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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 this fairly ribald sitcom includes a lot of sexual jokes that may either offend young viewers or (if you're lucky) go completely over their heads. (One notable example from the pilot: A female teacher manages to stuff an entire, oblong-shaped Tastykake into her mouth, which prompts a male teacher to quip, "Good to know.") Also, one-night stands are talked about very nonchalantly and treated as something both desirable and not to be taken seriously.
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What's the story?
Irreverent sitcom TEACHERS takes place at New Jersey's Filmore High School, where the \"zany\" faculty includes rule-breaking, womanizing English teacher Jeff (Justin Bartha); his sidekick, drama teacher Calvin (Deon Richmond); prim, dedicated teacher Alice (Sarah Alexander); veteran teacher Dick (Phil Hendrie); and Matt Winston as nerdy tattletale Mitch, who worships Principal Wiggins (Kali Rocha). The action revolves around Jeff, who, on the surface, appears to be the most apathetic of all the faculty members and spends his free time playing golf in the classrooms -- even when there's a class in session. Jeff is also a party guy focused on scoring women, and he makes blatant sexual overtures to Alice every chance he gets. She flatly turns him down each time, so when a new opportunity presents itself -- in the form of sexy substitute teacher Tina (Sarah Sashi) -- Jeff tries his moves on her to make Alice jealous. Despite Jeff's convincing façade as a wisecracking ladies' man who takes nothing seriously, viewers sometimes glimpse a different side of him: a guy who really cares about his students' education and perhaps even yearns for a serious relationship with a woman.
Is it any good?
Teachers loses a few points right off the bat for its implausible scenarios -- in particular, the golf-playing in classrooms, the portrayal of most of the faculty as either bitterly apathetic or unbelievably goofy, and Jeff's pursuit of a woman who's his complete opposite. But that's also part of the show's charm, and some of its verbal and physical humor is reminiscent of Friends. Bartha carries the show with his charming, snappy delivery, and the rest of the cast is funny and likable, despite a smattering of jokes that fall flat.
Although this breezy comedy is often over-the-top and doesn't appear to take teachers seriously, occasionally it does take time out from its wacky antics to pay tribute to those educational figures who, deep down, really care whether or not their students "get it."