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‘Abbott Elementary’ Review: Why ABC’s Workplace Mockumentary Gets an A+

Abbott Elementary is arguably the best show on network television. This is why ABC’s Abbott Elementary gets an A+.

Image courtesy of ABC

Abbott Elementary is a workplace mockumentary that follows the lives of educators at the fictional Willard R. Abbott Elementary. The series stars actress/comedian Quinta Brunson and veteran actors Tyler James Williams and Sheryl Lee Ralph. As well as relative newcomers Chris Perfetti and Janelle James.

The plot centers around teachers who try to make a difference in the lives of their students. However, their methods are hilariously bad. While optimism is a recurring theme of the series, it’s ultimately their worst enemy. This is why ABC’s Abbott Elementary gets an A+.

Report Card (A+)

Image courtesy of ABC/Bonnie Osborne

Season two of the series began on September 21, 2022. The show picks up where season 1 left off right out of the gate. In a slight time lapse, we see Janine (Quinta Brunson) beginning to move on after ending the relationship with her long-time boyfriend, Tariq (Zack Fox). As the season progresses, viewers see Janine coming out of her shell and having a little fun. One of the big storylines is the slow-burn love story between Janine and Gregory (Tyler James Williams). There’s just one problem; neither is alone right now.

Even though the two share wonderful chemistry, two other people are caught up in this love story. In the mid-season finale, the series introduces Maurice or “Mo” (Vince Staples), and Amber (Nate’ Jones), who is seen in season 1 returns. Both characters are the main love interests of Janine and Gregory, respectively. While season 2 is ongoing, it will be interesting to see where these two couples go as the season winds down, especially after the tension at the end of Valentine’s Episode.

As for the supporting cast, well, they are coming into their own. While Sheryl Lee Ralph took home the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, the characters around her have too developed layers. One of which is Jacob (Chris Perfetti). Yes, Jacob is annoying as Hell, but his role as the staff’s moral compass is deeper into focus. It takes him no time to figure out Gregory’s interest in Janine. While this makes him awkward, he maneuvers it rather well.

Finally, Ava Coleman (Janelle James) and Melissa Schemmenti (Lisa Ann Walter) are also showing signs of growth. While Principal Coleman is as inept as they come, she’s beginning to show signs of maturity. While it’s safe to assume she’s starting to understand her leadership role, we can conclude that she does have layers. Schemmenti, on the other hand, has gone from tough “South Philly 11” to a more compassionate cohort that can still kick your ass.

Did Someone Fail an Assignment?

Image courtesy of ABC

So far, this season has been the perfect successor to season 1. The only knit-pick that can be seen is the speeding of Gregory and Janine’s potential relationship. While this isn’t a con per se, there is still enough story to tell before the two bite the bullet and fall in love. A few questions remain. When will the seemingly inevitable splits with Mo and Amber take place? Remember Taylor (Iyana Halley)? She appeared in season 1 and is Barabara Howard’s (Sheryl Lee Ralph) daughter.

During an episode centered around parent/teacher conferences, Taylor and Gregory hit it off as they bonded over their respective parents’ feud. We only saw the character twice in the show’s run. Will she eventually return to the series? As for Tariq, he does appear in an episode looking to rekindle a romance with Janine, but his efforts are halted.

You can read another review here. You may also read more about Abbott Elementary here.

Final Grade?

We may have tipped our hat a little in the title of this article. Everything about this show works. It’s hilarious, awkward, educational (go figure), and it’s spearheading ABC’s Wednesday Nights. In September, the series got nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards, winning three. It was nominated for five Golden Globes in January, taking home three. We will see the staff return in the Fall, as Abbott has been green-lit for a third season.

Final Grade A+ (4.0)

Written By

Shane Kidd-Walker is a Graduate Film Student at Florida State University. He is also an alumnus of Hinds Community College and THE Alcorn State University.

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