Welcome Back, Kotter

Show Reviews (25)

Great
342 votes
8.3
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  • 6.5

    WBK: Seasons 1&2 are good, 3&4 not so much

    By imsoconfused, Aug 11, 2014

    I've been watching WBK for several weeks thanks to MeTV. I enjoyed this show when I was a kid and haven't seen it since it originally aired. I'm giving the series an overall rating of 6.5 (which is probably generous), but if I could rate it season by season, it would break down as follows:



    Season 1: 7

    Season 2: 8

    Season 3: 4

    Season 4: 1



    There was a lot of turmoil on this show and this included cast as well as people behind the camera. Kaplan wasn't getting along with Komack, and Strassman hated Kaplan's guts (according to an old People magazine story, at least). I think this stuff came to a head during season 3. The series jumped the shark when Gabe and Julie had twins and moved to a nicer apartment. At that point, a lot of the story moved out of the classroom. I guess there's only so much you can write about a remedial high school social studies class. Even so, the transition to their broader lives outside of school didn't work out to well.



    I'd have to say the final episode of season 3 (where Carvelli says he saw aliens), is one of the worst from any TV show, ever. Perhaps as a result, the writing staff was wholesale replaced for season 4, but the new crew used to write for Lucille Ball and had no clue how to relate to the target audience of this show. If season 3 is bad, then 4 is unwatchable.



    When I was a kid I really disliked the Woodman character. He reminded me of the real thing and he was always a downer with his sadistic treatment of Kaplan and the Sweathogs. Well, I now have a whole new appreciation of Mr. Woodman. Every scene he's in is awesome. John Sylvester White was a major acting talent and I regret that he didn't leave behind a larger body of work. I also find most of Gabe Kaplan's "uncle" jokes to still be pretty funny.



    In sum, enjoy seasons 1&2 and do what you want with 3&4.moreless

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  • 9.5

    was one of the best shows on tv

    By cleveley, Feb 01, 2013

    loved the show was right in front of the tv every week when it was on would love to see it back on one of the channels like reelz or antenna tv or the channels that play the older shows

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  • 2.5

    Not a good show

    By tjtalman, Feb 19, 2011

    I may have only seen a few episodes of this show, but in my opinion they were just terrible, they were just not funny. Beside the fact i can't stand John Travolta (besides the occasional movie his in), I found that the teacher Mr.Kotter to be even more annoying. The show was just not for me i don't know if it was the kind of comedy style but i just couldn't stand the show. I'm sorry if you don't agree with what i say but this show i not my kind of show, and i don't think i would recommend this show to anybody.moreless

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  • 5.0

    An enjoyable show that has, sadly, lost its luster for me in the new century...

    By BatJane, Feb 19, 2011

    As a kid growing up in the 1970s, I made "Welcome Back Kotter" appointment viewing when I wasn't doing schoolwork. I used to laugh at the antics of the Sweathogs, particularly since I was in a special education class of my own in Central Indiana. But upon renting the first-season episodes of "Kotter" on DVD, I somehow don't find the stories nearly as amusing as I did as a child. Now I find Horshack's noises to be irritating rather than amusing. Gabe's jokes fall so flat as to be dated. Because the social issues are not as prevalent as on "Sanford & Son", "Welcome Back Kotter" becomes one overblown live-action cartoon. This is a sad commentary on what should have been a timeless comedy enjoyed through the ages.moreless

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  • 5.0

    The best thing this show had going was its theme song.

    By FlyGirl79, Feb 19, 2011

    oh, Mr. Kawter...it's not that hystARical



    What is it about this show? The acting was mediocre and the lines were too scripted. The '70s styles were not attractive. The plots were never compelling nor were the endings surprising.



    Still...I would watch it if they brought it back to Tv Land.

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  • 8.6

    It was a trendsetting show from the 70's

    By McBurgermeister, Feb 03, 2009

    Ok so it is time to fess up. Who didn't watch this show. A comedy centered around a group of misfit kids. That formula became a mainstay for comedy shows to follow decades later. The center of the show was the original misfit teacher himself, Mr Kotter. His students, each with different issues and personalities all fit in with someone we each knew or could associate with back in the day. There was Barbarino, the ladies man. We had one of those in high school. Horseshack, the nerdy guy, who wasnt smart, just weird. Freddie Washington the con man jock who tried to smooth his way past everything. And of course Juan Epstein, a Puerto Rican of Jewish decent tough guy, who tried to bully his way past those who got in his way. They are all familiar personality types, and the stroies were good, although the repeatetive nature of them sometimes got tedious in later years. But the best part of the show was always his narrative about his "uncle", a different uncle each week with a different bad joke at the end. Personally, at times, I kind of miss this kind of simplistic humor.moreless

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  • 7.9

    Long before Jerry Sienfeld and Ray Romano were sought after by the networks to build sit-coms around their material, a stand-up comedian by the name of Gabe Kaplan had great success with a little show called Welcome Back Kotter (ABC 1975-79).

    By 1Hombre, Jul 27, 2007

    As was common in the seventies the shows have a very theatrical feel due to the way they were filmed and the limited sets consisting of the Kotter's one room apartment shared by Gabe and his wife Julie (Marcia Strassman), and the classroom at the school. One cannot help but get the feel of watching a play as we are introduced into the world of Buchanan High School. The reoccurring bit of Kaplan closing each show with old school jokes only reinforces that theatrical feel, as his bits are reminiscent of vaudeville.



    Though the writing is typical seventies sitcom set-up punch, and the far-fetched scripts establish the characters as a comedy team rather than a teacher and students, it works, especially in season one. In these first twenty-two episodes we get to watch our characters develop and grow, and it makes for very enjoyable viewing. Eventually Travolta’s Barbarino will be the break out star before we even knew who Fonzie was, and the stories will begin to focus far too much on him. That is not the case here, as each character gets the spotlight. For a complete review; check out maskedmoviesnobs.commoreless

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  • 8.3

    Funny 70's Sitcom

    By brewsblingsteen, Jun 29, 2007

    Welcome Back Kotter was based on Gabe Kaplan's standup routine which in turn was based on his teenage days growing up in Brooklyn. The show was basically Mr. Kaplan doing his standup routine but as the teacher with his students, The Sweathogs, providing punch lines that became catch phrases such as "up your nose with a rubber hose". The show made a star of a then unknown John Travolta. The shows first two seasons were classics, but it began to lose steam in the third season and the final season was a washout as Mr. Travolta was a major star by then and skipped a lot the episodes and Mr. Kaplan was in a contract dispute that limited his appearances.moreless

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  • 10

    good show

    By ColtsPenguins, Mar 17, 2007

    this was a good show 2 bad i was not alive to watch it when it was in its prime but i watch reruns of it sometimes. i started watching this show cause my sister liked it and i thought it was okay. My favorite character would have to be arnold horshcak cause he is so funny also i like vinnie cause he is also funny and i like the way he talks and all that. My fav line from the show would have to be the line boom boom says "Hi There" I always think that line is funny.moreless

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