By now, the ABC sitcom “The Goldbergs,” set in the ‘80s, has set a standard for yet another family thriving on dysfunction. What should we expect from its spin-off, the new sitcom “Schooled,” which is set in the ‘90s if only to place a key character in the right perspective?
Lainey Lewis (AJ Michalka), the girlfriend of Barry (Troy Gentile) in “The Goldbergs,” has found her hopes of being a rock star dashed, so she tries out for the job of music teacher at her former high school.
Looking for a steady paycheck (actually, she wants to be paid up front in one lump sum), Lainey’s qualifications are so thin that she states her credentials as “I love music; I work well with children, probably.”
The school principal, John Glascott (Tim Meadows), is not exactly sold on hiring Lainey until Beverly Goldberg (Wendi McLendon-Covey), making a cameo appearance and meddling as always, seals the deal for Lainey to fill the position.
By all measures, Lainey was not exactly a stellar student, of which she is reminded by Coach Rick Mellor (Bryan Callen), who has his hands full trying to mold his star basketball player to work as a team member rather than going it alone as could a superstar like Michael Jordan.
In the first episode, Lainey proves to be rough around the edges, which may be expected from a novice teacher who just happens to oversleep on the first day without bringing a note from home.
The best student in the music class turns out to be the rebellious Felicia (Rachel Crow, fifth place winner in “The X Factor), niece of the principal, and she’s not thrilled that her uncle plans for the class to hold a doo-wop concert.
If we are grading on the curve, “Schooled,” at its early stage as a freshman show, might achieve a C+, but there’s hope it could find its comedic voice to reach for a higher score. The cast is talented enough to raise the bar.