Currently on FX and HULU from writer/director Hannah Fidell is a limited series story of an educator and the line she crosses being A TEACHER.
Claire Wilson (Kate Mara) married to Matt (Ashley Zukerman) is starting a job at Westerbrook in Austin, Texas as an English teacher and meets new friend Kathryn (Marielle Scott). She seems happy to be starting something new and exciting as well as trying to start a family with Matt. Eric Walker (Nick Robinson) is a popular kid hanging out with friends Logan (Shane Harper) and Josh (Dylan Schmid) when they see Claire. Eric hangs back and they talk about what he wants from school.
Eric heads over to Logans and sees ex-girlfriend Alison (Camila Perez) but they do not have much of a chance to reconnect because the police are busting up the party. Giving a statement to Officer Nate (Adam Thompson), Eric confides that that he cannot call his Mom and asks that he call Claire to set things right. To help him refocus on school, Eric and Claire visit her alma mater and Logan’s older brother Cody entices them to party.
Dealing with the pressure of good grades and getting into college, Eric also helps single Mom Sandra (Rya Kihlstedt) with two young brothers. Needed at home, there comes a moment where he makes a decision about his family that puts his priorities in question.
Enjoying each other’s company as student and teacher, Eric crosses the line and now Claire is conflicted about what to do. Focusing on her marriage, there is tension between the couple when they learn that to have a family, they would need to explore the option of an invitro pregnancy. Adding to the tension is Claire seeing Eric at the dance and confronting him about missing their tutoring meeting.
Now, the line is about to be crossed and both of them turn to lying, deception and it will tear their worlds apart.
Mara as Claire is a woman who believes that starting over at a new school is also a new beginning for she and husband Matt. Seeing the lines becoming blurred with her student, she tries to pull back but can not seem to control herself which means she cannot control anything around her. Pulling in every direction to justify her actions, Mara gives her character moments of likeability then the reality of what is happening screams out.
Robinson as Eric is a young man who thinks he knows what he wants. Trusting in the relationship, he does not see further down the road to the ramifications or the damage that is being done. Robinson gives us a wild young man who wants what he wants as young men his age think, its what comes later that he could have never imagined.
Scott as friend Kathryn is also a teacher at Westbrook and unwittingly becomes the person that Claire needs in her life. The problem with that is friendship should be a two-way street and not filled with deception.
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A TEACHER is a story of betrayal most of all as Claire is in a position to know right from wrong and chooses a course of destructive action. Eric is a young man who trusts Claire and decides that his feelings are more important than the fact she happens to be married and his teacher.
Claire is absolutely responsible for her behavior and the broken trust but let’s not give Eric a free pass in this all. Clearly, he is old enough to know what is wrong as shown by his response after kissing Claire and once the line is crossed – everything becomes blurred.
Once the word is out, that is when the destructive path becomes blurred again. Even the face-to-face meeting between them is agonizing and gruesome to watch. As with most affairs, the consequences are far reaching past Claire and Eric and seeing the pain it causes families, friendships and the education system.
There has never been a story about a teacher and student affair that has not caused a stir and the biggest story of 1997 was teacher Mary Kay Letourneau. Having an affair and a child with her student, it opened the door to other stories of teachers breaking the trust of students and their families.
FX takes a bold risk to make the story just as writer Hannah Fidell is equally bold in directing this cast. HULU brings each episode to streaming which is a wild ride for binge watchers looking for drama, tragedy and tension.
In the end – this is what happens when a line of trust is crossed!