Based on the 2011
Nevertheless, and for all the studied outrageousness of its model, it tells a now-familiar, deceptively sweet tale of the unruly force that brings its own kind of order and relief. And if it's a more conventional formulation than the film's, it's also a more efficient, better balanced and likable one.
As re-created by Hilary Winston (
As before, there is a self-centered hot blond at the center of things, passing as a middle school teacher (
Neither the film nor the TV show is remotely realistic about what happens in a middle school or the things that can get a teacher fired, or is overly concerned much with children learning anything other than Life Lessons. As usual, we expect history and math to take care of themselves.
The characters, though still drawn to extremes, are less of a freak show here — that is, they are drawn with affection — and unlike Diaz's bad teacher, Graynor's is not a sociopath, merely selfish, and plausibly correctable. In addition, contrary to her original, she begins as an injured, not an injuring, party, having been left by a rich husband (whom, it is asserted, she genuinely loved) for "a younger, allegedly hotter girl."
Thinking that her friend's stepdaughter's school, conveniently stocked with the children of rich divorced dads, might be the place to find a new husband, she fakes a résumé, and, voilà: comedy.
Some will question whether what might be called the heavily implicit sexual humor is appropriate to a series set in a middle school. These are different times, I know, but not for everybody.
The show does take a few episodes to settle. (I have seen three.) But all in all, it's a pleasant, sunny and well-played ephemeral farce; Gilbert, Grier, Hansen and Davis are all good to see again, and Graynor inhabits her character with verve and increasing grace — she will be improved by her situation, and by improving others': "Symbiosis" is a word she will actually learn, and use in a sentence.
When: 9:30 p.m. Thursday