By Michael Slezak
Updated April 26, 2006 at 12:00 PM EDT

In protest of the folly that is National TV-Turnoff Week, I’m watching one show every night that’s normally way off my radar. Last night, PopWatchers asked me to tune in to NBC’s ”sitcom” Teachers, and let me tell you, not even the nuns at my Catholic grade school could’ve thunk up so brutal a punishment.

Admittedly, my personal prejudices got in the way of appreciating the show’s approach to humor. The sparkling banter between educators Mr. Green (Phil Hendrie) and Ms. Torres (Sarah Shahi) included bon mots like: ”You’re late. Trouble at the border?”, ”I guess it’s gonna be a long hayride back to Tijuana,” and ”What’s the matter, she shoot down your taco-stand idea?” Now I’m not saying good writers can’t mine humor by skewering racial stereotypes — shows from All in the Family to Chappelle’s Show have done it brilliantly — but merely touching the surface of a taboo topic doesn’t make you edgy, it just makes you lazy.

As for the episode’s main storyline, it — you know what? I’m alreadydying inside from merely trying to sum it up in a sentence, so I’llspare you the pain. Toss in a sexually frustrated lady principal, her simpering male assistant, and a thuddingly unfunny recurring joke about ”The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and you’ll understand my tallies for the night:

Genuine laughs: 5
Laugh-track met with stony silence: 75 (yes, I counted)

Moving on to tonight’s TV schedule, I’m considering either VH1’s Can’t Get a Date or MTV’s Yo Momma. Weigh in by 9 p.m. Eastern and tell me what I should watch. It’s your blog, after all. I just write it.

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