The birds are chirping and the sun is shining and the weather is (occasionally) warmer, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't resist any and all urges to go outside for some fresh air and physical activity, because there's still plenty of new TV to watch! CBS's new comedy Bad Teacher is the next soon-to-debut series to seek your love and attention, but does it earn a passing grade or does it deserve to be held back? Find out in the latest edition of Hey, TV.com, Please Help Make Up My Mind About This TV Show!
Bad Teacher? Wait, why does that show title sound familiar?
Good memory: CBS's Bad Teacher is an adaptation of the 2011 Cameron Diaz movie of the same name. If you've skillfully trained yourself to avoid anything having to do with Ms. Diaz, the film was about a gold-digging teacher who had no business shaping the minds of children. The TV show follows a similar gold-digging teacher, albeit one who's slightly better with children. Meredith Davis is a former trophy wife who's got nothing left after a divorce from her cheating husband, so she decides that the best way to meet a rich new beau is to take a job at her friend's stepdaughter's school. She copies a resume from the internet, and after manipulating the school's also-recently-divorced principal by bonding with him over the topic of failed marriage, she's got the job! Each episode follows another one of Meredith's adventures as she attempts to snag a new husband, but dammit, her conscience keeps getting in the way!
Who's on Bad Teacher's school board, and who's leading the class?
Adapted for TV by Hilary Winston (Community), the series stars Ari Graynor (For a Good Time, Call..., Season 2 of Fringe) as Meredith Davis, the titular bad teacher. She's joined by more familiar faces than you might expect: Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars) plays Joel, the school's physical education teacher and Meredith's former classmate. Sara Gilbert (The Talk, Roseanne) plays an innocent teacher named Irene who Meredith constantly exploits for her own benefit. Kristin Davis (Sex and the City) plays Ginny, the head of the faculty and Meredith's main nemesis. Caitlin Kimbell plays a student teacher named Kim, and David Alan Grier (In Living Color) plays the put-upon principal, Carl. Rounding out the cast are three young students: Sara Rodier as Lily, Grace Kaufman as Bronwen, and Madison De La Garza (Desperate Housewives) as Kelsey.
When does school start?
Bad Teacher premieres on Thursday, April 24 at 9:30pm on CBS, following Two and a Half Men.
Who might enjoy Bad Teacher?
If you liked the movie, I'd say go ahead and check out this adaptation. As far as TV comparisons are concerned, Bad Teacher is somewhat similar to About a Boy, as both series feature immature adults learning valuable life lessons from children.
What about Bad Teacher deserves an A?
The series really deserves some credit for exceeding my expectations, as I really thought the show was going to outright suck. The plot isn't terribly complex, and some of the jokes feel like they're trying too hard to be dirty, but the cast works well together, and the child actors are surprisingly good. Graynor's Meredith is an extremely likable lead character while still managing to remind viewers of the incredibly shallow reason she's in this situation in the first place. And while the pilot is very pilot-y in that it really emphasizes a lot of cringe-inducing, stereotypical bad-girl behavior—like Meredith crafting a bong out of an apple given to her by the principal—future episodes (I've seen three) strike more of a balance between Meredith's bad qualities and her morals, and the premise feels much less forced.
What gets a failing grade?
Bad Teacher is wholly predictable. Each episode begins with Meredith continuing her quest to find a rich new husband and manipulating the people around her into doing her bidding, but by episode's end, she (re)discovers that she generally likes and cares about her coworkers and her students and does something genuinely nice. The show's predictability isn't exactly surprising (you might even say it's predictable!), but while that certainly doesn't mean it's not worth watching, it does risk growing stale over time. Of course, hundreds of other sitcoms have sustained themselves for years by sticking to the same formula, so it could work.
So, should I enroll in Bad Teacher?
I'm going to recommend at least DVR-ing it. If you can make it through the pilot, it definitely gets better.
Let's take a look at a trailer!
Here you go:
Bad Teacher premieres Thursday, April 24 at 9:30pm on CBS.
AIRED ON 7/26/2014
Season 1 : Episode 13