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Teachers: a good sitcom struggling to escape from its format

Posted on April 4, 2006 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Only one episode to go on so far, but Teachers is shaping up as distinctly average. A re-make of the Channel 4 show, it's been turned into a bog-standard NBC sitcom: frankly, if it weren't in widescreen, I'd have assumed I was watching something from the mid-80s. Plot for those who don't know it: teachers at a school aren't really the altruistic providers of knowledge to kids that propaganda would have you believe. Except (NBC twist here), they secretly are and are just playing at being rubbish in case that stops them being cool. Oh dear.

There aren't really any saving graces: the characters are all stereotypes of the genre – there's the nerdy one, the cool one who really isn't the total slacker he pretends to be, the 'babe' who the cool one fancies and who'd go for him if he wasn't such a slacker and oh God I'm falling asleep just listing them. The dialogue is actually surprisingly clever in places, but is delivered badly and is mostly drowned out by an awful laughter track; Sarah Alexander is Sarah Alexander but with a slightly exaggerated Englishness (“What's your favourite thing in the world?” “A perfectly brewed pot of tea”. Give me strength, guys. You couldn't do better than that for an English character when the whole show was lifted from a British comedy series?); and the rest of the cast is pretty uninspiring.

Predictions: liable to be cancelled very soon. Probably won't be picked up by the UK except on late-night satellite (maybe Paramount Comedy).

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