We find Lincoln (Will Forte), Joan of Arc (Nicole Sullivan), JFK (Chris Miller), and Cleopatra (Mitra Jouhari) having to coexist with the new kids and discovering that popularity has changed in the past two decades. Like “21 Jump Street,” the show mines a lot of fantastic jokes about the generational gap. The school is ruled by artist Frida Kahlo (Vicci Martinez), Harriet Tubman (Ayo Edebiri), who is anxious about the legacy she represents, would-be influencer Confucius (Kelvin Yu), and Topher Bus (Neil Casey), who hides the fact that he’s the clone of Christopher Columbus.
The first two episodes hit the ground running by mostly carrying over the character arcs of the first season — specifically Abe trying to confess his love for Joan as she enters a relationship with JFK. Some of the plots here are reminiscent of the first season, like an episode about midterms bearing a resemblance to the SAT episode of season 1. This is not a detriment to “Clone High,” because the show takes the opportunity given by the cyclical nature of school life to show new angles on previous ideas, making the 20-year room between seasons part of the joke.
For instance, the first episode is all about being canceled, as Lincoln realizes it’s not okay to say certain things anymore, while JFK’s sex craze is celebrated as sex positivism. The show is not preachy about the generational gap, but finds humor in the sudden clash of cultures, even in the character designs, with the new characters having modern looks and bright colors. There are even new pop culture references, like an exquisite joke that echoes “Malignant.”