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Teachers
Comedy drama that aired on Channel 4 between 2001 and 2004, for a total of 40 50-minute episodes over four series. As the title suggests, the show centred around a group of teachers in a British comprehensive; for the first two series the focus was on newly qualified English teacher Simon, played by Andrew Lincoln. Unenthused about his profession and less mature than some of his pupils, Simon both feared and lusted after his scarily efficient rival, Jenny, took advice from his sarcastic best friend Susan, and spent quite a lot of time down the pub with hetero life partners Kurt and Brian, possibly the only people on staff to make Simon look like a genius. Other regulars in the first and second series were unpopular older teacher Bob, headmistress Clare, her secretaries Carol and Liz, and gay French teacher JP.

When Simon left during the second series the show became more of an ensemble, with new cast members Lindsay, Penny and Matt joining and Brian and Kurt given much larger roles. Penny was initially written to be deeply disliked by the other characters but was rehabilitated in the third series after JP, Jenny and Susan all vanished between series. Although this series ended on something of a cliffhanger with Lindsay and Matt acting on an attraction that's been building between them, the fourth series saw another major change in cast - Matt, Kurt and Brian had all apparently died offscreen, and the remaining staff had moved to a new school. Series four introduced new characters Damien, Ben and Ewan, with plotlines about Bob marrying a mail order bride and Penny having an affair with a pupil. This series was less successful than the previous three and the show was not recommissioned.

Teachers included elements of the surreal; the canteen staff is entirely made up of dwarfs, wild animals wander in the background of shots, and rather than an onscreen caption the days of the week are displayed as if painted on walls, the road, lollipop ladies' signs... The first three series were nominated for six BAFTA awards. An unsuccessful and short-lived American remake aired in 2006.


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