Category Archives: The New Class Season 5

The New Class Season 5 Recap

So we’re nearing the home stretch, and this season was weird, to say the least. To remind us of where we’re coming from, let’s take a quick look at where we’ve been in this series. Season one was bad, but in a “they’re just copying the original class nearly word for word” sort of bad. Season two was complete and utter shit and best relegated to the dust bin. Season three saw a significant improvement but still had some pretty bad episodes and made Lindsay and Tommy D feel superfluous. Season four did better on integrating the cast as a whole but it felt like they had no clue what attributes to give the new cast members.

Then there’s season five. You would think that, with only one cast change this season, they would try to learn from the mistakes of last season and actually make a good season of this show. Instead, we get what may be the weirdest season thus far. With the exception of the very short rivalry between Ryan and Nicky over Liz, there were no clear threads this season.

Instead, it feels like the writers were throwing darts at a giant bulletin board full of story ideas and just going with the stupidest possible shit they could come up with. Nicky randomly breaking up with Maria over pot? Check. The boys getting stuck in an elevator? Check. Ryan suddenly being a swim team captain? Why the hell not, even though he was established as a wrestler last season. And this isn’t even counting the “away from Bayside” episodes, which, oh, I promise I’ll get to…

All in all, this season feels fucking boring. With the exception of Nicky and Katie getting back together in the penultimate episode, nothing of any lasting significance happened this season. Nothing. In a show that already feels horribly copied from its predecessor, this season felt like a filler season, like they had to pump out twenty-six episodes and so they put out twenty-six episodes that just leave one scratching their head and asking if that’s really the best they could come up with.

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I mean, the writing quality was bad, even for this show. There were times it seemed like they were trying their damndest to keep up continuity, but then, other times, they just completely made shit up, the best instance being Screech not quitting his job as security guard at the mall after he told Mr. Belding he would. It’s just all so mediocre that I almost miss the bad writing of season two. At least that gave me something to get really pissed off about.

And I’m trying to be generous. I know this was Miguel Higuera’s first season as director and that he was filling big shoes after Don Barnhardt’s departure from the franchise. But, if Higuera couldn’t at least be as good as the previous season, maybe they should have gotten someone else to do the job. I just picture Higuera showing up drunk to the set every day and just telling the cast to act as stupid as they can while not exhibiting real emotion.

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And the away from Bayside episodes…oh my lord…

Besides the mall episodes, which I’m come to expect this show to do a ton of, we had the Paris episodes, the Habitat for Humanity episodes, and the wilderness episodes. These three arcs may be the three worst in the history of this franchise and would have been more entertaining had it just been our eight cast members sitting in an empty room reading from Atlas Shrugged. By far, the wilderness arc was the worst of the three and doesn’t deserve to exist, but all three have their moments of facepalming awfulness, from Americans doing horrible French accents to not understanding basic immigration procedures to building a house in two weeks to Maria becoming Bear Grylls instantly to the worst looking outdoor set in the history of television.

I mean, seriously, these eight episodes can go fuck themselves. And, by request, I counted how many episodes were away from Bayside this season. There were thirteen, meaning that half the season of a show that takes place in high school doesn’t take place in high school. Mind you, I’m getting used to this as thirteen episodes each of seasons two, three and four also took place away from Bayside, but it’s still ridiculous.


Let’s talk characters.

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Ryan continues the trajectory his character started last season of being a horrible asshole when it so suits the plot. At other times, we’re supposed to love and respect him as the default leader of the gang. Really, neither works because he’s long lost the playfulness and Zack Morris-like scheming that made me like him back in season three. Most of this season, he was solely defined by his relationship with Liz as the writers seemed desperate to ram that little subplot down our throats before Richard Lee Jackson left the cast.

And, yet, it didn’t have to be this way. There were interesting threads around, like the rivalry between Nicky and him, the pain over his break-up with Rachel (which could have easily been tied in with his cheating on her last season), and his…well, let’s face it, they didn’t give him a whole lot to do this season. Every time it looked like Ryan was going to get something interesting to do, they let it drop after a couple of episodes and pressed the rest button to ensure we wouldn’t have to think of it again. The character I once thought was the best addition this series ever made is a shell of his former self, and it shows.

As for Richard Lee Jackson, he’s continued acting on and off over the years, mostly in small roles, with his most recent gig being a 2014 episode of Grimm. He’s never quite been able to get out of the shadow of his more famous and successful brother, Jonathan Jackson, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying. He’s also tried his hand at music with his older brother to mixed reviews. These days, he mostly stays at home in Nashville and works on his graphic design business. If you’re curious what he’s up to nowadays, you can always check him out on Twitter where you can see two things: that he hasn’t aged a bit since the ’90s and that he is really, really in love with Ted Cruz.

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Maria had a lot of episodes devoted to her, some of them the worst episodes of the season. The writers broke Nicky and her up very early, freeing her up to do not a whole lot of shit important to the show before eventually dating an older man and nearly killing Ryan. She would be the Screech of this season if it weren’t for Screech actually being on the show.

Yeah, other than her breakup with Nicky, nothing this season really feels like it matters. Her short-lived relationship with Mike is soon forgotten. She sees no character development or regression, her characterization is horribly inconsistent, ranging from tough Latina to little princess stereotype, and she’s just kind of there most of the time. Hard to believe she’s going to go into season six as the senior cast member considering the writers don’t seem to know what to do with her.

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Nicky…what can I say about Nicky? At least he’s not talking about New York every episode anymore. Hell, I’m not even sure the writers remember all the shit about New York from last season. There is one thing consistent about Nicky’s major plot points this season: they all come the fuck out of nowhere. His breaking up with Maria, his desire to date Liz, and his getting back together with Katie all feel like the writers were just looking for random ways to shake things up so they started playing eine meaney miney mo with the female members of the cast.

And here’s the thing about Nicky: out of the male members of the cast, I care about Nicky less than any of them. There is no difference in characterization between Nicky and Ryan. None. Well, except maybe he doesn’t fill out a Speedo as well as Ryan. But if he was meant to replace Tommy D, they did a pretty shitty job of characterization. Nicky is useless on this show and I think the writers knew it. I just hope they do something to differentiate him from the new cast member next season.

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Katie continues to be poor as her sole characterization, and even that is inconsistent. After all, how the fuck can she afford to go to Paris and on the wilderness trip? Sometimes she’s a voice of reason, more often she’s an idiot who runs around whining about not being able to find a job or obsessively stalking her boyfriend. The writers can’t seem to make up their minds what they want to do with her.

And yet she would have made a good candidate for a replacement for Lindsay, but the writers, for some reason, insist on trying to make her more of a Jessie when that’s obviously not who her character is. What are we supposed to make of her? I doubt even the writers knew, and why should they? By this season they were just inserting Katie into whatever random plot or subplot they needed.

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Let me make this clear: Eric is at his best when he’s doing something music related, even if it’s the ridiculous gangster rap he tried to do this season. He’s at his worst when the writers are insisting on trying to make him a football star or making him whine about Paris and shit. Like R.J. and Bobby before him, Eric seems like the most underused member of the cast, although that began to pick up this season when he got a two episode relationship arc as the writers showed their ignorance of basic immigration procedures.

And there’s a strange trend: Eric being teamed up with Screech when they don’t know what else to do with him. Seriously, as lukewarm as I am on Eric, I don’t consider him such a huge idiot he would risk his liberty to do shit with Screech. If Eric were just abandoned a the wilderness lodge and no one ever came to pick him up, do you suppose any of the gang would notice?

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It’s only when I write this recap that I realize how many of the characters could have been exchanged with a cardboard box and there would be no discernible difference in the plot, but nowhere is that more evident than with Liz. The writers seemed to have been searching for a new character with all the blandness of Rachel and none of the interesting bits, and they rolled that into her. Seriously, like Rachel before her, Liz is almost solely defined by the man she’s with.

I’m serious: without Ryan, I can’t imagine what Liz will do next season. She has the swim thing but you know they won’t give a shit about that beyond maybe an episode or two. She occasionally acts as the voice of reason when everyone else are acting like idiots, except when she’s acting like an idiot herself.  They were in such a rush to pair her with Ryan this season they didn’t bother giving Liz an actual personality, so you’re left to assume that Maria and Katie bragging about how much more awesome Rachel was than her is an accurate assessment of Liz’s character.

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And then there’s Screech and Mr. Belding. How Screech keeps a job is beyond me. One of the clip episodes even focused on how much of a fuck up he’s been this season, and that’s not even counting his stupidity from the previous three seasons. That nice lovable but goofy character from Good Morning Miss Bliss is now a law suit waiting to happen as he infests Bayside with the presence of a two year old caught in a grown up’s body. How women keep falling for him season after season is beyond me. I’d be afraid of being killed by his utter stupidity.

Poor Mr. Belding has now made the full transition to Screech’s lackey. Several of you have commented that Dennis Haskins was unhappy with the direction the writers took Mr. Belding, basically turning him into a nincompoop who was the butt of every stupid Screech idea, and I can believe it. I’ve said many times that Mr. Belding is at his best when he’s the loving but strict mentor figure to the gang, but I don’t think we’ve truly seen that side of him in a very long time. Instead, we get to see him run through Paris with plaster on his head or through the wilderness dressed in the world’s worst bird costume. Either must have been humiliating to Haskins.

Of course, with both of them gone so often from Bayside, the real question becomes how Bayside runs with its only two administrators traveling the world with six of their students. I wish I knew. If I was gone that often from my job, I’d be fired, and with good reason. I guess they should be glad the school board doesn’t give a shit what anyone does.


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I don’t even know how to adequately sum this season up except to say it feels like it shouldn’t exist. The writers feel like they were at least trying to explore unexplored territory, but it’s either really boring or downright ridiculous. Nothing about the existence of this season makes any sense.

And yet, as I prepare to review the final twenty-six episodes of this show, I have to comment that it feels like this isn’t the same show I started reviewing two years ago. And that’s the sad thing: in the end, nothing matters on this show because Mr. Belding and Screech are the only elements that can’t be replaced. And I think that’s going to end up being the crux of the problem with this show: you could keep replacing cast members forever and it won’t matter because no one, from the writers to the director to the producers or even the set designer, gave a shit about this show. They were just watching it continue to rake in the dough from poor kids who wanted this to be the Saved by the Bell of their generation.

Mercifully, they wouldn’t have to wait much longer for this curse to end.


My Picks

As usual, here are the five episodes from this season I hate more than the others since, yet again, we have a season where I don’t particularly like any of them, though I did think of including Thug Dog Little’s episode as an honorable mention since it was so stupid. Please feel free to agree or disagree in the comments!

Episode 4: “Football & Physics”The New Class should not have tried to take on racism. What I’m sure they meant as a serious examination of a societal ill just makes it look like the writers have no clue what racism is and they perpetuate the stereotype that African Americans are always pulling the race card for everything. Seriously, after seeing how California Dreams handled racism, it’s even more painful to realize how much of an utter failure this episode is.

Episode 11: “Friends Behaving Badly”: Everybody acts out of the little character they normally exhibit this episode as everyone acts like a stupid idiot to Nicky but still want to go on yet another trip. These six fuck-ups must be the most privileged idiots in the world to get to go on so many worldwide trips every year.

Episode 16: “Screech and the Substitute”: Okay, I get it. I’ve been saying it all along: no woman should ever want to have sex with Screech. Yet, after you’ve spent three seasons charcterizing him as a lady’s man, you can’t just randomly have the gang decide to agree with me! Seriously, what the fuck were they thinking with this stupid episode!

Episode 23: “Private Peterson”: I will always remember this episode as the MRA episode. Seriously, the guys in this episode are so stereotypically misogynist it’s painful to watch. The conflict shouldn’t even be a conflict, as why the hell would Eric take those assholes’ sides over Katie. To top it off, the writers obviously don’t understand how ROTC works and it shows.

Episode 24: “Into the Woods”: Yeah, no surprise this episode is on here, right? There is so much wrong with this episode that I couldn’t get it all into the review, so you all kindly commented with the many things I missed. This one is a contender for worst episode of the season. I’d rather watch Lindsay’s anorexia episode, Rachel’s date rape episode, or the smoking episode over this one any day.


With that pain over, tune in Monday as we dive into season six of this horrible, horrible series. And don’t forget to check out my other review blog, California Dreams Reviewed, where I’m tackling another of Peter Engel’s ugly bastard children!

The New Class Season 5, Episode 26: “Forget and Forgive”

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We open one last time at the wilderness lodge, where Mr. Belding tells the gang their bus back to season six has arrived and it’s time to go home. Mr. Belding tells them to make sure they all have their stuff because, if anything’s left behind, they’re not coming back for it. With that, Mr. Belding and the students leave and board the bus for home.

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But, oh, what glorious thing was left behind! Yes, they forgot Screech, presumably because they subconsciously hope a bear will rip him to shreds as he walks home! Screech, being a complete moron, doesn’t run out the door to try and catch them. Instead, he assumes everyone’s playing hide and seek and starts looking for them…for forty fucking minutes! No joke! It takes him forty minutes to realize they’re gone!

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Yeah, just imagine that face staring in your window at night!

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But, after they’re not in a small desk drawer, Screech finally realizes the awful truth: he is the weakest link on this show and the final two seasons would be better without him!

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Jose, a maintenance man, comes in to clean the floors, and the episode turn into a clip show. Yeah, no joke, the first quarter of this episode is pretty much Screech bugging Jose, who’s just trying to do his fucking job and earn money to support his family, by telling him stories of how awesome he is with everyone at Bayside, which is fucking selective memory because even the clips he does remember he doesn’t remember the crazy ass behavior on his part that went along with them.

Yes, we’re ending yet another season with a clip show episode. I don’t know why this should surprise me at this point. After all, we haven’t had an actual original season finale since season two, and that one was basically a collection of sucky cameos. Oh, The New Class. You are predictably awful!

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Jose, for his part, looks terrified, like he’s met a crazy person and is soon to have his insides ripped out. I’d like to think Jose is representative of all of us when we watch this stupid fucking show, terrified that, any moment, Screech will jump out of the television and murder us like he did Tori and Danielle and Alison and the Pink Power Ranger and now, presumably, Claire!

And, no joke, Jose is great, maybe the best character on The New Class this season! I could do an entire gallery of his terrified looks as Screech just keeps acting bat shit crazy around him!

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The bus comes back to save Jose and reluctantly bring Screech home, saying they realized he was gone when he wasn’t annoying the shit out of all of them.

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Jose tells Maria that’s one crazy mother fucker they’ve got acting as an adult chaperon, and Maria’s all, “I know, but we only have to put up with him a short time longer!” Jose rushes straight off the set so he can get the fuck away from Screech before he loses his life or some shit. Bye, Jose! You were awesome!

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But we still have too much time left in the episode, so Screech is so pissed at Mr. Belding for leaving him that he’s refusing to get on the bus. Good! Fucking leave his ass stranded in the wilderness! No one wants him around anyway! But, no, our gang can’t do that, so they remind Screech through clips how many fucking times he’s screwed up. It’s too bad they limited the scope of their clips to this season. If you counted all four years Screech has been on this show, you could really paint a picture of a man that should have no contact with impressionable children!

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But, after the clips, Mr. Belding’s suddenly having a moment of insight of just how much of an idiot he’s been for not firing Screech way back in season two the first time he did something stupid. But, instead of having a rational reaction and deciding to fire Screech once they get back, Mr. Belding now refuses to go back on the bus. I guess he assumes his long suffering wife will come pick him up in the middle of nowhere.

So, with our teenage protagonists acting more like adults than the fucking adults on this show, they remind Mr. Belding and Screech how much the two of them have helped one another and how good of friends they are. Ignore the fact that, every fucking time Screech did something for Mr. Belding, it only made him look stupid and idiotic. We’ve got to create the impression Screech isn’t a worthless piece of shit!

Also, judging by some of the clips they use, the gang are spying on Mr. Belding’s office as they know about shit that happened in the privacy of Mr. Belding’s office with only the two of them there.

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All this is enough to make Mr. Belding and Screech forgive each other and decide to go back together after all. Everyone gathers their shit and Mr. Belding tells them not to forget anything this time.

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And our episode and season ends with the realization the they forgot Eric this time. I have to admit, it would have been clever had they left Ryan behind instead, given we won’t be seeing him next season, but this is The New Class, which doesn’t have a clever bone in its body.


And that’s it for season five! As usual, I’ll have a recap this Wednesday. And tune in next week for the beginning of the end as we delve into season six of a show that should have ended five seasons ago!

The New Class Season 5, Episode 25: “Mission: Control”

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We open at the wilderness lodge to discover that Ryan’s sudden instinct that he broke his leg last week was correct. I guess, after the Habitat for Humanity episodes, I should just be thankful the writers don’t think bones heal in a week. The rest of the gang return after a rafting trip and can barely contain their excitement at how awesome everything is. Ryan’s sad he couldn’t make it and wants to go for a hike, but Liz is all, “You can’t hike ten miles on a broken leg, idiot!” Liz says she’ll stay behind with him and this gets Ryan excited he may get pity sex, but Liz says they’ll pass the time with a hot game of strip Monopoly instead!

A better question is why Ryan wasn’t sent home if he broke his leg? I mean, they had to go to a hospital to get it cast and, being a minor, he had to have parental consent, so why didn’t his parents just take him home? But i guess that would make too much fucking sense and be way too medically sound!

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Screech and Shelly bring in Mr. Belding, who didn’t enjoy the rafting trip nearly as much as his students. He’s decided he’s done with this shit and he’s going to go bird watching instead. Screech starts to make fun of him for wanting to go bird watching but Mr. Belding’s all, “It’s better than your compulsive masturbation while watching reruns of Power Rangers!”

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And, the fuck out of nowhere, we get an indication that Nicky and Katie like each other again. It’s a good thing the writers on this show don’t have to worry about stupid things like foreshadowing and shit or they’d be in over their heads!

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Screech joins Mr. Belding for his bird watching so he can get more alone time with his secret gay crush and the two hear the call of a “yellow-billed hooting crane,” one of the rarest breeds of bird because it doesn’t actually exist. It apparently has a call that sounds like a donkey in pain, and Mr. Belding decides he needs to get a picture of it so he can be in science and nature magazines. Screech decides they should both get credit because he wants the world to know about his love for Mr. Belding!

Meanwhile, Shelly, the gang, and assembled extras hike to the same exact spot the gang camped out at last week since they didn’t want to have to build another set. They find the path littered with tree branch props since the hired help didn’t clean up after their prop fight and decide they need to clean it up. Nicky and Katie go to the path above to check it for debris and get a little something, something, and Eric does his best impersonation of the studio audience for this show as he realizes their forced romance is back on.

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Yes, they get up to the top, Katie tickles Nicky with tree branches, and they kiss, sending the audience into a tizzy for Team Kicky!

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Back at Cafe Grizzly, Ryan and Liz continue their rousing game of Monopoly as the rest of the gang come in and declare they were held up by Nicky and Katie fucking in the bushes. Liz pawns Eric off on Ryan so she can go off and hear the hot gossip!

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After Liz gives a recap of how Katie and Nicky broke up last season in case you don’t remember the awful, forced romance with Maria, Katie admits that it looks like she’ll be getting back together with Nicky for the final two seasons, but she learned her lesson from last time and she’s not letting Nicky out of her sight this time!

But there are more important things, like Eric’s pissed at Ryan for cheating at Monopoly!

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Meanwhile, Nicky and Katie return, having watched the sunrise together. Katie starts smothering Nicky with stupid little homemade presents like a framed picture of them on the raffle trip and a key chain made out of the twig she tickled him with. Maria watches all this and asks Katie what the fuck is up with her. Katie says she wants to make sure Nicky is always thinking of her and won’t go kissing Maria again and shit, but Maria’s all, “This is dumb as shit, even by this show’s standards.”

Really, the way they’re playing Katie this episode is completely out of character for her and really bad writing. I get that she’s scared of losing Nicky again, but this paranoid bull shit doesn’t feel right for her character at all.

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Mr. Belding and Screech arrive back after spending the night in a tree looking for their fake bird.  Yes, this was Screech’s idea and, of course, Mr. Belding went along with it because why the hell not? Mr. Belding says it’s hopeless as it’s mating season and the bird is probably searching for a mate, which gives Screech his weekly idea to humiliate Mr. Belding.

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Why, let’s hop around in stupid, unrealistic looking bird costumes because birds are fucking stupid and will want to mate with two very stupid looking men dressed in costumes that wouldn’t convince Mr. Magoo! Jesus, Mr. Belding has gone from the caring and compassionate school administrator to Screech’s bumbling sidekick. How humiliating for poor Dennis Haskins!

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Back at the lodge, Ryan wants to go on that evening’s overnight hike, but Liz reminds him that’s fucking stupid on a broken leg. She says she’ll stay with him again, but Nicky’s all, “I want some alone time with Ryan so I’ll do it this time!” This freaks Katie out because I guess she thinks Ryan and Nicky are going to fuck so she wants someone else to stay instead.  She says they should draw straws and whoever draws the short straw will stay with Ryan because it’s such a chore for someone to be with him. But, when no one’s looking, she breaks all four straws.

Eric picks first but he says that, since Katie knows which straw is the short straw, he should pick for her. Naturally, this means Katie stays behind, and she looks dejected as Nicky helps Shelly carry some shit and Maria comments on Nicky’s muscles because they’re all obviously going to have an orgy.

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Later, Katie sulks as she plays Monopoly with Ryan, obviously convinced that Nicky’s out there having orgies as she speaks. This sends her into full fantasy mode.

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And, in this fantasy, Nicky decides it was a mistake to break up with Maria.

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And Liz decides she picked the wrong brother, a helpful reminder that Nicky’s now dated the entire female cast this season.

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Even Shelly wants to get in on some statutory rape action!

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And, wouldn’t you know it, they all start an orgy with Nicky. Jesus, I was just kidding about that! My mind is warped from having watched five seasons of pure, unadulterated crap. I wonder what’s shaped her mind.

Katie immediately decides it’s time to go and catch Nicky in his orgy and insists on taking Ryan with her, though, you know, broken leg. I don’t get this. Why does she need Ryan with her? It’s not like he’s going to die if she’s not watching her. She was staying behind for company, not to be a babysitter.

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At the camp site, the remaining gang is busy watching the constellations and having a grand ‘ole time.

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That’s when their solitude is interrupted by two grown men in bird costumes who were attacked by coyotes because, you know, if a coyote attacked a human, all it would leave would be holes in the person’s clothes. As Mr. Belding and Screech leave to go back to the lodge, Shelly can’t believe she just saw that but Eric lets her know such stupidity is a regular occurrence on this show.

Nicky happens to fall in Maria and Liz’s lap while looking at constellations just as Katie comes around the bend with Ryan in tow. She accuses him of bullshit but he’s all, “This is stupid and we’re not getting back together if you’re going to follow me around wherever you go!” Also, I just noticed this is the exact same camp site from last week. I guess the gang must have really liked camping here.

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The next day, Eric’s the only member of the gang who will talk to Katie because he’s the only one not effected by this stupid plot. He tells her she needs to suck it up and not be psychotic to Nicky if she wants to date him. She doesn’t know, though, if she can not follow Nicky’s every move. I actually agree with Eric here, Yes, Nicky was a dick last season and Katie has every right not to date him again if she is unable to do so without being a complete and utter nut job.

Meanwhile, Liz and Maria tear Ryan a new one for going along with Katie’s stupidity. He’s all, “I can’t do anything on my broken leg but beat you all at Monopoly!” Maria tells him he hasn’t beat her and so the ultimate conclusion to the Monopoly subplot is on!

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The bird comes around again and Mr. Belding gets ready to try and get its photo. But Screech, like a complete idiot, breaks his camera. The two run off as coyotes howl in the distance.

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Maria beats Ryan at Monopoly four times in a row. How thrilling.

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And Mr. Belding says at least they got to see the bird, but Screech has photos of them in the bird costumes for the yearbook because he brought his camera and I guess had the coyotes take the pictures. But, if Screech had his camera, why didn’t he take a picture of the bird? God, I hate this stupid show!

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Katie apologizes to Shelly for being a psychopath the previous night and she accepts, assuring Katie she doesn’t follow the usual trope of enjoying underage sex on this show. Eric tells her there’s still one person to talk to…

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…and she goes over to apologize to Nicky. They decide maybe they should have talked about their trust issues as I yell, “No shit, Sherlock!” Nicky says they need trust and to take things slow, and our episode ends with them having a dance to take it slow, even though they’ve already been making out.

Well, this was better than last week’s episode, but that’s like saying the Cubs are a better baseball team than my town’s little league team: it doesn’t get them any closer to winning the championship.

The New Class Season 5, Episode 24: “Into the Woods”

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Oh good. We’re opening on a matte painting with obviously fake trees and flowers in front of it similar to the horribly fake outdoor scenes from the ranch and ski lodge episodes of seasons two and three. I guess that means we’re about to have yet another arc away from Bayside because why should a show about high school take place in high school? So we’ve been to Paris, the mall, and to build a house in two weeks this season. How will we top those episodes? And how long have Mr. Belding, Screech, and the gang been away from Bayside this year?

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Why, in the woods. As you can see, Screech is doing his best “I’ve got to shit” face in anticipation of doing survivalist shit. Turns out they’ve been on this trip many times before because they’re hardly ever at Bayside doing their fucking jobs. The writers just never showed them on this trip before because our gang has never been on it, and they’re the only six students at Bayside who matter. Also, Screech threatens to put on a loin cloth and run through the woods. I think I just threw up a little.

We quickly meet Shelly, who works for wherever the hell we are as a guide (we’re never actually told; just that we’re in the mountains and, for all I know, this could be taking place in the Alps while they were in France). She tells them to get a bite to eat in the conveniently located Grizzly Cafe and then they’ll meet for orientation. And, if you think Shelly looks familiar, that’s because she played Zack Morris’s fantasy manager in “Rockumentary,” the one that broke up Zack Attack. She’ll also be in California Dreams as a teacher later because Peter Engel loves reusing actors.

So we quickly establish our plot points and it’s not yet clear which is going to be our main plot this episode. First, Maria’s fucking stupid when it comes to nature and thinks an obviously stuffed bear in the cafe may be real. She also complains a lot. Second, Nicky and Eric brought a portable television with them. Which will win out as our lame main plot? Stay tuned and see!

So it’s time to watch orientation. And what sort of orientation does our gang need for hiking and camping, you ask?

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Why, rock climbing of course! Yes, our gang need to learn how to climb mountains in case Screech’s incompetence gets them stranded up one!

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And the balance beam, because…it gives us a chance to see Screech act like a fucking moron and knock Mr. Belding off it. Why is he allowed to be responsible for young lives?

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And last is first aid, as Screech is allowed to demonstrate how to turn Mr. Belding into a mummy if he has a broken arm. Again, why?

The recurring theme throughout all this is Maria either sucks ass at everything or is scared of it. Since the stupid television thing with Nicky and Eric hasn’t come up again yet, I’m assuming Maria’s going to be the main plot, somehow.

Shelly partners the gang off in twos so they can help each other. Katie and Liz, Nicky and Eric, and Ryan and Maria will each be in teams. Liz asks if she can be with Ryan so they can go off and fuck, but Shelly says Ryan’s the most experienced camper and, without him, Maria’s likely to die and shit.

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So after that little five minutes of time wasting which resembles no orientation for any school camping trip I ever went on, we find ourselves at the camp site, which is conveniently located at the same rocks Screech once modeled in front of in the season three ski lodge episodes. Maria won’t stop bitching and moaning because she hates hiking and camping and shit, which leads me to ask why she came along in the first place? For fuck’s sake, Rachel’s the one I would have expected to be like this when she was on the show and she never complained half as bad about shit as Maria.

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Nicky and Eric have self-inflating air mattresses they brought along for the trip because air mattresses aren’t roughing it and shit. None of them brought tents along. I think that’s roughing it enough, especially if a storm comes through.

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And Mr. Belding discovers that Screech unpacked all their supplies and replaced them with bricks because he wants Mr. Belding to have to catch their dinner. Fucking hell…Screech really is going to kill Mr. Belding! Why is he in charge of anything?

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That night around the campfire, most of the gang enjoy their dinner while Maria pushes it aside, horrified at being asked to eat shit. Mr. Belding eats some berries he found shortly before finding out Screech has now hidden his sleeping bag because Screech is going to get every person on this trip killed before the episode is over.

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And Nicky and Eric watch a football game while eating popcorn they somehow popped. I still haven’t figured that one out…

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During the night, Maria won’t stop fucking complaining about everything and she finally drive Shelly crazy enough that she says if Maria will fucking go to sleep, she’ll get Ryan to take her back to the lodge in the morning. Now, as we’re soon to find out, that’s a six hour trip and she’s sending two teenagers alone, one of whom is a fucking nutcase, which has to nullify some liability forms. I guess it’s better than the alternative, though: send Maria with Screech.

In the morning, we see that Eric can somehow access the internet in pre-WiFi days because the writers don’t understand how the internet works.

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Ryan gets so tired of Maria’s complaining that he decides to take a shortcut through another matte painting. Why do I get the idea that, for them, “roughing it” means hanging out in a bad natural history museum for the night?

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They come up to a one person bridge, and takes her backpack off to go across but freezes up in the middle. Ryan takes his back pack off to help her out, but their combined weight is too much for the bridge and they just barely make it across before the bridge snaps. But, oh no! Their backpacks, with the map, are trapped on the other side of the matte painting! What will they do?

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Meanwhile, the rest of the gang are making lean-tos for some reason, even though, as we’ll see, they’re not spending another night outside. Shelly scolds Nicky and Eric for making theirs out of nails and glue because TECHNOLOGY EVIL and shit, even though everyone except Mr. Belding and Screech are eating purchased food. Also, somehow, they can power a toaster in the middle of nowhere.

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Speaking of the Dumbass Duo, Mr. Belding, while trying to catch a squirrel, ends up catching a skunk in stead and gets sprayed because it’s his fault for trusting his life with the dumbest administrative assistant in the history of forever.

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Checking back in on Ryan and Maria, they’re hopelessly lost and Ryan finally loses it about Maria’s idiocy. He goes off on her, telling her this whole stupid shit is her fault but then softens his stance when he realizes he’s hurt her feelings because of shit.

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But then Ryan trips on a prop rock and instantly knows from his career week training last week that he’s broken his leg, meaning they’ll surely die now because Maria will just sit around complaining that Ryan’s broken his leg and shit.

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Back at the Grizzly Cafe, Shelly scolds Screech for not bringing his supplies, which completely contradicts her previous scolding of Nicky and Eric but fuck if the writers care because they’re done with that subplot. Katie and Liz run in and say Ryan and Maria are missing, so Shelly instantly decides to send out search parties because they couldn’t possibly be in the bathroom.

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Back at Team Lost, Maria’s suddenly turned into Bear Grylls and starts a fire with sticks and shit. Ryan passes out because broken legs apparently have that effect in this universe. Maria turns to the one option she has left and prays to God. I hate to break it to you, Maria: if God gave a shit about this show, he would have gotten NBC to cancel it about four seasons ago before the abomination Screech came on.

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Back at the cabin, Shelly’s recalled the search teams for the night and Mr. Belding tries to console Liz by telling her the rangers will continue looking. Screech, on the other hand, is a fucking shitbag and tells Ryan and Maria’s friends they’re probably dead and shit. Shelly comes in, having found Ryan and Maria’s backpacks. And we get our message of the episode from Nicky and Eric. Care to guess what it is?

“Take survival shit seriously.” Not, “Don’t go down unmarked trails,” or, “Don’t send two teenagers off in the woods alone,” or even, “Don’t let the fucking dumb ass Screech anywhere near your supplies.” It’s, “Take survival shit seriously.”

Part of me wants to scream at how idiotic this entire episode is. But then there’s the part of me that’s died inside because I think I’ve found the single stupidest scenario for a The New Class episode ever. Well, maybe not quite as stupid as Mr. Belding running around Paris with his head plastered or building a house in two weeks, but certainly the most irritating because they haven’t thought any of this shit through.

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Back at Maria and Ryan’s grave site, Ryan wakes up to find Maria’s still in full Bear Grylls mode, having set Ryan’s broken bone and gotten water to wash his face and gotten him berries to eat and shit. They hear a helicopter and decide it must be a search party so Maria decides she needs to climb up a cliff so they can see her.

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Maria makes it and signals the helicopter with her best Titanic impression, and the episode quite literally ends with Maria saying she somehow knows they found her as Peter Engel’s name comes on to sign off on this whole stupid episode.

Jesus Christ! This episode was painful!  Can we never have that excruciating of an episode again? I mean, every time I think I’m heading towards home stretch on this series, I get something awful like this to make it seem like the next twenty-eight episodes will never end. This may have been the worst episode of the series to date.

Firsts: Shelly, Camp Grizzly, the wilderness.

The New Class Season 5, Episode 23: “Private Peterson”

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Back at Bayside this week (imagine that, a show about high school taking place at high school!), and it’s time for that annual-when-the-writers-are-out-of-ideas event, Career Week! Aren’t you so excited to find out what these Saved by the Bell wanna bes are going to be when they grow-up/

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Well, we open to find Mr. Belding wants everyone to be a principal, but no one else wants the job except Screech who, if the fates willing, will not be allowed alone with a child without adult supervision. Mr. Belding’s depressed that everyone hates his table since that kid Ryan and Tommy D chased off back in season three isn’t around anymore, but Screech, in his usual level of helpfulness, offers doughnuts, which get people to come to the table and promptly run away.

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Meanwhile, Katie and Eric, being our resident poor students, get reeled into ROTC when the instructor mentions scholarships. They’re initially skeptical until the lieutenant here is all, “It’s going to cost us a lot more to write an actual original script if you don’t go with this, so just play along,” and they’re fair game.

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As for the rest of the gang? Liz wants to be a doctor and Ryan decides to be a doctor as well, presumably so he can fuck Liz in some sick role play fantasy. Maria wants to be a lawyer because she’s the most pushy and arrogant of the group, and Nicky decides to be a lawyer because why the hell not. No, this isn’t out of order and suddenly Maria and Nicky are dating again. It’s just Nicky doesn’t have an original bone in his body this episode.

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And it’s already time for ROTC shit! There’s some weird shit here, like one guy putting barbed wire around his locker because…hell if I know? The lieutenant complements Katie and we get the first hint of how horrible this plot is going to be as the other cadets are all, “Eww! Girls!”

The lieutenant instructs them to choose a squad leader, and the others nominate Eric since he’s a member of the cast and not a girl. The lieutenant instructs them to march around a bunch so the other cast members can have time in this episode and Eric instructs Katie to leave. Suddenly, though, the rest of the squad stop following her because COOTIES AND VAGINA AND SHIT!

 

In the hallway, Ryan and Liz need a subject for a medical evaluation since they’re doctors and shit. They need someone who would make a really interesting specimen.

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Oh, glorious day, someone finally recognized that Screech has something seriously wrong with him, even if it is two high school students on The New Class pretending to be doctors! I always knew Screech must be the result of some botched medical experiment! It’s time for him to fulfill his destiny and donate his body to science, where at least it won’t hurt the rest of us!

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Fortunately for Ryan and Liz, TNBC shows didn’t allow much nudity beyond shirtless guys and the occasional Screech in a speedo, so we’re spared from having to see Screech undressed. Naturally, Screech’s family history is weird and his reflexes are stupid. He’s also double-jointed, which he seems to be really worried about because he’s a dumb ass.

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At The Max, the other cadets continue giving Katie shit because she’s a girl and doesn’t have a penis and shit. They tied her shoelaces together on an outing and she’s pissed because she needs that college scholarship because her family is poor even though she just got back from an expensive month in Paris and she seems to go on the other exorbitant field trips Bayside offers without any problems.

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They send her out with a sign on her back because obviously they missed the first part of last season and the random Space Camp episode where Katie dated a boy. Also, VAGINA AND SHIT!

If this episode becomes anymore MRA-ish, Paul Elam and Roosh are going to jump out and declare that women are destroying the fabric of western civilization. Also, I’m just realizing that some of those cadets look way too old to be students at Bayside, which makes me think they really just came from a Roosh seminar.

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Screech comes in and our fake doctors give him his diagnosis that of course he’s fucking okay. He’s just double jointed. Naturally they can’t leave it at that and mention a rare and fake condition that could also be the cause, so Screech instantly starts believing he has that condition because he’s a complete dumb ass, to the point that, the next day at school, he’s moping around and shit and having a reaction to every symptom he hears.

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Back at Bayside, Maria’s pretending to want to sue Bayside for stupid negligence. And Nicky’s realized he sucks ass at being a lawyer so now he wants to be a school principal.

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Unfortunately, that means listening to Mr. Belding read his published memoirs, which must have been published by the same people who published Behind the Bell.

Katie, meanwhile is none too happy that the local MRAs are targeting her and tells Eric off for letting it happen.

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At The Max, Screech gets Maria to help him make a will because he’s now convinced he’s dying and shit. Also, Nicky’s decided that, since Mr. Belding is boring, being a principal sucks ass so he’s now a chef at The Max dressed like Chef Boyardee. And apparently he gets no training in how to cook because Maria and Screech both think his cooking sucks ass.

Katie comes in and unloads on Maria about her issues with her resident MGTOWs. She’s pissed Eric won’t stick up for her but she’s concerned that, if she goes to the lieutenant and complains, the others will deny everything and she’ll look like a wimp. Maria’s all, “Sucks to be you!” Really, no useful advice. We just get to see Screech go the bathroom, because that’s what was needed to bring his character full circle!

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In ROTC, Katie’s made fun of because she knows the answers to the lieutenant’s questions and that’s just stupid since she has a vagina. Tomorrow, they’re running the obstacle course, which will count as twenty-five percent of their final evaluation. After the lieutenant leaves, the others grab her book and start tossing it back and forth and then leave.

Katie asks Eric why he won’t do anything about their idiocy and Eric’s all, “Bros before hoes!” Katie tells him he’s a fucking dumb ass as well and that, if he’s really the leader, he needs do something.

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At the obstacle course, Katie comes in last because the boys put a twenty pound weight in Katie’s backpack. When Eric finds out and tells Katie, she’s furious and can’t believe Eric’s still so stupid. She’s mad that a bad evaluation will hurt her chances at an evaluation, even though physical fitness shouldn’t really be that heavily weighted since it’s one of the elements that can most easily be worked on, and she rushes off.

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At The Max, Screech doesn’t want Mr. Belding to find out he’s dying but then Mr. Belding comes over and is all, “Quit acting like a fucking dumb ass, taking medical advice from two high school students. Go see a real doctor!”

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Eric tries to convince the others to quit acting like an idiot with Katie. They’re all, “But VAGINA!” They try to get him not to tell the lieutenant.

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Back at Bayside, Screech is, unfortunately, not going to die, and he takes advantage of the situation to cop a feel of Maria. Yeah, that image is going to stay stuck in my mind for a very long time. There’s some stuff about Screech suing for pain and suffering but Ryan and Liz point out they never actually said he was dying and Mr. Belding interjects that Screech is a fucking dumb ass, and thus ends the “Screech is dying” subplot.

Also, Nicky sucked ass at everything he did, bringing his arc to full circle.

In ROTC, the lieutenant gives everyone their evaluations, pointing out this week long taster is going to be weighted heavily should they decide to apply for a scholarship because a week is enough time to gauge whether someone is worthy of a scholarship. After all, it’s half the time needed to build a house!

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Eric finally tells the lieutenant that the others have been surfing reddit too long, and they cheated on the obstacle course. The lieutenant is all, “Y’all, that was bad!” Eric convinces him to give Katie another chance at the obstacle course. She runs it again, this time with the rest of the gang to cheer her on, for some reason.

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Katie beats the fastest time and proves girl power and shit, and our episode ends with The New Class single-handedly defeating misogyny through military intervention!

God, this episode is pretty bad. Not that I have high expectations of The New Class but come on!

The New Class Season 5, Episode 22: “Goodbye Paris”

Well, this month in Paris sure has flown by! I’m so glad we’ve gotten to see the gang do all kinds of exciting things, like act like idiots and act like idiots some more! I’m still not quite sure why they were in Paris. As stupid as the semester at sea episodes were, at least they showed the gang taking classes on the boat. This just showed the gang spending their days running through Paris.

So let’s end the arc and see if Screech causes an international incident before he leaves…

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We open in the gang’s room to find Eric giddy that Danielle’s coming over to play, meaning Eric’s finally had  a love interest last more than one episode! It’s a super happy day for him, except the shirt he’s wearing apparently belongs to Nicky, meaning Nicky buys his shirts really long.

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Danielle soon arrives and starts giving Eric CPR to help him through the shock that he has a real live girl for more than one episode. Mr. Belding and Screech show up and, judging by the look on Screech’s face,  he’s jealous he didn’t get a girl this time in the non-Bayside episodes.

Mr. Belding’s there to tell the gang they have the last three days free to wander around Paris and cause all kinds of hilarious hijinks. You know, the sort they’ve already been through during the whole arc. But he’s quickly pulled away by Screech, who has a whirlwind tour of Paris scheduled for them so they can see everything they haven’t been able to see while they were bailing their students out of prison or sitting in the hospital waiting for a caster plast to be removed.

Ryan, Katie, and Liz decide to go to lunch while Nicky and Maria go to a museum. Eric and Danielle will just stick around and have wild sex to make up for all that Eric hasn’t gotten since he’s been on this show.

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In front of the cafe, Ryan, Katie, and Liz are approached by yet another American with a bad French accent who says his wife needs money for an operation and he lost his job, so he’s just randomly wandering the streets trying to sell a Picasso sketch to gullible tourists. Since the trio was was born yesterday, they gather all the money the three of them have left between them, about $240, and buy the sketch from the man, because it’s realistic someone would sell an original Picasso for $240.

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Meanwhile, Mr. Belding wants to savor his lunch but he only gets a bite in before Screech tells him it’s time to go on to their next destination. This is why you should never put a complete idiot in charge of planning your day while on vacation.

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Eric and Danielle have a romantic lunch and talk a lot about how they love each other and shit.

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Screech’s solution to the tour schedule is to get Mr. Belding in a cab and wander around Paris, seeing shit as they pass by and being an asshole to the cabbie.

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And, at some point, even carjacking the cab and driving like a maniac through the streets of Paris. Jesus, this fucking moron really is going to cause an international incident, isn’t he!

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Back in their room, our bumbling trio show off their sketch to Nicky and Maria. Unfortunately for them, Nicky and Maria weren’t born yesterday and bought their copies at the museum gift shop for ₣15. They decide the solution is to just find the man in one of the largest European cities and demand their money back, because con artists are so amenable to teenagers’ demands. Also, if they think they have an original Picasso, why the hell would they hold it like that directly on the canvass?

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Eric comes back and announces to the gang that he’s decided he can’t possibly leave the only girl he’ll ever date for more than one episode. He’s talked to the International Academy and he’s going to stay and enroll so he can be near Danielle. All he needs is his parents’ permission, and he’s sure that his parents will agree to let their son run off to a foreign country to be a girl he just met.

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Ryan, Katie, and Liz track down the swindler…in the original cafe where they first met him. I’m sensing this guy is as bad at stealing people’s money as our idiots are at picking out thieves. To no one’s surprise but our bumbling idiots, the man says he is not going to return their money and doesn’t give a shit if they go to the police as they can’t prove anything.

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And Screech decides to recreate the Tour de France, nearly killing Mr. Belding in the process since streets are usually closed during the Tour and Screech is determined to kill off Mr. Belding and take over as principal.vlcsnap-00015

Eric has a picnic to tell Danielle he’s going to stay in France. Danielle’s skeptical as the academy is a very expensive school but he’s determined he’s going to find a way to stay in France and get off this show that won’t give him any other girlfriends.

At the Cafe USA, Mr. Belding tells Screech to fuck off and leave him alone on their last day as he’s having no fun and wants to be on his own the last day. Finally, Mr. Belding makes some sense! He should have told Screech to fuck off and leave him alone like four years ago!

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Screech finds Ryan, Katie, and Liz eating out of the same soup bowl and, after they tell him what happened with the swindler, decides that, since Mr. Belding doesn’t want anything to do with him, he’ll interject himself into the problems of the teenagers he serves. I’m more interested in how this is a school sponsored trip that apparently provides no meals. It just assumes the students are so rich they can afford to eat on their own, even though Katie couldn’t even afford a dress just last season!

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And, surprise, surprise: Eric’s parents think he’s being an idiot wanting to stay in a country he hated just a few weeks ago for a girl and won’t support him staying there. He decides fuck his parents, he’s going to find a way.

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Jesus! One reason the gang have no money because they’ve made a million trips to the Eiffel Tower! Famous European attractions like the Eiffel tend to be really expensive! In any case, Eric’s taken Danielle here to tell her that, though his parents won’t let him stay, he’s going to drop out and runaway with her to somewhere in France. Danielle thinks this is a stupid plan, even for this show, and tells him he needs to finish school and shit before his acting career completely dries up. He naturally interprets this as her not wanting to be with him and rushes off, acting like an idiot the whole way. No wonder no woman wants to be with you more than one episode! You act like a big baby when anyone tries to be reasonable to you!

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So Screech’s plan to get the money back naturally involves finding the swindler at the exact same cafe where he’s been located twice before and dressing in a stupid costume. Jesus, this guy must be the worst criminal ever! Screech acts like a rude, arrogant Texan. No, seriously, that’s the accent he puts on: the Rich Texan from The Simpsons. Soon, the swindler offers to sell him one of the fake Picassos because he’s almost as bad at being a swindler as Screech is at being a Texan.

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The police move in and arrest the swindler and Screech gets the gang’s money back, which the swindler just happens to still have on him after three days because…I don’t know! Nothing about this subplot makes any sense! Everyone’s a moron!

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The restaurant buys the four lunch for getting rid of the swindler that likes to hang out there and Mr. Belding shows up after his tour of a “cheese garden,” having had a wonderful day without Screech and wanting to try it more often.

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The gang pack to go home, but Eric doesn’t want to say goodbye to Danielle because he’s a big cry baby. The others tell him he’ll regret it if he doesn’t, but he won’t listen to reason because WAH WAH WAH!

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But he does in the very next scene, with promises that they’ll write and maybe she can visit him in Los Angeles. Yeah, Danielle, you need to talk to Alison about how well that works out. They kiss goodbye as Eric prepares to go to the airport and leave the only woman who will ever love him more than one episode.

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And our episode ends with us having a chance to say goodbye to this wonderful bench. It’s been such a crucial character over this arc, made us laugh and cried. I’m so sad it can’t return to Bayside with us. But, alas, you can’t always get what you want. If so, I would have gotten rid of Screech long ago.

The New Class Season 5, Episode 21: “Putting Up Walls”

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We open at the site of the soon to be Reynolds’s house. Now that we’ve seen the ending of the Habitat for Humanity arc, it’s time to see the beginning! Nicky asks whether they can really build a house in just two weeks as volunteers and Katie assures them Habitat for Humanity has built 60,000 homes for low income families using volunteers just like the. Uh, Katie, that’s not what he asked. He asked if it was physically fucking possible to build a god damned house in just two weeks, which it’s not! It’s like the writers know this scenario is going to sound absolutely ridiculous so they’re trying to avoid answering the question. It’s like if I asked if McDonald’s was open and you responded to me that they’ve served millions of customers with only the highest quality beef available.

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The gang quickly meet Sandra and Mrs. Reynolds, who’s emtional that she’s getting her own home, and in less time than is physically possible.

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Sandra walks over to meet the creature who can’t figure out how to find a hat that fits his head. Now most small children would run screaming at the sight of Screech, but Sandra finds him amusing, presumably because she was dropped on her head as a baby.

Most of the gang are put on trash detail while Katie gets to be on publicity…for some reason. Why would a teenager be in charge of publicity for Habitat for Humanity? I’m pretty sure that’s a service they would handle internally so some stupid teenager doesn’t fuck it up.

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Maria’s nearly run over by this guy who she doesn’t know who he is yet. Now this episode is going to illustrate why I told you two weeks ago you’re going to find Mike fucking creepy as hell after this episode as it’s crystal clear that Maria’s falling for him. The actor who plays Mike was born in 1971, which made him twenty-six when this aired, but he looks a hell of a lot older, which makes it difficult to imagine him as the student they’re going to paint him to be in a few minutes. Hell, I really believed he was Sandra’s father two weeks ago!

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The gang get lunch at a taco stand where the rest of the gang decide Maria’s stalking Mike. She makes a point to talk to him when he comes up to get lunch. She abandons her lunch and friends so she can go talk with Mike and find out what it’s like to be way too old to be cast in a TNBC show.

Katie runs up and says NBC is sending over a reporter. They immediately decide to go home and get changed so they look good for the story, immediately assuming the reporter will want to interview a bunch of teenagers.

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Sandra finds Screech all alone and asks him to build her a mailbox, giving him a story that makes the audience all sappy and emotional and shit about a mailbox guaranteeing people will know it’s their home and no one will be able to take it away. Too bad for Sandra she picked the most incompetent person there to complete this task, the one most likely to fuck it up. And then she kisses him. This episode is all about inappropriate relationships.

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Katie comes up with Beverly White. Fun fact: she’s a real local reporter for the Los Angeles NBC affiliate. I have no idea why they decided to go with an actual reporter on this episode considering they’ve never given a shit before, but I like to think that Tom Brokaw told them to go fuck themselves when they asked him to cameo.

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Ryan, Nicky, Eric, and Liz meanwhile talk as loud as they possibly can in the vicinity of Beverly hoping she’ll want to interview them. If it’s possible, all four actors managed to find a way to bring their acting down to a level even worse than normal. Beverly might be the best actor on the set this week. Poor her.

Meanwhile, Screech drops a bucket of nails on Mr. Belding’s head because it’s his personal mission to kill Mr. Belding before this show is cancelled.

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Maria’s helping out hammering and so Mike comes around and shows her how to properly use a hammer since she’s a girl and shit. He promptly smashes his finer and Maria takes a look at it, declaring she’ll have to keep an eye on him for a while, preferably in bed. Mike asks Maria out to dinner and the creepiness factor just kicked up a bunch!

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But then Beverly comes over to interview Mike and Maria finds out that Mike is a member of the family, suddenly making her unsure about dating someone who’s not as rich as her.

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Of course, Maria and Mike go to The Max for their dinner, because that’s my idea of a romantic dinner. Maria can’t stop spouting microaggressions at Mike because she’s turning into a snobby bitch. She doesn’t want Mike to pay the bill and, when he insists, she waits for him to go to the restroom and puts money in his shirt.

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Back at the construction site, Screech bothers the shit out of the mail carrier about his stupid mailboxes while Mr. Belding struggles in the background. Rather than the mail carrier telling him to fuck off as she’s actually got a job to do, she humors him and then just walks off silently, probably because the casting department was too cheap to pay her to say a line, but giving off the impression she can’t believe the idiot she just met. What’s a mail carrier doing at a house that hasn’t been built yet anyway?

Mr. Belding tells Screech to stop acting like an idiot about the mailbox and they’re just going to build one simple mailbox and be done with it, taking him off to keep him busy so he doesn’t destroy the house before it’s built.

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Mike confronts Maria about putting money in his pocket and Maria’s all, “You poor and shit so I paid for you!” Mike’s getting upset about Maria’s microaggressions but says he’ll take her out that night for a nice meal and he’s fucking buying this time.

Katie’s going to get Beverly and, while she’s gone, Ryan, Nicky, Eric, and Liz send the rest of the volunteers on an early lunch so they’re the only volunteers for her to interview. Or she could wait a half hour and come back. Plus, why are the volunteers so stupid they don’t know when lunch is?

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Screech tries to kill Mr. Belding by insisting they test their new mailbox by turning on an industrial-sized fan, throwing ice at him, and sending a Doberman after him. Why is Screech allowed to be in charge of anything?

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Beverly comes around and films the gang installing a window. Unfortunately, they don’t know what the fuck they’re doing and soon break the window, looking like the idiots on television that I’ve been watching for five seasons now.

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She then tries to interview Maria but is given more of Maria’s classist attitude about poor people being helpless and shit, leaving Beverly understanding why Tom Brokaw wouldn’t be on this show. Mike says he’s sick of Maria’s idiocy and doesn’t need her pity, walking off hoping to find another underage girl. Really, he should just be happy he found a girl who won’t report him for pretending to be much younger than he is.

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At The Max, Katie chastises the gang for being idiots on camera. They feel bad, realizing they’ve made Habitat for Humanity look like morons. Yeah, that’s what Habitat for Humanity gets for letting The New Class use their name on their show.

Maria, meanwhile, doesn’t understand why Mike won’t date a classist jerk. Katie starts talking to Maria like a moron and Maria soon understands that even poor people have feelings and emotions and shit.

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Mr. Belding finds Screech alone trying to get the mailbox to stop squeaking. Mr. Belding tells him to stop obsessing as it’s just a mailbox and Sandra will soon find My Little Pony on television and forget she ever asked for a mailbox.

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The next day, she loves the mailbox and grabs Screech around his waist, giving him a funny feeling. And thus ends the exciting “Screech builds a mailbox” subplot.

Ryan, Nicky, Eric, and Liz apologize to Beverly for being jack asses and ask her not to use the footage so Habitat for Humanity don’t look stupid. She says she already figured out they were morons and decided not to besmirch the good name of the organization, leaving our idiots happy that they’re not going to be on television after all and ending that subplot.

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Maria apologizes to Mike for being a classist asshole just because she’s richer than him. He accepts her apology and they’re left laughing about the lack of a future they have together, especially considering I couldn’t tell Maria liked Mike in the other episode.

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And our episode, and the out of order Habitat for Humanity arc, ends with our assembled cast, guest stars, and extras cheering as they put up the last wall, setting us up sloppily for the ending we already saw two weeks ago where the house is ready to be lived in. Now let’s never let these people try to build a house again. Just make their rich ass parents donate to more selfless volunteers instead!

The New Class Season 5, Episode 20: “Foreign Affairs”

I can only assume that this episode will feature Screech causing an international incident, and the gang have to bring Jimmy Carter in to get him out of it.

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Okay, so we open at Cafe USA to what looks like Maria watching Ryan masturbate. No such luck as that would actually make this episode interesting. We’re treated, instead, to the knowledge that Ryan purchased a camera and is so completely incompetent about how cameras work that he’ll spend much of the episode trying to figure out how to make it go.

Lucky for him, though, the group just happens to have a photographer: a woman named Maggie who sounds like she has a really bad British accent. I’ve never heard of anything else the actress has been in and I’m unwilling to watch it just to confirm she’s not really British, so I’ll just assume the casting department was fucking lazy again. In any case, Maggie’s purpose is to tutor Ryan in how to make cameras work, including such difficult tasks as loading film. Ryan will be so glad when they invent digital cameras in a few years.

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Meanwhile, Eric continues his subplot from the last Paris episode: whining about how horrible everything in Paris is and making bad jokes about shit, like how France’s pre-Euro monetary system sounds like a name for a hot dog. He tells Nicky that nothing’s going to change his mind…

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…until he spots his love interest for the episode: Danielle, the group’s tour leader, yet another fake French person living in Paris. Her accent is the worst and sounds like something you’d hear in a Jeff Dunham comedy special, and she’s probably much too old for Eric. But she’s available and breathing so that makes for perfect love bait for Eric.

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And so we get a montage of clips to remind us that we are in Paris and not a cheap Hollywood set.

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And some of the clips are just reused from the last Paris episode. But what’s worse is what comes next.

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See, we transition to night during the montage by having the stock footage suddenly take place at night. It’s one of the most jarring transitions I’ve ever seen in any visual medium, but I guess it’s cheaper than flying the cast to Paris and showing them enjoying themselves, which is how one would expect such an episode to work.

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And the gang find themselves on the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower. Everyone’s all excited while Maria, Nicky, and Katie are all, “This is where we got arrested last week!”

I do have to admit that I’m semi-impressed by the set. I could actually believe the gang are at the Eiffel Tower, which makes me think this set was built for another production and The New Class just happened to luck into it. In any case, it’s a lot better than their usual piece of crap attempts to make you think they’re outside, like that ski slope from season two.

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Ryan suddenly has a secret admirer in Franco, a random guy who seems to be hanging around the group most of this episode in hopes of picking up underage girls. Rather than call the police and reporting a sexual predator, the gang seem to humor him because the message of this episode is that talking to strangers is cool. Also, I spent most of the episode trying to figure out what nationality accent Franco is supposed to have. I assumed he was Spanish most of the episode until, towards the end, he finally randomly blurts out that he’s Italian, proving once again that the writers have no concept of accents.

Eric, meanwhile, starts quoting random facts about Paris to impress Danielle, and she believes him because all foreigners just randomly walk around spouting trivia for no good reason.

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Liz reveals that her plot this episode will be to just randomly be jealous of Ryan and Maggie since she must have heard Ryan was smooching with a Hang Time girl last season while he was dating Rachel. Maria and Katie remind Liz that this whole plot is unnecessary and could just be solved by Liz telling Ryan how she feels, but Liz is determined the episode won’t end twenty-five minutes early and continues to pursue this jealousy angle.

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Of course, Mr. Belding and Screech buy the most touristy hats they could possibly find because working with Screech for four years has turned Mr. Belding’s brain into mush.

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Back in Mr. Belding’s office, which he apparently doesn’t have to sleep in any longer, we get our subplot for Mr. Belding and Screech: Screech decides that Mr. Belding needs a bust to remind future generations how great a man he is. Bullshit. I think Screech is going to pleasure himself at night to it. Screech just happens to have a block of concrete and gets to work despite the fact he has no experience in sculpting and promptly breaks the block to pieces.

Eric walks into the gang’s room glowing from the possibility of sex on the horizon. Everyone else is grumpy about his sudden change of mood but he insists he now loves Paris because of a girl, and nothing could possibly no wrong based on this, even as Nicky reads one of Eric’s bitter letters to his mother about how much Paris sucks. Good thing the letter’s strategically placed in a spot where it will be sure to influence the plot later.

Maggie comes in and invites Ryan to shoot a boat parade with her that night. Liz is obviously jealous but doesn’t say anything about it as Ryan and Liz takes off. Maria and Katie show signs of getting sick of Liz’s neurotic bullshit and even decides Ryan must like Maggie.

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After a commercial break, Danielle arrives for dinner with Eric. Eric’s filled the room with stereotypical French bullshit like berets, accordion music, and a French flag, but Danielle’s no better with a grocery back complete with loaves of French bread sticking out. She has some sweetbread for Eric to try and, because he’s playing up the stereotype of the stingy American who refuses to try anything foreign, he’s disgusted with Nicky tells him it’s cow’s pancreas.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, we see that Mr. Belding will never learn his lesson. He’s decided to let Screech put plaster all over his head and create a bust from the mold, even as Screech reads a book to figure out how.

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Of course, this results in a mold that slightly resembles the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man. Of course Screech’s book is missing the pages that tell him how to remove the mold and, after a stupid attempt with prop scissors to cut the mold, he gives up and teases Mr. Belding with water.

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At the bridge, Ryan thanks Maggie for indulging him in his new hobby that will likely never be mentioned again, even considering Ryan didn’t know enough about it at the beginning of this episode to load the film.

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The girls show up dressed as bad mimes to spy on Ryan and Maggie and, after entertaining a really easily amused old woman, see Ryan moving towards Maggie and leave, assuming that Ryan’s getting ready to kiss Maggie. Yeah, you girls are really bad at this spy shit, aren’t you?

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Back in the repurposed The College Years dorm set, Eric’s hating this sweetbread shit and spits it out when Danielle isn’t looking. Danielle apparently is in the habit of randomly picking up private letters laid out in public and reading them, because she soon learns that Eric really believes that Paris sucks ass. She runs out, realizing that Eric was just using her as his relationship of the episode.

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In the hallway, Screech randomly leads Mr. Belding around and leaves him alone in the hallway while he goes to get help instead of doing something sensible like leaving in the room. Danielle comes storming out of the room and knocks Mr. Belding aside, who then decides it’s time to do his Mr. Magoo impersonation and wander around Paris in a plaster cast. Jesus fucking Christ. Mr. Belding is going to die.

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Liz decides to go on a date with Franco to make Ryan jealous because that seems to be a regular thing she does this season. Ryan finds out from the rest of the gang that she’s planning to go to the Eiffel Tower so he runs off to protect her from the sex offender.

And Screech rushes in to get Maria, Nicky, and Katie to help him look for Mr. Belding since they’re more familiar with the area after their arrest than him and they don’t have subplots of their own to worry about.

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Eric finds Danielle at Cafe USA  and apologizes for being a jack ass. He says he was just trying to impress his one episode relationship like usual but he really likes Paris because she’s in it and he might get laid and shit. Danielle decides all is forgiven because she hasn’t been honest with him about being French, either, and thus ends Eric’s lying about liking Paris plot.

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At the Eiffel Tower, Franco tries to put the moves on Liz but she realizes she doesn’t like creepy ethnically ambiguous sex predators so both she and an arriving Ryan both threaten to push Franco off the Eiffel Tower unless he gets off this show and never comes back.

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Ryan and Liz have a heart to heart where Ryan’s all, “I would never cheat on you because that was my thing last season, not this season! Also, you need to tell me shit because I’m not a mind reader as I haven’t been struck by lightning yet!” They make-up and prepare to continue their relationship another few episodes.

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Mr. Belding somehow manages to stumble up the stairs to the observation deck past security and ticket takers because it’s The New Class. Screech is right behind him and our episode ends with Mr. Belding attempting to finally rid himself of his persistent problem by pushing Screech off the Eiffel Tower.

But the most surprising thing about the events of this episode…

Firsts: Danielle, Eric dates a girl for more than one episode.

The New Class Season 5, Episode 19: “Thanks for Giving”

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We open for yet another stupid idea for a The New Class arc: have the gang build a Habitat for Humanity house for a service project, because while they’re taking month long trips to France they have plenty of time to take off and build a fucking house! Evidently, though, this is not any ordinary house as they’ve managed to go from an empty lot to a fully standing house in just a week, and they’ve promised the would-be-inhabitants, the Reynolds family, they’ll have the whole house ready for them to have Thanksgiving dinner in just another week! And this is not me exaggerating this time. They make it a point to emphasize multiple times that they went from empty lot to habitable house by the end of this episode in a total of two fucking weeks.

If I were the Reynolds family, I would ask a building inspector to come check this shit out before the whole thing falls down on them in their sleep, especially if Screech is involved.

Oh, and, in case you’re wondering, this is actually the final episode of the Habitat for Humanity arc. Yes, some dip shit at NBC decided it would be perfectly acceptable to air the final episode of the arc before the first episode. I know this is par course for this series, but it still annoys the fuck out of me when the writers put five seconds of thought for continuity into this series and they’re rewarded by NBC playing eainie-meanie-miney-mo with the schedule. It’s like the writers of this series were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t.

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Speaking on damnable things, Screech is involved in the building of this house and has managed to get himself stuck in a door. Jesus, do the Reynolds family really want to live anywhere this dumb ass helped construct? Mr. Belding takes him to get him out so they can get started on their subplot: planting the garden.

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The boys start the main plot by trying to win tickets to fly to Dallas and see the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day from KNFS, Tulare, California’s best 100 watt community radio station! That 100 watts must be going a long way if Eric’s picking them up in Los Angeles on his Walkman! Naturally, they don’t win yet because it’s not yet convenient to the plot, but we’ll check back with them when it is.

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And a member of the Reynolds family, Mike, comes around to introduce Maria to her subplot: he wants her to speak at the dedication for their house, and she’s overjoyed because it means everyone will be looking at her and wishing they were as awesome as her.

Now, funny thing: when I first saw this episode before I saw the first Habitat for Humanity episode, I thought Mike was the father of the family. He certainly looks like he could be old enough. Strange enough, it looks like he’s an older son, which will be even more disturbing when we see him in the other episode. Keep this in mind that this is how you were introduced to him: with absolutely no context as to who he is.

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In the living room, the boys try again for the trip and this time it’s convenient to the plot. Unfortunately, they’re now looking for the fan who deserves to go more than anyone so, after the boys brag about building a Habitat for Humanity house, the DJ says they’ll pick the winner later today and wait for a phone call. KNFS must be psychic in addition to their amazing reach for a 100 watt station because they don’t ask for the boys’ name or phone number or anything! Yay for more magical abilities!

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Outside, Screech regales young Sandra Reynolds and her mother, Mrs. Reynolds, with stories of gardens to come. Yes, Mrs. Reynolds is the only member of the Reynolds family not deserving of a first name because she’s a woman and shit. Screech’s lunacy doesn’t seem to phase her, though, even when she points out that they only have two flower beds, and young Sandra hasn’t been taught not to hug strange dumb asses as she leaves the scene.

Oh, but we’re not done with Screech’s lunacy yet as he literally starts eating dirt to test the “chemical makeup of the soil.” Yeah, this subplot is going to be the most ridiculous thing so far this season as it serves no purpose other than to make Mr. Belding look stupid and petty despite the fact he’s the one with some common sense. Yes, when Mr. Belding doesn’t want to eat dirt like Screech, he agrees to do one flower bed while Screech does the other.

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Mike teaches the girls how to paint a door and warns them not to use the paint sprayer as it may clog. Of course, as soon as Mike leaves, she gets the sprayer out…

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…and manages to spray her cheek without getting any paint in her hair. Convenient happenstances just abound in this episode! Katie and Liz take Maria to see the boys, and Eric tells her not to worry as the paint will wear off in like six weeks. In a world where we can build a house in a week, we still can’t remove paint from skin in a timely manner.

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The boys initially think they’ve lost the contest, but, when the winner declines the tickets, they’re runner up and get to go to Dallas.  But plot contrivance works against them when Mr. Belding comes in and informs them that the wallpaper won’t arrive until tomorrow morning, which means they’ll have to work through Thanksgiving and won’t be able to go to Dallas.

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At The Max, the boys want to back out of finishing the living room so they can go to Dallas and I’m really confused by this whole subplot. I’m actually with the boys on this: it’s not their fault the wallpaper isn’t there and it’s not like the family can’t have Thanksgiving dinner and finish the living room later. But we’re supposed to be with Katie and Liz on this, who think the boys are being super selfish and shit and need to finish the living room. The boys decide that they can cut corners like Maria and finish the job in time to go to Dallas.

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Meanwhile, Sandra loves Screech’s flower bed to the point she’s practically kissing his ass…

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…while Mr. Belding seems to have planted dead shit. Seriously, the writers want us to believe that this is because Mr. Belding didn’t eat dirt like Screech wanted, but, unless he planted dead shit, nothing short of extra strong grass killer is going to kill plants this fast. The writers are really getting off on insulting my intelligence this episode. It’s like they knew NBC was going to air the episode out of order so they just didn’t care.

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In the living room, the boys decide they don’t need to wash the walls and they just put the wallpaper directly up, not even taking time to not put wallpaper over Nicky.

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Maria decides the solution to her problem is to channel the spirit of Tammy Faye Baker. After Katie, Liz, and Mike screech in horror, she decides she can’t deliver a speech to assembled classmates, Reynolds family members, and dumb ass faculty members with a blue stain on her face.

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And, in the garden subplot, Mr. Belding and Screech basically just start destroying each others’ flower beds, because they need to learn a very special lesson about not being morons.

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The boys complete the wall paper, but it starts coming off the walls almost immediately after they leave. Now I’m not an expert on hanging wallpaper but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be this shitty a job unless they tried to hang it using school glue sticks. Oh, and to top it off, Nicky left the water running in a small bucket because he’s apparently blind. I don’t know! I can’t figure out this episode for the life of me! It’s like it was written by people who took their knowledge of building a home from Looney Tunes!

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At The Max, Katie and Liz come and tell the boys about their physics defying wallpaper but the boys are all, “We’re done with this shit! We’re going to Dallas!”, leaving the girls to think they’re going to have to do the job themselves.

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Mike comes in and finds Maria. He tells her he’s sad a stupid subplot is going to keep her from delivering her shitty little speech. He’s all, “I don’t give a damn if your cheek looks like a Smurf! Please give your speech!”

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Back at the house, Mr. Belding and Screech learn their lesson about working together I guess and decide to work together to finish both flower beds.

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And the boys show up to help Katie and Liz because of course they did! They tell the girls their nagging and guilt tripping made them realize what the conclusion of their plot needed to be and this shit it almost over.

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The next day, Maria gives her little speech, thanking the volunteers for building a fucking house in two weeks! Seriously, Habitat for Humanity houses take six to eight months to build and they built a shobby piece of crap house in two weeks because it’s apparently made out of straw like the first little pig!

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The cast and assembled extras are invited to Thanksgiving dinner. For some reason, this includes a little girl who isn’t Sandra. Are the writers finally acknowledging that some of Bayside’s students are old enough to have children of their own?

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Mrs. Reynolds thanks the boys for working through the night to ensure the house was done in time for Thanksgiving. They pout about how they didn’t get to see the Dallas Cowboys but are all, “We learned a lesson and shit!” Mr. Belding violates separation of church and state by saying grace on a school-sponsored outting, and our episode ends with everyone enjoying the best Thanksgiving dinner since random NBC prime time stars stopped by four years ago.

God, this episode. I really hope when I see the first episode in the arc, we get to see a building inspector marveling at the fair dust being used to construct this demon spawn house. Is all this finally evidence that Screech is the spawn of Satan?

Firsts: Mike Reynolds, Sandra Reynolds, Mrs. Reynolds, Habitat for Humanity.

The New Class Season 5, Episode 18: “Foreign Behavior”

Before we find out what pain I must endure from The New Class this week, I want to give a plug for my new project, California Dreams Reviewed. As the title implies, I’m delving into Peter Engel’s first attempt to capitalize on the success of Saved by the Bell by having a show that’s basically the same but with a band. New posts will be every Friday so please check it out and let me know what you think!


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Please tell me this is going to be some lame episode about the gang putting on a Paris-themed dance or some shit…

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No, please tell me they’re not really going to do this…

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God, tell me this is some sort of mistake…

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No, unfortunately, it’s not a mistake. Our band of roving teenage caricatures has been transported to Paris for a month. The why isn’t clear but they’re part of something called the “International Academy,” which doesn’t really exist but that’s never stopped Saved by the Bell before. I assume it’s a situation like the semester at sea where they’re doing stuff that’s awesome for the plot while taking classes in the middle of France.

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We open as you would expect, with the gang pontificating for a full minute and a half about how awesome Paris is and how they love it even though they got here and how they can’t wait to bring the blandness of The New Class to famous Paris landmarks. Well, all except Eric, whose subplot this episode is that he’s super homesick even though he just got there. Naturally, Ryan and Liz are ready to fuck in the city of love while Maria expresses jealousy that she still has to wait eight more episodes to get a new boyfriend.

Oh, and their rooms are basically a redressing of the dorms from Cal U. It’s nice they’re still finding ways to recoup their money out of the failed production of The College Years.

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Of course Mr. Belding and Screech are there too, because, for a school whose vice-principal is rarely seen anymore, Mr. Belding seems to get a lot of time to go and do a lot of shit with his students. And Screech is wearing all kinds of shit that only a goofy, overenthusiastic American tourist, the type the French love to hate, would wear. Would you expect any more from him?

We meet Madame Dumars, the academy’s chief administrator, and Mr. Belding starts pontificating about how grateful they are to be there. Screech tells him to get the fuck on with shit and, for once, I agree with Screech: they’re wasting a ton of time on really bad setup. You’re in Paris. You’re excited. I get it. This sounds like the writing of a high school student who’s just taken a creative writing class and thinks all their thoughts are super profound.

And, for the record, as far as I can tell, every “French” person in this episode is an American doing a really bad French accent, which is pretty fucking borderline offensive. I didn’t have the energy to track them all down in other roles as none of them are well known actors and actresses but, judging by their other credits on IMDB, it doesn’t sound like they’re very French. Fucking The New Class. Because it would have been so difficult to track down native French people living in Hollywood.

Maria wants to go see the city but Mr. Belding tells them to unpack and get ready for dinner as they need to establish even more sets.

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Madame Dumars takes Mr. Belding and Screech to see their office, because they need an office for some reason. And we finally get their stupid subplot of the episode: Madame Dumars gets a phone call informing her the writers have decided to give away their rooms for the episode, which means they’ll have to sleep on cots together in the office. Great, can we do something yet?

Screech does mention that things like this happen to them all the time, which I actually chuckled at as a bit of referential self-parody.

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Apparently not as now we need to be acquainted with the ripoff of The Max for this arc of episodes. This is Cafe USA. Yes, the diner where Mr. Belding wants them to have dinner is American-themed. I agree with Nicky: this is fucking lame and so stereotypical American to go all the way to Paris and eat American food. Maria and Katie refuse to eat, though, as they’re saving themselves for a meal in the Eiffel Tower.

Mr. Belding comes in and tell the gang he’s setting a 9:00 curfew, which means they have a half hour to get back to their rooms. The gang think this sucks because they want to wander the streets of Paris in the middle of the night. And it’s so cute how the extras in the cafe listen to Mr. Belding like they have something to do with this episode.

Back in their rooms, Maria, Nicky, and Katie decide they’re not going to fucking sit around their first night in Paris. Instead, they’re going to sneak out and go do something or other while they wander the hallways. Ryan and Liz decide to stay so they can fuck and Eric’s still homesick and shit so half our gang are staying behind. Finally, a hint of main plot rears its head!

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We soon find Nicky in a cab in between his ex-girlfriends in the city of love, and any other show might say this was a sign of kinky things to come. Instead, since their American taxi driver doing a bad French accent can’t speak English, they direct him to go to the Eiffel Tower.

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They soon arrive at the Eiffel Tower’s restaurant, which you’ll be glad to know has stayed open late just for our gang and has apparently relaxed their normally formal dress code as well because it’s convenient to the plot. An American waiter with a bad accent comes over and pours wine for our gang and I suddenly have a fear this is going to be another poorly made alcohol-themed episode.

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Back in Mr. Belding and Screech’s subplot, Screech annoys the fuck out of Mr. Belding by doing random exercises and wanting Mr. Belding to sing him a lullaby. Jesus Christ, is Screech a fucking child?

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Back in the gang’s room, Ryan’s attempt to finally lose his virginity comes crashing down when Eric crashes his romantic dinner with Liz, citing more stupid and exaggerated homesickness. They try to give him a task like writing to all his relatives to get him out of their hair, but it doesn’t work because Ryan and Liz will never have privacy.

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We return to the Eiffel Tower to find a drunk Nicky making his lobster dance. Jesus Christ, I would be surprised if at least one of these morons doesn’t cause an international incident while they’re in Paris. I’m betting on Screech. Also, Ben Gould plays a drunk guy like a teenager who’s never touched a drop of liquor in his life.

They decide to pay the bill and go to the observation deck. They find it’s ₣1,200 and assume that’s like $20 or something. Jesus they’re fucking morons. The first thing you learn travelling is that restaurants and bars inside famous landmarks are generally the most expensive in the city. But if this is the Le Jules Verne, the real restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, this place is Michelin rated, one of the best, and most expensive, restaurants in all of Paris. Hell, today it’s not uncommon there to pay €300 per person, not even including alcohol. But our gang, despite having experiences most teenagers could only dream of, lack any sort of common sense about how shit works and are busy giving American tourists a bad name.

Maria calls the waiter over and asks how much the bill is in American money because, while they’re busy being stereotypically offensive American tourists, they might as well complete the act by assuming they can just pay in dollars anywhere in the world. Because the waiter is American himself, he just happens to know the bill converts to $200 which, for the Le Jules Verne, sounds like they ordered off the kids menu, especially given the large amount of wine they apparently consumed. They don’t have enough money to pay the bill so decide the best course of action they can take thousands of miles from home is to leave as much cash as they can and hope the waiters never learned how to add.

Oh, it’s not an alcohol episode. It’s a dine and dash episode. One night in Paris and our gang is giving this wait staff plenty to complain about on the customer service hell reddits. Oh, wait, reddit didn’t exist back then. I assume they’re bottling this story up for years later when reddit is invented.

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Unfortunately, their plan is foiled by a combination of French schools giving these American expats a good education in math and the fact that elevators typically open again when an object passes between the doors. We go to commercial break with the trio wondering what important life lesson will result from this subplot.

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Back in the office, Mr. Belding kicks Screech out for snoring and shit. Someone once said that Dennis Haskins and Dustin Diamond liked to improvise their own comedy on this show because the scripts were so bad. If that’s the case, they’re not very good at improvisation. No offense to you, Dennis, if you’re reading this. After all, you’re the member of this comedy duo I like.

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Back at the International Academy, Ryan and Liz sent Eric off on another chore, which leaves them free to do it with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Unfortunately, Eric interrupts them once again to tell them Maria, Nicky, and Katie have been arrested and Mr. Belding went to bail them out.

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Mr. Belding and Madame Dumars bring our misbehaving trio towards…a sleeping Screech. Jesus, Ryan and Liz were about to do it just feet from Screech? This show just keeps giving me nightmares! This is the stuff nightmares are made of!

Mr. Belding tells them that they were fucking stupid for thinking they could dine and dash on a Michelin rated restaurant. Oh, and boo drinking, too, because we just had to throw that in! Madame Dumars tells them that the usual punishment for such behavior is to send the entire group home because punishments that stir up the most conflict are usually the most convenient to the plot, even though they make no fucking sense whatsoever.

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Maria, Nicky, and Katie enter Cafe USA suddenly the next day to find none of the extras like them anymore. In fact, everyone’s pissed that their actions are leading to a draconian rule being enforced against them all before they even get to see Paris. The trio plead with Mr. Belding to talk Madame Dumars into being a reasonable human being, but he’s all, “With great power comes great responsibility and other such cliches!”

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The gang and extras assemble to hear Madame Dumars’s verdict on their future. Oh, and Mr. Belding resolves his subplot by apologizing to Screech for daring to be annoyed with his idiocy. Was there a point to that subplot other than to waste time?

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Madame Dumars is ready to send everyone home…

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…when Maria, Nicky, and Katie plead with her to be reasonable and only send her home like most academic programs not trying to create fake conflict for the sake of Saturday morning television would. This moves her, and she decides to let everyone stay because taking responsibility for your actions apparently makes everything okay and shit. But, most amusing, are the extras in the background apparently having a private dance because it’s been too many episodes since they got to party in one of Bayside’s many social functions and they’re going into withdrawal.

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And our episode ends with Eric bemoaning the fact he doesn’t to go home early. Fucking hell, if you’re going to piss and moan so much, why’d you come to Paris in the first place? I’ve lived abroad. Three times. I’ve been homesick. Guess what: it doesn’t set in within the first twenty-four hours. Once again, The New Class doesn’t know what it’s talking about, but that’s nothing new really.

Firsts: Paris, the International Academy, Cafe USA.