'Mr Iglesias' Season 2 Review: Netflix comedy tries woke culture and romance, luckily it's more hits than misses
College, climate change, kisses and budding relationships - the second season of Mr Iglesias is a classic throwback to your 2000's Disney shows
Spoilers for 'Mr Iglesias' Season 2
Sketches, catchy theme song and an innate desire to do better for his students at Wilson High - Gabriel Iglesias is back with a bang after the shocking, but amusing success of its debut season last year. Comedian Gabriel 'Fluffy' Iglesias plays the titular role of the History teacher who just won't give up on his students no matter how freaked out or hopeless they are. And while it tried the whole 'Dead Poets Society' formula with studio laughter popping in and up more often than needed, what the second season of 'Mr Iglesias' really highlights is that some themes are evergreen.
Even though the teachers' lounge only sees four of them interacting and no more than five students speak in the mass -or even attend the Wilson High School for that matter, 'Mr Iglesias' tries doing what popular Disney shows like 'Lizzie McGuire' or 'That's So Raven' did, but just because the point of view is from an older teacher and not some almost-hot student, things don't often sit right. Luckily, it's more hits than misses though.
Things get both woke and romantic in this season, when we meet Iglesias and his students, he is giving them a pep talk about going to college, and of course, it ends exactly opposite of how he expected it to. His students freak out, initially only to realize they couldn't have had a better mentor than Iglesias and that sets the precedent for almost every other episode to come. Be it his coworker Carlos Hernandez's (Oscar Nunez) earnest attempt at running a drama class at school or his student Marisol's (Cree Cicchino) attempt at holding a Green Week at school to raise awareness about the deteriorating climate - Iglesias is the glue keeping things together, hopping from being a resident guidance counselor to romance guru when his principal Paula Madison (Sherry Shepherd) falls for a player.
Elsewhere, Mikey Guitirez (Fabrizio Zachary Guido) is just as hopelessly into Marisol as ever, but his arc finally finds some closure right at the end of the series when their crazy tension culminates into an on-stage kiss for their school's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Iglesias's other students do their best to make a mark and apart from Walt, both Lorenzo (Coy Stewart) and Grace strike as too extra somehow. None of them get problematic though that's solely their god-knows-what-teacher Tony Ochoa's department. Unflinchingly and persistently going on making his creepy moves at his coworker Abigail Spencer (Maggie Geha) who is hilariously spontaneous with her safe word and remarks about how "exhausting" Tony (Jacob Vargas) is, humor drifts into the plot when one would least expect it.
Even Principal Paula's pro-sex attitude can get a little over the top sometimes - especially considering how much time she spends lounging in the teachers' common room talking about 'booty', but in the end, it's like one of those green smoothies you somehow have to gulp down at first to get used to them because it's healthy. Episodes focusing on cultural appropriation and Marisol's staunch protest against a Filipino vendor selling the best tacos in town also satirize the not so articulate arenas of activism. Her strict refusal to play Juliet who succumbs to patriarchal norms, smoothly countered by Carlos proving Juliet was actually a feminist rebel, does the same too.
Speaking of Marisol, she isn't the only one diving into newer waters of a prospective relationship. As she finally gives into the nervous Mikey who has been pining for her for over a year now, we also see Iglesias welcome the prospect of love back into his life. He meets a gorgeous woman with an angel's voice at the local karaoke bar and is instantly smitten by the smiles she keeps shooting his way. Only problem? Turns out she will be hopping on board as the school's new guidance counselor. Co-workers, amirite? The school year signs off leaving us hanging about Iglesias's soon to be evolving relationship but whether or not he will take the giant leap of dating coworkers is something we will have to wait till Season 3 to find out.
'Mr Iglesias' is available for streaming only on Netflix.