Friday, February 9, 2018

Pilot Review: A.P. Bio

A.P. Bio (NBC)
Premiered February 1 at 9:30pm

I’ll never understand why networks like to launch certain shows with a “special presentation” debut and then pick up with the second installment a few weeks later. Building momentum is the best way to start a new show, and I find it hard to believe that viewers would come back after so many days and so much other television for anything older than “The Young Sheldon,” which pulled this off successfully earlier this season. This show, on the other hand, is so unappealing that I can only hope that it would be fully wiped from my memory by the time it airs its second episode on February 25th. You’d think that a series with this title, forever linked to the intense course that I remember classmates having to write an entire textbook for as part of their summer pre-work, would have something to do with science or at least some pretty nerdy kids in it. That’s not the case at all, because why bother with things like logic or reason when you can just have impossibly stupid comedy like a teacher showing up, telling people to begin to shut up, throwing apples on the floor, and having his students catfish his rival. The only thing I learned from this entire episode is that you can use your arm to look like your butt in pictures, knowledge that I’m sure is just as useful as anything else most students would be talk in a real A.P. Bio class. I recognized star Glenn Howerton from his role as a poor lackey in Billy Bob Thornton’s machinations in the superb season one of “Fargo,” and I guess now he’s getting his revenge on the world by taking on this lead part. I was hopeful for a moment that the always terrific Patton Oswalt could be a saving grace as his rival, but instead he’s just the hapless principal. This show is beyond irritating and terrible, and I have no idea how it made it to a series order.

How will it work as a series? Towards the middle of this episode, when the gym teacher showed up to take over the class, I thought this was just going to be a revolving door of different unqualified candidates teaching a few classes, which honestly might not be as terrible as what’s actually happening. They’ve already catfished and know everything about their teacher’s ambitions, so what could possibly be next?
How long will it last? I was shocked to see that 93% of Google users like this show, and I can only hope that whoever wrote the code to display that number failed out of another AP class and got the digits switched. Reviews aren’t so hot but not nearly as scathing as mine, but the ratings were also rather disappointing as compared with the other shows NBC airs on Thursday night. I’d give this until the end of the season if it even makes it that far.

Pilot grade: F-

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