A gadfly local-TV news reporter falls from his station’s and the public’s grace when he unfairly attacks the high school’s newly-hired turnaround principal.
For his penance, he must take charge of the troubled-teens class – actually composed of odd ducks and attention-seekers. Recalling his own Jesuit education, he turns his students’ blustery challenges into assignments – then turns those into a daily streaming-TV news show.
Think ‘Dangerous Minds’ meets ‘School of Rock’ – with the Toastmaster idea of every kid doing every job on the show over time.
Everything turns on underfathering, of course: It’s what’s troubling the teens, but it also impedes the growth of the reporter/teacher. The arc of the story is his redemption, goaded by the principal as well as by his students.
There’s a love-interest parallel story, Mister Maybe to Mister Willbe, and I like his back-story told in flashbacks, with the opening sequence being him in a gradually waxing cacophony reflecting on how he came to be enmired in this chaos. Pure benedy from there.
Hugely visual, montage rich, ripe with interesting development opportunities for young, pretty characters. I like it as a 60-minute serial dramedy, as a movie-of-the-week/streaming/telenovela yarn or – in edgier form – as a film.
That’s Idcs to Disc or even Dsic, which is why the story needs both the principal and the love-interest to make his change believable.
There’s DISC drama in a every kid in the classroom, too, which is what makes this idea so extensible – so serializable. That risks both preachiness and iterative repetitivity, but the inherent rudeness of news – amplified gossip – makes our classroom an enduring Ds mutiny against received wisdom – the Ci world of education and of officialdom generally and the Ic social world of high school.
Meanwhile, the high school setting is easy to work with, and young actors are both pretty and affordable-in-bulk.
The Iron Law of Television: There is no better television than television-about-television. This is TV I could stand to see more of.