Preview: Mr. D returns with more awkwardness

New season, same old Gerry Duncan. At the end of Season 3, it appeared Xavier Academy had lost its history teacher. After all, Gerry’s dream job was to teach pays. ed., a gig offered to him by St. Pat’s. But in the season finale’s closing moments he returned to Xavier a self-proclaimed victor.

The move apparently paid off, but not without the typical Mr. D twist. The CBC sitcom returns Tuesday night paired with Schitt’s Creek, the newbie project that garnered record ratings in its double-dose debut last week. But where Schitt’s Creek is more of a traditional sitcom, Mr. D is the new wave, a series that relishes in the awkward moments … and milks them for all they’re worth. It doesn’t take long for cringeworthy stuff to start happening in “Mafia Dad” though it all starts promisingly enough.

Principal Callaghan informs Gerry that he is taking over coaching duties for the varsity basketball team and he’s stoked to carry on the team’s winning ways. Of course, the tallest kid on the team, Eddie, is also the worst (“Such a waste,” Gerry whispers to himself at one point) so Gerry plans to bench him. Enter Eddie’s father, who bribes Gerry with steaks, wine and “weal” sandwiches in a bid to get his son on the floor. It’s not until Bobbi pulls Gerry aside for a warning that he realizes Eddie’s dad may be a Russian mobster.

Speaking of Bobbi, she has her own uncomfortable few moments when Trudy upstages her at a birthday party for Lisa. Though Bobbi got up early to snag a personalized pudding-filled cake for event, Trudy’s gift of a pearl bracelet wins the day. The real source of the bauble leads to a very funny bit in the school office.

But perhaps the funniest storyline of the night belongs to Paul Dwyer. The always-positive and beloved Xavier teacher—the ying to Gerry’s yang—has an incredibly bad week full of damage to both person and possession yet he takes it all in stride. Wes Williams, who plays Dwyer, continues to amaze me with his comic chops.

Mr. D airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBC.