Teachers shape the minds of our young, and if there’s any truth to TV Land’s comedy Teachers, that may not be a great thing. What is great, however, is our six favorite teachers returning to stir up more trouble as we watch them continue to struggle with balancing their personal lives and being role models for their young students.
Just in time for the return of season two, Cate Freedman explains what it’s like working with an all-female cast, how they decided what sort of teachers they would play, and what’s in store for the rest of season two.
What can you tease about the rest of season two?
The second half of season two, believe it or not, gets even crazier than the first half. You’ll definitely want to tune in to see some highly unusual relationships blossom and in some cases, even bloom for the teachers.
When you were creating the show, how was it decided who was going to play what kind of teacher? Are they reflective of your personalities to an extent?
When we created the show as a web series in 2012, we each individually developed our own characters and presented them to the group (the group being The Katydids and our Teachers co-creator Matt Miller). Collectively, I think most of us were drawn to the idea of taking one of our own personality flaws and heightening it to a crazy degree. So, yes, I’d definitely say they are reflective of our personalities to a certain extent. I know that out of all the Teachers, I’m the one who is closest in real life to my character, Ms. Feldman. Hope to see you guys at some concerts.
What sort of feedback have you gotten from real teacher in response to the show?
The feedback we’ve gotten from real teachers in response to the show has been absolutely incredible. All of us on Teachers have close connections to teachers and the teaching world– Barlow (who plays Ms. Cannon) left teaching elementary school in Chicago to come out to LA to shoot the Teachers pilot. My late grandmother, Marie Cristol, was a Chicago Public School special ed teacher for over 30 years. A friend of mine currently in the teaching world told me that they have teachers lounge viewing parties of Teachers episodes during the day at her school. We wanted Teachers to be a tribute to teachers, and also an escape where they can laugh at the s— they have to put up with daily. There is nothing cooler than getting to talk to teacher viewers on Twitter and Facebook and having them say “That exact same thing happened to me!”
How do you decide which topics to explore or make a statement about and which to leave behind? I’m particularly thinking of the obvious double standard Katy Colloton experienced in the car wash scene with Ryan Hansen.
The election episode where Snap runs for council is definitely one of my favorites and something we were eager to write because we were so excited to explore the double standards that women face running against men in political elections. The topic held extra weight for Colloton whose mom, Pat, is a politician herself. Sad to say this episode ended up being more timely than we could have ever expected (it was written and shot prior to November 2016, but did not air until February 2017). At the beginning of any writing process, we pitch ideas that we would like to explore in future episodes. In brainstorming the pitches as a group we usually discover which ideas we can expand upon and make a statement about, and which ideas might be better suited as a smaller story or funny scene, or just a writer’s room idea fart rollin’ past in the stinky wind.
Talk about the importance of working with an all-female cast right now in our current social climate.
Working with an all-female ensemble show has awarded us the extremely special opportunity to express feminist perspectives through comedy. We are privileged to be able to share our voice at a time when women need to be heard from and represented more than ever.
Don’t miss the return of Teachers tonight at 10pm ET on TV Land.