Teachers is tackling modern sexism by jumping back to the 1940s. With the prickly Deb Adler (Katie Thomas) pregnant, the show will use its season 2 finale to explore how gender roles have changed over the past 75 years.
“We start in modern times, and my character, who is pretty much a modern-day Stepford Wife, asks Deb if she’s going to retire, since she’s pregnant,” said Kate Lambert, who co-created the show and also plays the type-A romantic Caroline Watson. “[My character is like,] ‘Oh my God, you have the dream; now you can just go home and be a stay-at-home mom and not work anymore.’ And Deb is like, ‘What are you talking about? This isn’t the 1940s.’ And then we show how it would have been handled if she was a teacher back then.”
Teachers stars the all-female improv group the Katydids (all six of whom coincidentally have Kate-based names), and having so many women involved in the production allows the show to approach topics like sexism with sensitivity and specificity. “I think in order to understand why something is funny, you have to understand why it’s not funny first,” Lambert said. “We’ve come such a long way, but obviously there are still so many issues, like the wage gap and what’s expected of a woman. That pressure of what a woman is ‘supposed to be’ is still put on women today.”
The season 2 finale of Teachers (which has been renewed for a third season) airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET on TV Land.