What a sad show this was!
Saved by the Bell: The New Class (1993–2000)
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What a sad show this was!
After watching several episodes of seasons 3, 4, and 5 again, the first thing I have to say about this series is that true enough, the plots and story lines cannot match the original SBTB series. The acting was very wooden at times, the scripts likewise seemed too scripted, the story lines seemed rehashed from the original series, and there weren't as many serious issues the characters dealt with as compared to the original series that hadn't been covered already. All of this made SBTBNC rather average.
Yet there were some things that made SBTBNC very worthwhile to watch. The fashion was definitely better than the original series though that's my opinion because I was teenager myself during SBTBNC's years. Seasons 4 and 5 also hit well with the stepbrother duo of Ryan and Nicky and the hot tempered Maria also being a delight to watch. This series also branches out of the high school and shows what teenagers can do outside of school such as obtaining part time jobs, doing community service at a hospital, and travelling (all courtesy of a good economy during the Clinton years). Surprisingly, the odd and unlikely duo of Mr. Belding and Screech also helped keep the series alive.
One may wonder why Screech is not in college but working as Mr. B's administrative assistant and that is because his days as a Bayside student prepared him for this. After being tormented, cheated, used, bullied, mocked, and ignored throughout high school, Screech very likely felt like an insecure loser, and this was his opportunity to relive high school and try his luck again. His emotional outbursts (though sometimes overacted), his obsession with being the save-the-day know-it-all, his off-campus ventures such as an out of control lottery ticket gambling habit and balloon business (season 4) to a second job as mall security guard (season 5) also proved that Screech was more insecure than ever and was trying to come out as a hero and overcome his perception of himself as a loser. Yet there were times that Screech would cunningly outsmart the students or even Mr. Belding himself which showed that he did shed some of the his old timid self.
This same goes for Mr. Belding who is always friendly to his students but by this late a time is clearly suffering some sort of midlife crisis and tries to deny that he is getting old by refusing to wear glasses (season 4), trying to prove that he has special abilities in all areas (running a hospital experiment, taking ballet classes, running outside businesses at Palisades Mall, and living in a mock space shuttle) and desperately trying to be the best mentor and friend to his students. Underlying the comedy, the theatrics, and the overacting,these two characters reveal very serious, scary, and at times depressing issues that have to do more with life after high school and sends a potent message to young viewers.
All in all, the series is not as bad as one thinks.
Heck they could even put more effort in the new characters! most of them were carbon copies of the original cast members. Even Weasel is a sad attempt of Screech. But whatever, I must admit I liked this show for only one reason: NATALIA CIGLIUTI. She was smoking hot, beautiful, cute, and had good acting skills.
She's by far the hottest member on the series. Yes, she was that beautiful. I wonder why she isn't more famous. But that's another thing.
This new class had it's moments but never matched the charisma of the original series, but on it's positive side, it had elements of 90's pop culture that weren't good capitalized by the original. I really liked how they displayed most of the early 90's craziness.
Every year someone leaves and is replaced, they all date everyone in the group and Mr. Belding-yuck, is he in love with his students?! Screech used to be good-what happened? I liked Ryan probably because he was cute but that's about it, most of the acting was hmmm...mediocre at best.
I only have one more thing to say about it. The most memorable yet stupid quote in the world by Mr. Belding "if there's alcohol at a party, just leave!" Ha ha, yeah right, why leave? Just don't have any or have one or two no harm done. I understand that in the US you can't drink til 21 but in the UK it's 18 and didn't seem a big deal, some kids here are drinking at 14. I don't admire binge drinkers but i hardly think one beer means you're a bad kid. My friend and i still joke about this when we're having a drink ourselves.
Even if this show destroys the original version of the original class, then this show should not be turned down completely bad at all. The 1st season cast, except for Dennis Haskins, is trying to imitate the original class, but the 1st season is trying to get along without broadening their horizons too quick. But no broadening their horizons would be a letdown. Although, I have a feeling that these recycled plots should not be in both Bayside and Valley High Schools because both high schools are considered both ableists and ageists.
The final seasons were a complete letdown when the Tony falls in love with Maria than Liz, leaving Liz which one heart, but luckily she dated Eric on the prom episode, which ended that drought somehow. We already know why Screech was denied a raise and ended up in strike. But that strike shouldn't last because Bayside is not where Screech should work and is not where recycled plots should be in.
This should be in a different public high school which is neither ableist and ageist and that's where the 1st season cast should have been and that's where Screech should be working at. Although, that new principal in that new place should be imitating Belding and can work with Screech along the way.
Alternatively, I'm glad both actresses Tiffani Amber Neilsen and Elizabeth Berkley (Kelly and Jessie) never saw this show and never guest appeared in "Goodbye Bayside (2)" episode because it endangered their own real lives, unlike the other original SBTB class cast members.
Finally, I know some of the SBTB new class crew member group is now partly ableist, ageist or both, but the rest are neither ableist nor ageist and Executive Producer Peter Engel is also neither ableist not ageist of this show, TBH, IMO.
Even though we were effectively served up the same old nonsense each and every episode (normally Screech helping the students, being sacked and then reinstated with Mr Belding giving us a dose of his fatherly advise on how honesty is the best policy etc etc..) somehow my friends and I enjoyed this show...
The main thing that separates this from the original was the fact that in the uk they broadcast out of sequence and you'd never see the same cast two days in a row and they'd age up and down so it was a lot harder to like the leads - except Dennis Haskins who probably looks exactly the same now - 10 years later.
If I had to use three words to describe it they would be : Corny, Predictable and Classic.
Enter Saved By The Bell: The New Class, and any true Saved By The Bell fan will roll their eyes in disgust. SBTB: The New Class was nothing but a cheap mirror of the original series. By the time "The New Class" entered the halls of Bayside, all of the jokes have been done, and the storylines were tested. Translation: THERE WAS NO NEED FOR A NEW CLASS.
Saved By The Bell: The New Class serves so night in carrying the title of the Saved By The Bell series. I wish it was possible to easily eliminate things from memory, because Saved By The Bell: The New Class would be far gone.