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A.P. Bio seems unsure what to do with its Peacock resurrection

  • "The premise of Mike O’Brien’s A.P. Bio was probably always destined for a limited shelf life," says William Hughes. "It seems inevitable that the former NBC series would eventually settle into one of two realities: Either disgraced Harvard philosophy professor Jack Griffin (Glenn Howerton) would escape his personal hell of (not) teaching high school biology in Toledo, Ohio. Or else he’d finally come to terms with the fact that a life of eating things with cheese melted on them in the American Midwest isn’t really all that bad. Either way, series over, right? A.P. Bio seemed determined to resolve this tension at the end of its second season, with Jack—assisted by his begrudgingly beloved students, and his less begrudgingly beloved girlfriend, Lynette (Elizabeth Alderfer)—admitting that he actually kind of liked living in Toledo, despite his constant griping. It was a very sweet conclusion for a two-season comedy series. And it stayed that way all through the last year, right up until NBC announced that it was reviving the sitcom for a third season, helping to bulk up the offerings on its Peacock streaming service. Suddenly, A.P. Bio was faced with a problem that’s dogged quite a few otherwise pleasant TV comedies in recent years: What do you do when the central dramatic engine powering your show has definitively run out of steam? In A.P. Bio’s case, that answer is, apparently, 'engage in eight episodes of perfectly pleasant wheel-spinning that nevertheless don’t particularly amount to much.'" Hughes says the new episodes are "perfectly funny" and "some are even formally creative," while the cast is "excellent as ever." But, he adds, "having basically discarded its initial premise by this point, A.P. Bio never really settles on a new one—or, at least, not on any one more compelling than 'cranky teacher works at school full of weirdos,' which is exactly the sort of concept it once hoped to skewer." ALSO: A.P. Bio Season 3 is bursting with creativity, charm and well-realized ambition.

    TOPICS: A.P. Bio, Peacock