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S01.E07: Selling Out 2018.03.22

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Jack receives an offer from Miles' publisher to write a book of feel-good philosophy that could be his ticket out of Toledo. Durbin accidentally sets off an emotional firestorm when he reveals that while Stef chose Mary as her emergency contact, Mary chose Michelle.

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Stef, Mary, and Michelle add incredibly little to the show overall. Their plots often feel like a, "Meanwhile, elsewhere in the school..." that I do not care about. Durbin and Helen I'm okay with, and when they're at least connected to the main plot it doesn't feel like a waste. I wish the B-plots focused more on different students, and even better if they ended up connecting to the A-plots.

The end of this episode seems like it could signal a shift for how Jack approaches the class, which could be interesting but feels like it should have happened sooner. Also, from the bits of the writing process that were shown, it seems like he wrote a genuinely shitty book. If this show does move into incorporating more philosophy, I hope it's in a higher quality way.

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6 hours ago, Ikki said:

The end of this episode seems like it could signal a shift for how Jack approaches the class, which could be interesting but feels like it should have happened sooner. Also, from the bits of the writing process that were shown, it seems like he wrote a genuinely shitty book. If this show does move into incorporating more philosophy, I hope it's in a higher quality way.

Saw that as another in the slow laying of groundwork of Jack realizing he likes Toledo and teaching AP Bio / kids.  Obviously that is sweet and makes the show worth watching. 

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Stef, Mary, and Michelle add incredibly little to the show overall. 

Definitely starting to putter out.  

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10 hours ago, Ikki said:

Stef, Mary, and Michelle add incredibly little to the show overall.

Every time I watch the show I can't help picturing Vanessa Bayer in the role of Michelle (she played her in the original pilot, and she and Mike O'Brien know each other from SNL of course). The way the character is written and even the way she delivers her lines makes me think it was probably written with Bayer in mind. Similarly, I think Mary was probably written with Mary Sohn in mind (she's a Second City veteran from Chicago like O'Brien, and her character's name is "Mary"). 

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4 minutes ago, Phishbulb said:

Every time I watch the show I can't help picturing Vanessa Bayer in the role of Michelle (she played her in the original pilot, and she and Mike O'Brien know each other from SNL of course).

Now that you mention it, I can totally see that too!

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Is there something wrong with me that I don't find this show funny? I'm still watching because of Glenn Howerton, but this premise just isn't working for me. Teacher repeatedly coming to class, not teaching anything, and everyone being cool with that...how?

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3 hours ago, themadman said:

Is there something wrong with me that I don't find this show funny? I'm still watching because of Glenn Howerton, but this premise just isn't working for me. Teacher repeatedly coming to class, not teaching anything, and everyone being cool with that...how?

If you watched to the very end, there seemed to be a lightbulb go off with Glenn's character and there will be a shift going forward. The kids are the perfect tabula rasa for Jack to teach philosophy to.

Mary/Steph/Michelle shouldn't be the focus of the B stories. I'd rather spend more time with Jack's quirky kids. There was not enough Heather in this episode for me.

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Would've been interesting to see Patton Oswalt in the role of the Biology teacher, and if they made the teacher less crude, especially in action and comments about women.

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On 3/22/2018 at 11:38 PM, Ikki said:

Stef, Mary, and Michelle add incredibly little to the show overall. Their plots often feel like a, "Meanwhile, elsewhere in the school..." that I do not care about. Durbin and Helen I'm okay with, and when they're at least connected to the main plot it doesn't feel like a waste. I wish the B-plots focused more on different students, and even better if they ended up connecting to the A-plots.

The end of this episode seems like it could signal a shift for how Jack approaches the class, which could be interesting but feels like it should have happened sooner. Also, from the bits of the writing process that were shown, it seems like he wrote a genuinely shitty book. If this show does move into incorporating more philosophy, I hope it's in a higher quality way.

Totally agreed. This is a pet peeve of mine that I've seen happening a lot lately with new sitcoms. A show's premise is based around one character, but these side characters are randomly inserted without earning the screen time they're taking up. (See Superstore for a show where the side characters have earned their chance at their own stories.) The teachers lounge and the principle are fine when they're playing off of Jack, but on their own they're just a distraction. T

here's still a chance these characters will turn out better stories on their own, but right now I'm not seeing it.

On 3/23/2018 at 10:25 AM, Phishbulb said:

Every time I watch the show I can't help picturing Vanessa Bayer in the role of Michelle (she played her in the original pilot, and she and Mike O'Brien know each other from SNL of course). The way the character is written and even the way she delivers her lines makes me think it was probably written with Bayer in mind. Similarly, I think Mary was probably written with Mary Sohn in mind (she's a Second City veteran from Chicago like O'Brien, and her character's name is "Mary"). 

Wait... a different person played her in the pilot? Did that pilot air or did they re-shoot it?

On 3/23/2018 at 3:40 PM, themadman said:

Is there something wrong with me that I don't find this show funny? I'm still watching because of Glenn Howerton, but this premise just isn't working for me. Teacher repeatedly coming to class, not teaching anything, and everyone being cool with that...how?

I'd say if by episode 7 if you don't like it yet, just jet. Come back after season 2 starts to see if they have adjusted the premise or cast into something more to your taste. Otherwise why waste the time on a show you're not enjoying? 

This show seems to be pretty polarizing on the forums here. Some people can look past the absurdity and the behaviour of the lead that would never pass in real life to see the silly comedy behind it, while others just find it annoying. The premise of the show isn't likely to change, though.

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On 3/24/2018 at 7:14 PM, ae2 said:

Wait... a different person played her in the pilot? Did that pilot air or did they re-shoot it?

They reshot it. I think around the time the show was announced as being picked up, Bayer was filming a movie for Netflix called "Ibiza" and probably wasn't available to do the series.

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On 3/22/2018 at 11:38 PM, Ikki said:

Stef, Mary, and Michelle add incredibly little to the show overall. Their plots often feel like a, "Meanwhile, elsewhere in the school..." that I do not care about. Durbin and Helen I'm okay with, and when they're at least connected to the main plot it doesn't feel like a waste. I wish the B-plots focused more on different students, and even better if they ended up connecting to the A-plots.

The end of this episode seems like it could signal a shift for how Jack approaches the class, which could be interesting but feels like it should have happened sooner. Also, from the bits of the writing process that were shown, it seems like he wrote a genuinely shitty book. If this show does move into incorporating more philosophy, I hope it's in a higher quality way.

They need to dump the other teachers. I find their stories boring and pointless. There are a wealth of stories with the kids: the lonely boy in the back; the black jock whom Jack pulled into class; the type A Indian girl, whose mother is annoyed by her studiousness; the nerdy girl who calls Jack "boss."

I think the book Jack was shopping to publishers was supposed to be good -- it was that manuscript that got the students talking. The shitty book was the "101 Smiles" that Jack wrote overnight by stealing Helen's folksy sayings.

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4 hours ago, SmithW6079 said:

I think the book Jack was shopping to publishers was supposed to be good -- it was that manuscript that got the students talking. The shitty book was the "101 Smiles" that Jack wrote overnight by stealing Helen's folksy sayings.

Yeah, it makes sense that it was "supposed" to be good, looking at the episode as a whole. Just, when he was initially writing it, from the glimpses we got and how he was selling it, I was fully expecting it to be rejected-- not because publishers wanted happy stuff, but because his book was terrible. Then the show did that thing of just referencing the supposedly "best" parts of the work in a way that indicates they were there without fleshing out what they were.

Basically it falls under showing vs telling, and going forward I hope they get better at showing, and showing quality.

I feel like there's not a lot of overlap between viewers of this show and viewers of Degrassi Next Class, but I'm going to make this comparison anyway: in one season of the show, this character Miles produces a play. And in parts of that season and into the next season, other characters reference the play in a way that makes it clear that in-universe it was supposed to be well-received. Thing was, the play was awful. Like, it was painful to watch, and we as the audience were only subjected to bits of it. 

Honestly, that was a stronger case of what I'm concerned about than I can see happening here (I really hated that play, y'all). And it's possible they could have Jack espouse shitty philosophy that the kids take as mind blowing and play that as humorous, but I hope they don't.

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I love the students, especially the young lady with the thick-prescription glasses.  "Act as if you are at a cocktail party" and they start talking about alcohol and other silly stuff.

I also liked the bit with the 2 teachers arguing about emergency contacts.  "I didn't put you as my emergency contact because I always thought that if I were in an emergency, you would be there with me!"  Cute.

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Helen acting out her one line smile jokes had me cracking up.  The actress does a great job in thr role. 

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