A compassionate teacher returns to his inner city high school of his youth to teach a new generation of trouble making kids.


“Welcome Back, Kotter” is such an odd show. While it’s typical urban comedy of the 1970s, it wanted to be about kids and about a young urban professional couple. Hell, until Kotter’s wife started to have a kid…she never got any major screen time. She existed only in show bumpers to give Kaplan a chance to crack wise without Travolta stealing his spotlight. Being an amateur television historian, it’s hard to think of a stranger setup. But, people remember that theme song and they let nostalgia wash over what was a pretty awful show. But, I know there’s a certain cross-section of our audience that will buy it.

The show remains this four year oddity that existed in a certain era that could provide for its success. After all, at what other time in history could Gabe Kaplan headline a show? He’s like Paul Reiser’s half dead uncle and nothing that comes out of his mouth is funny. I guess it was amusing for him to teach a semi Special Ed class in the ghetto, but the socio-political underpinnings of the busing era makes the matter seem questionable in hindsight. You had an Italian, a vaguely Jewish nerd, a Hispanic and a black kid covering the stereotype Royal Flush. Any white people on the show were framed as adults, parents or out of touch authority figures. Hell, I’ve seen Stan Lee write far more realistic people over the age of 30.

The DVD comes with no special features. The A/V Quality is pretty sharp for standard definition. That being said, the transfer still doesn’t get much to do. The Dolby track keeps all channels pumping. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

RELEASE DATE: 01/20/2015

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