You may have noticed that truTV is in the process of rebranding from a true-crime network to a comedy network with the likes of Billy On The Street, Adam Ruins Everything, and 10 Things. Now the network is venturing into scripted comedy programming with Those Who Can’t, a riff on the old saying, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”
The show is run by Dean Lorey of Arrested Development and The Crazy Ones and was created by Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl, and Ben Roy, the members of a Denver-based comedy troupe called The Grawlix. Cayton-Holland, Orvedahl and Roy also star as three high-school teachers along with Maria Thayer (Accepted, Strangers With Candy, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) as the school librarian.
It takes time for new comedies to find their sea legs, so it’s tough to judge them off the first four episodes, but truTV is confident enough in their new gem they have ordered a second season well before the first one has even premiered. Those Who Can’t taps the same misanthropic vein as Comedy Central’s Workaholics and FXX’s It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, albeit more tame than both. Each character carries a very specific personality, – for better or worse – and are all operating at or below the maturity level of those they are supposed to be shaping into the future leaders of America. Our four main characters find themselves at odds with their students, causing them to come up with and execute outrageous plans that would get them fired normally – like framing their archenemy, Bryce, to look like he has a drug problem – but, as luck would have it, the principal (Rory Scovel) of Smoot High School is desperate to be friends with Loren.
There is no shortage of sex jokes – Abbey (Thayer) is constantly erasing doodles of male genitalia from library books, for example – racially charged comments, sexual orientation quips, pop culture references, and surprise guest stars like Sarah Michelle Gellar. It’s a good start for truTV’s scripted programming, assuming they are targeting the same demographic as Workaholics and Always Sunny, and it’ll be interesting to see who these characters transform and settle into, like most comedies tend to do.