The Complete First Season
review by Bobby Blakey
The workplace comedy is one of those sitcom genres that offer up so many layers and types of characters that you can’t help but laugh and connect to it. Shows featuring the film crew like The Office, Parks and Recreation and Superstore mastered this style to hilarious results. The latest series taking on the same format is Abbott Elementary created by Quinta Brunson who also stars in the series alongside a great supporting cast including Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Lisa Ann Walter, Chris Perfetti, William Stanford Davis, and Sheryl Lee Ralph.
Abbot Elementary follows a group of dedicated, passionate teachers — and a slightly tone-deaf principal — who are brought together in a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, are determined to help their students succeed in life. Though these incredible public servants may be outnumbered and underfunded, they love what they do, even if they don’t love the school district’s less-than-stellar attitude toward educating children.
I’m not sure why I waited to check this show out as I thought the trailers looked funny, but for whatever reason I did. I am so glad that I got the chance to go back and check it out because it is damn funny. The use of a school and the crazy world of teachers is perfect for this kind of thing, but this show works more than anything on the great writing and stellar performances across the board.
It is no surprise that this show was raking in award nomination at the Emmy’s because it delivers on all fronts. The stories are often over the top with both subtle jabs and flat out ridiculousness. Every member of the cast are fun to watch with Brunson bringing both heart and laughs to the mix. While I love everyone here I think that Janelle James’ Principal Ava is both the most
frustrating and entertaining of them all.
Like most of these shows each character gets their time to shine and every one of them work to perfection with each other. The running gags coupled with interaction with the kids and each other just works. You can imagine the hijinks that can ensue in this setting, but it’s really more of the banter about being a teacher or the annoyance of the kids that really brings the funny. Under all the fun is still a nod to teachers and their love for trying to help the young minds despite being broke while they do it.
This collection features all 13 episodes of the season and worth adding to your collection. Head back to school for a dysfunctional education with Abbott Elementary: The Complete First Season available now on DVD.