It was a hell of a week on Dream School. When this whole project started, I wondered if all the kids would stick with it – or what would happen if things hit the skids. And this week, we found out. Kyle opted to leave in the most infuriating, sad way – walking out because he didn’t want to deal with his self-admitted anger management issue. But what killed me was his Dad let him. The dad – a former Marine – is so wracked with guilt over the issues Kyle and his brother Sean have due to their parents’ divorce, he kowtows to Kyle… when what Kyle really needs is a good kick in the pants. Or an actual Marine.
After watching this episode, I felt like I just needed to take a hot second and love on Mary. While I like all the kids, Mary I love.
For the past three episodes we’ve seen someone like Kyle – who got kicked out of several schools, the last of which for punching a principal – give up at the drop of a hat. In this episode he comes to school hungover and admits to smoking something, which I suspect is weed. He fools around in class, doesn’t pay attention, and then blows up if anyone objects. As the head teacher, Scott, notes: Kyle is his own problem.
This episode starts on a low note. The grades are posted from the students’ first test – and almost everyone’s failed.
A moment later, Ellie says, “People said I was stupid… I started believing it. I started becoming it.”
In Episode One, almost every kid in the school said they didn’t study or that they didn’t care – in effect striving for failure… to be the person that they think everyone thinks they are.
They were reaffirming themselves as stereotypical dropouts. Ironic as Soledad O’Brien, their teacher this week, immediately digs into the question of, what do people assume about you when they look at you? And then she asks, “who are you really?” – and the answers are diametrically different from the previous ones.
Sundance Channel announced today an impressive list of innovators and leaders from a cross section of professions including music, politics, film, science, journalism and more who will come together to create a DREAM SCHOOL for 15 troubled students in the network’s new six-part unscripted series premiering on October 7 at 10:00pm et/pt.
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone to astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, these instructors will have one mission – to excite young minds and reignite their students’ desire to learn. An ambitious project where the best and the brightest in our culture teach kids who have been falling through the cracks, DREAM SCHOOL is designed to motivate troubled teenagers to turn their lives around. Pregnant, neglected, bullies or bullied; the kids all have one thing in common — they are dropouts. Now Sundance Channel is giving them a once in a lifetime chance to start over, but overcoming past failures and future obstacles will prove to be no easy task for both the students and their instructors.