School Tales The Series season 1, episode 5 recap – “Headless Teacher”

August 10, 2022
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Recaps
2

Summary

“Headless Teacher” takes an overtly silly, comedic approach, which ends up resulting in a complete misfire.

View all
2

Summary

“Headless Teacher” takes an overtly silly, comedic approach, which ends up resulting in a complete misfire.

This recap of School Tales The Series season 1, episode 5, “Headless Teacher”, contains spoilers. You can check out all of our coverage of this show by clicking these words.


There’s something immediately different about “Headless Teacher” compared to some of the other episodes of School Tales The Series. Horror? This is comedy! And, like, pretty explicit comedy. The key figure, Teacher Waiwan, is Miss Trunchbull in all but name, and while the cruelty of the kids who torment her isn’t intended to be all that funny, the character herself is unambiguously played for laughs.

School Tales The Series season 1, episode 5 recap

When Waiwan turns up dead and headless and a couple of students encounter her ghost, the tone doesn’t change. The supposedly horrifying image of a giant headless teacher is again treated as a comedy device — especially once it starts trying to communicate with the students. Waiwan’s corpse wants them to help her find her severed head. Why not, at this point?

There’s an element of guilt involved in all this. The students were awful to Waiwan, and people who she gave loans to never paid her back. She was treated as a joke, despite her stern authoritarianism, so this is similar to a lot of the stories in this collection, which have revolved around how we treat people and why. But this is the only one, at least of the episodes I’ve reviewed, that is proudly and consistently silly.

What we have here, essentially, is part murder-mystery, part dark comedy, and part love story, although that last bit crops up in one scene and is otherwise left disappointingly unaddressed. But the slapstick vibe threaded through all of these elements really doesn’t bring them together well. In fact, it actively undermines them in some instances. After having already established that we’re not supposed to be taking any of this especially seriously, the main plot eventually reveals that Waiwan was killed by one of her fellow teachers after discovering him trying to rape one of the students. That’s far too serious of a development for the rest of this episode to contain.

“Headless Teacher” is a misfire, then, though I concede some of the physical comedy with Waiwan’s ghost/zombie got some chuckles out of me. It never coheres into an effective whole, though. Luckily, an anthology series is just the kind of place for such a thing, though I’m happy to see there won’t too many experiments such as this in the collection.

You can stream School Tales The Series season 1, episode 5, “Headless Teacher” exclusively on Netflix.

View all