NBC programmers probably could find a less interesting sitcom than “A.P. Bio,” but they would have to do some serious searching.
This new series pretty much defines the word “meh.” Which, according to the dictionary, means “unimpressive; boring.” In this case, it also means “unfunny” — which is a problem for an alleged comedy.
I don’t hate “A.P. Bio.” I don’t care enough to hate it.
Here’s a quick description before I nod off: Glenn Howerton (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) stars as Jack Griffin, a philosophy scholar who is denied tenure at Harvard, and his embarrassing reaction goes viral. He’s hired to teach Advanced Placement biology at a Toledo high school because the principal (Patton Oswalt) is inexplicably impressed by him.
Jack immediately tells the kids to shut up and accept that he won’t be teaching them anything. Instead, he enlists their aide in bedeviling his rival, who got the Stanford job Jack is convinced he deserved.
There is absolutely nothing about “A.P. Bio” that feels remotely real. From the opening moments, when Jack drives his car up onto the lawn and smashes the school sign and suffers no consequences, it’s utter nonsense. No character rings true. No situation rings true.
No, this is not a documentary. It doesn’t have to be. But decent television comedy has some grounding in reality. “A.P. Bio” has none. Jack and every other school employee would be fired for cause in the real world.
The characters in “The Good Place” seem more real than this group — and they’ve all been dead since that series began.
How does a show as “meh” as “A.P. Bio” get on the air? Hmmm … let’s check the credits. Oh, there we go! The executive producers include “Saturday Night Live” e.p. Lorne Michaels and “Late Night” host Seth Meyers.
NBC execs want to keep those guys happy. They could probably pitch a variation of “Teletubbies” to the network and it would end up on the air.
Come to think of it, a variation of “Teletubbies” sounds more interesting and more watchable than “A.P. Bio.”
Michaels and Meyers are not involved in producing the show on a day-to-day basis. The showrunner/creator is comedian Mike O’Brien, a writer/performer on “SNL.” Which also helps explains “A.P. Bio.”
“SNL” sketches tend not to be grounded in reality. Tend to go over-the-top. And if they run more than 3 or 4 minutes, they tend to drag. Which the four episodes of “A.P. Bio” screened for critics all do after 3 or 4 minutes. And each runs 21-22 minutes.
Hey, I hoped I’d like “A.P. Bio.” I’m disappointed. And bored.
“A.P. Bio” premieres Thursday at 8:30 p.m. on NBC/Ch. 5. The pilot and two more episodes begin streaming next Friday on the NBC App and Hulu. “A.P. Bio” returns to NBC on Thursday, March 1 — after the Winter Olympics.