Teachers: Series 4 (Box Set) [DVD]
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All eight episodes from the fourth series of the Channel 4 comedy drama set in Summerdown Comprehensive, where the teachers are just as juvenile (if not more so) than the teenagers they are supposed to be educating. It's business as usual for the young teachers who specialise in immaturity rather than the traditional subjects, as they continue to spend their working life making friends, falling out, trying to figure out the opposite sex, smoking in the playground and dealing with lippy pupils. In this series, Summerdown Comp has merged with a rival school, Bob (Lloyd McGuire) goes in search of a Thai mail-order bride, and the rest of the staff begin to suspect that Penny (Tamzin Malleson) is a Nazi after learning that her real surname is Eichmann.
Depending on where you get your recommendations, you'll see Teachers described as a comedy, a drama, an irresponsible depiction of the teaching profession and a (fairly) sympathetic reminder of how teachers are expected to be morally unimpeachable despite being ordinary human beings like the rest of us. In fact, it's all of the above, which perhaps does more for the show's realism than all its supposedly controversial elements put together.
The series stars Andrew (This Life) Lincoln as the feckless Simon, who, like several of his colleagues, is no more mature or advanced in terms of his ability to manage his own life than his pupils. The staff at the fictitious Bristol school are given to in-fighting, petty factionalism, bad behaviour, inappropriate nookie and dishonesty, both on and off-duty. That said, they also have to wrestle with professional and moral dilemmas and deal with their dysfunctional relationships: sometimes they succeed, often they don't. It makes for a superb, bittersweet concoction. If you want yet more social comment, it's worth noting that the series was filmed in a disused, empty LEA school. --Roger Thomas
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