A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Schooled is a spin-off of retro sitcom The Goldbergs; it centers on Lainey Lewis (AJ Michalka), who returns to teach at William Penn Academy. Other minor characters from The Goldbergs are also featured, notably Coach Mellor (Bryan Callen) and Jon Glascott (Tim Meadows). The show is pretty family-friendly, with occasional very mild violence, a few innuendos, and no profanity -- though there are some classic "teen mischief" situations (for example, when a teenage character is caught with alcohol). If your family enjoys The Goldbergs, it's likely they'll have fun following a few of that show's characters through new adventures.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
In SCHOOLED, when her career doesn't pan out, once-promising musician Lainey Lewis (AJ Michalka) becomes the music teacher at William Penn Academy, her old high school. The faculty includes Lainey's former teacher, Coach Mellor (Bryan Callen), and guidance councilor, now-Principal Jon Glascott (Tim Meadows). Lainey feels sorry for herself and very quickly finds herself in over her head with students. But after a rough start, and with help from Mellor and Glascott, she realizes she could be a good teacher and have a positive impact.
Is it any good?
Nothing about this Goldbergs spin-off is offensively terrible, per se, but the show seems content to mimic the style of its predecessor rather than trying to find new life in its own set-up. Expectations for spin-offs are, historically, pretty low. And those low expectations are often met, as with all-time classic bombs like The Ropers, That 80s Show, or Joey. Maybe that's why Schooled feels like it's barely even trying.
AJ Michalka as Lainey Lewis isn't a strong enough actor to carry her own show, and she's not given much help from the show runners in terms of making the (often surprisingly decent) jokes work. Everyone performs as if there's a laugh track, taking the comedy for granted instead of actually, you know, trying to make it funny. Worst of all, Schooled wastes its opportunities for making 90s-appropriate jokes by only including the most head-smackingly obvious pop culture references from the era (grunge and Michael Jordan are the main punchlines in the first episode). And sometimes they can't even do that right -- sometimes they're in 1991, sometimes 1993, sometimes 1998! Yes, Schooled is just a lowly spin-off, but it could be a lot better with a little more care and attention to detail.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it means to be a teacher. Why did the characters on Schooled decide to become teachers? How did the job live up and not live up to their expectations?
How does Lainey's own experience as a teenager inform how she interacts with her students?
How does Schooled depict the 1990s? How do we know what the 1990s were really like?
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