Bad Education is filled with stereotypes. It’s like the writers sat down to create interesting characters and then said ‘nah, fuck it; where’s that big book of clichés?’ There’s a smart and hard working Asian, a dumb poor kid, a flamboyant and camp gay, a horny schoolgirl, and a fat, bullied child. Maybe a computer wrote this show; punching algorithms into a script using a database of old, shitty sitcoms.
This is the second series, with the first receiving generally negative reviews but doing well in the ratings. That’s a bad combination because it encourages the writers to just throw all quality control out the window: ‘Our last series was lazy and predictable and millions watched it!’
So we get more of the same; lazy, poor jokes, with a particular focus on jokes about homosexuals. There were six gay jokes in this episode, and that’s if you include the storyline about the lesbian teacher as one joke, the camp gay kid as one, and then group a whole bunch of bumming jokes together.
The plot of episode one involved teacher Alfie and his ragtag group of pupils competing against a rival class in a swimming competition. There was a terrible subplot about another teacher being a lesbian.
The show is just really lazy. Alfie arrives at the start of this episode with a bowl cut and at no point does the show bother to explain why he has it, beyond ‘my dad did it.’ Why bother, eh? Who cares. Throw in some more gay jokes and people will soon forget about the ridiculous plot-holes and contrivances and idiocy.
Each scene is incredibly fast with quick transitions, as if the director is trying to quickly speed the audience along before someone notices just how awful the material is. Either that or he has OCD.
There isn’t much positive to say. Michelle Gomez is good as Alfie’s rival teacher, but she’s basically playing the exact same character as she did in Green Wing. Jack Whitehall, who plays Alfie and who co-wrote the show, is willing to humiliate himself for laughs – or attempts to anyway – which is admirable, and the final scene of the episode, with Alfie trying to buy beers for his pupils, was pretty funny.
That’s it though. The rest of Bad Education is lazy and filled with borderline offensive stereotypes and clichés, hackneyed storylines and set-ups. Not that it matters; the last series did well enough in the ratings so this season will probably do the same, and this review will disappear into the ether while Jack Whitehall rolls around in my license fee money.
- ‘Synchronised diving – my class would rather take a run and jump.’
- ‘Learning is a lot easier if you don’t ask any questions.’