On Tuesday, ABC premiered the new show Abbott Elementary, led by Quinta Brunson, and after recently watching it I developed some thoughts and compared to other pilots it gave me some serious hope. The series revolves around a public school by the same name as the title, but the realities of being underfunded and overlooked take both comedic and realistic tones of life in the school systems found in a lot of American cities.
Now, I won't give too many spoilers in this review, but I will discuss what makes Abbott Elementary both a series I see going forward and what might be holding it back. First, there's an excellent cast featuring, Tyler James Williams as Gregory Eddie, Janelle James as Ava Coleman, Chris Perfetti as Jacob Hill, Lisa Ann Walter as Melissa Schemmenti, and Sheryl Lee Ralph as Barbara Howard. A lot of unique energy is brought to each scene any one of these people is in, bringing a lot of fun or emotional gravity to the situation. It's hard to laugh when discussing a situation often overlooked such as the American public school system. But there's a unique way Abbott Elementary is navigating that conversation through a comedic mockumentary-style sitcom. From the hilarious truth of the turnover rate of new teachers to configuring methods of obtaining new materials for a school with an extreme lack of funding.
Brunson does a fantastic job in her role, making us feel for her and cheer for her during those moments you could see her character speak up for the kids. The principal was someone I was afraid would not get any sign of pushback in the pilot, but I was wrong and I love that. Abbott Elementary gave as much as it could give within a 22-minute time frame. It's not easy to bring all the details to the table you'd like to see in a pilot, but they did a fine job not pushing every bit seen in the trailer into the series opener. It will be exciting to see what stories they decide to bring into the setting they've created and I'm looking forward to learning more from & about these characters going forward. ABC's Abbott Elementary had a good, solid series kick-off with some things I hope to see worked on as the series finds its groove- not every series pilot fits the "perfect" category.