If you’ve been watching AP Bio with the intention of actually learning anything at all about biology, I’m sorry to say that you’re objectively wrong, extremely misguided, and I wish you well in the pursuit of scientific enlightenment.
Chuck out your textbooks because the new season of AP Bio is live on Stan and ready to satisfy your non-learning needs.
AP Bio is not one of those shows that does what it says on the tin. There’s no biology, no studies and frankly, very little tangible academia at all. Which is why it’s as good as it is.
It stars Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s Glenn Howerton as Jack Griffin, a washed-up ex-Harvard philosophy professor whose life has gone so far downhill that he’s now stuck teaching AP Biology in Toledo.
Meanwhile, we get the blissful schadenfreude of watching his descent into straight up apathy, and we even pick up a few little tidbits along the way.
Who would have thought that a show that offers no academic benefit whatsoever, and has a main character who’s arguably a dick, could make us learn something remotely wholesome? Against all belief, here’s a few things we picked up.
Friendship can make the shittiest places seem better
The underlying focus of the show is that Jack (Howerton) is an aloof, mean and utterly uninvested teacher for his students. The dynamic works - he walks in, draws crude drawings on the blackboard while making them come up with schemes to ruin his rival.
But as the series goes on, the teachable moment is that he somehow (to his displeasure) develops connections not only with the students, but with his chatty coworkers and meek principal, played by Patton Oswalt.
Being sour at the world solves nothing
During the entire first season of AP Bio, Jack is by no stretch of the imagination what you’d call a Good Human. He’s actively trying to destroy someone’s life, cares more about his salt and vinegar chips than he does his students, and is borderline hostile towards anyone that doesn’t pique his sexual interest.
And look, it’s funny as hell. The dry comedy is well worth a watch, but the events of the show are demonstrative of the fact that even though it would be highly satisfying to snark your boss or catfish your enemy, it’s just not going to solve anything.
Negativity breeds negativity.
You can learn a lot from the kids
As someone who used to work in high schools, I can vouch for the fact that you learn a whole bunch from the students - seemingly by osmosis at times. And this is definitely something that happens to the adults in the series.
Whether it’s Jack making smarter decisions because of their commentary, or just the little throwaway interactions that you’ll find yourself thinking about after the credits roll, you’d be surprised what you actually pick up.
Or maybe you won’t - they are honour roll kids, after all.
Ultimately though, the show strikes a strange balance between having a lot of heart and making you wonder how terrible a person you are for identifying with Jack.
Season 2 of AP Bio is out now, so have a peek on Stan.