(CNN)In "Mr. Corman," it's Apple that gets a teacher, though it's a decidedly bittersweet one.
Three small words explicate Apple TV+'s involvement successful "Mr. Corman," and those are Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who created, produces, writes, directs, stars and adjacent performs euphony successful this melancholy series, elevating a conception that looks astatine roads not taken and that's punctuated passim by peculiar flights of fancy.
Gordon-Levitt's Josh Corman is introduced arsenic a fifth-grade teacher, treading cautiously erstwhile dealing with his young charges. Over time, however, it becomes wide that helium turned to teaching erstwhile aspirations to beryllium a instrumentalist fizzled, and that he's beauteous good sleepwalking his mode done life.
The premise does not make, admittedly, for a peculiarly dynamic protagonist. The premiere finds Josh and his roommate/buddy Victor (Arturo Castro) deciding, aft immoderate debate, to spell to a club, but his awkward brushwood with a pistillate chiefly highlights the "Those who can't do, teach" facet of his existence, which is to accidental that Josh is mislaid and unhappy, contempt his blandly pleasant demeanor.
There is, successful fact, a batch of awkwardness on the way, including Josh's interactions with his parent (Debra Winger), and an ex-girlfriend (Juno Temple), who yet comes into the communicative too.
The dour code benignant of turns "Mr. Corman" into the anti-"Ted Lasso," the second-year bid that has won Apple truthful galore plaudits. Yet the bid is besides prone to fantastical flights of fancy, similar having Josh and his ma burst into a song-and-dance number, oregon abruptly prosecute successful what looks similar a superhero combat with his friends.
Those benignant of moments besides forge a transportation to the indie movie "500 Days of Summer," successful which Gordon-Levitt starred, astatine slightest successful presumption of sensibilities, taking chances successful reasonably inventive ways. One section hands the communicative implicit to Victor, whose quality is grappling with a breached matrimony and raising a teen who does small to fell her hostility toward him. Later, Covid enters the picture, forcing the rubric quality to behaviour his people and day via Zoom.
The thought of TV bid indulging the originative whims of movie stars is hardly new, but Gordon-Levitt brings a level of ambition to the storytelling that isn't conscionable dabbling. That said, "Mr. Corman" represents a bladed premise -- the travails of thirtysomethings, aft all, had an full 1980s bid devoted to it -- truthful its charms astir wholly dwell of tiny moments and its protagonist's thinly concealed angst.
Pencils down, the amusement earns a better-than-passing grade, delivering much restitution than the syllabus would suggest. Consider "Mr. Corman" 1 of those instances wherever Gordon-Levitt and institution bash capable extra-credit enactment to legitimately people up an different basal course.
"Mr. Corman" premieres Aug. 6 connected Apple TV+.