When you stop to consider the Saved By The Bell franchise spans 15-seasons across multiple spin-offs (Good Morning Miss Bliss, The College Years, The New Class and so on), it can be a bit confusing to put a sense of order into the many releases.
That said, The New Class Season 6 & 7 is, as the name suggests, the sixth and seventh seasons of The New Class and the twelfth and thirteenth season of Saved By The Bell if you're using 1988's Good Morning Miss Bliss as a starting point. Regardless of where you like to consider your starting point amidst the Saved by the Bell franchise, this box set represents the very end of it all.
TNC Season 6 originally aired between in September of 1999 and the 7th and final season debuted in September 2000 on Saturday mornings on NBC. Unlike the seasons prior; which had all been 26-episode runs, 6 & 7 were reduced to 13 episodes each and were hence lumped together into a single DVD release from Image Entertainment.
Season 6 made a single character swap: Ryan Parker (Richard Lee Jackson) was replaced by jock Tony Dillon (Tom Wade Huntington); but another Bayside transplant from rival school Valley. One really does wonder why, since the original class' departure, so many Valley students trucked into Bayside but that's neither here nor there. Perhaps credited to the fact that the cast was so similar to the season preceding it, it's apparent that the writers had reached a point where they were able to capitalize on the dynamic of this particular group.
The Tony Dillon character actually wastes no time in integrating with the gang; in fact the character certainly feels more fluid from the get-go in the blonde-haired lead than either of the past two characters to have filled the role (Brian & Ryan). The Valley transfer student angle is a bit weak undeniably but at least the writers were clever enough in this instance to use it as an opportunity to rekindle a flame with fellow former-Valley turned Baysider Maria Lopez.
Sadly, while the duo of Screech and Belding had shown slight signs of improvement in subsequent seasons, the final two are a solid regression to the cobby and forced nonsense that shamed the original personas of the characters back in the original class days.
As always the case with The New Class, prepare for a multitude of out-of-school episodes/ sequences. This time around it's the part time jobs at the mall (again), jobs at the Max, the police academy, and multiple parties, gatherings, and dances. However, and in another step in the wrong direction, the final two seasons (the sixth especially) have traded in solid story telling & comedy in favor of glorified public service announcements. The dangers of smoking cigars, drinking (even without driving), shady auto mechanics, yellow journalism, sexual harassment at work, the dangers of prescription painkillers, what can happen if you don't get enough sleep; the list of moral lessons tackled here is basically continuous.
In all it's pretty safe to say Seasons 6 & 7 manage to instill a feeling that, try as they may, the dynamic of The New Class had finally reached the end of the road. In the show's defense they did manage to give the class itself some closure in the form of final exams, senior prom, and even Belding coming to terms with the fact that it may be time to head off to greener (in this case Screech-free) pastures. The humorous moments scattered about are surprisingly genuine but completely outweighed by the constant heavy-handed lessons.
In all, The New Class has, throughout its 7-season span, probably enough humorous moments to fill an entire season with the type of clever writing/ good innocent fun that many of us still wax nostalgic about the original class. Interestingly since many of the cable networks that own syndication rights to the Saved by the Bell franchise did not opt to buy The New Class rights making these DVD collections the only way to experience this rather obscure program. I for one am glad that Image Entertainment took the time to bring all 7-seasons to market even if the dynamic could never surpass (or for that matter equal) the vibe of the original show on which it was based.