A.P. Bio Review | It gets going, eventually| No Spoiler

Image courtesy of Tenor.com

A.P Bio is a comedy television series created by Mike O’Brien starring Glenn Howerton (popularly known for playing Dennis in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) and Patton Oswalt. I don’t know much about Mike O’Brien, I never really bother to research who the writers of a show are unless they’re in the cast, but I am a fan of IASIP, and somewhat a fan of Patton Oswalt. So, when I saw this show through my — random — traversal of Netflix’s comedy shows I immediately became intrigued.

But, was my intrigue rewarded, was this show as much of a joy as IASIP? Well to find that out lets first discuss -

The Cast

Yes, let us | Image courtesy of Tenor.com

Glenn Howerton, and Patton Oswalt, are joined by a wide cast of actors, but you — probably — know none of them, and that’s primarily because most don’t have a big show under their belt. I assume the cast is a resultant of the show being a ‘mid-season replacement’ and therefore the producers didn’t really have enough time to garner grander actors. The students also haphazardly change between seasons with no explanation, I didn’t particularly care but it’s noticeable enough to deserve a mention. The lack of an ‘ensemble cast’ isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it allows the audience to adjust to new actors and some of these actors truly deserve bigger roles.

In particular I want to make mention of Allisyn Snyder.

Allisyn Snyder in all her glory | Image courtesy of Tenor.com

Allisyn Snyder plays the role of Heather Willmore a weird nerdy teen who has a ‘wild’ side to her. It’s a trope straight out of the Breakfast Club but that doesn’t mean Allisyn’s character is a bore. No. Allisyn is an absolute joy to behold and that’s mostly because she plays her role really well. Every scene she is in — you either giggle or laugh because of how she interacts with other characters, it almost seems like everyone is the ‘straight man’ to her character.

Other than Snyder I’d also like to highlight Nick Peines performance as Marcus Kasperak. Marcus is a stickler for correction and constantly annoys Jack with his adhoc commentary wherein Marcus questions the morality of Jack’s actions. Peines character isn’t groundbreaking, but the dynamic of his character (supported by the actors performance) make his little snips at Jack a lightening event.

The true beauty of Peines acting, and the character of Marcus, is explored in Episode 4 of Season 1. An episode that is a major highlight given how that season progresses, but I seem to be jumping the gun, let’s discuss -

The Plot

It isn’t really, but this image just grabbed my attention | Image courtesy of Tenor.com

A.P. Bio focuses on the character of Jack Griffin (portrayed by Glenn Howerton) as he returns to his hometown, after failing to acquire his dream job at Harvard University in an embracing fashion, taking up the mantle of biology teacher at the local high-school. However, Jack has no interest in teaching bio, but rather focuses each ‘lesson’ on how he can enact revenge.

The first season initially focuses upon Jack as he attempts to reclaim his lost stature by ousting his rival Miles Leonard. Each episode in the first season focuses on one of his ridiculous schemes, that usually includes his students in some form or fashion. However, the directors change this significantly from the second season onwards, since this is a ‘no spoiler’ review I won’t elaborate on that point but just note that a ‘change’ does occur.

And by God — was that change necessary.

The first season is a bore and that’s primarily because Glenn Howerton is portraying Dennis (from IASIP) with small minute changes. The characters mannerisms, behaviour, and overall psychosis, is exceptionally reminiscent of Dennis and — if you’re a fan of that show — you’re probably going to be questioning if you’re watching IASIP. This isn’t to say that his a ‘one trick pony’ as over the course of the series he changes in a significant fashion and really shows the audience the range of his skills as an actor.

However, like any comedy, one actor does not make the show and a joy of this comedy is the dynamics of the characters, and this particularly comes into play with the second season that attempts to further develop the character of Jack through the introduction of mature themes. Don’t worry, the show doesn’t become a mature comedy, rather they just introduce mature themes to better grow the character of Jack.

Side plots mostly revolve around the escapades of the students and teachers. The teachers aren’t really much of an interesting group but the students are extremely entertaining and that’s mostly attributed to their various different personalities involved.


This GIF is kinda meta can you guess why? | Image courtesy of Tenor.com

I highly recommend A.P. Bio if you’re able to stomach the mediocrity that is heavily present in the first season because after that one disappointing season — you enter a great comedy that is ripe with laughs and heartfelt moments.



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