Bad Education - In The Press
Main News Stories About 'Bad Education':
Jack Whitehall's Bad Education ended as it began, a baffling mix of great lines ('Pol Pot and Paul Potts, I always get those two mixed up') and misfiring scenes even Waterloo Road would have thought twice about. Still, it's worth a second term, if only to find out who's living in Mathew Horne's hair.
Keith Watson, Metro, 19th September 2012
Everyone is on the campaign trail in this final episode of a series that never quite lived up to its potential. Jack Whitehall's slacker teacher wants one of his miscreants to thwart a junior politician-in-the-making for the job of school president, while Fraser (Mat Horne) campaigns to get his job back after a misdemeanour in the exam hall sees him suspended - much to the undisguised, flared-nostrilled glee of Michelle Gomez's evil Miss Pickwell.
Sharon Lougher, Metro, 18th September 2012
One of the chief joys of Jack Whitehall's sitcom is the superb supporting cast. Mathew Horne plays the tragically uncool head teacher, who longs to be everyone's best mate, to the chagrin of his cringeing staff. Equally hilarious is Green Wing's Michelle Gomez as the menacing, maroon-lipped deputy head who dreams of running the school like a concentration camp. Finally, there's Sarah Solemani as the hippy art teacher who loses her rag after our hapless hero, Mr Wickers, hijacks the school elections.
Claire Webb, Radio Times, 18th September 2012
School election time, and there's a clear favourite: budding Blairite David Millbank. With Fraser out as head after an unfortunate exam mishap, deputy headmistrix Miss Pickwell plans to use Millbank to convince the school governors that the role should be hers. Despite never having voted in his life - "My dad does my postal vote for me," - Alfie vows to stop her, and impress Miss Gulliver, by leading hapless Joe to power. Irrespective of your view of Jack Whitehall, this has made for a solid series, set to return next year.
The PE teacher's done a runner, so Fraser decides that Alfie should coach the students for the biggest football match of the year. Jack Whitehall's hapless toff teacher's knowledge of the beautiful game is skimpy; he doesn't even know there's a second half. Things get worse when he comes face to face with his old teacher, who's coaching the opposition. Can a Cheryl Cole-inspired pep talk at half time help Alfie's rubbish team win the match? If calling someone a "spineless little tagnut" makes you titter then you'll find much to guffaw at here, especially in the final moments.
Bad Education star Mat Horne has admitted that he is "shocked" by the show's popularity.
Written by Daniel Sperling. Digital Spy, 5th September 2012
Whether you like Bad Education, Jack Whitehall and Freddy Syborn's schoolroom comedy, will rather depend on how susceptible you are to the charms of Jack Whitehall, who plays Alfie, a feckless man/child teacher who is less interested in teaching his charges than getting them to help him win the affections of Miss Gulliver. This week, the class was off on a school field trip to the Tring Ink Museum and Petting Zoo, even less alluring than it might sound because an outbreak of worms has forced management to introduce a "look but don't touch" policy. Whitehall's character wobbles a little between a knowing cynicism and an over-contrived ingenuousness, but the comedy certainly has its moments. When the assembled pupils are asked if they have any questions by the Ink Museum's depressive manager, he gets this fine example of youthful curiosity: "Would you rather be a dog with a boy's head or a boy with a dog's head?" Takes some answering, that one.
Field trips were the highlight of any school year, a break from the monotony of study, a chance for students to run amok but, in this fourth episode of Jack Whitehall's classroom comedy, it's not only the pupils who are misbehaving. History teacher Alfie (Whitehall) is still bumbling and incompetent, both in his attempts to woo colleague Rosie and demonstrate a maturity that exceeds that of the cast of The Inbetweeners. Unfortunately, this instalment is stranded amid wannabe clever-clever lines, distracting editing techniques and awkward pauses that fail to amuse. Whitehall continues to deliver a poor impersonation of Jeremy from Peep Show and, although a bewigged Mat Horne as the wacky headmaster provides genuine comic relief, his interludes are few and far too brief. This needs to up its game.
Dylan Lucas, Time Out, 4th September 2012
Sarah Solemani has a slightly thankless role in this, as Miss Gulliver, the love interest of man-child teacher Alfie (Jack Whitehall). At least tonight there's a change of scene: the two of them take Alfie's class on a school trip to the Tring Ink Museum and Petting Zoo. Their coach driver, played by the great Ted Robbins, is suitably awful ("If you look to your right you'll see a lay-by that is, in my opinion, a tad overlit") and before long the trip, like every comedy school trip, has gone very wrong.
David Butcher, Radio Times, 4th September 2012
This is once again a middle-class comedy that sniggers at the working classes, and plays on lazy stereotypes to guarantee an easy laugh.
Written by P.J. Baker. Huffington Post, 3rd September 2012
Once again, the gags come thick and fast in Abbey Grove School. The teachers scratch their heads, unsure what to do when the pupils become aggressive after playing a violent video game. Luckily, Jack Whitehall's character, hapless history teacher Mr Wickers, has a cunning idea: a weapons amnesty.
Claire Webb, The Radio Times, 28th August 2012
Three episodes in, and Jack Whitehall's brilliantly silly comedy has lost none of its charm. A new craze in the school, a violent video game, causes uproar. Can hapless teacher Alfie (Whitehall) convince his class that the brain is the greatest weapon of all? And more importantly, who would win in a fight between Stephen Hawking and a shark...? Yes, okay, it's quite similar to a certain early noughties C4 school-set comedy-drama in its set-up - irresponsible teacher whose maturity mirrors that of his pupils - but it's clearly a formula that works. And those of the right age to remember Teachers are likely to forgive the similarities once they've seen Alfie's failed attempts to explain the wonder of 'Pogs' to a class of modern-day 15-year-olds. It's crude, it's silly, but it's very, very funny.
Claire Winter, Time Out, 28th August 2012
Whether you can physically stand to be in the same room as Jack Whitehall for very nearly half an hour pretty much dictates whether or not you'll be tuning in to episode three of his new sitcom. If you're up to the task, then this week a subversive new computer game called Tokyo Sin SS: Deadlight District, in which players are tasked with murdering Nazi prostitutes, threatens the school's moral fibre. Whitehall's feckless Alfie Wickers is still pursuing fellow teacher Rosie, but it's the kids who find themselves with the best lines.
Comedian Jack Whitehall, panel-show guest and star of Channel 4's student comedy Fresh Meat, has also co-written this new comedy in which he plays a posh teacher in a comprehensive school. We're three episodes in now and the schtick is working well. The humour emanates equally from the pupils and the teachers, in particular immature Alfie (Whitehall) and desperate-to-be-cool headteacher Fraser (Mathew Horne). Tonight a violent video game, Tokyo Sin, is causing consternation among the teachers at the school, with Alfie telling his game-obsessed students, "We had crazes too [at school]... we had Pogs [cardboard playing discs]."
It was hilarious, packed full of excellent, consecutive one-liners and really must be caught on iPlayer if you missed it!
UK TV Reviewer, 22nd August 2012
Bad Education managed to build on its record-breaking opener last night, pulling huge figures for BBC Three.
Written by Paul Millar. Digital Spy, 22nd August 2012
The second episode of Jack Whitehall's comedy Bad Education tackled the thorny issue of sex education classes - with decidedly mixed results.
Written by Caroline Westbrook. Metro, 22nd August 2012
"I remember stealing my sister's Spice Girls Club membership card because I thought it was a club you could go to and they'd be there".
Written by Claire Webb. The Radio Times, 21st August 2012
It's a shame that Jack Whitehall has thrown everything at his own character in Bad Education (BBC3), and more or less forgotten about everyone else. Michelle Gomez, star of Green Wing and such a hilarious physical comic actor, is unforgivably underused. I'd also like to see more of some of the kids who are brilliant - Chantelle the slag, camp Stephen, Grayson the bully (love the way he says "shut up"). That would give it more layers, more depth. It's all Jack's Alfie though. I guess that's what happens when the writer is also the star. Me me me me me.
Two episodes in and already this Green Wing-esque school comedy starring Jack Whitehall as a posh slacker (what else?) is dipping its wick into sex education. The subject is handled amusingly and imaginatively enough - though we still can't decide if we love or hate Mathew Horne's right-on headmaster and his 'groovy banter'.
Metro, 21st August 2012
It's not just the presence of (the slightly underused) Michelle Gomez that has us thinking of Green Wing in relation to this very funny school sitcom. People with serious jobs behaving in ridiculous and irresponsible ways is a comedy staple. And Jack Whitehall and, particularly, the revelatory Mathew Horne have struck gold here. Tonight, sex education is on the agenda as the impending arrival of a horde of carnally voracious French exchange students concentrates the minds of staff and parents alike. But is self-styled 'Sex Yoda' Alfie (Whitehall) quite the man for the job? 'I've been sitting in my room, getting to know my penis,' he announces to a roomful of horrified students. If it didn't feel like damning with faint praise, we'd call this one of the best comedies BBC3 has ever screened.
Phil Harrison, Time Out, 21st August 2012
No school comedy would be complete without an excruciating sex education class and Jack Whitehall doesn't disappoint. As hapless history teacher Mr Wickers he wriggles and squirms and clearly yearns to crawl under a desk away from the pitying gaze of his worldly-wise pupils. The only person more immature is the head (Mathew Horne in a hilariously hideous wig) who befuddles his staff and enrages parents with his senseless slang. There hasn't been a sitcom this masterfully puerile since The Inbetweeners.
Jack Seale, Radio Times, 21st August 2012
After becoming, for many, an industrial irritant with his standup and presenting, Jack Whitehall is finding things work better when he sticks to his strengths. Like Jude Law before him, Whitehall only really excels when playing an upper class twit and here he gives it his all. This week, sex ed rears its head when the Mumsnet-obsessed parents find the school is running several pretty offensive and inappropriate activities - the faculty's insistence that their Next Top Model competition is open to even "Dove advert-y" types does little to placate matters.
Following on from the surprise that Jack Whitehall can actually act (Fresh Meat), we now get the chance to see if he can write in this new BBC Three sitcom, Bad Education. Judging by this opening episode, the jury's out.
After the first five minutes of Bad Education, right after the Abbey Grove School sexpot started flirting with useless teacher Alfie Wickers, I stopped this Jack Whitehall comedy to dig out my DVD of Please Sir!, the 1960s classic where such a scene was played out weekly involving John Alderton and Penny Spencer. Sharon Eversleigh! You were ever-present in my double-physics daydreams with your Cremola Foam pout and your wet-look boots. So the rest of Bad Education was going to have to be good, and mostly