HomeTelevisionA.P. Bio Series Premiere: The Gang Teaches High School

A.P. Bio Series Premiere: The Gang Teaches High School

A.P. Bio
Photo Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

A.P. Bio Series Premiere Plot Summary:

Jack, (Glenn Howerton) a former philosophy professor, seems he will barely last the day teaching A.P. Bio to high schoolers. However, things get interesting when he uses his students to get back at those who have wronged him.

Mike O’Brien has created some of the more bizarre yet insanely hilarious sketches and shorts on Saturday Night Live. He has a certain comedy style that is distinct because it’s either weird, uncomfortable, really out there or a combination of the three. The best examples would be “Grow-A-Guy” or “The Jay-Z Story.” Both sketches are comedicly brilliant. But, they’re short.

The same could be said for Andy Samberg. While his contribution to SNL was legendary, could he create something as entertaining in a longer format? Obviously we have that answer in Hot Rod. It’s a cult classic with a weird unsettling vibe that makes me snort with laughter. It’s not easy to watch at first because of the aforementioned weird unsettling vibe.

A.P. Bio has that vibe too.

When a scene ends, there’s a finality to it like each scene is an individual sketch. The jokes are witty, the storyline is dynamic and the actors are well-suited making awkward script beats almost unnoticeable. The positives of the show made it tough to figure out why I still didn’t want to say, ‘I love it.’

I really liked A.P. Bio. It made me laugh a lot which can be difficult for comedy pilots. As you start to know the show and the characters fully become themselves, the comedy gets better and more relatable. Just like cheese and fine wine, sitcoms need time to mature. Therefore pilots can be hard. A.P. Bio, however, did a stand up job.

This would be credited, mostly, to O’Brien the creator of the show and writer of this first episode. Coming from sketch comedy, very successful sketch comedy, connecting a first time audience to new material is second nature. The first episode worked because of O’Brien’s quick and witty humor. His set up of the episode mined every scene, prop, character and line of dialogue for humor.

The acting, then, became extremely important. Glenn Howerton and Patton Oswalt delivered expected, but superbly done performances. Jack (Howerton) is the well-adjusted, NBC version of his It’s Always Sunny character, Dennis Reynolds. Principal Durbin (Patton Oswalt) is an amalgam of every character Patton Oswalt has ever been cast in from King of Queens to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The other characters are shadows of people right now, I hope we get to see more from them as the world expands.

Except I’m not sure where A.P. Bio is going to go. Hot Rod was successful but only because it became a cult classic, which is easier to do as a film. If you can’t hack mainstream on network television, you get cancelled and forgotten among the other shows gone to pasture.

Also, there can be more work that goes into building a show because the characters have to evolve over a longer period of time than they would in a film. Character evolution and expansion might be a bit of a problem for A.P. Bio, bringing us back to O’Brien’s writing style and his history with sketch comedy. It’s the best part about the show right now but it could end up being its downfall.

Rating: 7 out of 10


Marley Ghizzone
Marley Ghizzone
Marley Ghizzone is the current music editor and former Breaking News Editor for The Pop Break. Aside from writing news, Marley reviews television shows and the odd film. Pop culture is her drug of choice and her talents include binge watching entire seasons of TV shows obsessively fast and crying over fictional characters. Marley is a graduate of Rowan University. Follow her on twitter: @marleyveee

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