“A Teacher” Review

Story posted November 17, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment by Courtney Benedetto.

On Nov. 10, Hulu released the first three episodes of its new TV miniseries: “A Teacher.”

This series was written by Hannah Fidell, who based it off her 2013 film also titled “A Teacher.”

Both productions explore the controversial and manipulative relationship between a teacher and a student, which can be triggering for many people.

At the end of each episode of the miniseries, they provide a link to resources that can help viewers who may struggle with this situation.

The first three episodes give a good indication that the rest of the series will be dramatically entertaining, despite the disturbing subject matter.

The show follows Claire Wilson, an attractive and young high school English teacher, and Eric Walker, a high school senior.

Mrs. Wilson’s storyline largely revolves around new beginnings. She starts a new job and talks about starting a family with her husband.

Eric, as any high school senior does, struggles with the college application process from paying for tuition to getting a high SAT score.

The two characters’ worlds collide when Eric asks Mrs. Wilson to tutor him, and the messy relationship between them starts to unfold.

The performances by actors Kate Mara and Nick Robinson are amazing.

Mara does an excellent job of portraying the twisted character of Claire Wilson. Between the subtle facial expressions, to the tone in her voice, Mara demonstrates her character’s conflicted yet wildly inappropriate feelings in an unnerving way.

Robinson does a good job of playing the semi-innocent and confused high school student, which effectively contrasts with Mara’s character and makes for a dangerously dynamic duo between the characters Claire and Eric.

Along with the star performances, the overall production of the show is quite impressive. The visual quality of each scene is top-notch, and the script itself captures both the serious and tense discussions and the casual slang of teenagers.

The score of the show is very appropriate for the subject matter as well. The music is mostly rap, which teenagers listen to the most. This plays into the youth of Eric as a student and emphasizes the wrongful behavior of Mrs. Wilson.

Within the first three episodes, this has not been much of a problem, but down the road, the show may receive backlash if it sympathizes with the couple’s romantic relationship.

Audiences will not appreciate the glorification of this type of relationship, if the script tries to make the audience root for the couple.

This show has the potential to run into troubled waters just as Netflix’s show “Thirteen Reasons Why” was criticized for glorifying suicide.

The interesting thing about “A Teacher” is the fact that even though the plot is predictable, the audience will still want to watch the show up to the end.

It is safe to say that the relationship between Mrs. Wilson and Eric will not end well. Viewers can predict the mental trauma and legal repercussions that will probably commence in the upcoming episodes.

The teacher-student relationship is extremely inappropriate and disgusting to think about, but at the same time, the portrayal of this taboo and manipulation is captivating and makes for a binge-worthy TV drama.

Too bad Hulu did not release this miniseries all at once. Fans will have to tune in every week to watch the next piece of the puzzle.

“A Teacher” will have a total of 10 episodes, with new episodes released on-by-one every Tuesday.

Courtney Benedetto is a freshman majoring in print/digital journalism. To contact her, email at cmb7747@psu.edu.