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5 Reasons to Watch ‘Abbott Elementary’ on ABC

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY - Key Art.
©ABC

The world could never have too many wholesome TV shows to devour, and we could never get tired of watching good people make their small space a beautiful one. ABC’s Abbott Elementary took us all by surprise from its Pilot episode, making its debut season a smashing success in comedy. Where series like it in the past took time to find their footing, writers are getting better at gripping the audience earlier now, creating something unique and special that people could hold onto after a hard day’s night. 

Created by starring actress Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary follows a group of teachers in the title school as they navigate through their different techniques, budget matters, job functions, and the unruliness of young children while tussling with their personal lives. The series takes viewers through storylines that are unbelievably relatable despite most of us viewers being adults, as it allows us to look into a career path we might not understand but will grow to appreciate on a whole new level. 

If you’ve yet to watch and are wondering if the series is for you, here are five spoiler-free reasons why Abbott Elementary should be next on your list.

The Story

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY - “Desking” – When the students start participating in a new online trend that causes disruption to the school, the teachers band together to put an end to it. Meanwhile, Mr. Johnson provides comforting life advice to Gregory; and later, the teachers finally meet Jacob’s boyfriend, Zach, who joins in to help stop the students “desking,” when “Abbott Elementary” airs TUESDAY, MARCH 29 (9:00-9:30 p.m. EDT), on ABC
(ABC/Temma Hankin)

Abbott Elementary is, first and foremost, a love letter to teachers and a showcase of immense appreciation to the people who essentially shape us alongside our parents. The good, the bad, and the complicated, the stories that unfold for us week after week are achingly wholesome as they showcase the parts of our childhood we aren’t fully aware of until we’re older. What’s it like for teachers? Who cares most, and who doesn’t care at all? What do they say in the teacher’s lounge? How hard do they fight?

While we’re watching a scripted comedy, teachers like the ones at Abbott not only exist, but they deserve more praise than they get. The series gives them said praise with utmost subtlety while it reminds viewers why it’s essential for us to do so as well. These stories are about the kids who don’t get as much attention, the star students who do, the ones who’ll never be gifted, and the ones who are. There’s a high chance that more than one story will speak to every viewer, no matter the kind of student you were or what kind of a teacher you currently are.

The Characters

“Work Family” - After Jacob reveals a detail about his personal life, Janine realizes she doesn’t know the other teachers as well as she thought. Meanwhile, as Gregory’s stern teaching approach is causing his whole class to underperform, Barbara and Melissa teach him how to relax and make his lessons more fun. TYLER JAMES WILLIAMS, LISA ANN WALTER, JANELLE JAMES, SHERYL LEE RALPH, CHRIS PERFETTI
(ABC/Gilles Mingasson)

On a show like Abbott Elementary, even the most unlikable character is so well written that it’s impossible not to appreciate the story they’re telling. On a show that stays in one setting primarily, much of the character growth occurs during quiet moments where stories take front and center, allowing us to understand why characters operate the way they do. 

If for no other reason, every character on this show deserves to be known. In a mockumentary-style comedy, the truth is, not every character is quickly going to become a fan favorite, but when it comes to the gems in this school, they’re undoubtedly taking the world by storm. There’s something special about each of them, and that’s the only universal truth we could stick to without spoilers. Someone looks into the camera like they’re on The Office frequently, and we can guarantee that this character will be the next mood—or, in truth, at some point, they all are. 

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The Cast

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY - “Zoo Balloon” – While on Abbott’s annual zoo field trip, Tariq unexpectedly reveals that he has been offered a job in New York. As Janine struggles with a big choice, Barbara starts questioning her future after finding out her favorite tuatara has been retired because of old age on “Abbott Elementary,” TUESDAY, APRIL 12 (9:00-9:30 p.m. EDT), on ABC.CHRIS PERFETTI, LARRY OWENS, LISA ANN WALTER
(ABC/Temma Hankin)

Starring Quinta Brunson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Lisa Ann Walter, Chris Perfetti, and more, Abbott Elementary’s cast is an unstoppable group of mega-talented people whose performances will continuously stun viewers. The characters are incredibly well written, but the actors bring their quirks to life brilliantly, showing with every passing episode how their character is evolving and what’s happening beyond the spoken words.

Where sometimes an actor is great, but the character isn’t, on this show, the intermingling is so well done that you’ll continue to think about mannerisms long after the episode’s finished. The show was always going to be fantastic because of its premise, but it’s hard to imagine it being as remarkable with other actors bringing our favorite teachers to life.

The Friendships

- “Open House” – It’s Open House night at Abbott Elementary, and while Janine prepares to meet her struggling student’s mother, the rest of the faculty uses the time to relax. Gregory is taken aback when he learns how Ava got the principal job, and later, Barbara’s daughter’s visit creates a commotion in more ways than one
(ABC/Scott Everett White)

The best part of any workplace comedy is the friendships that become a comforting presence throughout the show’s run. And while the development isn’t quick or immediate, how the series brings these characters closer throughout the first season is a marvel. By the end of the season especially, the friendships are primarily the thing you’ll miss watching the most. Every workplace doesn’t need to have platonic or romantic relationships, but it’s much more enjoyable when it does, and those within Abbott Elementary are its heart. At the end of the day, how the teachers are with one another creates a safer, better environment for the students, and it exudes the same sense of safety for viewers.

And for our romance readers wanting to know if there’s a ship to hold on to—the short answer is yes, but from what we could tell right now, it’ll be a deliciously slow burn that’ll hit hard and fast when the time is right.

The Humor

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY - “Step Class” - Janine is thrilled when Ava asks to help her teach the after-school step class, but the two don’t see eye to eye on how to run the program. Later, when Barbara, Melissa and Jacob plan an “eat-off” to decide who makes the best pizza in Philadelphia, Gregory is forced to reveal a secret when “Abbott Elementary” airs TUESDAY, FEB. 22 (9:00-9:30 p.m. EST), on ABC.
(ABC/Scott Everett White)

How this series makes elementary school humor hilarious is a feat I’ve yet to understand, but it’s genius, no less. And we’re not talking subtle comedy, but at times, it’s laugh-out-loud meme-worthy humor. In a world where we’re tired of offensive humor that often targets marginalized communities and is seldom innovative or thought-provoking, Abbott Elementary does the opposite. The show is hilarious and warm, and even when there’s character mockery, it doesn’t feel like a biting joke that’s structured to harm and diminish. 

The humor plays a role in the character growth alongside the friendships, letting the funnier elements intermingle effortlessly with the show’s heart. This show’s achievement lies in facial expressions, wittiness, and nerdy comebacks that will be exceptionally comforting for the kids who grew up believing their geekiness is a weakness.

Further Recommended TV: 5 Reasons to Watch Ted Lasso

If you’re a fan of shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Ted Lasso, Parks and Recreation, and anything with a wholesome theme at the center of its humor, Abbott Elementary is the right show for you. The show’s restorative and beautifully transparent showcase of teaching, struggles, and personal growth brings to our screens balanced storytelling with something for everyone.

Abbott Elementary Season 1 is currently streaming on Hulu!

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Gissane Sophia View All

Gissane (pronounced Geese-enny) or, as people often call her, "Goose," is a Christ fan above all and a romance enthusiast who's taken her Master's degree in English and love for essays into writing lengthy analyses about pop culture.

She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Marvelous Geeks Media and the co-host of Lady Geeks' Society Podcast. She drinks too much coffee, wants to live in a forest, and cries a lot because of her favorite characters. She's a member of The Cherry Picks and can also be found writing features for MovieWeb and Looper.

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