Tuesday, January 08, 2019

ABC Mid-Season Pilot Review: Schooled - Premieres Wednesday (Jan. 9); Grey's Anatomy Gets 3 More Episodes in 2018-19 Season

Schooled



Schooled - Wednesdays at 8:30PM ET/PT on ABC
Premieres Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 8:30PM ET/PT


by Vincent

This spinoff of the hit series The Goldbergs is set in 1990-something and follow the hilarious teachers of William Penn Academy - led by Tim Meadows (Principal Glascott), Bryan Callen (Coach Mellor) and AJ Michalka (Lainey Lewis) - who, despite their eccentricities and crazy personal lives, are heroes to their students.

Cast Details:

AJ Michalka as Lainey Lewis
Brett Dier as C.B.
Bryan Callen as Coach Mellor
Tim Meadows as Principal Glascott

AJ Michalka (Lainey) is best known as one-half of the duo Aly and AJ (formerly 78Violet) with her sister Aly Michalka. She has also had a successful acting career, including spending four seasons on Schooled's parent series The Goldbergs.

Brett Dier (C.B.) is an actor best known for his role as Michael Cordero Jr. on Jane the Virgin. He is also known for his recurring roles in the Canadian TV shows Bomb Girls and The L.A. Complex, as well as Pretty Little Liars spin-off Ravenswood.

Bryan Callen (Coach Mellor) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer and podcaster known for his role in the original cast of the Fox sketch comedy series MAD TV and for co-hosting the podcast The Fighter and the Kid, alongside Brendan Schaub. He of course plays this role on the parent series The Goldbergs, too.

Tim Meadows (Principal Glascott) is a comedic actor known for his long running role on Saturday Night Live, as well as his appearances in films such as Mean Girls and Trainwreck and TV series such as The Goldbergs, The Colbert Report and The Office.

Pilot Plot:

"Be Like Mike" (Airs Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 8:30PM ET)

It's 1990-something, and since Lainey still hasn't achieved rock 'n' roll greatness, she returns to William Penn Academy as the new music teacher. Lainey has a hard time adjusting to being an authority figure, but she realizes she might not be so bad at it when she discovers a kindred spirit in Principal Glascott's niece, Felicia. Meanwhile, Coach Mellor struggles with Michael Jordan's influence on modern-day basketball.

Analysis:

Following the success of Young Sheldon over on CBS and The Conners on ABC, the spin-off game keeps on rolling with Schooled, a spin-off of The Goldbergs focused on Lainey's newfound career as a music teacher. While Young Sheldon felt markedly different from its parent show in many ways (though that didn't stop it from being highly successful), and The Conners had to sift through some controversy that may have kept some of Roseanne's audience from being interested in it (though again - it still does quite well) Schooled feels pretty aligned with the spirit of The Goldbergs. If you like The Goldbergs, chances are you won't mind sticking around the extra half hour for Schooled, although the show still has a few kinks to be worked out and doesn't quite feel like a fully-formed series just yet. In fact, that's probably my biggest criticism of Schooled. Other recent spin-offs like Young Sheldon and The Conners managed to feel like complete series that exist somewhat independently from their parent series - sure, they get a lot of influence from those parent series, but they're reasonably self-sustaining enough that you can imagine someone watching either without being necessarily interested in the parent series. The same isn't quite true for Schooled, which feels like an extension of The Goldbergs brand of humor but doesn't quite have its own mission statement just yet.

At this point I should admit that I'm not necessarily the biggest fan of The Goldbergs. I don't dislike the series, but of all of ABC's family sitcoms, it's towards the bottom of the list of shows that catch my interest. It's the type of show I'll watch and not complain about if I see it on the TV in syndication - it's light, fun, and carefree, and a pleasant way to spend a half-hour, but it also lacks the weight of shows like black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat, or The Middle. That makes Schooled - a show that shares The Goldbergs' nostalgic and farcical sensibility but with even less feeling of purpose, feel especially weightless in these early episodes. Lainey is a fun character and Michalaka plays her well, but the universe she's in doesn’t feel like anything more than a side plot on The Goldbergs right now, and the pilot doesn't do a great job of convincing me that it's going to figure out how to make William Penn Academy feel like the type of place you can base a whole series around. That said, it has the potential to get there, and a show that takes an honest look at the inner workings of teachers in a school with the heart and wit of The Goldbergs is something that would fit nicely into the sitcom landscape right now. (A.P. Bio is a school-based comedy, yes, and while it's slowly growing on me, I don't think it has any real interest at taking a heartfelt look at the workings of a school.) Still, I worry the show will get too comfortable being The Goldbergs' little sister - and I hope that's not the case, because it'd be nice to see a show with a somewhat interesting concept succeed, and I'm not sure how long the Goldbergs audience will be interested in a similar, less interesting clone.

Conclusion:

Schooled is very much in the same vein as The Goldbergs, so if you like that show, chances are you'll at least enjoy Schooled. However, the show is still a little flimsy in this early going, and hasn't made it especially clear how it's going to differentiate itself from its parent series and become its own kind of show. There are glimmers of potential, particularly in its cast, and I hope the series can turn around and become something special, rather than a less interesting extension of The Goldbergs.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3/5
Funniness: 2/5
Overall: 2.5/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 8:30PM ET/PT on our message board.

Related Links:

  • ABC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Schooled Photo Gallery

    Preview:





  • Grey's Anatomy

    The ABC Television Network has ordered three additional episodes of Grey's Anatomy, bringing the 2018-2019 season to 25 episodes total. This year, the show will become the longest-running prime-time medical drama ever during the second half of season 15. The midseason return of Grey's Anatomy will air Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. EST) on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand. In its 15th season, Grey's Anatomy averages a 3.1/13 among Adults 18-49 (Live+7 Data Stream) to rank as ABC's No. 1 TV show of the 2018-2019 season. Grey's Anatomy stars Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, Justin Chambers as Alex Karev, Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey, James Pickens Jr. as Richard Webber, Kevin McKidd as Owen Hunt, Jesse Williams as Jackson Avery, Caterina Scorsone as Amelia Shepherd, Camilla Luddington as Jo Wilson, Kelly McCreary as Maggie Pierce, Kim Raver as Teddy Altman and Giacomo Gianniotti as Andrew DeLuca.


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Wednesday, January 16

    The Goldbergs - "The Pina Colada Episode" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Murray and Geoff team up to pull Beverly, Barry and Erica out of their shared misery that Lainey has left town. Adam’s dread of gym class is amplified when Coach Mellor’s brother, Coach Nick (guest star Bill Goldberg), arrives and uses fear as a motivator. Meanwhile, Coach Mellor (guest star Bryan Callen) prepares for the next step of his life.

    Schooled - "Lainey's All That" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    Hoping to gain respect among her colleagues at school, Lainey comes up with a misguided plan to give an awkward and insecure student a full makeover. Meanwhile, Principal Glascott and Coach Mellor take friendly competition to a new level when they are both romantically interested in the math teacher.

    Modern Family - "Blasts from the Past" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    Phil and Claire decide to take a cycling tour through Italy before they become grandparents, and Dylan (guest star Reid Ewing) introduces them to his mom who has an interesting past. Meanwhile, Cameron and Mitchell discover some interesting reading material in Lily’s room and decide to confront her about it, while Gloria and Jay discover their respective great uncles may have fought on opposing sides of a war.

    Single Parents - "All Aboard the Two-Parent Struggle Bus" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
    When Will’s ex, Mia (Vanessa Bayer), shows up unexpectedly for Sophie’s birthday, Will gets frustrated that she undermines his rules with Sophie. Angie tries to help Will cope by having a fun girls’ night at her place and by giving some co-parenting advice, but Poppy reveals and Will quickly learns that Angie isn’t the best advice giver. Meanwhile, inspired by Mia’s humanitarian work, Miggy and Graham decide to give some items to charity but regret it immediately and seek out help from Douglas to get the items back.

    The Big Bang Theory - "The Grant Allocation Derivation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Leonard is caught between a rock and a hard place when he’s responsible for distributing extra grant money. Also, Bernadette turns the backyard playhouse into a hideaway from her husband and kids.

    Young Sheldon - "A Mother, a Child, and a Blue Man’s Backside" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Mary bans Sheldon from reading a mature comic book, and Sheldon decides it’s time to stop living under Mary’s thumb.

    Schitt's Creek - "The Crowening" / "Love Letters" (Pop, 10:00PM ET/PT)
    Moira films a movie in Bosnia, hoping to revive her career, while David tries to take his relationship to the next level; Moira loses sleep stressing over old love letters, while David and Stevie get held up at the store.

    grown-ish - "In My Feelings" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    The gang waits for the mysterious drop of a modern-day musical genius.

    You're the Worst - "The Pin in My Grenade" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
    Jimmy and Gretchen reveal that they're forgoing a traditional wedding, opting instead for a courthouse elopement.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 14)

    Wednesday, January 16

    • Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie/Malibu Country) and Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie) - Watch Lily and Jane on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Don Cheadle (Black Monday/House of Lies/The Golden Palace) - Don appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He also talks about Black Monday on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
    • Pete Holmes (Crashing) - Pete is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/The Ellen Show/Welcome to New York) - Jim visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Frankie Shaw (SMILF/Blue Mountain State) - Frankie stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. Frankie and Rosie O'Donnell (Gimme a Break!) also talk about Showtime's SMILF on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
    • Cobie Smulders (Friends from College/How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Keegan-Michael Key (Friends from College/Playing House/Gary Unmarried) - Keegan-Michael stops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
    • Lena Waithe (Master of None) - Lena is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    • Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Andy drops by E!'s Busy Tonight at 11pm.
    • Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens/Anything But Love/Operation Petticoat) - Jamie Lee chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Molly Ringwald (Townies/The Facts of Life) - Molly talks about All These Small Moments on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
    • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Sheryl Lee Ralph (Fam/Instant Mom/Moesha/It's a Living) - Sheryl visits The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
    • The Cast of Schitt's Creek - Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy and Annie Murphy will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
    • Sam Richardson (Champaign ILL/Detroiters/Veep) - Sam talks about the YouTube original Champaign ILL on the BUILD Series at 5pm.


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December/January)

    Step by Step - The Complete Third Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series

    11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
    11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
    11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
    11/16 - Man with a Plan - Season One
    11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
    11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
    11/28 - The Great Indoors - Season 1 (The Complete Series)
    12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
    12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
    12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
    01/08 - Family Guy - 20 Greatest Hits
    01/22 - Fuller House - The Complete Third Season
    01/22 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season (WBShop.com)
    01/29 - Ballers - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
    01/29 - Crashing - The Complete Second Season
    01/29 - The Game - The Complete Series
    01/29 - Kidding - Season One
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest