truTV has exploded onto the comedy scene of late, headlined by their hilarious hit show Impractical Jokers. But they have since built on that success. Billy on the Street, The Carbonaro Effect, and Fameless continued their foray into the prank, gritty, man on the street comedies, each one putting their own unique, funny twist on the genre. What was once a channel dedicated to true crime and real life courtroom drama, is now one of the leading channels for cutting edge comedy. That was some pivot. And now truTV is attempting to up the ante even higher, trying their hand at scripted comedy with their new show Those Who Can’t.
Those Who Can’t is a mash up of shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Workaholics, and The League. The show centers around four high school teachers, who as the school’s secretary scolds them during the first episode, “all act like children, and now (they’re) in charge of children.” Imagine being able to play out the worst version of yourself, actually acting on that passing thought you would normally dismiss as a horrible idea. That is who these characters are. Benjamin Roy plays a history teacher, Adam Cayton-Holland plays the Spanish teacher, and Maria Thayer plays the librarian. Andrew Orvedahl stands out in his role as the gym teacher. He is the loveable idiot that just can’t catch a break, but is too stupid to realize it. You can’t help but root for him, but at the same time, you know it is only going to keep getting hilariously worse for him.
The only person trying to rein in the shenanigans of the main characters is the school’s permissive, new age hippie principal, played by Rory Scovel. And he absolutely steals the show. His best intentions of trying to create a Zen, relaxed atmosphere, and always trying to see the best in people, is completely trampled on and taken advantage of by the teachers. Watching his attempts to stay “centered” and keep his composure, while the gang drives him to his wit’s end, is downright hysterical.
With Those Who Can’t, truTV has proven their recent run of success is no fluke. And by entering the genre of scripted comedy, they have created an entirely new avenue to keep growing and climbing in the comedy world. I can’t wait to see what direction Those Who Can’t takes as season 1 progresses, and hope to be able to call it one of my favorites by the time it is all said and done.
By Michael Halpern