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"Head of the Class"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Head of the Class" More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

This show is a classic!

Author: Retrodude from Australia
29 December 2005

This show was definitely entertaining and anyone who says that its lost its humor through time or hasn't aged well is wrong because i am only 15 and i think this show was well written, witty and had good morals. Although I did not see the real point of Billy Connelly starring on the show, it seems it was more a way of showing off Billy's humor to a wider audience. The originals were better but i still find the billy Connelly episodes entertaining. The episode which sticks in my memory the most is the one where they perform their own stage version of 'The Age Of Aquarius'.

This show deserves to be recognized as a truly entertaining sitcom and not as 'second rate'. It deals with issues in hilariously lighthearted ways and is still funny even after 14 years of it finishing.

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11 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Charming for 3 seasons, mediocre for 2

Author: severe_td from Los Angeles
27 April 2006

"Head of the Class" is very dated to the late 1980s. From the big hair to the clunky IBM terminals in the classroom, there's no doubt you're watching a show produced nearly 20 years ago. However, that actually adds to the program's charm -- especially for those of us who were in high school ourselves during that time period.

For 3 seasons, Head of the Class had a lot going for it. While lighthearted and often requiring a suspension of disbelief, the show was funny, entertaining, and charming. There was an excellent chemistry among cast members, and Howard Hesseman was perfect for the part of wise teacher Charlie Moore. Even the New York setting of the sitcom was well done, from the fascinating city imagery in the opening song to many different exterior shots shown between scenes. I saw the show at a taping in Burbank, California in 1986. Despite having actually been on the California set, I had to constantly remind myself that it wasn't actually shot in New York. That's unusual for a sitcom.

Unfortunately, things started to unravel in season 4. Too many of the original student cast members were lost, and the new ones replacing them were uninteresting and flat. How much do you really remember about Viki, Aristotle, Alex, T.J., and Jasper? You probably remember their faces, but they were simply cardboard replacements for the vibrant and quirky Janice, Jawaharalal, and Maria. This was already a sign that the show was slipping.

In Hesseman's final year, there were also a surprising number of "musicals" performed on the show. The first one was an interesting change, but this repeated theme made it clear that the writers were running of out ideas.

Finally, Hesseman left (probably sensing the end being near), and Billy Connolly replaced him. That was the truly the beginning of the end. Like the replacement students of the previous year, Connolly's character lacked the substance and depth that made Hesseman's so great. Between the boring new teacher and the tired-looking, modified class of students, this show ceased to hold many people's interest. It was mercifully put down at the end of the '90-91 season.

I would like to see Head of the Class back somewhere on television. Nick at Nite ran it for awhile in a horrible time slot (something like 4:30am), but eventually it vanished. It can't be found anywhere, which I think is a shame. This fun show deserves better than to rot in some syndication company's archive room.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Underrated and overlooked

Author: Chris Foster ( from Seat Pleasant, Maryland, USA
5 February 2004

In my opinion "Head of the Class" was one of the more overlooked and underrated primetime sitcoms of the mid to late 80's. The reason why I say this is, of course in the same era as "The Cosby Show", most shows like these get overlooked. Some of the cast members went on to act in motion pictures and other TV shows after the series ended in 1991. I guess the initial draw to the show was Howard Hesseman because like mamy of you, I remember his days on "WKRP in Cincinnati" as the popular "Johnny Fever". I wish it could come on syndication because they made the required 100 episodes for it to go in that format. They made history by being the first U.S. sitcom to film episodes in the Soviet Union. I would love to see a reunion show in the near future, but still, for this show to stay on network TV for five seasons with a relatively unknown cast of characters, even with the standards that "The Cosby Show" had set, that is saying something. To sum it all up "Head of the Class" was one of those overlooked shows that have become Cult Classics.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Excellent with Howard Hesseman, not-so-excellent with Billy Connolly

Author: Parker Lewis from United States
11 March 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was captivated by Head of the Class and the cast chemistry was amazing, the nerd, the tough one, the insecure ones, etc.

I think Howard Hesseman was the glue that kept the cast together, and he displayed a sense of maturity which was evident in the show. It was a shame though that he was unhappy with the direction of the series. In a 1989 interview with the Chigago Tribune he said:

''We're not doing the show that I was led to believe I'd do, and it's difficult for me to get off that,'' he says.

''I don't want to air dirty laundry in public, but I do feel that the educational arena is one that offers a variety of story ideas as a means of investigating our lives-what we mean to one another and what's important.''

I guess Mr Hesseman had lofty ambitions for Head of the Class.

Unfortunately, I never warmed to Mr Billy Connolly, who replaced Mr Hesseman as the teacher. Why? I felt the Connolly episodes were focused too much on him and his stand-up performances. He would launch into a comedy routine, and cut to the class laughing on cue. Maybe the show should have been retitled "Connolly's Head of the Class".

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: Harriet Deltubbo from United States
30 August 2014

I wish it was still on the air because I would still be watching. But seriously, how was this show on so long? Anyway, it's not the thing to see if you're in the mood for something uplifting, or something with tons of thrills. But it is a sort of gem in its own right. Even if you are not a sitcom fan, you will likely be entertained by all this 1980s-1990s series has to offer. I suggest you enjoy the first six or so episodes for what they are and let your mind play around with the opportunities there can be to make something interesting. The plots were not as well thought out as Saved by the Bell, but it still worked for the ensemble cast.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

It was a good little show

Author: makonrad from Canada
12 June 2006

Head of the Class was a classic show, and as most sitcoms, somewhat unrealistic. Charlie Moore was like a Johnny Feaver out of detox. It was really hard to separate the two characters. We were always waiting for him to drop into that stoned Dee Jay thing and then hit on Loni Anderson. I do, however,think it was a real inspiration to all high school students who didn't fit in with there peer groups. Apparently, Hesseman left the show after his contract was filled because he didn't like the character he played. Sorry folks. I kept watching just to see what it would be like without him and what Billy would bring to the party. Much to my surprise, I found him funny, although, it was a completely different show. The musicals where just plain entertaining! How many high school productions sound like that? I think we have all been subject to listen to those out of tune orchestras, and students who pretend that they can sing. These guys sound like they were just off Broadway, which some were.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Hot House Plants

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
5 August 2012

During the Seventies one of the most popular TV comedies was Welcome Back Kotter which in many ways was the mirror image of Head Of The Class in the Eighties. Kotter was about a teacher essentially babysitting some kids who were marked for life as losers and trying to tell them they necessarily didn't have to be. Head Of The Class was about the education system's cream of the crop, kids with high IQs and great potential. In a sense their home room teacher Howard Hesseman doubled as a guidance counselor.

High IQs and great potential doesn't immunize you from life's problems which are magnified in the teen years. Hessemann usually dealt in each episode with one of the kid's problems either academically or personal. Each kid had a specialty, Brian Robbins who did look like he could have been a James Dean wannabe was a writer. Dan Frischman was an overachieving math genius, son of a mathematics professor as well who never had a social life. His father's idea of fun was doing algorithms with his on. Tannis Vallely had a super IQ and just had trouble fitting in in high school as she was about 10.

Tony O'Dell had an interesting role, maybe the most interesting of the kids. He was a conservative thinking history enthusiast, but was never presented as a figure of ridicule. Hessemann who clearly didn't share his beliefs encouraged him to marshal his arguments and think objectively as the best of teachers do. O'Dell was also clearly looking too old for high school, but his performance was convincing.

William Schilling was the principal who treated these kids like hot house plants had his clashes every week with Hessemann. It was not unlike those that Gabe Kotter had with Mr. Woodman on Kotter. Except the roles were reversed as the principal scoffed at Kotter's concern for these losers and Schilling was concerned lest the egos of the geniuses be bruised. Both situations worked in their respective series.

Head Of The Class really died when Hessemann left. Still it was a wonderful show for the time we had it.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

great show

Author: ylopez4-1 from United States
5 January 2012

Great show great premise, I love the character of Simone she beautiful sweet and modest, I thought she was so sweet and naive, and the whole plot between Simone and Eric was awesome they were both great. I love the teacher, he seemed very wise and nice..... and new what he was talking about meaning Howard hesseman L) not the other guy, each student had its own identity(maria, paranoid, (robn given, stylish, a lil arrogant, Alan Pinkard (gorgeous, arrogant, and very good looking :) Eric, wild, and cool, Dennis, a root.. (arvid was so nice in a nerdy way, Sarah, was just plain cute. Janice, I liked her she seemed never to fit in................ I like the old characters.... then things changed when they started changing and replacing characters, especially jawarald (the Indian guy he was SO funny, anyways it was a great show and I enjoyed while I was very very young, I think I was 6 years old, but I can still see some reruns.... :

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

good show

Author: ericbilli ( from United States
3 September 2005

head of the class was one of the better teen shows around at the time i forget the name of the school in the show but in the opening credits when Howard hessman runs into the school that school is actually Washington Irving high school in NYC address is 40 Irving place it was my school at the time and the only reason why i started watching the show is because my cousin mentioned it to me and i didn't believe him until i saw for myself and it turned out to be a good show also but did you know the guy that played Eric is like the producer of kids shows like Keenan and kel, all that, the Amanda show, and i think he directed the perfect score

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

what happened to Howard Hesseman?

Author: spacemanspiff00 from IL
23 September 2003

why did he leave the show.....was he tired of it and thought it had run its course, was he fired cause he asked for too much money or was the rating declining and they thought a new teacher would breath life into the show? If someone knows post it please....

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