CREDIT: NBC

Over the past few months, the delightful high school-set sitcom A.P. Bio has become one of my favorite shows on the air, but then NBC went a little cuckoo and cancelled it. There’s been some effort on the part of the cast, crew, and fans to find the show a new home, but unless that happens, we will have to be satisfied with two short-but-sweet seasons.

One of the reasons I love A.P. Bio so much is because it shares a lot of DNA with my favorite show of all time, which would be Community, another former NBC sitcom that was constantly on the brink of cancellation (though unlike A.P. Bio, it kept beating the renewal odds). Their premises and central characters are strikingly similar. In Community, Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) is a high-powered lawyer who gets disbarred and must enroll at a community college. Meanwhile, A.P. Bio stars Glenn Howerton as Jack Griffin, a disgraced Harvard philosophy professor who is forced to take a lowly part-time teaching job at a high school in Toledo, Ohio.

As I watched and grew to love A.P. Bio, I kept noticing more and more Community similarities, to the point that I could detect analogues for all the major characters. So I’ve assembled below a side-by-side comparison of the Greendale Human Beings and their corresponding Whitlock Rams. Enjoy, and let me know if you need help reacting to riding that ram.

(Thank you to my fellow commenters at the AV Club and Disqus for helping me out with these comparisons!)

Jack (Glenn Howerton) = Jeff (Joel McHale)

CREDIT: YouTube

The protagonists who try to act above it all but eventually embrace the crazy scholastic ecosystems they’ve become an integral part of.

Sarika (Aparna Brielle) = Annie (Alison Brie)

CREDIT: YouTube

The hypercharged type-A go-getters who view the main character with a healthy amount of skepticism (though some affection does eventually develop).

Marcus (Nick Peine) = Britta (Gillian Jacobs)

CREDIT: YouTube

This one isn’t a perfect fit, as Sarika also has a lot of Britta DNA, but Marcus and Jack do notably have a bit of an odd-couple bickering connection that was also typical of Jeff and Britta.

Heather (Allisyn Ashley Arm) = Abed (Danny Pudi)

CREDIT: YouTube

The weirdos who are loyal fans of the main character.

Victor (Jacob Houston) = Troy (Donald Glover)

CREDIT: YouTube

The lovable, excitable naifs.

Anthony (Eddie Leavy) = Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown)

CREDIT: YouTube

The family-focused folks with a religious streak who mostly get along well with the main character despite their significant differences.

Helen (Paula Pell) = Pierce (Chevy Chase)

CREDIT: YouTube

The older characters (played by SNL alums) with a bizarre sense of social niceties who try to ingratiate themselves into a friendship with the main character.

Ralph Durbin (Patton Oswalt) = Dean Craig Pelton (Jim Rash)

CREDIT: YouTube

The heads of the school who are super-dedicated to their institutions and whose friendships with the main characters aren’t fully reciprocated.

Stef/Mary/Michelle (Lyric Lewis/Mary Sohn/Jean Villepique) = Chang (Ken Jeong)

CREDIT: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC; YouTube

Whitlock’s history, art, and home ec teachers aren’t quite as sociopathic as Greendale’s resident Spanish genius, but they’re actually not that far off.

BONUS! Dave (David Neher) = Todd (David Neher)

CREDIT: Trae Patton/NBC; YouTube

A couple of recurring characters played by the same actor in the same nebbishy, put-upon style.

Advertisements