America’s new mockumentary sitcom is Abbott Elementary
Abbott Elementary snuck up on us and premiered on Dec. 7, 2021, on ABC. The comedy is quickly becoming everyone’s new favorite mockumentary sitcom. Here’s why.
When it comes to some of the best mockumentaries, we instantly think of The Office, Parks and Recreation, and a few others. Many shows and movies prior to Abbott Elementary have created the blueprint and popularized them.
Abbott Elementary was created by, and stars, Quinta Brunson. Brunson emerged onto the scene from her self-produced Instagram skits Girl Who Has Never Been On A Nice Date, and would produce Buzzfeed videos until 2018. Since leaving Buzzfeed, Brunson decided to take her talents to the next level and is now the creator of the new ABC comedy show.
Why Abbott Elementary needs to be your next watch
To enumerate, Brunson stars as a second-grade teacher, Janine Teagues, who loves her job maybe a little too much. Her at times exasperating enthusiasm for her class and Abbott often gets under the skin of the teachers. Essentially, Abbott has a low-budget and the teachers occasionally are more than just teachers in the kids lives. This series features a majority black cast, which goes along with the setting being in West Philadelphia.
Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris) co-stars as Gregory Eddie, who is a substitute teacher for a former teacher that was fired due to kicking a student in her class. It’s quite early in the show’s existence, but it appears we may have a “Jim and Pam” potential relationship growing with Ms. Teagues and Mr. Eddie — we shall see. As a viewer, you’re probably already rooting for this due to the two teachers’ chemistry and due to the fact Ms. Teagues’ current boyfriend Tariq is a complete scrounge.
In addition to that, Janelle James (principal Ava Coleman), Lisa Ann Walter (second-grade teacher Melissa Schemmenti), Chris Perfetti (history teacher Jacob Hill), and Sheryl Lee Ralph (20-year veteran kindergarten teacher Barbara Howard) also star in this series. Combined, the cast consists of a group of intense and impassioned teachers — oh yeah, and a principal (James) who is only in her position because she caught the superintendent cheating on their spouse. Regardless of how, they’re brought together to Abbott. Their goals are to make their students lives better while in school.
Early on, you’re instantly drawn into the comedic flair of this show with the introduction of the documentary crew recording the lives of the teachers. Simply put, the overall conditions at the school are strident and most teachers don’t last long. Ms. Teague is determined to make a difference and change how things are done at Abbott. In just three episodes, she’s made some progress, but still a long way to progress.
On the contrary, Abbott Elementary has already gained some positive notoriety due to their 100% Rotten Tomatoes score. Not to mention, an average rating of 8.3 out of 10. Angie Han of the Hollywood Reporter thinks, “If Abbott Elementary can keep finessing that balance — between uplift and honesty, celebrating individual moxie and critiquing systemic failures — it could yet grow into a series as thought-provoking as it is crowd-pleasing.”
Personally, I’m loving this new series and am already hooked. My only complaint so far is the episodes at times seem kind of short, with a 22 minute running time. You look away for one second and you miss 30 jokes and possibly half the episode. I’m optimistic for what’s to come with this new sitcom and hoping there’s a lot more to come with Abbott Elementary.
Watch Abbott Elementary Tuesday nights on ABC. You can stream all previous episodes now on Hulu.