Some Children Left Behind
Full Hearts, Clear Backpacks
Everybody Hates Gabe
Oh Boy, Danny
There are very few sitcoms I enjoy. Even fewer still that I can tolerate with a laugh track thrown in after every humorous quip. While still not perfect, Mr Iglesias somehow manages to blend the stand-up talent of Gabriel Iglesias into sitcom format across 10 episodes that make for a pretty enjoyable watch. The show plays on very basic, but surprisingly effective, themes and this consistency helps see Mr Iglesias through some of its more trying moments where it feels overly political.
The story predominantly revolves around history teacher Gabe; a funny, fan-favourite teacher who goes above and beyond for his pupils. Beginning with what’s essentially a two-part storyline, Mr Iglesias then sees each episode tackle the hurdles these kids face to match up to the high standards set by their Principal. Adhering to the strict archetypes they adopt early on, each episode follows a similar path with the characters. There is a bit of development given that helps build toward a finale where they compete in an Academic Decathlon to test the work done by Mr Iglesias over the year.
If I’m honest, the first episode is a little rough around the edges. Gabe’s jokes are met with exaggerated, over-acted laughs from the students and the episode itself has a real stop/start feel to proceedings as the show tries to find its footing. Thanks to Gabriel Iglesias’ charisma though, when the script allows him to riff and pepper in his own jokes and mannerisms, the show feels much more natural and genuinely funny than the other scripted segments.
There’s a good amount of educational content here too, despite falling into political waters a little with its digs at the current establishment in the White House. Whilst I’m not suggesting Mr Iglesias is a substitute for a good documentary, the positive spin it puts on education, inclusiveness as well as historical facts are certainly welcome in this format. Right up until the last episode, there’s a consistency with the historical facts given and most are delivered in a surprisingly effective way through the various different characters.
Mr Iglesias is unlikely to be anything other than a fleeting, one hit wonder. It’s certainly enjoyable enough to sit through and watch, with some nice educational facts thrown in and some very basic character arcs developed, but it pales in comparison to other, more illustrious comedies. Still, it’s far from the worst sitcom out there and as a light refuge from some of the more serious or engrossing series on Netflix, Mr Iglesias settles in nicely.
Verdict - 6/10