Fun With Cliches in Teachers

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

SOURCE: TV Land

Teachers is one of the latest line of irreverent female lead television comedies coming out, and although somewhat unknown - and confusing given there is a British sitcom of the same name - this little gem is a show I could easily see getting a following of hardcore fans. Originally a web-series created by comedy group The Katydids, the transition to a longer television format can be noticed in some of the flaky b-plots in this first season but give the impression of a show growing into something fantastic.

Teachers follows the work-life of six elementary teachers who each embrace some sort of cliche, and even though this may sound like a downside, this knowledge of what to expect from each character forms some of the stronger moments of the show. Caitlin Barlow plays Miss Cannon, an old school liberal hippy who is desperately trying to inform the other teachers on social injustice and rights, sometimes in a heavy handed way. Katy Colloton as Miss Snap, who is seen as a self obsessed party girl with little consideration for everyone else. Cate Freedman plays Miss Feldman, a classic ditsy stoner who occasionally lets slip a darker past. Kate Lambert as Miss Watson a hopeless romantic who just wants a picturesque family life, and this dream can sometimes cause mini breakdowns. Katie O’Brien as Miss Bennigan, a conservative christian who is frequently seen as awkward and unintentionally condescending. Lastly we have Kathryn RenĂ©e Thomas as Mrs Adler, the angry goth of the group who is still recovering from being bullied in her school days. The whole cast has extremely good chemistry with each other as one would come to expect after many years working together in their comedy troupe.

The first season of 10 episodes, unmistakably show some growing pains from expanding to fit a full TV time slot. This can be seen from the strength of the b story in some of the episodes that end up being of no consequence and can feel a little forced. During the first few episodes it becomes clear that they're not trying to expand the plot into an arc throughout the season, and each episode is essentially a blank slate for everyone.

SOURCE: TV Land [via. YouTube]

One of the strongest episodes comes half way into the season when uber conservative Bennigan misunderstands the intentions of a drunken Miss Snap who off handily says "I love you" in a friendly way. Understanding this to be a sign of Snap's attraction to her, Bennigan ends up having a crisis of faith. While Miss Snap realising her only friend is distancing herself from her, tries her hardest to mend the relationship making Miss Bennigan's feelings even more confused. This playful mocking of stereotypes is where Teachers is at its strongest. When the understanding we already have about these characters can be easily subverted and shocks our expectations, allowing us to question our assumptions, and these moments are really at the heart of the show.

Season 2 has just started airing in America on TV Land after being renewed for a full 20 episode run, and hopefully gets picked up again on Comedy Central UK where season 1 premiered last November. I hope Teachers manages to grow stronger as a show and I look forward to finding out.

~Gary

3 comments :

  1. Fantastic review! I'm in need of a new TV series to watch, not actually heard of this one but it sounds quite fun.

    Sharon :)

    rosieloveslife.co.uk

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    1. Yeah it's really funny and I think flew under the radar for a lot of people. Hope you enjoy it.

      Thanks for reading :)

      ~Gary

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