Living in a foreign country is a premise that is ripe with dramatic & comedic potential. Many prose books have tackled the subject, but not so much in the realm of visual narrative (i.e. movies, tv shows, and comics). One of the reasons I created my graphic novel series Tonoharu was to try to fill this baffling gap. I’ve never understood why there are dozens of mediocre medical dramas and cop shows on tv, but not really any that depict the unique & exciting experience of life abroad.
A notable exception debuted late last year, in the form of the web series entitled English Teachers. Each of the eight episodes is about seven minutes long, so the whole run can be watched in less than an hour.
I have mixed feelings about the show. For one, the characters are written a little too broadly for my tastes. Also, the stories feel a bit rushed; they try to cram in standard sitcom plots into a third the running time, so conflicts are often introduced only to be immediately, unsatisfyingly resolved in the next scene.
But hey, it often takes a while for a show to hit its stride. And overall, I like English Teachers, and think it has potential. The casting and acting are good, as are the production values. And while there are aspects of the writing that frustrate me, I have to admit I want to keep watching. Here’s hoping the series is popular enough to warrant a second season.
(Thanks to Adam Pasion for introducing me to the series)