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Saved by the Bell The New Class - Season 1



DVD Release Date: January 25, 2005 (Image Entertainment)
MSRP: $24.99 (US)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 13
Running Time: Approx. 5 Hours
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, Closed Captioned

My Thoughts:

The adventures and the laughs never end at Bayside High, Southern California's coolest school. Now Tommy "D," Megan, Lindsay, Weasel, Vicki and Scott are roaming the halls, concocting wild schemes, looking for love and having as much fun as they can. Still on staff are the watchful Principal Belding and the ditzy English teacher Miss Simpson, on board for another year of aggravation. In this complete first season of 13 episodes, sweet-talking schemer Scott tries to sneak into the girls' sleepover; dorky Weasel becomes radio's "Dr. Love"; gorgeous yet "academically challenged" Tommy D must earn an A to get a car; the girls battle for a single spot on the cheerleading squad and much, much more!

Saved by the Bell: The New Class aired on NBC Saturday mornings from September 1993 to January 2000. 143 episodes were produced in 7 seasons. Season 1 included the cast of Dennis Haskins as Mr. Belding, Jonathan Angel as Tommy "D" De Luca, Natalia Cigliuti as Lindsay Warner, Bianca Lawson as Megan Jones, Bonnie Russavage as Vicki Needleman, Robert Sutherland Telfer as Scott Erikson, and Isaac Lidsky as Barton "Weasel" Wyzell. Season 2 would see the addition of 3 new characters with Tommy "D", Vicki, Scott, and "Weasel" not returning to the show. James Marsden appeared as Chad Westerfield in the episode "Homecoming King." Richard Lawson, Bianca Lawson's real-life father, appeared as Megan's father in "Good-bye Megan." Sarah Lancaster appeared in "Swap Meet" and would join the cast in the second season.

This 2 disc set features all 13 episodes from season 1. Episodes aired weekly from September-December 1993. The set comes in a black Amaray case that has 2 disc hubs in a tray. The front cover features a season 1 cast photo with a blue and green background. The back of the box lists a summary of the set and a listing of the cast credits along with 6 small photos of various cast members. There is just empty space inside the case. This space was wasted as I feel like they should have included an episode guide or at the very least a listing of the episode titles by disc. The discs have a blue and green background with the Saved by the Bell logo. Disc 1 features episodes 1-6. Disc 2 has episodes 7-13.

The main menu features the theme song playing with various still images rolling across the screen. It then leads to a still cast photo that fades into the episodes selection menu. The episodes selections menu features a still image from each episode. There is also a "Play All" button so you can view all the episodes on each disc at once. When you select an episode, it takes you to the scene selections menu. There are 5 still images from each episode where you can choose to go to specific scenes.

The video and audio quality on this set is fairly decent. The show was shot on video with a low budget, so these episodes probably look as good as can be expected. The colors are still bright and colorful, and the audio is clear and at a good level. All of the episodes run around 22-23 minutes which are a minute or 2 longer than the episodes on the season 2 set. The episodes are presented in their original broadcast order. Closed captioning is available for all episodes.

No bonus features are included on this set. It would have been nice to see some cast interviews, audio commentaries, or bloopers. The episodes themselves are probably most important to fans, so the lack of any bonus features is not a major disappointment.

The first season of The New Class seemed a little too similar to the original Saved by the Bell series. They made a number of changes starting in the second season to sort of give it a new identity. This is a pretty nice set although I think they should have listed the episodes inside the case or the back cover of the box. This set is cheaper than the 2nd or 3rd seasons, but you only get 13 episodes compared to 26 episodes for those releases. Season 2 was released on March 8th. Look for season 3 on June 14th and season 4 on August 16th. This show has been released at a very rapid rate, so fans will be pleased for that news especially since this show is no longer airing in syndication.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 4.0/5
Audio Quality: 4.0/5
Special Features: NA
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.6/5
Overall: 3.8/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 04/20/2005

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