MCN Review: 'Those Who Can’t'

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Keeping on brand, truTV will look to tickle the funny bones of young viewers with its first scripted-series foray, Those Who Can’t.

The sitcom follows a group of frustrated and inept teachers who often times behave more irresponsibly and childishly than the high school kids they’re tasked to teach. Adam Clayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl and Ben Roy, members of comedy troupe The Grawlix, star as the three most misdirected of the educators, with Maria Thayer joining the crew as Abbey Logan, a well-intentioned librarian willing to participate in the often-corrupt hijinks of her fellow co-workers.

There are hijinks galore. In the pilot, Spanish teacher Loren Payton (Cayton-Holland), gym teacher Andy Fairbell (Orvedahl) and history teacher Billy Shoemaker (Roy) all conspire to teach a lesson to school jock and bully Bryce, who consistently exploits the teachers’ shortcomings and insecurities. In one humorous scene, Bryce and a couple of friends play paintball with an unsuspecting Shoemaker at his home.

When the three teachers fail to set up Bryce’s expulsion through Principal Quinn (Rory Scovel) — who routinely excuses all of Bryce’s misdoings with each check his wealthy father writes to the school — the three turn to a unlikely set of students to administer schoolyard justice. Librarian Logan offers the final blow to the revenge plot by tattooing Bryce’s signature calling card on one of the student’s prized possessions.

Those Who Can’t offers up a lot of the typical sophomoric humor one would expect in a high school-themed comedy, but also features charming characters that viewers will want to follow just to see how much more mayhem and mischief they can create.

TruTV is high on Those Who Can’t, having already green-lighted a second season of the series months in advance of this week’s series premiere. As a vehicle to reach young viewers looking for comedy, Those Who Can’t hits its mark.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.