More than 20 years before Mr. Shu was driving Gleeks wild, Mr. Shoop was all the rage– the coolest teacher, frankly, that we’d ever seen. Part slacker, part surfer… could you ask for a more perfect guy to lead you through gym class everyday?
Man, those kids at Ocean Front High had it made.
…until those precious few learned they’d be spending June, July, and August in Summer School.
“And, oh yeah, Mr. Shoop? You’ll be there, too, teaching remedial English, so put that surfboard away. And did we mention that your job hinged on whether you could get this gaggle of misfits to pass the big end-of-summer exam? Kiss Kim goodbye, buddy- she’s off to Hawaii without you.”
No, at first glance, we didn’t envy Mr. Shoop at all. Shackled with a bunch of loveable losers like Dave and Chainsaw, non-driving Denise, pregnant Rhonda, and daydreaming Pam, what was the guy to do? Well, take the class to an amusement park of course. And maybe the beach. And then when he settled down and agreed to help all the kids with their life problems (in return for them buckling down to study), what did they do to pay him back? Yep, they took advantage of him. A short stint in jail later (without so much as a ‘thank you’ from Dave and Chainsaw), ol’ Shoopy was done.
Somewhere along the way, though, he actually got through to the kids, and Summer School surprised us all with a nice helping of heart. Sure that heart was, at first, part of the gory mess that Dave and Chainsaw orchestrated to scare away Shoop’s replacement, but it was heart nonetheless.
Fresh from St. Elsewhere, Mark Harmon was ready to break into films, and (frankly) Summer School was a great place to start. Funny, witty, and oh-so-dreamy, Harmon made Shoop just about as likeable as you could hope. No wonder Robin (Kirstie Allie) fell for him… even though it took, like, the whole movie. Whatever… that final From Here to Eternity scene made up for it.
And how awesome was it that (SPOILER ALERT!) Wondermutt got ol’ Bob back?
We ♥ Summer School.