WATCH: Jack Is Still Trying to Get out of Teaching (and Toledo) as ‘A.P. Bio’ Returns
Attention students! Superstore and The Good Place aren’t the only NBC comedies you should be talking about. Yes, yes, those two are great, and we love them. They’re bright, and snarky, and super-quotable, and with great casts.
But let’s not forget that there is also A.P. Bio, which checks off all of those boxes, plus the one that says, “Could be an FX series.”
Created by SNL vet Mike O’Brien and executive produced by the likes of Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels and star Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), the sitcom about a failed Harvard philosophy genius Jack Griffin (Howerton) relegated to teaching high-school science in his hometown of Toledo deserves a second look.
The series is edgier than your average network comedy, blessed with a dream cast and, surprisingly, not as negative as you’d think a show built around a devout misanthrope would be.
“You know, we’re in this golden age of television where we’re able to have just a tremendous amount of cynical characters and there’s a lot of like great dark stuff on TV … Sunny included,” says Howerton. “So one of the things I love about this show, what is so refreshing about it is how incredibly positive it is. Everybody on the show is — with the exception of Jack.”
Most notable among those optimists is Jack’s adorably upbeat boss, Principal Durbin. “He has a lethal amount of empathy and concern for things to the point where it actually is a detriment to his life, jokes Patton Oswalt, whose boundlessly understanding character gets a full-time accomplice in caring this season now that scene-stealer Paula Pell — never not hilarious as his possibly deranged assistant Helen — is a series regular.
Even the over-it-all students stuck with the checked-out Griffin are actually examples of hopefulness: They hope he gets fired so someone will actually start teaching them.
“They are the adults in the room almost all of the time,” agrees Oswalt with a laugh. “It’s very relevant to see that it’s the younger generation saying to [Millennials and Boomers], ‘People, please stop acting like children! Can you please do your job?'”
That plea will probably continue to fall on deaf ears in the second season since, as you can see in this exclusive clip from the season premiere, Jack has yet another plan to get himself out of having to teach. And, like the best of his plans, it’s pretty much the worst. Check it out.
So, are you gonna enroll when classes resume? Because we don’t wanna spoil anything, but there’s some stuff coming up that definitely belongs in Must-See-TV territory (three words: Murder. Mystery. Party.)
A.P. Bio, Season 2 premiere, Thursday, March 7, 8:30/7:30c, NBC