Starring It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Glenn Howerton, AP Bio follows former Harvard philosophy professor Jack Griffin as he moves back to his hometown of Toledo, Ohio to live in his dead mother’s house and takes a job as a high school AP Biology teacher.
What you might not expect upon hearing the title is that although Jack is the AP Biology teacher, he rarely teaches his students biology. So what does Jack teach them? Oh only things like how to trick women and blackmail people. He even gets the students involved in a number of his schemes which often include taking down his arch nemesis, Miles (Tom Bennett), who used to be his fellow professor at Harvard.
Howerton’s character in AP Bio is similar to his character Dennis on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia in that they are both egotistical and have zero emotional intelligence. Just like Dennis, Jack Griffin is a man who is used to only looking out for himself. However, unlike Dennis, Jack does show signs of emotional growth throughout the episodes.
Unfortunately for some of his students like Sarika (Aparna Brielle) who dream of getting into an Ivy League school, they are unsatisfied with Jack’s laissez faire teaching style. Knowing the students have nothing to lose by outing him to the school board, Jack keeps the students quiet by promising them all A’s and letters of recommendation to Harvard.
Another way Jack gets away with not teaching his students is by buttering up to the school principal, Principal Durbin (Patton Oswalt). In Durbin’s eyes Jack is the best teacher to ever grace the halls of Whitlock High School. His oblivious nature calls for some great comic relief.
Aside from the back and forth between Jack and Principal Durbin, there are a number of story lines circling among the other teachers in the school. For example, Jack becomes close with two female teachers, Mary (Mary Sohn) and Stef (Lyric Lewis), who unexpectedly help him put his life back together by showing him that being single in Toledo isn’t all that bad.
AP Bio does an excellent job of keeping its story simple and placing emphasis on humor and irony. Like any good show, the plot is driven by the complexity of its characters. Jack and his naive and simple-minded students make an excellent team providing for endless bickering and laughs.
If you are a fan of shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Mick and The Mindy Project, I can assure you that you will love AP Bio. At this point, with only three seasons down, Jack’s story is just beginning. AP Bio is certainly an adventure you don’t want to miss.
Seasons 1-3 of AP Bio are available to stream on Peacock.
By Blair Krassen @blairlyawake