The third series of the comedy starring Glenn Howerton as an anarchic biology tutor doesn’t try to be too clever – and it’s all the better for it
AP Bio (Sky Comedy) has taken a little while to find its feet, but the third season of this madcap sitcom could not have arrived at a more welcome time. Glenn Howerton of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia plays Dr Jack Carson Griffin, a former Harvard philosophy lecturer whose professional failures have led him back to his home town of Toledo, Ohio, where he ends up teaching biology to high school students. Jack is less interested in educating his pupils on the finer points of DNA than he is in using them as pawns in his own schemes and scams, which are always vengeful and usually petty. Think of it as a non-festive Bad Santa spliced with School of Rock, with the perkiness of Community.
There is an endless amount of discussion to be had on the finer points of difference between British and American comedies, but often American comedy packs so many gags into a 20- to 25-minute timeframe that it makes British writers look slovenly. AP Bio (advanced placement biology) is zippy in the way that 30 Rock is zippy, and there is rarely a scene or a line that doesn’t at least reach for a laugh. In this opening episode, Jack attempts to relive a moment of childhood happiness by making popcorn in the vintage machine he has had since he was a boy. When it breaks, he tries to purchase a replacement online, but makes the “we’ve all been there” mistake of buying a miniature replica instead. “Internet pro tip, man, always scroll down,” says one of the many students who has far more common sense than he does.