26 April 2008 | wolfofdarkness
A refreshing view on school life from a teacher's perspective
Contrary to other theme-based shows, such as hospitals (E.R., Scrubs more importantly), hotels (Jamie Foxx Show) and crime scenes (CSI + spin-offs), "Teachers" is situated mostly in and around an fictional school and gives us a realistic view on how school life is from the eye of a teacher. While this element might be a bit overdone at some points (it is unlikely that all teachers go to the pub, every night, with their colleagues - not to mention the excessive smoking by all staff members), it does not raise doubts about the reliability of how situations are coped with. If we compare this to far from the truth patient-doctor relationships in Scrubs, miraculous survivals in E.R. and questionable research methods in Crime Scene Investigation, the impression is accurate at least.
Themes in this show vary from teacher-student problems, (the lack of) a sex and/or love life, school events, alcohol, smoking, relationships with colleagues (even cheating with them), maturity and the choice of be(com)ing a teacher. Simon for example, constantly struggles whether he has made the right decision to be a teacher, whereas Matt definitely seems to be having trouble with being faithful and Kurt and Brian have relationship issues -- most relations are purely sexual and usually end up in a catastrophe and are therefor even rumored to have a homosexual relationship.
The teachers are portrayed as very normal human beings, something that a student may forget at that age, or not even think of. But we're all humans after all - teachers cope with sometimes even the same problems as their students; including hangovers and love. You might even say that teachers are not as adult and grown-up as they should be theoretically. From an educational aspect only, it looks as if they are all quite in the wrong business. Though this changes through the course of the episodes, where the actual teaching seems to be educationally correct.
The balance between humor and serious issues seems to be fair and quite random. This is not the sort of show I would stay home for, but definitely to watch when I bump into it. The jokes are mostly unpredictable, while some others lean on clichés and easy puns, for instance; the mispronunciation of 'Mr. Dong' instead of 'Mr. Chong', after the school principle has been looking below Bob's belt and then directs herself at Mr. Chong, an Asian man who is presumably visiting or inspecting the school that day.
The changing of the cast in every season may be frustrating at times, but on the other hand is a realistic view on how things happen at a school. After all, teachers tend to get fired, get promoted, or (take a) leave. Every cast member has their own personality, with the problems that come along with it, including divorce, cheating on your partner, obesity, homosexuality, height, problems with several body features (it is for instance suggested that the size of Kurt's penis is below average) and so on. They might not be all be very detailed, but they give one the feeling you can relate to (at least one of) the teachers.
A definitive plus and highly recommended.