By Lerato Mensah-Aborampah ’22
In an effort to be intentional about seeking out some warm, hearty and funny content from the media I consume, I have found myself naturally gravitating towards sitcoms. Yes, plain old sitcoms in all their cheesy humor, predictable plotlines and chirpy characters—all of it. So, two weeks back, after having already consumed an arguably concerning number of sitcoms throughout the summer, I landed on yet another one: “Mr. Iglesias.”
Mr. Iglesias, better known by the full name he uses for stand-up comedy specials, Gabriel Iglesias, is a funny and charismatic high school history teacher who cares for his students and strives to see them succeed despite all odds. His group of students and colleagues are a refreshing bunch. For example, there’s Tony—the teacher that literally does nothing as far as being a teacher is concerned—and Lorenzo, a student who comes to class every day believing in one conspiracy theory after another. The relationships between the characters kept me thoroughly entertained.
“Mr. Iglesias” is about much more than just its characters, though. The show becomes an ode to teaching, a profession that society has consistently undervalued. What I particularly love about this show is that it achieves humor without glossing over some of the harsh realities that teachers and students face in the U.S.’s K-12 education system. The show speaks to obstacles such as limited school supplies and low teacher salaries through the vehicles of humor and character development.
“Mr. Iglesisas” is a sitcom that took me on more rides than I had anticipated. The show uses humor to make short, powerful commentaries not only on problems within the U.S’s K-12 education system but also on snippets of American history and the realities of systemic inequalities within education. From the seemingly inconsequential “ha ha” that escapes your lips after a fairly cheesy joke to a full-blast laugh from the core, “Mr. Iglesias” guarantees laughter and approaches important themes with worthwhile thoughtfulness. If you are looking for a fun show during your breaks between unending college assignments, “Mr. Iglesias” might just be it.