Top of the class
Comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias stars in Netflix’s new sitcom “Mr. Iglesias,” where he plays the role of a history teacher trying to protect the forgotten or unwanted students at a Long Beach high school from falling through the cracks.
The series opens up with students from Mr. Iglesias’s class receiving letters informing them that they have been “counseled out” and won’t be returning to their school in the fall due to their poor grades or poor attendance. When Mr. Iglesisas learns that his beloved group of misfits are being kicked out by the assistant principal, he jumps into action and cancels his summer plans and offers to teach summer school and help his students catch up so they can continue attending the school in the fall.
“Mr. Iglesias” is the story of a teacher who goes above and beyond for his students and depicts scenarios that some educators are all too familiar with, like paying for classroom supplies out of his own paycheck and struggling with an ambivalent administration to ensure his students receive the resources they need. Mr. Iglesisas has students that come from poorer families, students who work multiple jobs, students with disinterested parents, students who are too afraid of failure to try and students that feel like misfits at the school. This is a teacher who takes his merry band of struggling misfits and inspires them to do better and want more for themselves, but he does it with humor which allows the show to maintain a chipper vibe.
The school’s staff also provides some texture to the series; viewers will recognize the overachieving first year teacher, the power hungry administrator, the burnt out teacher and the wise yet slightly grumpy tenured teacher. At one point the sitcom takes the time to remind viewers how difficult it can be to be a teacher by initiating a strike that forces the administrators back into the classroom, reminding them and viewers that teaching is often a grueling job even if teachers do have summers off.
“Mr. Iglesias” has one season available on Netflix. Viewers who enjoyed revisiting the ’90s classic “Boy Meets World” where audiences can watch another dedicated teacher, Mr. Feeney, provide guidance to his students with a signature dry wit. Episodes of “Boy Meets World” can be found on Hulu and Amazon.