Bad Teacher

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Bad Teacher TV Poster Image
Comedy's cast appeals, but iffy messages predominate.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Values like kindness and respect are championed by some characters and mocked by others. Older teens will be able to discern the satire behind Meredith's character; younger viewers might take her gold-digging shallowness at face value. At one point, Meredith makes an offensive racial joke by pronouncing the name of an Asian teacher with r's for l's.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most of the characters treat each other with mockery and contempt. It's meant to be funny, and it is, and there are also glints of kindness in even the least sympathetic characters.

Violence

Some cartoonish violence, i.e. Meredith stumbles in front of a moving car and is almost hit.

Sex

Depictions of casual sex include a couple in bed together acting hung-over and regretful. There are jokes about sex and body parts and some gender-based sexual comments such as "bitches ain't nothing but hos and tricks."

Language

Some cursing, including "bitches" (aimed at women) and "hell." There are also rude jokes about body parts, sex, and menstruation.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol use is implied through scenes of people with hangovers.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bad Teacher is a comedy based on the movie starring Cameron Diaz about a woman who poses as a teacher so she can land herself a rich single dad. The show's main character is proudly shallow and a would-be leech who wishes only to marry a wealthy man. In addition to the contempt with which characters both young and adult treat each other, viewers will hear cursing, and jokes about sex, body parts, and menstruation. Middle schoolers call each other names like "nerd" and "lesbian," while an adult character retaliates by calling young girls "water bra" and "pantylines." Alcohol use is implied, as is sex, with scenes of characters half-naked in bed.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byAngela B. July 28, 2017

Bad Teacher -sexual content worse than listed !

we started watching with 12 yr old, had to turn off in the first 15 minutes. Talking about getting hard and sucking ****. Certainly not part of the review... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byMoviefanadick June 29, 2014

Bad teacher. Terrible show.

Bad Teacher is the farthest thing from funny. It promotes bad messages for children and is just plain bad. Bad Teacher is by far the worst comedy series on tele... Continue reading

What's the story?

In short order, Meredith Davis (Ari Graynor) lost her husband, and, thanks to a pre-nuptial agreement she unthinkingly signed, her house, her car, and her cushy life. But a chance encounter with a middle-schooler convinces Meredith to fake a resume, flirt with the recently divorced principal Carl Gaines (David Alan Grier), and become the title's BAD TEACHER in hopes that one of her students will have a rich divorced daddy who can put Meredith back in the high life. Alas, it turns out that some of the school's students need her help more than she ever knew they would. With the backup assistance of eager fellow teacher Irene (Sara Gilbert) and cocky, flirtatious coach Joel (Ryan Hansen), Meredith takes on the school's bullies, Queen Bee teacher Ginny (Kristin Davis), and the world.

Is it any good?

The casting for Bad Teacher is brilliant. Graynor is enormously appealing as the lead, balancing an insouciant affect with a slinky, thrown-off, ironic villainy. And other than Graynor, there are half-a-dozen other much-beloved celebrity faces here, from MVP Sara Gilbert, who will always be Roseanne's Darlene Connor to us, to the dear-to-viewers Kristin Davis and Ryan Hansen. The dialogue is pretty wicked and witty, too: When Meredith meets her friend's middle school daughter for the first time she tells her "Your mom told me to pick you up." "That's what child molesters say!" snaps the tween. "Don't flatter yourself," pooh-poohs Meredith. Funny!

However, it'd be nice if some of the situations surrounding Meredith weren't so sitcom cliche-y. Having Meredith create a fake Career Day at school so she can suss the local Dad talent is hilarious. But resorting to pitting her against one-note mean-girl characters, and Davis as a pinch-faced fellow teacher, seems rather sexist and tired. It's nice to have a main character who's half heroine and half jerk. Could the show's "bad" characters be afforded the same depth?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the setting of Bad Teacher. Schools are a classic comic setting. Can you name some movies or shows that take place at school? Why is this setting so ripe for comic antics?

  • Is the audience meant to like Meredith? Is she supposed to be a good or bad character? How can you tell?

  • Bad Teacher the show was adapted from a 2011 film, which had a different cast. Why do TV shows based on movies usually have different actors playing the roles?

TV details

For kids who love humor

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