Why 'A Teacher' is the Definition of Guilty Pleasure TV
'A Teacher' is a new show on Hulu that is such guilty pleasure viewing, that you literally feel guilty while watching it.
I'll admit it, I like watching shows that many might categorize as young adult or that are geared towards a more feminine audience. One of my favorite shows was Teen Wolf (before season 4) and I could still to this day go back and rewatch it.
So, when I saw a scandalous show starring Nick Robinson and Kate Mara, I knew it was at least worth checking out. The only thing I knew was obvious, it was about a teacher. To be exact, a close student-teacher relationship. I made my assumptions, and my assumptions were indeed correct.
This show dives into the mind of a young attractive teacher who develops feelings and becomes sexually attracted to her 17-year old student. Through the first three episodes that were released on Hulu, the story is pretty cut and dry.
A new teacher begins to empathize and see potential in one of her students, and the two start to have a relatively healthy student-teacher relationship. To be clear, the lengths to which Kate Mara's character Claire was willing to go to help Nick Robinson's Eric is what a lot of teachers should strive for when they see a child in need of steering in the right direction. However, we soon realize that she sees a little more than just learning potential in Eric.
This relationship is like a trainwreck, you can see it happening and you know you're not going to like it, but you can't look away. If you're not careful you could even find yourself rooting for the pair, but I think this is the show's intentions.
In the same way that the Netflix show You can start to make you feel empathy for an obsessive murderer like Joe Goldberg, it always makes sure you understand at its core that they are the bad guy. This is where I would like to assume that A Teacher is going.
What is happening here is not okay.
While you're watching it you see two people who are developing feelings for one another, but in the end, only one really feels in control. Eric is a smart, good looking, and charming guy. He almost has his pick over any girl his own age he could dream of, but he finds himself obsessed with his teacher.
This isn't a love story, but it's being portrayed as one to reel the audience in. Slowly we will peel the mask back on Claire and see that her manipulation of a young man's feelings is not out of love, but lust. Meanwhile, you have Eric who is clearly falling in love with this woman.
Claire being the married adult sees this, and knowing that she could have her pick of any age consenting man outside of her marriage, goes after a 17-year old boy who she is in a position of power over.
These relationships are so much more common than anyone thinks on both sides of the spectrum. Male and female teachers prey on students every day in America. I even remember it happening at my middle school when I was growing up.
This show will test your moral compass and that's what really wrapped me into the premise. It'll make you feel guilty for moments you forget what you're really watching on screen, but you can't. It's important to truly watch what's happening because no matter how hot the teacher is and how much the student might enjoy the sex, these relationships are not healthy and it's time to ditch that fratboy way of thinking.
All that being said, I enjoy the story that the show is trying to tell. I find myself interested in the characters and how all the events unfolding will affect them.
Kate Mara and Nick Robinson both do a great job of portraying the vulnerabilities that both these characters have. It feels like watching a Lifetime movies with good acting. The story itself is very straightforward but honestly, the acting and the two characters are what bring me into it.