Abbott Elementary is a mockumentary office sitcom, revolving around the passionate teachers working at the underfunded Abbott Elementary. Philadelphia native, comedian, writer, and actress, Quinta Brunson created and produces the series. Quinta is known for her early meme days on the internet, staring in Buzzfeed sketches, and her role on the HBOMax series “A Black Lady Sketch Show”. Abbott Elementary is loosely inspired by Brunson’s mothers’ career working in the Philadelphia public school district and is named after Brunson’s favorite middle school teacher, Ms. Abbott.
Brunson stars as an optimistic second-year teacher, Janine Teagues, who aims to better her students and the school around them best despite all odds. Janine works alongside fellow rookie teacher, Jacob Hill (Chris Perfetti) and new substitute teacher, Gregory Eddie (Tyler James Williams). The school’s lack of funds and tone-deaf principal, Ava Coleman (Janelle James) prevent Janine from getting her way. Janine teaches alongside veteran coworkers, Barbara Howard (Sheryl Lee Ralph) and Melissa Schemmenti (Lisa Ann Walter) who are resistant to her new methods.
Abbott Elementary shares similarities with predecessor mockumentary sitcoms like The Office. Both TV shows have under-qualified narcissistic bosses – Ava (Abbott Elementary) and Michael Scott (The Office). Janine and Gregory’s slow budding relationship in Abbott Elementary is similar to that of Pam and Jim from The Office.
Abbott Elementary acts as a commentary on how public school education systems in Black and Brown communities are systemically underfunded. Through all the humorous antics on the show, the series highlights the dedication of teachers like Janine who always want to help their students despite the cost.
Watch Abbott Elementary airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC or watch episodes streaming the next day on Hulu.
If you want to read more stories like this, follow MEFeater on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for more content!