, why would they study hydrogen in the second semester of a chemistry class? What did they study this semester: Screech? Two, does Miss Bickle not realize it’s a few episodes before graduation? How is she going to have them next semester?

Fucking hell, The New Class, you did it again, didn’t you? This is yet another episode that chronologically belongs in season six. Fucking hell, The New Class.

Oh, yeah, and Liz reminds Miss Bickle of their homework so we can establish she’s a kiss ass really quickly.

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Mr. Belding and Screech come in and ask Miss Bickle if they can make an announcement, and she says it must be important. No, Miss Bickle, you aren’t on this show enough to realize that nothing these two do on this show is important. In fact, I’m willing to bet they’re here because they forgot how to operate the intercom. And they prove me right as they go into a lecture on the dangers of alcohol and how they hope none of their students are planning on being in a very special episode about the dangers of drinking at the end of the semester. Fortunately, none of these consequences will occur in this episode, making it even stupider and giving Screech a chance to talk about doing the Macarena with his chicken or some shit. And, as they leave, it gives Screech the opportunity to scream mad ramblings about Valley students pulling pranks or some shit.

Are Mr. Belding and Screech going around to every class giving this lecture or are our six idiots the important ones since they’re in the credits?

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Well, Mr. Belding and Screech used up the last bit of Miss Bickle’s class so the boys talk about how bad drinking and driving is but that it’s okay because they’re not going to drive, which sounds reasonable. Katie’s all, “WAH WAH WAH guys, underage drinking is illegal,” and Tony is all, “TONY GIVES NO SHITS ABOUT KATIE’S MORAL LECTURES.” The boys say they’ll get enough beer for everyone and we have a plot.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Mr. Belding discovers his old badminton trophy is missing. Screech decides this must be the work of Valley, but Mr. Belding is sensibly like, “What the fuck does Valley want with my badminton trophy?” Not one to be dissuaded from a stupid subplot by logic, Screech quickly convinces Mr. Belding of the truth of his ramblings through more stupid ramblings. Now thoroughly convinced because plot, Mr. Belding decides they have to nab the Valley students.

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At The Max, Nicky reveals he couldn’t get any beer. And why couldn’t he get any beer, you ask?

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Because Nicky doesn’t understand how fake IDs work and apparently got one with a picture of a middle-aged Filipino man. At least the show didn’t make the reason Nicky couldn’t get beer out to be that the fake ID is two years expired. Tony got beer because he already looks like he’s not in high school, except he was stupid and got non-alcoholic beer. Don’t worry, though, Maria and Liz flirted with a few guys and bought liquor so they’re all set for a nice moralizing lesson.

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At the set for season five’s wilderness survival episodes (I guess they had to get their money’s worth out of that set since no one will ever see it again), everyone except Katie’s drinking up and singing shit. Eric finds out that Maria and Tony didn’t do so well on the history test and keeps rubbing it in the whole night.

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Katie’s a blast at parties as she’s sitting around thinking about tests. Nicky’s all, “You need some beer,” and she’s all, “But I’m a wet blanket and don’t like beer.”  No joking: everyone, including the extras, start chanting Katie’s name until she gives in and starts drinking because real friends pressure each other into doing things they don’t want to.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Mr. Belding and Screech make a plan to nab the non-existent Valley pranksters using Spice Girls dolls, because that reference isn’t dated or anything. Yeah, this is supposed to be a replica of Bayside’s full grounds.

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Back at wilderness survival grounds, Katie’s drunk and telling Liz how much she sucks for being a suck-up to Miss Bickle because I guess Katie’s been holding in so much anger that it comes out while she’s drunk.

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And, at Bayside, Screech throws a net over Mr. Belding so he has an excuse to tackle Mr. Belding.

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And then he ties them up in a big net trap so they can be together all night and make out. Mr. Belding tells Screech how fucking stupid this is as, if there are Valley students pranking them, they have no way to get them back now.

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And we’re immediately back to wilderness survival, where, as the rest of the mini-plots go on, Katie dances with one of the extras and makes out with him. Before he can confront her, though, sirens start blaring with police coming to break up the party off-screen. Yeah, no joke. We immediately go to commercial…

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…and return the next day to find the gang at The Max. And, what’s worse, they’re all going to tell us what their off-screen consequences were:

  • Tony hurt his throwing arm trying to get away. Don’t worry. There won’t be a Saved by the Bell: The New Class: The College Years where that will come in handy. You’re done and forgotten in a few episodes.
  • Eric got arrested and his parents had to bail him out.
  • Maria got arrested and Captain Lopez left her to rot in jail and shit.
  • Liz vomits. Sexy.

That’s some great writing there, guys. As my English professor always said, tell, don’t show. Oh, wait, no he didn’t because that’s not the way you get viewers to give a shit about your show! This is like bad Saved by the Bell fan fiction written by a twelve-year old. What’s worse is the only revelations we’ve gotten on why alcohol is bad is because underage drinking is illegal, you might get sick, you might act like an asshole, and, if you’re a horrible actor like Tony, you might experience some hilarious pain. Like many other very special episodes this show has featured, I doubt this one is convincing anyone who’s not already a goody two shoes like Katie.

Speaking of Katie, she comes in and apologizes to the gang for being an asshole while drunk but especially apologizes to Nicky for doing the exact same thing to him that he did to her four seasons ago with Maria. He’s all, “Fuck you, slut!” and sends her off for shaming. The rest of the gang tell him that, if it hadn’t been for his ham-fisted attempts at peer pressure they all supported, she wouldn’t have drank, therefore her making out with another guy is his fault so he needs to immediately forgive her. He marches out of The Max to consider whether he’s ready to press the reset button, and Eric apologizes for being an asshole about the test and shit, because that little thread was so important.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, we learn Screech chewed their way out of the net after three hours because we’re getting more evidence he’s not human. There’s a present on Mr. Belding’s desk, apparently from Mrs. Belding, who not only calls herself Mrs. Belding to her husband but had the badminton trophy reconditioned because we needed a stupid excuse for that subplot and Screech once again was an idiot, as if that surprises me at this point.

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And, in Screech’s weekly attempt to kill Mr. Belding, he apparently hid a bear trap behind Mr. Belding’s desk, which he promptly sticks his foot in, ending this stupid subplot.

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In the hallway, Nicky apologizes to Katie and Katie apologizes to Nicky and, though he claims he can’t get the picture of her kissing the other boy out of his head, he’s all, “We’ve only got a few episodes left. Let’s just press the reset button.” So they do, and they vow to never drink again, even when they go off to college, because that will make them a blast at college parties. They know it’s going to be hard as they remember when they got drunk in Paris last year, realizing that their sobriety is at the whim of the worst writers on television, and the episode ends with the realization for me that these fucking very special episodes just keep getting worse and worse.

T-minus four episodes remaining.

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:

The New Class Season 7, Episode 7: “Don’t Follow the Leader”

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Oh, the irony. The camera pans over a sign above the doors that says, “Through these doors pass the finest cadets in training.” Then, in walk six horrible, horrible characters talking about how this is their last week at the academy. How long were they there? How are they getting any of their graduation requirements in if they keep going off on random months away from school? Why do I expect any of this to make sense at this point?

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Captain Lopez is back this week to introduce us to our horrible gimmick: a cadet competition in which Katie hopes she gets to beat a confession out of a suspect. Yeah, finest cadets ever..

Actually, Captain Lopez says they’re dividing up into teams to compete against each other and, since we’re over budget on the cop actors, the six of them are the only ones that matter. Maria, Liz, and Tony will go with Sergeant Meinhart while Nicky, Eric, and Katie will be with Sergeant Schilling, who apparently will be the villain of this episode as the very first thing he does is express how much he really wants to win the cadet competition, for some reason.

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Meanwhile, in the cafeteria, Officer Barry is back and she suddenly wants to fuck Mr. Belding because we need something for them to do to not make it look like they’re completely useless in these episodes. But, yeah, for reasons I can’t fathom, the academy is having a chili cook off because that seems like  completely legit thing a fucking police academy would do, right? I think these writers have been watching too much of the Police Academy movies. In any case, Mr. Belding and Screech are going to combine their cherished family recipes for chili and enter the contest together.

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In the training room, we see Maria and Tony practicing rope climbing. Sergeant Meinhart tells them to take a break, and we get our completely useless subplot of the week: Maria and Tony like eating junk food, but Liz thinks it’s bad and eats vegetables! Oh, how will this all important subplot end? I’m on the edge of my seat about whether Liz will be judgmental enough throughout!

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Sergeant Schilling comes in and tells Meinhart he reserved the room for his team. Meinhart is like, “Okay!” and, after Meinhart and his people leave, Schilling reveals he lied about reserving the room because he’s the obvious villain and he expects the three of them to make him look good in front of Captain Lopez because I guess the captain has him on latrine duty or some shit.

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In the kitchen, Mr. Belding and Screech cook chili as Screech pours a whole bottle of hot sauce in. He takes a bite and drinks lots of water and Officer Barry flirts some more with Mr. Belding. Then Mr. Belding and Screech argue over whose ingredient Officer Barry is smelling.

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Back in the lobby, Sergeant Schilling chews Nicky out for helping Maria adjust an oxygen tank on her back because that could help her win the competition and shit. He’s evil and shit because he wants to win, and Katie’s the first to recognize his nefarious ways.

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Back in the training room, I think Tony’s a little too happy to be holding this cucumber. Turns out they’re full of candy, and Liz, after initially praising them, discovers the candy and starts judging them. She takes a bite of candy to show how stupid a very special episode on the evils of junk food would be, and Maria and Tony decide they can give up junk food after all. As they walk away, Liz starts eating handfuls, showing she’s now addicted because I guess this is what passes as irony on this show.

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So the first event is on, and Tony easily destroys Nicky in the climb-a-ladder-with-an-oxygen-tank-on-your-back event. Afterwards, he tells Maria, “TONY HURT HIS ANKLE-WANKLE AND NOW WALK IT OFF!”

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Sergeant Schilling is pissed they lost, and tell them it’s time for a new strategy: make Tony believe his ankle is hurt worse than it actually is because Tony shouldn’t be so hard to fool. Now Eric thinks this might be wrong, too, but Nicky insists he’s in charge of them and shit so they have to follow his orders. Also, Sergeant Schilling is the villain, in case you haven’t figured that out yet.

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In the dining room, Mr. Belding and Screech argue with a reporter about whose recipe is most important in chili because this stupid plot is still going on.

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In the boys’ dorm, Nicky and Eric convince Tony that his ankle looks horrible and that, unless he stays off it, he could ruin his football career. Tony stumbles off to put some ice on his ankle and shit.

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In the kitchen, Mr. Belding and Screech continue arguing over the chili as Officer Barry tries to mediate. They won’t hear of it, though, and Mr. Belding says that he’s so pissed off he’s entering on his own as Officer Barry makes another pass at him.

In the training room, Liz is still eating candy while Maria and Tony have kicked the habit. isn’t that special.

Tony comes in to workout and tells Nicky and Eric he went to see a doctor, who gave him some exercises to do to make his ankle feel better. “BESIDES,” Tony says, “IF TONY FOOTBALL CAREER NO TAKE OFF, TONY HAS ACTING CAREER AS BACKUP!”

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Sergeant Schilling is pissed that Nicky and Eric couldn’t convince Tony his ankle was worse than it is and yells at them. He tells them they need to injure Tony and, if they won’t, he’ll kick them out for disobeying orders. Nicky’s finally on board with the Sergeant Schilling is evil crowd. Personally, I don’t see what the problem is. I’ve wanted to injure Tony at least once a week since the start of season six. They should do what I can’t, for fraudenscheude’s sake.

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The three finally go to see Captain Lopez, giving him a hypothetical situation about not following orders. The captain tells them that cadets shouldn’t be forced to do something that’s against their conscience, showing that, once again, the writers for this show don’t understand how the police work. I might personally disagree with the War on Drugs, or the criminalization of sex work, for instance, but, if I’m a police officer, I don’t get to opt out of arresting people in it just because I disagree with it. Granted, Sergeant Schilling’s definitely out of line in this episode, but Captain Lopez’s advice, in general, is bull shit and shows a complete lack of understanding.

Naturally, the three refuse to tell Captain Lopez what they’re actually upset about because that would resolve the plot five minutes too early. They give the excuse that it would be their word against his, but I call bull shit. In any case, Katie says they don’t have to put up with Sergeant Schilling’s shit so they shouldn’t go hurt Tony, much to my disappointment.

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At the chili cook off, Mr. Belding and Screech realize that their chili are both good and mend their differences. They decide to combine their chili…

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…and promptly kill two judges because I guess the secret ingredient was arsenic. Officer Barry, being the last judge alive, tries to give the award to Mr. Belding, but he refuses as he sees through her ploy to get in his pants. He tell her he thinks he’s still married even though he’s gone from home for months at a time multiple times a year so he can’t be fucking with her. She asks if she can at least have a hug, so Screech gives her one as she disappears softly into the obscurity an appearance on The New Class brings.

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Back at the competition, Liz beats Eric at the…hose rolling contest…geez, they really ran out of ideas for this thing, didn’t they? In any case, Liz is now confirmed to be hooked on sweets so Maria and Tony take her off to rehab before a very special episode starts.

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Sergeant Schilling is pissed because the trio refuse to hurt Tony. Come on, he can’t be as pissed as me! In any case, Captain Lopez overhears as they coach Schilling into admitting he want Tony injured, and Captain Lopez tells Sergeant Schilling he’s in big trouble, mister, but we’ll never find out the results since he’ll never be on this show again. Captain Lopez tells the three he decided to keep an eye on them and see what’s going on, and he’s proud of them for not injuring on of the worst actors who’s ever graced this franchise. And our episode ends with the trio congratulating themselves on learning not to blindly follow orders in a profession where blindly following orders is often the norm. Seriously, the moral of this episode doesn’t work in a police academy episode, especially when cadets are also taught over and over that they have to trust their fellow officers as a matter of survival. It also contradicts Captain Lopez’s very words just a few weeks ago about the importance of following orders. Leave it to The New Class to get it wrong.

The New Class Season 7, Episode 6: “The X-Friends Files”

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We’re back at the mall this week to find Liz randomly announcing that the mall’s sponsoring a grudge match between two random, nameless employees who don’t know how to settle their differences on their own. Yeah, this is the most contrived excuse for a subplot. It’s even contrived for this show and that’s how you know it’s bad. It’s basically around to give Liz and Eric something to do since Liz wants Eric to be a referee or some shit. He’s initially hesitant to get involved in such a stupid subplot, but he eventually agrees when he realizes a couple pretty girls are going to be ring girls.

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Katie comes in all excited and shit because she’s gotten her boss to agree to have a party for all their members at the Teen Machine because gyms throw random expensive parties all the time. There’s lots of reminding the viewer that Maria and Katie are best friends and shit…

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…and, I have to admit, I actually chuckled at the stupidity of it when Nicky and Tony did their best girly voice in an attempt to mock the two for being best friends. “NICKY BE BEST FRIEND OF TONY AND GIRLY SHIT!” Tony says. Oh, for the nineties when men acting like stereotypical women was apparently the most hilarious thing ever!

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At the Teen Machine, Maria and Katie plan the party. BORING! Put flamboyant Tony back on the screen! That was more interesting! Make Tony the first out gay character in the Engel-verse! I want to see that train wreck!

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Well the show has a train wreck of a different sort in store for us this week as Maria walks away and Katie apparently instantly finds her journal on her laptop. Nicky comes up and is all, “We shouldn’t be reading this as it will surely have repercussions!” Katie reads it anyway, though, and finds out that Maria thinks Katie’s mean and thoughtless. How dare she think such a thing of the person reading her most private thoughts!

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At Gadgets and Gizmos, we find out that the “weapons” for the grudge match are being provided by Mr. Belding’s store because that’s apparently great promotion watching merchandised be used to harm your opponent, and Screech proceeds to punch Mr. Belding in the face with one of them because he’s trying to kill Mr. Belding before the series is over. Liz and Eric come in to deliver bad news, though: the nameless employees had their fight early and one sent the other to the hospital, meaning the grudge match is over and Gadgets and Gizmos won’t get their cheap ass promotion.

So, predictably, Screech comes up with an idea for he and Mr. Belding to pretend like they’re pissed at each other so they can be in the grudge match because Mr. Belding has no compunctions about doing illegal shit this season. Liz and Eric quickly agree to let them make fools out of themselves so we’ll have a subplot.

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In the food court, Katie tries to get Maria to admit that Maria thinks she sucks ass, but Maria won’t admit such a thing. Nicky reminds Katie that she can’t really confess to Maria how much she knows without admitting she’s read her journal, but she’s determined to get Maria to admit it so we can advance the plot.

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So, at the Teen Machine, Katie convinces Maria to tell the entire gang what she thinks about them out of her journal, but the only thing I’m gleaming from this scene is that Eric is the only character who has an actual, unique character trait because he sings and shit. When Maria dares to say Katie’s a good friend, Katie reveals she read an entry, causing Maria to barge out of the room pissed off. Ironically, Katie reveals the entry was dated September 11. I’ll leave it to my commenters to decide what that means.

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In the food court, it’s time for the grudge match…

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…which is an obvious rip-off of American Gladiators. Mr. Belding and Screech pretend to fight in ridiculous costumes complete with choreography out of one of the fight scenes from the original Star Trek. But they start shocking each other and, by the end, they’ve ruined all the gizmos and are shocked that a grudge match could have caused so much damage because I don’t even understand this episode.

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At the movies, Maria and Katie engage in sitcom cliche #3456, talking through other people when the characters are mad at each other, until a random extra yells for them to shut up so the movie can start.

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And, at the Teen Machine, they fight over all the details regarding the party…

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…which culminate in Maria smashing a cake in Katie’s face. You know, they’re both acting as representatives of their employers, and I’m pretty sure they’re both doing fireable things, but it merely ends in Katie declaring their friendship is over and such.

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In the hallway, the rest of the gang try to get Katie to remember how much she cares for Maria by pretending like Maria’s in the hospital with pneumonia, but Tony ruins it by saying they’re going to have to take out her lungs. “TONY SORRY TONY NO UNDERSTAND HOW MEDICINE STUFF WORKS,” he says, and the gang sans Liz walk away to let Katie bask in her self-righteousness.

Liz is there to be the voice of reason again after doing all the shitty stuff last week and remind Katie she’s a fucking hypocrite as Katie flipped out on Liz when Liz went through her datebook to get a phone number and shit.

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In the food court, Mr. Belding and Screech admit to Eric and Liz that they faked the grudge match and it cost them thousands of dollars because they’re idiots. Eric says it’s too bad they didn’t get it on video because everyone wants to see it again…

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…and it just so happens that a really shitty sitcom was filming at the same time as their grudge match so they got the footage and released it on video and shit and people are actually making enough money for them to recoup their losses. Yeah, Screech claims the footage came from security cameras but, given it’s in color, fairly reasonable resolution, and has camera angles that couldn’t possibly be created by security cameras, I call bullshit.

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So it’s time to end our main plot, and Katie asks Maria to come outside the grooving party to apologize to Maria for being a jack ass. Maria has Katie read a new entry about how she misses Katie because good friends like her don’t come along every season. Yeah, fuck Ryan and Rachel and Lindsay. Maybe R.J., too, if he’s not been retconned out. Katie’s the only character who’s ever mattered to Maria on this show despite what previous episode plots have said. Hey, Maria’s been on this show a long time and has outlasted a lot of characters. I guess you can’t expect her to remember them all.

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Nicky and Tony come out to find them in tears and demand they make up. The girls hug, press the reset button, and our episode ends with Nicky and Tony ecstatic that they saved the day with their demand for apologies because I guess sometimes you have to throw those two bones to make them feel all special and shit.