Bad Education - In The Press
Main News Stories About 'Bad Education':
Jack Whitehall has said that he will have to make some changes to his BBC comedy Bad Education following this week's cabinet reshuffle.
Written by Harry Fletcher. Digital Spy, 18th July 2014
Jack Whitehall, who will star in An American Education for ABC, and told Digital Spy that the script by Peter Huyck and Alex Gregory had not "butchered" the BBC show.
Written by Morgan Jeffery and Daniel Sperling. Digital Spy, 21st February 2014
Bad Education's Christmas special saw Alfie Wickers facing another big problem, as he'd been tasked by the headmaster (Matthew Horne) to direct the school play or face being sacked by the governors. Inevitably his ramshackle group of students are roped in to be the stars of the show with Stephen (Layton Williams) being the only one with any discernible talent to speak of. Alfie is then shocked when school bully Frank (Jack Bence) auditions for his production and delivers an incredibly awful audition. But because Alfie is incredibly scared of Frank he casts him as the human lead opposite Stephen in his original production Robocracker a combination of Robocop and The Nutcracker.
Yes, it sent up teachers convinced they're the next Terence Rattigan, with Alfie writing a multi-faith mash-up of Robocop and The Nutcracker. But that was about as satirical as it got. Whitehall's script relied once more on toilet humour and tired, tasteless digs at 'the fat kid', 'the kid in the wheelchair' (who is given Twister for Christmas) and the homeless.
Written by Lucinda Everett. The Daily Telegraph, 18th December 2013
The ubiquitous Jack Whitehall wrote and stars in this school-based comedy, back for a badly behaved Christmas special. Fed up with the nativity, his hapless history teacher invents a new festive story, a cross between Robocop and Nutcracker: Robocracker.
This is one of those shows that looks like it was filmed in the blazing heat of the British summer with the cast sweltering in their winter woolies as they get up to their usual mischief, with a bit of soppy sentimentality lobbed in for good measure like a lucky sixpence in a Christmas pud.
Written by Bruce Dessau. Beyond the Joke, 17th December 2013
With a glut of costumes, Christmas songs and festive trappings, the Bad Education Christmas special is far from an understated affair. Forced to put on a play by elf/headmaster Simon (Mat Horne), the reluctant but unfazed Alfie (Jack Whitehall) must use the questionable student talent at his disposal to stage a story which incorporates every major world religion.
Jack Whitehall, fresh from retaining his crown as King of Comedy, takes a crack at that old favourite, the school nativity play, with the help of his Bad Education reprobates. A somewhat uneasy marriage of Robocop and The Nutcracker, teacher Alfie's ambitious production finds room for tolerance channelled through the medium of expressive dance, guest turns from Frances Barber as Alfie's mum and Howard from Fresh Meat (Greg McHugh) as a thespian tramp, and no shortage of near-the-knuckle humour. Not forgetting some clinches with no need of mistletoe to pack some heat.
With Jack Whitehall due to reprise his role as the toffish, self-deprecating teacher in a US pilot next year, Alfie Wickers is arguably one of the most successful characters in Brit comedy today. This seasonal outing of the sitcom is a triumph of awkwardness, as Alfie combines RoboCop and The Nutcracker for the school play. There's even a role for bully Frank, who shows his sensitive side. Meanwhile, headteacher Fraser tries to organise a Christmas miracle: a reunion between the hapless Mr Wickers and his estranged mother.
The Nutcracker is a delightful festive tale, but wouldn't it be better if it were more like Robocop? Mat Horne's deranged wordplay-loving headmaster certainly thinks so, and it's up to Jack Whitehall's bumbling educator Alfie Wickers to make his vision a reality.
Having won the top gong at The British Comedy Awards for the second year running Jack Whitehall has now set his sights on cracking America.
The Daily Express, 14th December 2013
I'm not calling Bad Education groundbreaking television, but I eventually came to feel affection for history teacher Alfie Wickers (Jack Whitehall) and his classroom full of underachieving teenagers.
British Telly Blog, 26th October 2013
When Bad Education works, it is brilliantly, deliriously stupid. But often, as with many modern sitcoms, there's something awry about the timing: a vuvuzela blast, followed by lots of floundering around. This Valentine's Day episode, though, is as disgusting as you'd wish for. Mr Fraser stages an in-school Take Me Out to get "the shy kids off Virgin rail and on to the Poontang Express", and Chantelle needs Alfie's help with a delicate matter. Will he ring her mum? "I can't; she's so flirty. Plus, I think her number's a premium line."
I remember teachers exactly like Alfie (Jack Whitehall), who desperately sucked up to the classes that bullied them. We had a German master who turned his "lessons" into an eternal Rubik's Cube competition (prizes of cash and Smarties).
As ever, Bad Education isn't really about the plotting. Tonight's paper-thin scenario involves a hotshot American teacher arriving at the school, taking over Alfie's class and making the kids love him. So far, so predictable. But writer and lead Jack Whitehall has an enviable way with a one-liner and a remarkable eye for the feeble posturing of male loserdom.
The decision to make the classroom comedy by Jack Whitehall available in advance on iPlayer - the flagship for BBC3's plan to push all its comedy that way - paid off with a big hike in the audience for a farcical mix of wit and slapstick. Tonight, Alfie, Whitehall's overgrown kid of a teacher, has his nose put firmly out of joint when new teacher Mr Schwimer dazzles his pet pupils with his all-American charms. How will Alfie bite back?
Bad Education has got Jack Whitehall in it and Jack Whitehall is sick. (As I believe young people are wont to describe things of which they violently approve.) Whitehall (born 1988, the bastard!) is someone you might certainly wish to hate if he weren't so utterly charming, enormously talented and disarmingly honest. He went to Marlborough (he's the son of an actress and a leading theatrical agent) and one of the things that's great about him is that he makes absolutely no pretence that he's anything other than a smug, louche, overprivileged, desperately middle-class public school tosser with a weapons-grade sense of entitlement.
Bad Education, Jack Whitehall's enjoyably puerile sitcom, has returned for a second series and this time around has to contend with Big School, another BBC school sitcom in which the main joke is that the staff are no more grown-up than the pupils. For my money, Whitehall's Abbey Grove edges Walliams' Greybridge in the comedy league tables, thanks mainly to its youthful anarchy. At 25, Whitehall is barely out of short trousers after all, and it is his admirable willingness to make himself look silly - often repellently so - that carries the show. He is ably supported in the staff room by an understated and terminally unimpressed Sarah Solemani and an unhinged, livewire Mathew Horne as the would-be trendy Head who wears neon trainers and lives for the banter.
Jack Whitehall and Abbey Grove School need some special measures - unless, of course, it's all a send-up.
Written by John Crace. The Guardian, 4th September 2013
Jack Whitehall on being unlucky in love, stealing slang from teenagers and finding comedy in schools.
Written by Ellie Walker-Arnott. The Radio Times, 3rd September 2013
The second series of Jack Whitehall's school-based sitcom offers nothing new, says Judith Welikala.
Written by Judith Welikala. The Daily Telegraph, 3rd September 2013
Jack Whitehall, the star and scriptwriter of BBC Three's Bad Education, says public schools are "less detached from reality" than people might expect.
Written by Ellie Walker-Arnott. The Radio Times, 3rd September 2013
Jack Whitehall's hapless teacher Alfie, the indomitable deputy head Miss Pickwell (Michelle Gomez) and master of the one-liners Grayson (Jack Bence) are back for a new term at Abbey Grove, where kids and staff are as gleefully caricatured as ever. That's gleefully in the proper sense of the word, not in the Glee sense, where the caricatures might be more subtle but the lines are a lot less funny.
Series two of Jack Whitehall's sitcom kicks off with that most excruciating of school rituals: the swimming gala. Naturally, the teachers are far more competitive than the pupils and place hefty bets.
Claire Webb, Radio Times, 3rd September 2013
The first series of Jack Whitehall's "newly qualified teacher" sitcom was the highest-rated comedy in BBC3 history, so naturally it was commissioned for a second. In this opener, Abbey Grove is holding its annual swimming gala, and in a direct homage to ITV's Splash, it closes with a special synchronised diving competition. Elsewhere, Miss Gulliver reveals a new lover, and it's not Alfie. The jokes are pretty thin; you'd do better waiting for Whitehall's return as posh "ledge" JP in Channel 4's Fresh Meat later this year.