Most of Amazon’s new comedy pilots have fallen flat because they feel like they were created by comedy veterans who dashed them off while brainstorming better shows.
However, Those Who Can’t is one of the better and funnier pilots Amazon has to offer, flaws and all.
Those Who Can’t follows three teachers tormented both by today’s youth and the public school system to which they are shackled. The fact that they act like children themselves also doesn’t help anything. One student in particular is harassing them, and these teachers decide to take revenge in the most juvenile way possible.
The three central performances in Those Who Can’t are what make the show work. Adam Clayton-Holland, Benjamin Roy and Andrew Overdahl all hit comedy gold and are hilarious to watch interact with one another. The rest of the cast includes young actors playing students who seem more stunned than anything else at their teachers’ behavior.
What doesn’t work in Those Who Can’t is the presentation. It can sometimes appear cheap and short on character. The pilot feels like something the creators threw together on their own dime to impress the big wigs. The pilot occasionally skips over character and relationships to squeeze in more jokes to convince executives how funny the show can be. What saves the pilot is the fact that most of those jokes are quite comical.
However, there is a lot of this pilot that fails, and that’s because it seems to be presented warts and all to audiences. That seems to be what Amazon is going for with its pilot experiment. With any luck, Those Who Can’t will survive the cut before a lot of Amazon’s other annoying pilots. That would let the show’s creative team work out some the story kinks and bring these lovably bad teachers back for more adventures. They are much funnier to watch and easier to root for than most of the other characters Amazon has shown us so far.
Those Who Can’t gives hope of a lot of potential for the show that could come. Let’s just hope that show isn’t presented in the same roughshod way that this pilot was.