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David T. Cole

Welcome Back, Kotter

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I find myself, as I'm rewatching this show, fast forwarding all the scenes where Gabe is telling a joke. Because they're just not funny. I find that I like to just watch the scenes with the Sweathogs.

 

They finally had the episode where Vinnie got to take a make-up test so that he wouldn't be left back. I could have sworn when I watched it originally, didn't Woodman give him an oral section? Or was that another make-up test, where Gabe was asking the Science questions, and I recall Vinnie using his own words to answer a question about cells or...something.

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The jokes at the beginning and end are my least favorite part.  It's so separate from the show (may be related topic or theme-wise obviously, but still disconnected from everything).  I know this came way before Seinfeld, but maybe if they had set it up like Seinfeld, with a glimpse of a stand-up show for the jokes.  Then again, Julie wouldn't have been it at all.  Even so I understand why the actress wanted out.  Even as a kid first watching (on whatever channel was showing syndicated reruns), I always thought her scenes were rather tacked on and there just as an audience for Gabe.  And I never liked the home scenes anyway, even when in the middle of the episode and more integrated with the plot.  To me, that's not what the show was about.  It was Mr Kotter and the students.  

 

All that said, I really did love the show.  It's interesting to me that each of the main students had very distinctive quirks and mannerisms, but somehow didn't come across as too caricature-like.  Yeah, they were all a little over the top, but not "too much" so, imo.  And they are all quite iconic.  From Washington's "Hi there", to Horshacks's "Oh! Oh! Oh!..." to Vinnie's "Bar-bar-bar Bar-bar-barino" and Juan's bouncy little walk and notes from "Epstein's mother".

 

I am so glad this show is back on the air.

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Minor league local baseball keeps preempting this, so I've missed a lot of episodes. And I'm old, so I don't remember much about the first run. Do they address the Kotters' move to the apartment with actual rooms when the kids came? As in, how could they afford it with Julie still not working?

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Minor league local baseball keeps preempting this, so I've missed a lot of episodes. And I'm old, so I don't remember much about the first run. Do they address the Kotters' move to the apartment with actual rooms when the kids came? As in, how could they afford it with Julie still not working?

 

Yes. In season three, after Julie gives birth to the twins, she tells Gabe they need a bigger apartment. They were able to afford the one they moved to, because Epstein's uncle owned it or managed it, and gave them a bargain. I think Gabe also got a raise or something.

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IIRC, Epstein mentioned his uncle was a slum lord.  It's noted the Kotter's new apartment was in a good neighborhood and Epstein mentioned that his uncle figured why rip off the poor - when you could rip off everyone!

 

Is it wrong to note that I had a WBK t-shirt as a kid?

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I was a bit too young when this show first aired but remember it being wildly popular at the time. I watch the reruns on MEtv off and on and it bores me.

Last night, they had one of the worst VSEs ever with "Hotsie Totsie" inexplicably as an "exotic dancer " single mother. Something must have been edited out for more commercials b/c there was no resolution of an sort, so I guess she continued stripping and Horshack followed through with his promise to get a job to help support her.

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Last night, they began the new season in which Woodman became principal and Gabe became vice-principal (yet retained his teaching duties due to contrivance). Apparently someone bought some new video equipment for the crew because the opening credits were strewn with lame 1970's video effects, like the "Brady Bunch boxes", cube swipes, etc. Someone went  a little overboard...

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Ugh. I hate the last season.

 

I went back to see why Travolta had been relegated to "special guest star" and it seems that Saturday Night Fever and Grease were released during Season three. I appreciate that with that newfound success and popularity, that Travolta continued to appear on the show.

 

I miss the "What...wheah" from him.

 

After watching some behind the scenes show, where I discovered that both Kaplan and Strassman were lied to about how each felt and supposedly said about each other, it's sad to see it play out in the final season. Julie seems to sort of look down at Gabe...and that...connection/chemistry love, is not there.  And now I know why. I'm just glad that they both found out that they were lied to, even if it wasn't during the show.

 

I don't like the look of Epstein's hair. It looks like he cut it, but shellacked it as well, because it looks weird.

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Last night, they had one of the worst VSEs ever with "Hotsie Totsie" inexplicably as an "exotic dancer " single mother. Something must have been edited out for more commercials b/c there was no resolution of an sort, so I guess she continued stripping and Horshack followed through with his promise to get a job to help support her.

 

 

Rosalie becoming a dancer wasn't unexplained.  She had left HS to marry a guy who was a mechanic.  She got pregnant right away, but all three lived in an apartment over the husband's garage.  At some point he abandoned her and the baby (he installed a new muffler, so she couldn't hear him leaving in the middle of the night) and Rosalie had no other well paying options, and went to work at a joint called, The Torso Trap.

 

For the record, Rosalie Totsie was stripping because it paid so very well (about 75 bucks a week in 1978 dollars).  Horshack was sweet enough to offer to marry her and make her respectable.  Ultimately Gabe talks her out of stripping and that there were more respectable alternatives.  Mr. Woodman comes along and tells Rosalie that the school (or a local college) had an opening for her in an office/library position and she'd be able to work and go to college and finish her education.  She agreed to take the position and leave the stripping game.

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According to Zap2It, MeTv is starting over, airing the pilot tonight. I know their schedule will be changing soon, like it does every few months, so I don't know if it will stay in that slot or go into retirement for a bit, but it should be a nice palette cleanser, after the lame nonsense that was the final season.

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Yeah, I find that I can't STAND the last season. And it's just not the same without Vinnie/Travolta. I do love his "oookaaayfine" he picked up.

 

And they aired the last few shows of the last season out of order, which makes no sense to me.  Even the first season? They're going to air the third episode first, and then the pilot. It's weird.

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If you get AntennaTV, on Monday Sept. 4 they are running an all day marathon starting at 5:00 am Eastern. Set your DVR! The episodes aren't in order though - I hate that.

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The last ones were very strange. Still said it was starring Gabe Kaplan, but he almost never turned up. They'd mention Vinnie every once in a while, and the less said about Beau the better.

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Well damn Magic you sure know all bout 'The Return of Hotsy-Totsy', lol.

Personally I liked that eppy....IIRC, Rosalie's pay at her new position was $150 bi-weekly.  

Edited by Vixenstud
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