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Learning with the best teachers at ‘Abbott Elementary’

Photo courtesy of ABC network
“Abbott Elementary” is a show by ABC which aired Dec. 7, 2021, that shows the lives of teachers working in a low-income school incorporating their lives outside of the classroom.

Your regularly scheduled programming has become more interesting with the newest sitcom, “Abbott Elementary.” The adaptation of viewing a day in the life of a teacher has pulled viewers in with the character’s interesting personalities. 

American Broadcast Company (ABC) aired the pilot episode Dec. 7, 2021, where it started its success. “Abbott Elementary” takes a spin on showing the lives of teachers working in a low-income school while incorporating their lives outside of the classroom. The writers are Quinta Brunson, Kate Peterman, et al. Brunson was inspired by her mother, a teacher at the same school Brunson attended. The stories and experiences of Brunson’s mother further inspired the idea of the show. 

The show is set in present-day Philadelphia. The mockumentary opens with Brunson’s character Janine Teague in the classroom as her struggles start quickly while teaching. The “brilliant idea” of the documentary (mockumentary) being used to showcase the underfunded school on TV is credited to Principal Ava Coleman played by Janelle James.  

The cameras continue to follow teachers to show who they are, and the school setting allows the audience to feel like they are experiencing these situations with the teachers firsthand, which creates empathy for the educators. 

The mockumentary has many similarities in its outstanding cinematography to shows like “The Office” and “Parks and Rec,” with zoom-in shots of the teacher’s expressions and following the characters throughout their day. The show reveals each characters’ differences in teaching styles and their lives outside of teaching, yet all their lives connect their relationships to one another. 

The comeback of Tyler James Williams reprises his career after works like” Everybody Hates Chris” as Gregory Eddie. The other characters are Barbara Howard played by Sheryl Lee Ralph, Melissa Schemmenti played by Lisa Ann Walter, Jacob Hill played by Chris Perfetti and lastly Mr. Johnson played by William Stanford Davis. 

In the show, the characters demonstrate perfectly what a day of a teacher looks like, as students always bring new situations or problems that lead all the teachers to find a solution. The episodes always represent a new obstacle they need to face to become better educators. 

Without giving too much away, Janine is always striving to make everything better for others while Barbara and Melissa try to bring her back down to the reality of how things are. And let us face it, Principal Ava continues to do her “job” even if it is not the traditional way of doing so. However, the team works together to make the school better for their students even if it makes situations more complicated than they need to be. 

Season two has been airing since Sep. 21, 2022, and has continued up to now. The Golden Globe winning show earns a 10 out of 10 because it represents teachers and the heartwarming humorous ways, they strive to become better people even through their struggles. 

Abbott Elementary is streaming on HULU, HBO Max, and ABC with a new episode airing at 8 p.m. MST every Thursday. 

Avery Escamilla-Wendell is the staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected] or on Instagram @by_avery_escamilla 

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Avery Escamilla-Wendell, Arts & Culture Editor
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Learning with the best teachers at ‘Abbott Elementary’