There is always a question about whether you can match the high bar set by what preceded it. Not only is this show already on track to do so, but there is also the promising potential for it to even surpass what came before.
I honestly haven't laughed this hard watching a TV show in a very long time. There is great chemistry among most of the cast (with one glaring exception Chris Perfetti) and the writers can both tell a good story and pull off one liners mixed in throughout.
You would think after The Office and Parks and Recreation, there would be no live left in the mockumentory sitcom. I'm looking at you Welcome To Flatch, despite you trying your best. Then along comes Abbot Elementary. When anchoring this type of show you need a central character that you can care for, flaws and all, ala Michael Scott or Leslie Knope. Quinta Brunson (creator and star) plays the idealistic young teacher trying her best amongst the newbies, substitutes, and veterans of the teaching staff. And by the end of the first episode you will fall for her all the way. This would be a perfect 10 if it weren't for almost every character "pulling a Jim", although characters will glance at the camera with their own agenda, be it "see what I mean" to "look what I did there". Bravo to ABC for airing what networks used to do in their sleep, a FUNNY 30-minute sitcom.
While viewers may have grown accustomed to Brunson doing it all, these first episodes of Abbott Elementary’s second season, despite their slightly less dexterous humor, still make the show, as we say in the business, a pleasure to have in class.
Delightful. ... Presented mockumentary style, the series feels fresh even as it mines the familiar. As much as the characters represent an agglomeration of types, they are well written and the actors invest them with life.
Sure, some of the characters are stereotypes – painfully woke, white teacher Jacob (Chris Perfetti); ziti-making Melissa “I know a guy” Schemmenti (Lisa Ann Walter, another scene-stealer) – but they’re all uniformly funny.
Quinta Brunson created this show based on her experiences with her teacher mother and she named the show after one of her middle school teachers. It's a mockumentary staged in an underfunded Philadelphia elementary school that follows a group of teachers and the hilariously clueless principal played by Janelle James. The characters all have endearing, amusing traits, while their interactions provide much of the comedy. The writing keeps the show on its comic toes, even though the constant glances at the camera don't really add much. Although it's not a breakthrough in TV sitcoms, there's plenty of heart and fun to make it refreshing and pleasingly watchable.
We tried. Really we did. At the end of the day, this isn't a bad show. However it isn't "good" either. Certainly I've seen nothing from the writing and acting that justifies the near universal praise the show has received.