‘A Teacher’ Review: FX’s Blandly Addictive Illicit-Sex Drama Should Have Been More Scandalous

‘A Teacher’ Review: FX’s Blandly Addictive Illicit-Sex Drama Should Have Been More Scandalous
The year 2020 is an odd one in which to explore the sexual relationship between a high school English teacher and her 17-year-old male student. If the teacher were a man and the student a girl, a show like “A Teacher” would not happen now. As it is, however, Hannah Fidell’s new series for FX on Hulu is tepid, not explosive. Strong performances from leads Kate Mara and Nick Robinson aren’t enough to propel this middling drama, and what could have been a controversial and deeply disturbing episodic is a safely played affair across 10 installments. At less than 30 minutes a pop, however, it’s addictive as a bag of chips you can’t stop eating because it’s there.

The central problems with “A Teacher” (based on Fidell’s 2013 more powerfully austere film) are quick to reveal themselves. There’s little sexual tension between Claire (Mara), an educator listless in her marriage,
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