Vice Prinicpals, Season One, Epiosde Four
This Vice Prinicpals review contains spoilers.
It’s weird that the best episode of Vice Principals so far is the one that focuses least on our vice principals. The show found success this week by squaring in on the object of Gamby and Russell’s scorn, Dr. Brown. By showing Dr. Brown’s home life, or lack thereof now that her house has burned down, and allowing us to see the character work through a range of emotions, Vice Principals finally presented a protagonist worth rooting for. “Run for the Money” gave Dr. Brown a complete character arc and now going forward, every action Gamby and Russell take against Dr. Brown will feel even more despicable.
Now that Dr. Brown has been presented as a three dimensional character, she can serve as the emotional center of the story, freeing up our vice principals to act as agents of chaos. The role certainly fits Russell well. The worse he acts, the funnier he gets. His complete lack of regard for the school is horrendous and hilarious. Russell’s attitude suggests that he’d see the high school ruined completely if it means he can be at the helm. We don’t need to learn about this guy’s inner life or make him sympathetic in any way; he’s perfect just like this. A great move for the show would be allowing Gamby to soften toward Dr. Brown, placing him in the middle of Dr. Brown and Russell.
A battle with a rival school is almost too perfect of a storyline to pass up for this show, so we get it this week in the form of a homecoming football game. Introducing the other school and its staff members, like a haughty principal, is a fun idea and hopefully this won’t be the last we see of these district rivals. Dr. Brown’s dress-down of Percival’s principal was one of the highlights of the episode.
Speaking of highlights, the show also supplied an incredibly funny visual interpretation of an acid trip this week. From the faces of the actors down to the hallucinations, the sequence earned a lot of laughs and allowed director Jody Hill to let his presence known. It’s not the only visual gag that goes over well, as a picture of a vagina in the school provides a great bit between Gamby and Dr. Brown. We also got another dose of the fabulously weird Ms. Abbott. Her scene with Gamby this week proved that the pair work well together and hopefully we’ll get to see their painful interactions a bit more.
Last week, Vice Principals missed the mark by showing us things about Gamby’s character that we already knew. By exploring Dr. Brown and making her a real, layered person, Vice Principals was able to tell a complete story that adds depth to the series to come. Cruel characters can only anchor a show for so long, so providing a character that the audience cares about makes sense in the long run. Hopefully the show continues to dedicate time to Dr. Brown’s character, as she completely enriched this episode.