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Welcome Back, Kotter Season 2 DVD Review

Welcome Back, Kotter Season 2 DVD

“Welcome Back, Kotter” will appeal to fans of classic sitcoms.

If you yearn to relive the adventures of James Buchanan High School teacher Gabe Kotter and his remedial class of students affectionately known as the Sweathogs, you’re in luck as Shout! Factory has recently released the 23 episode second season of the 70’s sitcom. Throughout this season, viewers can expect to see plots about Gabe being offered a new job, missing money, a gang, a museum field trip, squabbles amongst the Sweathogs, Gabe getting ill, Gabe’s family, a Sadie Hawkins Dance, a student teacher, Horshack boxing, Epstein’s smoking addiction, a homeless man, Juan’s sister Carmen, arm wrestling, a cafeteria mystery, Gabe taking a second job, a tragedy in Horshack’s family, a pregnancy, Vice Principal Mr. Woodman, Freddie becoming famous, and a teacher in love with Gabe.

Knowing how much television has evolved, it’s strange to look at an old school sitcom like “Welcome Back, Kotter.” Granted, ‘Kotter’ still shares a formula that network TV stations still abide by, but we all know the best shows are no longer on network TV. Regardless, it’s not hard to see why ‘Kotter’ was a hit at its time as you know what you are going to get with it. There’s going to be one-liners, an amusing teacher/student dynamic, catch phrases like “Up your nose with a rubber hose,” and plenty of goofy antics by characters that have become ingrained in pop culture history (namely Vinnie Barbarino, Horshack, Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington, and Juan Epstein).

With all of that said, however, the show doesn’t exactly hold up after all these years later. The scripts are downright cheesy, the characters are generally stereotypical, and the show includes some rather cringe worthy racist humor (especially in the season premiere). Still, there are some laughs to be had here. Horshack (while profoundly annoying) knows how to get the audience’s attention as does the scene stealing John Travolta (who shines as the goofy tough guy Barbarino). Add in some chuckle worthy random bits (ala the Marx Brothers visual gag in “The Museum”) and you can do a lot worse than this show. All in all though, I wouldn’t run out to buy this set unless you were a huge fan of the show back in the day.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Fullscreen. How does it look? Since the series has not been remastered, it looks like a faded sitcom.

Audio Track: Unspecified Audio Track. How does it sound? The laugh track, dialogue, and music are clear enough.

No extras.

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April 18, 2015 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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