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.


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